Beyond Passive Viewing: Why Product Demo Videos Don’t Cut It Anymore

Vartika Bansal
September 8, 2023
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I once dreamt that someone handed me an amazing book, but only let me read the blurb on the back cover. It was so frustrating that I could feel the rage for real the next day. 

After all, the real magic is in flipping the pages, diving into each chapter, and getting lost in the narrative.

Why am I telling you this story? 

Because that's how many B2B buyers feel watching just a product demo video. It's only a sneak peek of your product when they want the whole show. They want to read the whole book instead of just the blurb.

In this article, we’ll discuss eight key reasons why product demos videos aren’t ideal for SaaS companies. And stay with us till the end to know the ideal alternative. 

What is a product demo video?

A product demo video gives an overview of how a product works or highlights its key features and benefits. It demonstrates your product's functionality, explains key value propositions, and educates potential users about different use cases. 

While these videos can be animated or feature live recordings of the product at work, they might not be the best choice for SaaS companies. 

Why you need more than just product demo videos 

Here are eight major reasons why product videos aren’t enough for SaaS companies to engage their prospects:

1. Videos don’t effectively capture a product’s full functionality

When it comes to showcasing a SaaS solution—especially a complicated one, product demo videos have their limits. 

Think about it: animations can feel like you're viewing a stylized, simplified version of your product. They're neat to look at, but they don't really show the nitty-gritty of how something works. 

More importantly, learning about a product’s capabilities isn’t the same as experiencing these features firsthand. For business buyers, this is a big deal. 

B2B buyers don't just want to know what your product can do; they want to understand it. Videos can give them a surface-level idea, but they don't let viewers click around, test features, or get a real feel for how it operates.

Product demo videos are like watching someone else test drive a car you're thinking of buying. Sure, you see it in motion, but you don't know how it feels to be in the driver's seat.

In short, while videos are a good starting point, they don't offer a hands-on experience that truly helps buyers understand your product's value.

2. One-size-fits-all videos don’t resonate with all target personas

A generic product demo video trying to speak to everyone often resonates with no one. Read that again. 

B2B companies in different industries and growth stages have unique challenges, needs, and aspirations. Naturally, they look for solutions tailored to specific pain points when buying software. 

And that’s exactly where product demo videos fail to make a mark. 

The bottom line: personalization isn't just a nice touch for B2B buyers, it’s essential. 

A video that doesn't address the specific needs for each target persona can come off as out of touch. It's like offering the same shoe size to everyone—while it might fit a few, it'll be uncomfortable for most. Ouch! 

While a demo video might provide a broad overview of your product, it lacks the nuance and specificity that B2B buyers look for. In essence, for your product demo to truly hit home, it needs to speak the language of each unique viewer, addressing their individual challenges and goals.

What’s a better alternative? Stick with us till the end to find out. 😉

Floik interactive demos

3. Product demo videos can’t keep up with evolving products

The SaaS world is fast-paced where products are constantly evolving. You’re constantly shipping new features, redesigning interfaces, and enhancing functionalities. 

Here's the challenge: a product demo video, once created, remains static. These demo videos don’t automatically update to reflect the latest version of your product. 

Imagine presenting a cutting-edge solution to a potential client, only for them to watch a video showcasing features and interface from two updates ago. You’re showing off a brand-new car model but handing out brochures from last year's design.

While product demo videos offer a snapshot of your product, they can’t keep pace with the dynamic nature of SaaS products.

4. Tracking viewer behavior for demo videos can be challenging 

Getting a grip on how viewers interact with your product demo videos is crucial for optimizing the buyer experience. You want to know what grabs their attention, what loses it, and what prompts them to take action. 

But getting these granular insights about viewer behavior can be tricky (sometimes impossible). 

Sure, you might see how many times a video was played or how long someone watched. But did viewers rewatch a certain feature multiple times? Were they confused by a particular section? Did they skip over some parts entirely? Traditional video analytics might not deliver these insights. 

In a world where data drives decisions, limited insights from product demo videos can leave teams in the dark and make it harder to truly connect with their buyers.

5. Demo videos lack interactivity and don’t let viewers ask questions

Imagine sitting in a presentation where you can't raise your hand to ask a question. That's often how it feels with product demo videos. 

These videos present information, but there’s no chance for viewers to ask questions or get clarifications on the spot. This can be a bit stifling for your prospects who want to deep dive into your product and get more details.

While videos play, viewers might have queries popping up in their minds. "How does that feature work in a specific scenario?" or "What if I need customization?" But the video just rolls on, leaving those questions (and many others) unanswered. The horror! 

In the process of buying software—where understanding a product's ins and outs can mean the difference between a wise investment and a costly mistake—the lack of interactivity in demo videos can be a significant drawback. Demo videos inevitably push them to speak to your sales team to learn more about your product.

6. Creating polished videos is expensive and can be time-consuming

Let's face it: crafting a top-notch product demo video isn't just a walk in the park. It's an investment. From hiring the right crew, getting the best equipment, to spending hours on editing—the costs add up

But it's not just about the money. Time is a precious commodity. While you're waiting for that perfect video to be produced, the market shifts, competitors make their moves, and opportunities might slip by.

Remember: agility is key to succeed In crowded markets. The lengthy and costly process of creating polished demo videos can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help.

7. Watching demo videos is a passive activity and doesn’t engage users

Video demos are a one-way street. The information flows from the screen to the viewer, but there's no real engagement. While they provide a visual overview, they lack the immersive quality that allows users to experiment, play around, and genuinely connect with a product. This can feel a tad underwhelming to decision-makers. 

When users can't interact, probe, or explore your product as they watch, their engagement often wanes. They become passive spectators rather than active participants. 

At a time when engagement is the name of the game, relying solely on demo videos can be a missed opportunity. They show and tell, but they don't invite users to experiment and truly experience what's on offer.

8. Videos can’t capture users’ waning attention spans

With a sea of content vying for attention, holding someone's focus is a real challenge. And let's be honest: traditional video demos, no matter how polished, often struggle to keep viewers hooked from start to finish. 

Consider the typical product demo video: it starts with an intro, then delves into features, benefits, and so on. 

But what if a viewer’s burning question is only addressed three minutes in? They might not stick around to find out because they likely moved on in the first few seconds. 

In a world where attention spans are shorter than ever, creating traditional demo videos can be a risky bet. If they're not immediately engaging or tailored to the viewer's needs, they might just be background noise

Replace product demos videos with interactive product demos (and maximize success)

If you’re frantically trying to find a better alternative for that demo video on your home page, you’ve hit the jackpot. Interactive product demos can tackle all the shortcomings of traditional product videos and offer a richer, more engaging experience to your prospects.

Where video demos can feel one-dimensional and passive, interactive demos invite users to dive in, explore, and truly engage with your product. 

Not just that, there’s a whole list of rewards you can reap with interactive product demos:

  • Hands-on product experience: Instead of a stylized or simplified view of your product, interactive demos let users click through different parts of the interface and learn by doing. They can play with features, test functionalities, and truly understand its capabilities.
  • Tailored to each persona: Forget the one-size-fits-all approach. You can create a whole demo center with multiple interactive demos catering to different user personas. This ensures that the experience resonates with each viewer's specific needs and interests. Here’s an example by Darwinbox: 

Interactive demo center

  • Ability to update in real time: Interactive demos can be updated in real-time to keep up with the dynamic nature of SaaS products. As your product evolves, so does the demo to keep users in line with the latest and greatest version.
  • Real-time viewer analytics: Tracking user behavior with interactive demos is more intuitive. You can see which features users interact with most, where they spend the most time, and where they might get stuck. This goldmine of data is helpful for refining and improving both the product and the demo.
  • Cost-effective and convenient: While creating an interactive demo requires an initial investment and learning curve, it can pay dividends in the long run. You can quickly make updates without reshooting entire videos, and the interactive nature ensures a higher ROI in terms of user engagement and conversion.
  • Immediate resonance: With the ability to interact and explore, users can immediately find the information or features most relevant to them. No waiting, no fast-forwarding. Every moment in an interactive demo is time well spent.

Create interactive product demos in seconds with Floik

If you’re convinced about the power of self-serve, interactive demos, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get cooking with Floik! 🧑‍🍳

Floik lets you create clickable demos for your product in minutes. All you have to do is record your screen and showcase your product's key capabilities. Once you finish the recording, you can customize the demo to fine-tune the content and match your brand's style. 

Creating a standout demo is even easier with Floik’s intuitive editor. You can:

  • Add and edit hotspots
  • Include CTAs at all the right places
  • Generate AI voiceovers to explain the important bits

When your demo is ready, you can share it with a URL or embed it on your website for multiple use cases. It’s as simple as that

Check out this self-serve demo created using Floik (in 2.5 minutes):

Level up your buyer experience with interactive demos

Traditional product demo videos often leave viewers wanting more. They can be passive, lack depth, and don't always resonate with diverse audiences. 

What’s more, they struggle to keep pace with rapidly evolving products and can't offer the hands-on understanding that decision-makers crave. 

But with interactive demos, you can address all these challenges and empower viewers to actively engage, explore features at their own pace, and get a genuine feel for the product. These demos can elevate your buyer's journey from mere interest to genuine investment.

What are you waiting for? Sign up on Floik for free and create your first interactive demo.