You probably won't be surprised to hear that 78% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy an app or software after watching a video.
More and more brands are turning to video platforms like Tik Tok to capture consumers' attention - and dollars.
Sure, this works for D2C brands selling the latest widget, but will it really generate leads in the B2B and SaaS worlds?
At Rocketwheel, we believe that, fundamentally, businesses are people too.
It follows that the best ways to appeal to B2B audiences are going to be the best ways to appeal to B2C consumers.
And, until BMIs permanently plug us into the metaverse, the best way to appeal to people is through video.
But how do you incorporate videos into your SaaS marketing strategy? What are the key considerations? What style of video will work best?
In this article, we'll walk you through everything you need to know get started on your next SaaS videos. We'll cover:
- The two most common types of videos our SaaS clients use
- Examples of each, including the why behind how they work
- The next steps you can take to start producing a SaaS video
What Is a Product Video?
A product video is simply a video designed to demonstrate how a product works - this is why product videos are sometimes also called demo videos.
However, the purpose of a SaaS product video isn’t to merely showcase the product, it’s to sell it.
That’s why the best B2B SaaS product videos are more than just screencasts. They need to be more engaging than just watching someone click around the user interface, droning on about what they're doing.
Instead, these SaaS demo videos are like sales pitches - they emphasize benefits, address pain points, counter potential objections, provide social proof, etc.
B2B SaaS Product Video Example: Contently
Here’s an animated product video that we made for Contently:
This video is a great example of structuring a product video like a sales pitch instead of just showing off the software.
Note how Contently:
- Define the problem: “Successful content marketing takes great storytellers, smart strategy, and powerful technology”.
- Present their solution: “Contently helps our customers succeed by giving them the tech, talent, and strategy they need to create amazing original content - on brand and at scale.”
- Showcase their software, their network of freelance contributors, and their network of managing editors and content strategists, thus addressing each component of the problem (...great storytellers, smart strategy, and powerful technology.”).
- Emphasize the benefits of using their platform: “All of this is designed to help you create content, engage audiences, and optimize everything you do, so your content marketing efforts get more efficient and more effective while driving the results you need.”
- End the video with a clear call to action: “Want to learn more? Check out contently.com/solutions. Or, for a more detailed demo, shoot us an email at sales @contently.com”.
What Is an Explainer Video?
An explainer video is a video designed to explain the concept behind a product or service. It’s the most popular video type used in video marketing.
However, its primary purpose isn’t to merely explain the concept, it's to encourage new leads to take the next step along their consumer decision journey.
That’s why the best SaaS explainer videos, just like the best SaaS product videos, are like sales pitches - it’s just that they sell the concept, not the product itself.
After all, in order to get someone to buy the product, you first need to get them interested in it.
And in order to do that, you need to do more than just show them your product.
You need to present the problem, offer your solution, show the benefits, empathize with the potential customer, etc, etc. The best SaaS explainer videos add all these elements to a basic product video, which brings in more leads that are more likely to convert.
B2B Explainer Video Example: Coordinate HQ
Here’s an animated explainer video that we made for Coordinate HQ.
Note how in this video Coordinate HQ not only explain the concept behind their software but also sell that concept to the viewer:
- Define the problem: “Are you responsible for the success of your high-value customers?”.
- Present the solution: “Coordinate helps you create customers for life”.
- Empathize with their ideal customers through a fictional first-person narrative that hits all the major pain points of their target audience.
- Emphasize the benefits of using their software through a fictional first-person narrative.
- End the video with a clear call to action: “Create customers for life. Request a Coordinate demo today.”
…all in just 1 minute and 8 seconds!
B2B SaaS Explainer Videos vs. B2B SaaS Product Videos
Now that you have a good idea of the differences between explainer videos and product videos, let’s explore how to best use them in your video marketing.
Focused on TOFU lead generation
Typically, SaaS explainer videos are used at the top of the funnel, as a way to introduce the software to the potential customer.
- Display your explainer video on your homepage.
- Use your explainer video as your YouTube channel trailer.
- Use your explainer video as a video ad on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Showcase your explainer video at industry conferences.
- Send your explainer video to potential customers.
Again, the aim here isn’t to sell the product itself, it’s to sell the concept behind it - you want to pique the potential customer’s curiosity so that they would want to take the next step in your sales funnel.
Emotion- and narrative-driven
The best way to do this is through the power of storytelling.
Create a narrative that reminds the prospect of the pain they are feeling, shows them that you understand that pain, and presents your product as a way to alleviate it.
At this point, it’s all about using your SaaS explainer video to establish an emotional connection, not discussing specific features of your app.
Build trust and encourage action
One of the core goals of developing this connection is to build the prospect's trust.
Once trust is established, the potential customer is in touch with the pain of the problem that you are addressing, and they see your product as a way to alleviate that pain, then it’s time to start talking about your features and showing them your value proposition.
If your SaaS explainer video strikes the right balance between creating curiosity and building trust, your prospects will be motivated to take the next step along your funnel.
Trust + Curiosity = Action
However, if you try to get into features straight away, the potential customer will likely lose interest because you haven’t given them a reason to pay attention in the first place. That’s why product videos usually don’t work well at the top of the funnel.
Crucial for engaging problem-naive leads
Also, keep in mind that the more innovative the software, the more important it is to have a great explainer video.
Everyone knows what email marketing apps are, so if that’s what you are selling, you might be able to get away with using a product video at the top of the funnel (though we wouldn’t recommend that!).
However, if you came up with some crazy, innovative, never-been-tried-before idea, then a high quality SaaS explainer video is an absolute must - if you go straight into talking about the nitty-gritty of your software, you'll just get blank “???” stares.
Inform MOFU prospects
Now that your prospects are problem-aware, you can use your SaaS videos to showcase your software and its key features.
The aim is to explain how your SaaS product solves the problem, show off its user interface, and demonstrate its key features and benefits.
But you don't want to get too deep into the weeds yet. You're still trying to build the prospects' trust, and show how your product solves their problem at a broad level.
Including video testimonials in your MOFU product videos (or just sharing testimonial videos) is a good idea. Seeing human faces and hearing their voices continues to grow the trust you've built at the TOFU.
At this point, the potential customer understands the concept, knows what the benefits of using your software are, and has a vision of how your software could make their life better.
Hopefully, your MOFU SaaS video has given them a big enough nudge to move them into the bottom of your funnel.
Convert BOFU prospects
Typically, SaaS product videos are used at the bottom of the sales funnel to help the potential customer make a buying decision.
At this stage, your prospects will want to know if your SaaS software will solve their specific problems.
You could just send them to a landing page with screenshots, but this can't always easily capture your product's features and usability. Using a product demo video is the best way to show your features in real time, how they're used - and the results your clients get.
You'll want to show them:
- The actual experience of using your user interface
- How to videos that solve specific problems
- Demo videos that address common objections
- Detailed screencasts for specific markets and use cases
You also want to include as much social proof as possible - make sure to mention notable customers, name-drop publications that have covered your app, share relevant data, etc.
Can You Use a Hybrid Approach?
Of course, these distinctions aren't black and white. It can be useful to include clips from product videos in your TOFU videos, and vice versa.
It's better to think of it along a spectrum:
The higher in the funnel your video content is, the more explainer-focused content you'll want. As you move down the marketing funnel, you'll want to include more specific product videos clips.
This video that we did for Logility as a part of a 9-part video series is a great example of this approach:
We were already working on product training videos for this client. It was easy to repurpose some of that material and make a short MOFU marketing video that defined the problem, offered a solution, and showed the product interface.
Pro tip: Once your prospects are convinced to try your product, use an interactive onboarding tool like Chameleon to guide them throughout your user interface.
How To Make a B2B SaaS Product or Explainer Video
So how can you make a B2B SaaS product or explainer video for your company?
There are three ways to do it:
- Homemade screencasts
- Online explainer software
- Dedicated agencies
When it comes to product videos, the most affordable option is to simply create a screencast with a voiceover narration - all you need is a laptop, a microphone, and screencast software (there are plenty of free ones out there).
However, as we discussed previously, screencasts usually don’t make for great explainer videos.
After all, it’s not the user interface that the potential customer is interested in, it’s whether or not you have a viable solution to the problem that they are struggling with.
Should a explainer video include screencasts? Yes, of course. Should the entire video be a screencast? Absolutely not.
But in the end, this approach can be viable when you are just starting out and just want to get an MVP to market.
Explainer Video Software
A better way to create product and explainer videos is by using explainer video software such as Biteable.
Apps like this enable people who don’t have animation skills or a budget to hire an agency to create professional-looking animated videos all by themselves.
Here are three tips that can help you make better product and explainer videos:
- Keep the end goal in mind. Ultimately, the purpose of a video should be to encourage the potential customer to take the next step in your sales funnel, so make sure that you end it with a clear call to action. What do you want the viewer to do next?
- Write a script and create a storyboard. It’s important to think through both the script and the visuals. Remember that your video is a sales pitch, whether you are selling the concept or the product itself. You can use our free template to help you get started.
- Choose a suitable soundtrack. The music that you choose for your video will have a huge effect on its persuasiveness. What do you want the viewer to feel when they are watching it? Make sure that you use music to amplify that emotion.
And again, these can help you get a MVP video out there, but the final product won't be winning you any Oscars.
Needless to say, we might be a little biased here…
But we believe that the best way to create a product or explainer video for your company is to hire a dedicated agency.
It might seem like producing a video like that is easy. We're only talking about 1-2 minutes of animation, after all.
However, the truth is that this task is much more complex than it seems at the first glance. Just look at our process.
That’s why it makes sense to work with professionals that specialize in this area, possess all the necessary skills, and have a proven track record of creating product and explainer videos that help SaaS companies increase sales.
Here’s our step-by-step framework for hiring a video production agency.