How to Create Interactive Product Demos: Benefits and Best Practices
More companies are implementing interactive product demos to drive growth, and it’s not hard to see why.
Product demos are great tools in the hands of sales and marketing professionals. They help keep customers engaged, drive conversion, and shorten the onboarding process. In many cases, you wouldn’t even need live demos to convert users.
This article explores interactive demos, shows you why they’re important, and steps on how to implement them. We’ll end the article by showing you how to use onboarding software to create your first or next product demo.
- An interactive product demo walks customers through the product, showing them its key functionalities and how it can solve their problems.
- Product tours are used in-app and focused on driving activation. On the other hand, interactive product demos are focused on driving sign-ups.
- Product demos help to increase conversion, drive customer success, and improve customer experience.
- Interactive demo use cases:
- Before the purchase
- Product-led growth trial to paid conversions
- In-app product demos
- Interactive product walkthroughs
- Best practices when creating interactive product demonstrations:
- Use customers’ JTBD for personalized product demos
- Don’t overwhelm your customers with every functionality of your product
- Let your customers choose their own path to tour
- Embed your video tutorials in your resource center
Interactive product demo creation process:
- Step 1: Identify your user personas. Create a detailed persona that captures important details about your users and prospects.
- Step 2: Map out the customer journey. Outlining every touchpoint in the user journey gives you a clear idea of the steps to cover in your demos.
- Step 3: Create a storyboard template. This allows you to visualize your findings and easily share them with team members.
- Step 4: Segment and trigger personalized demos for different personas.
- Step 5: Analyze and improve. Without proper tracking, it will be hard to know how successful your product demos are. Set conversion goals and monitor how many new users complete them.
- Step 6: Use it with prospective customers. Make any needed changes and roll out your product demo(s) to prospective customers to move them further through the sales cycle.
Tools to create product demos:
- Userpilot for boosting progressive onboarding
- Tolstoy for fully interactive video demos
- Walnut for a unified demo creation for sales and marketing teams
What are interactive product demos?
An interactive product demo walks customers through the product, showing them its key functionalities and how it can solve their problems. It’s called interactive because the customer experiences the product’s value in real-time by just clicking through the prompts on their screen.
Interactive product tour vs. interactive product demo
They might sound similar, but there’s a big difference between them.
Companies use product tours when onboarding new customers. These interactive product tours are meant to familiarize new users with the tool and help them make the most of it. Product tours are in-app and focused on driving activation.
On the other hand, product demos are sales and marketing materials used early in the sales funnel to show prospects the potential of a SaaS tool. Product demonstrations are focused on driving sign-ups.
Why are interactive product demos important?
Interactive demos play a key role in the customer journey. Used well, they can help to:
- Increase conversions: A good demo paints the picture of what customers can expect from the product. It shows them how their lives get easier and how the tool can save them time. Realizing this value helps to increase conversion rates.
- Improve customer experience: Before the spread of interactive demos, companies typically relied on sales presentations to communicate product value. This can be cumbersome and even leave users confused. But interactive demos provide convenience. Viewers learn at their pace and are even sometimes allowed to choose the demo content to interact with.
- Drive customer success: As you’ll see shortly, interactive demos are tailored to the user’s JTBD. This ensures the viewer learns how to use your product to solve problems even before they become customers. It results in faster product adoption, helping customers reach their objectives quickly by the time they start using your product.
Interactive demos: use cases
We’ve established that demos are used early in the sales funnel. But there are many use cases for this, based on where the user is in their journey. Below are the different ways to implement your product demo:
Before the purchase
After showing interest in your solution, a demo is a good way to push the prospect down your sales process.
Common scenarios include: after interacting with a content asset, during a sales call, as a CTA in your email, etc.
Product-led growth trial to paid conversions
Product demos can be great additions to your software if you implement a product-led approach to growth.
Adding a detailed demo to your free trial ensures customers learn how to use your product and get to the Aha! Moment quickly. This is especially useful for software products with a complex learning curve.
In-app interactive product demos
Live demos typically involve the user booking a call with a sales rep who guides them through the product. In-app interactive demos are shorter versions of that process and don’t include the intervention of a salesperson.
In-app interactive demonstrations shouldn’t replace live demos, but the latter is a great way to help users learn on their own without external support.
Interactive product walkthroughs
An interactive walkthrough is a step-by-step guide to your product aimed to ultimately lead users to activation.
It’s not a separate clickable version of your software but a set of tooltips in the product that guides users through its features.
Best practices when creating interactive product demonstrations
Keep the following points in mind to create demos that engage and convert customers:
Use customers’ JTBD for personalized product demos
Begin by considering what customers hope to achieve with your tool. Use a welcome survey to learn more about their primary objectives and motivations, then tailor the interactive product demo to meet those needs.
You may have different demo pathways, depending on your product and how diverse your customer JTBD is.
Don’t overwhelm your customers with every functionality of your product
Trying to create a single demo for all your features can make it boring and unnecessarily complex.
Instead, revisit the prospect’s needs and identify 2-3 pain points. Then create a demo that shows how your product solves those problems.
Remember, you can always create demos for different parts of your product—just ensure to keep it one feature or functionality at a time.
Let your customers choose their own path to tour
Avoid linear demos that present your product in a static line that’s not personalized.
Use a nonlinear approach instead. This means your interactive demonstration should work like a dashboard where customers can choose their own path to tour and learn about your product at the level of detail they want.
This method is more customer driven and delivers better user satisfaction.
Embed your video tutorials in your resource center
Embed your tutorials/interactive product demos in a resource center to drive self-service support and improve customer experience. This way, customers can visit them anytime they need to remember something.
Asides from your demo, the resource center should contain more information to help the user irrespective of where they are in their journey.
It’ll reduce the load on your support team, save you cost, and ensure customers are happy.
How to create an interactive product demo
Now that you know the best practices to imbibe and what to avoid, it’s time to create your first product demo. This section gives a practical breakdown of all you need to do:
Step 1: Identify your user personas
Recall how we mentioned the importance of using your customer’s JTBD to create personalized demos? A user persona makes that easy.
Create a detailed persona describing your ideal customer. It should cover their roles, challenges, objectives, etc. Then proceed to create product demos for each persona.
Step 2: Map out the customer journey
A customer journey map is a visual representation of the stages the user goes through as they engage with your product. It begins from when they find out about your tool all the way to activities they need to do to become loyal customers.
Outlining every touchpoint in the user journey gives you a clear idea of the steps to cover in your demos.
Step 3: Create a storyboard template
You’ll uncover many valuable insights when outlining your customer journey map. But the data is still raw until you can present it in a way that anyone viewing it can know what’s happening where.
Use a storyboard template to visualize your findings and easily share them with team members. Storyboards are replicable, giving you a handy template for future demos.
Step 4: Segment and trigger personalized demos for different personas
Create an interactive walkthrough and implement the same logic as the product demo. Segment new users who have just signed up and trigger personalized demos for them.
Segmentation is also useful when you need to show varying demos to different user personas.
It’s difficult to segment users manually. This is why you should prioritize tools with in-depth segmentation when choosing software for creating product demos.
Step 5: Analyze and improve
You can’t know how successful your demos are if you don’t regularly analyze engagements. The proper analysis also lets you identify improvement areas and reveal how to convert users faster.
Tools like Userpilot allow you to set and track goals. For example, you could create custom goals to track the completion rates for events your interactive walkthroughs taught users how to complete.
Low completion rates indicate the presence of friction points, which means you need to collect user feedback to know what to improve.
Step 6: Use it with prospective customers
You’ve collected feedback and identified improvement areas. It’s time to make necessary changes, roll out the product demo to prospective customers and move them further down the sales funnel.
Tools to create interactive product demos
You have two options for creating product demos: code everything yourself or use a software product.
The former is time-consuming and will cost you much more. So, most companies choose to use specialized software instead.
There are different kinds of SaaS tools for this purpose. Here are three of them with their uniqueness:
Userpilot for boosting progressive onboarding
Userpilot’s upside is helping SaaS companies create progressive onboarding instead of a one-size-fits-all demo.
With progressive onboarding, your users can only see the next step after taking the required action. This ensures they learn by doing, rather than follow bland product tours that don’t care if the user is actually learning.
Our software also allows you to segment users and personalize the product demo.
But that’s not all. You can equally embed video tutorials inside modals or use tooltips to offer the guidance needed at different points.
Tolstoy for fully interactive video demos
Tolstoy is an interactive video creation tool. The platform has many exciting features for video communication. One is the ability to build branched videos that customers can engage with. This functionality increases the personalization you can add to your demo and makes the process extra appealing for users.
Tolstoy even uses this feature for their onboarding to showcase the value of the product:
Walnut for a unified demo creation for sales and marketing teams
Walnut is one of the most popular demo tools on the market. It’s mostly used for its ease in helping marketing and sales teams create personalized demos.
The problem is Walnut’s demos are outside the product. They attract potential customers to try the product but don’t really help with getting more users to use the tool.
Delivering your demos in-app work best because customers will interact properly with the product, increasing their chance of converting.
An interactive demo is a great way to engage prospects and push them down the sales process.
Well created, your demo can help increase conversion rates and improve the overall customer experience.
Demos can still work whether you’re implementing a product-led growth approach or not. Just ensure to understand your user needs and personalize the flows. And always track your results, collect feedback, and improve.
Want to build interactive product demos code-free? Book a demo call with our team and get started!