Digital Marketing: Five Steps To A Great Product Demo
The e-commerce boom is both a blessing and a curse to the world of marketing. Never before have we had the ability to reach so many people…and never before have we had so much competition for their attention.
Webinars are valuable tools for creating online product demos that can reach a huge audience of potential customers, but they produce their own set of unique challenges. Your online demo has to compete in a sea of other videos and internet distractions, and it has to keep your audience engaged with no face-to-face connection. What do all successful demos have in common? They follow these six ground rules.
- 1. Lay Your Groundwork
The best product demo in the world will flop without an audience. You can’t just shove your baby out into the spotlight without any prep work. You need to take the time to engage with your customers and build up an interest. That’s right. You need to market your marketing presentation. Social media is a fantastic tool for this kind of pre-marketing. It lets you get the word out to your loyal customer base, and let them help you spread the word. Let your customers know the product demo is coming, so they’re already excited when it arrives.
- 2. Tell a Story
Why it is that even in the toughest economic times, book sales don’t drop and movies still sell millions of tickets? Because everybody loves a story. According to Forbes, the best product demos of all time are the ones that tell a story with a coherent through line. A beginning, middle, and end, a conflict and a resolution, and obstacles to be overcome. All internet content must fight to hold the audience’s attention, and the best way to do that is to create a narrative they become engaged in.
- 3. Make It Interactive
You know what your demo can learn from movies…but what can you learn from video games? When you have to keep an audience engaged, the easiest solution is to get them directly involved in your material. Traditional live streams and webinars allow text chats or take questions via email, but there are new communications technologies out there that make online interactivity easier and more natural than ever before.
HD streaming services like Blue Jeans Primetime combine the best elements of video conferencing and web streaming: The interactivity of a conference with a streaming broadcast’s ability to reach a large audience. Viewers can raise a virtual hand, and you or your moderators can call on them and bring them into the stream to ask questions and speak to your presenters directly.
- 4. Stay In Control
Just like with a live presentation, bringing your audience directly into your plans can present some challenges of its own. While you want to allow your audience to be a part of the presentation and contribute to the demo, be prepared to stay in control of the flow and plan of your presentation. You know best how your product performs, so don’t allow your audience to push you into a situation where your product may fail: A common problem even in online demonstrations, according to CBS News’ rules for giving a good demo. Have an outline and a timeline, and stick to both so your demonstration moves smoothly and doesn’t bog down during the interactive segments you’ve planned.
- 5. Follow Up
Your demo can’t exist in a vacuum. Just like the work you did to build interest in your demo, you need a follow-up after it’s over. Social media is your friend here too. Online surveys and polls are a great way to touch base with your core customer group and get their feedback, both on your product and the nature of your presentation. If you’re trying new things, like interactive streaming, interacting with your audience will give you the best sense of what works and what doesn’t. You’ll also continue to foster loyalty and engagement even after your demo, by making sure your customers feel valued and heard. The goal of any demo is to grow good feelings and loyalty for both your product and your brand, so both front and back end support are extremely important for any demo.
There’s no question that the digital age and the rise of e-commerce have changed marketing and development forever. But despite the stiff competition, we now live in an environment of endless opportunity for innovation. With the right planning and the right tools at your disposal, you have almost unlimited power to reach an audience of customers who want to buy what you have to sell. Don’t hesitate. Explore the new marketing toolbox the internet has given us, and invent the marketing vision that will make your brand stronger than ever.