What makes a demo video great

It’s always hard to pinpoint what makes something great, whether is a painting, a movie, a car design, a building, a person, or a promo video.

What makes a face beautiful? symmetry, proportions, texture, color, shape, curves.
Greatness, the same as beauty is very hard to explain with words, to measure with instruments, to replicate.

However hard to explain, it takes us but an instant to recognize when something is great, or when someone is beautiful.

It may be difficult to draft a blueprint for greatness but with due analysis and patience we can slowly unveil the coveted attributes that make up perfection, that have that uncanny ability to effortless struck the deepest chords of our emotions.

To produce a great video one can follow a given recipe and still end up with disaster.
Greatness is best measured with gut feeling. Finish your art and millions will be able to judge your effort within fractions of a second.

Among the crowd, only a few, the experienced ones with a trained critical eye will be able to succesfully diagnose what makes your work shy of perfect or far from great.

I will give you what in my opinion a great demo video must have for it to be considered great.
Your finished video must evoke a clear and unequivocal feeling of awe.

In order to get there you will most likely be able to recognize at least 3 or more of the following “sticky” rules.

Simplicity: one problem, one solution. Both explained with simple words and images.
Always try to explain concepts with the least amount of words. Less is more, more likely to be remembered thus more effective at conveying a message that sticks in people’s mind. Avoid technical or obscure words at all costs.
Use the KISS principle, keep it short and simple (stupid).

Unexpectedness: what makes a joke work? the element of surprise. That’s why a joke told a second time doesn’t have even a fraction of the effect as the first time. The best way to get people’s attention is by surprising them.
Think of creative ways to surprise your audience. Be bold, clever, and break molds. It may take a lot of thought but there is always a new way of explaining a concept that can take people from surprise.

Concreteness: avoid making vague and generic statements. Your product can only stand out if there is something unique about it. Use one or two concrete use examples or features that differentiate you from the competition.

Credibility: any big names or brands have used your produce or service? if so mention a couple. No one wants to be the first to try out a product. If someone people recognize vouches your offer you will gain their trust and dollars a lot easier.

Emotional: almost everything we do is driven by emotion. Facts are great to describe your product, but facts alone will not sell your idea. Employ use cases that your target customer can identify with. Find out what pains them a show how you can solve their problems. Give your visitors a compelling reason to hit that buy button.

Story: people love to be told engaging stories. Stories are way easier to remember and to spread.
Your video should follow some kind of dramatic arc. It should have a beginning, a middle, and and end.
A problem, a solution, and a strong call to action. All three acts should be tied together with a clever story, a story that makes sense, a story your target customer can relate to.

As in art, the hardest thing is not to remember the things that make something great but to know how and when to apply them and it what measure. Finding the right balance is a gift but also a skill that can be improved by sheer iteration.

Most videos go through a lot of revisions at every stage of production until the perfect balance among these factors is found.
Changes get increasingly costlier at every new step of production, that is why it is so important to do as much of this refining as possible at the script stage. It is always way easier to change words than frames on the final animation.

Now that you know what makes a demo video great go ahead and create many awesome videos for the world!


Related posts:
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Step by step guide to produce a promo video
How to create an Awesome demo video
How much a typical promo video costs?

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