Use Video to Show How To Use Your Product

Demo_vidoes_-_how-toHow many times in the last month have you wondered, "How am I going to do [insert task]?" and then turned to Google for an answer? And how many times do you choose to watch a video - rather than read about it on Wikipedia or some other blog? I know I do — a lot. And I know I am not alone...

Google reports that searches relating to “how to” on YouTube are growing 70% year over year.[1] In fact, since January 2015, more than 100 million hours of ‘how to’ videos have been watched in the U.S.[2]

With stats like these, it’s hard to ignore the growing popularity of this type of video.

How-to, Tutorial and Demo Videos

How-to, tutorial and demo videos are great for manufacturers and marketers of products. This type of video can build loyalty, drive sales and increase your brand awareness.

Instead of having your (potential) users read detailed written instructions, wouldn’t it be easier to make a video available online for them to watch instead? Product demo videos resonate strongly with viewers because they provide an instant, easy-to-consume solution to their problem.

How-to, tutorial and demo videos can help your business in many ways. Here are three of them:

  1. Get an idea of how to install, assemble or set up the product.
    If potential customers can watch step-by-step assembly and see how simple it is to put together they are more apt to buy your product. Nearly one in three millennials say they’ve purchased a product directly as a result of watching a product demo video.[3]
  2. Help current customers install, assemble or set up your product.
    When was the last time you put together a disassembled product by following the included instructions? You likely know how frustrating it can be - so why not make it easy for your customers with a setup tutorial video? 
  3. Available to watch - over and over again if needed.
    Having these videos available will help your customers install, assemble, use or maintain the product the moment they buy it - and through every subsequent disassembly and re-assembly.

Example Demo Video: Slipstreamer Windscreen Installation

Slipstreamer manufacturers windscreens for motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, and scooters. Their main goal in these how-to videos is to demonstrate how to install a Slipstreamer windscreen.

4 Tips to Take Away

  1. Keep it Simple and Get to the Point
    In demo videos, there’s no need for voiceover, flashy graphics, or creative shooting techniques. In fact, those can actually distract from the message.

  2. Turn One into Many
    If you’re doing one, you should take advantage of the production time and turn it into 3, 4, 5, or more. In this particular case, Slipstreamer was able to get 6 how-to videos from one shoot.

  3. Keep it Authentic
    One option for keeping your how-to videos authentic is to use the owner or current employees. In our Slipstreamer example, it was important for Bob Eggerichs, founder of Slipstreamer, to host the videos because he’s the one customers will talk to. From a marketing perspective, this also adds credibility and displays the expertise of your staff.

  4. Provide Troubleshooting Techniques
    In the above video, Bob did a great job of providing helpful tips. He anticipated some of the questions or situations a customer may run into while installing his product, so he provided solutions to those in addition to the necessary installation instructions.

The bottom line? Be there when your customer (or prospective customer) needs you - and show them how you can help. If someone's asking “Can you help me?” and you respond with a resounding “YES” by providing a video demonstration, you'll build loyalty and drive sales.

Be the solution and prospects will find you and customers will keep coming back for more. 

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[1] Google Data, Q1 2014 – Q1 2015, U.S.
[2] Google Data, 2015, North America. Classification as a "how to" video was based on public data such as headlines, tags, etc., and may not account for every "how to" instructional video available on YouTube.
[3] Google consumer Survey, April 2015. N=1128.

Tim has been in the media production industry since his days as a U.S. Navy shipboard news anchor in the 1980s. Tim has a BA in Visual Communication from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He has been President of Mastcom since 2002.