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Product Demo Video vs. Explainer Video: What’s the Difference?

In 2008 and 2009, product explainer videos were a novelty for businesses. Their uniqueness and perky nature are the main features that make them stand out from other branded videos.

Demo videos, on the other hand, were the standard before explainer videos emerged. These days, demo videos are emerging again, which means the video marketing trend is going through a cycle.

Explainer videos are everywhere. They’ve become a sort of standard for companies in general. Since demo videos scaling the trend chart again, does this mean explainer videos are no longer relevant?

No, it doesn’t.

If anything, explainer videos have proven their value in helping businesses grow. If not, why would they have become standard?

Explainer videos and demo videos are two separate genres of video with unique functions and strengths. Often, they can work together in the same conversion funnel, but in different stages.

Even though explainer videos and product demo videos are a good genre for a business to have, content is still king.

The value of information an explainer video has will determine the final outcome significantly more than its visual properties do.

The same rule applies to product demo videos. Whether the star of a product demo is a CEO, a busboy, or a Hollywood star, it doesn’t matter much. If the video’s content isn’t true, entertaining, or valuable in any way, it’s likely the video will be ignored.

Takeaway: An explainer video is an awesome type of content for the top-of-the-funnel stage in the buyer’s journey. A product demo has the upper hand in closing sales.

Let’s break down the main strengths of each video type.

Explainer Video

#1 Explaining Complicated Products

Coming up with innovative ideas is not an easy task, but communicating it to others is even harder.  Many startups and businesses have trouble projecting their ideas to the public, and sometimes struggle that can kill a company.

I have encountered hundreds of startups with bizarre, unique, and quirky products. New ones pop up daily. Every time I think I’ve seen all kind of startups in obscure niches, there’s always another one.

Answer me this: How many times do you leave a website with a genuine understanding of what it offers?

Rarely, right?
Describing the what, when, where, why, who and how of a product was the original idea behind explainer videos when they first came around in 2008 and 2009. By harnessing the combined power of illustration and audio explanation, explainer videos increase retention rates and clarify value propositions in a compelling way.

#2 Increasing Brand Awareness

You create brand awareness at the marketing funnel entrance by making your product more visible. Explainer videos, among few other things, are an eye-catching type content that’s hard to miss.

When creating an explainer video, your goal must be to inform people about your company and how your product or service can resolve certain issues your potential customers have.

If an explainer video reaches its target and delivers its intended message, it will intrigue them to watch and start the Internet’s butterfly effect: a like and a share, which are essentially the seeds of brand awareness.

In other words, explainer videos have the potential to be viral and engaging, but that shouldn’t be your ultimate goal.

The importance of videos in the brand awareness stage is that you have a very limited amount to engage your viewer. While you explain what you do, don’t be scared of entertaining viewers. This is your best shot for them to learn more about you and take it all in.

Here are some tips for achieving a valuable, engaging explainer video:

  • Evoke emotion through your videos. Often, the secret of a video’s virality is its emotional triggers. These give viewers a reason to view and share videos.
  • Tell the world who you really are, beyond the products you sell. Create videos that show off your company culture and your company’s behind-the-curtain lives.

In addition to explainer videos, add lightweight videos (in terms of content) to your website so you can rank better on search engines.

Among other things that explainer videos are excellent at, the personal feeling and the level of physical experience doesn’t seem achievable with animated explainer videos just yet.

Product Demo Video

#1 Visual Proof

“There will be haters. There will be doubters. And then there will be you proving them wrong.” – Robert Falcone

If any quote explains product demos perfectly, it’s that quote.

In the online business world, a product demo video is a crucial point of interaction between your product and its end-user.

As Robert Falcone implied, there will be people who think your product doesn’t meet their quality standards, or they may not be convinced to give it a whirl. It’s even worse when they think you’re running a scam and your emails will even be marked as spam.

A product demo video provides visual proof. It shows your audience your product’s practical functions. It also acts as sales pitch enhancer.

Target consumers who are visual learners often need to see your product in action to fully grasp its value and potential. This is especially true if physical features are your product’s unique selling points, as is the case with furniture or vehicles.

In a nutshell, a product demo video shows a product’s worth instead of telling everyone how good it is.

A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s what a product demo video is all about. Or as millennials say, “Pics or it didn’t happen.”

#2 Physical Sampling

Demoing the product is physical sampling that lets viewers know how the product performs physically without viewers taking the risk of buying it first. A product demo video usually includes:

  • Showing people how the product works.
  • Sampling existing consumers in a testimonial video.
  • Featuring giveaway announcements for sample products.

Leads, or potential customers, usually assume that you, as a salesperson, will say only good things about your products. They often have inherent distrust of salespeople in general. This matters greatly, especially in online shopping.

The inability to see the product before buying it is a dealbreaker for many people. Let them see what your product looks like and what it can do. Provide necessary proofs in the way that grocery stores provide food samples.

Closing Thought

Explainer videos and product demo videos are unsurprisingly similar in their ability to showcase a product. Despite similarities, they have their own strengths that serve different purposes throughout the conversion funnel.

The upper side of the marketing funnel is better for explainer videos to garner more visibility and awareness.

Product demo videos are perfect when people are already familiar with your product, but they need to see the product in action. While it’s a great type of video for proving your product’s reliability to target consumers, it’s unlikely to get a lot of attention on its own.

Therefore, explainer videos and product demo videos are the perfect pair for improving your video marketing game, and thus get more conversions!

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Jefri Yonata

Jefri Yonata

A content writer who is passionate in staring at monitors for various purposes, mainly reading.


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