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Q: I’ve had a request for a video presentation from one of my clients, a software development company:

“We’re looking to produce two short 5-8 minute product demonstration ‘videos’ that talk prospective users through our software.

In each video presentation, this will be a mixture of a demonstration of the product itself and also a some shots of someone talking through what the product is and the benefits etc.

We would need the resulting video file to be such that it could be:

(a) accessed/downloaded from our corporate website

incorporated as a file onto a CD ROM

Also we’re interested in producing 3-5 minute podcasts that we could use as a download from the website to talk about product news.”

Can you advise me as to the best approach for each of these products / presentations and how best we can achieve it.

Marketing Agency

A: Requests for creative ideas for video presentations for software sales and podcast promotions are becoming increasingly more frequent as the software market grows, and more software companies realise the value of producing presentations as virtual demonstrations.

Let’s look at both examples, and see what approaches are possible.

Software Video Presentations

Looking at your software presentation video, try this for a treatment:

The presentation quickly opens to show a professional presenter (male or female) greeting the audience.

They are seen widescreen against a corporately styled & branded graphic background.

As they speak, captions or images animate onscreen, supporting their story and adding visual interest.

Presenter: … so let’s see how this works …

Display screen animates on

We see a software screen

The video presentation continues with the presenter continuing talking, describing what’s happening, while the full screen display demonstrates the software process.

You’ll need to ensure everything is edited very tightly for easy viewing and fast audience absorption.

You’ll probably also want features such as:

> zoom into relevant fields and forms to see detail

> graphic highlighting of key areas of interest

> captions for the main learning points of the demonstration

These visual features will keep the viewer’s eye focussed on the presentation’s story.

Hopefully this approach offers the best in business edutainment, as well as a high quality video presentation.

You could further develop the programme by cutting in and out of full display screen and full size presenter, as appropriate, and maybe add supporting footage of office users at work on the package.

Here are further video production ideas

The Advantages of the video presentation approach

> The perfect demo is delivered every time

> All major objections are handled before they’re even considered

> Proof of claim for the 3 key deliverables (new-speak for feature-benefits) is provided beyond a shadow of a doubt

> The impressive nature of the video presentation will imply that your software client has the credibility & capability required to deal with major international companies, manufacturers and organisations.

The presentation’s objective should be to close to the deal, and eliminate the need for tiresome person-to-person software demonstrations.

The whole project could be shot in a day if it was properly organised

It could also be produced in any foreign language if rqd at a later date. It’s always advisable to produce English first, with foreignspeak as phase 2.

Promotional podcasts

Podcasts can be provided as both video and audio so that users can:

> Download mp3s for listening on headphones, eg, on the way to work

> View the actual voxpop video online, ie, view now

Using both video and audio delivery:

> covers all customer touch points

> adds rich media to the website, enhancing it in Google’s eyes.

To produce these:

> You need a camera operator onsite to shoot the speaker, your client.

> You can shoot the speaker against green screen for keying over a branded background, or natural background

> You need to edit the footage and deliver as wmv, flv and mp3

You may also want to provide your client with a teleprompt and operator, though this will increase the price. It depends how confident your speaker is in their script material. If your speaker is nervous, it’s worth paying extra for the teleprompt and operator as this guarantees a perfect delivery.

If properly organised, then up to 3 podcasts or more could be recorded on the same day, delivering more value for the same money.

Ethical business relationships between client, lead agency and video producer

The rules and ethics are also worth covering as they determine what is ethical and proper in this three way business relationship, and what is not.

For example, as a marketing agency with a client you are the lead agency in the relationship with any video production house.

Obviously you need a video production company that is familiar with the rules of working with a lead agency.

I’d suggest these rules as a basis for business:

> The video production company cc’s you with every communication

> They promise to work openly and transparently (in writing).

> If the client approaches the video production company independently to maybe try and work a better deal through the backdoor, the producer should affirm in advance(in writing) to always refer the client back to you.

> The video producer invoices you, and not the client

> All negotiation is between the agency and the client, with the video producer simply acting as a partnering supplier.

Any strong established video production company, with a good client list, should be comfortable with this.

As a marketing agent you want the business relationship to be as good as the video presentation.

© Studio Rossiter 2009

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