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DIY: How to Make an Effective App Demo Video


A video makes information processing easier. People understand better, see more and get to know more. What a full length post achieves in so many words a video does in a couple dozen seconds. An app video can be embedded on sites like Wistia, DailyMotion or YouTube so that anyone can have free access to it. In this post, we’ll cover all the good things that come with a well done app demo video and what you must know for creating one yourself.

Writing the Script

The script is the cornerstone of your demo video. According to Neil Patel of CrazyEgg, it’s the script that counts. How to write the perfect script? Neil says that identifying customer pain points is the key to a good script. Essentially a good script should talk about:

  • The problem that your potential customers face
  • Existing solutions to the problem
  • The solution that your app provides
  • How the app provides it

Once you have written the script it’s time to draw a storyboard. The storyboard needs to be a rough draft of what app attributes you are going to present in the final video. The video should be short and to the point. And there’s a good reason as to why.
Wistia conducted a research on the relation between video length and view times. They found that while people fully watch a 30 second video, videos sporting lengths of 20 to 30 minutes are abandoned halfway. You risk, abandonment if you don’t curb video lengths.

Making the video

Once storyboarding is completed you can start making the video. The process is outlined below:

  1. Recording
  2. Adding effects
  3. Voiceovers/Audio
  4. Editing

Recording can be done with the help of expensive digital recording equipment as explained in this post on creating the demo video for BeatWave. The process is fairly involved and it not only entails expensive equipment costing thousands of dollars, but you also need to hire out models and rent a place out.

But is there any way to beat the costs?

With Placeit you can use any of the hundreds of ready made templates (with models) for producing app demo videos.  All you need to do is add your app’s recording or screenshots in the templates and you have a professionally done app demo video. There are two types of templates— Ones with full user stories and ones that only show a hand using the app.

For recording the screen of your app you can use Placeit’s built-in connection with Recordit, which is also free. Recording apps is different from recording websites (which you can do directly with your browser). Here is a tutorial for iOS apps and here is one for Android.

Adding effects and titles
Placeit already generates the hand gestures for you, but if you’re looking to add titles, there are many options. Adding effects is yet another part of making demo videos. There are countless tools like Sony Vegas, After Effects or even Apple’s iMovie (free with OS X) or Windows Movie Maker that can aid you in the process.

Voiceovers and Audio
Once the recording is done you may want to add voiceover or audio to the video. If you are uploading the video to YouTube, it gives you an option to choose from over 150 royalty free music tracks. Along with the music in background you may want a voice to lead your viewers. Voiceover artists can be hired over at Fiverr for $5 or you can also record the voiceover yourself with a free tool like Audacity.

Editing is the final step before shipping out your demo video. You may want to trim the video, adjust the color and and fit the audio to the image. iMovie is one great tool for editing your app demo videos for Mac users. PC users can use Lightbox, Camtasia or even Windows Movie Maker.

Where can you use the videos?

The videos can be used on a number of platforms like the Google Play Store and iTunes.

You can set up a landing page and include the demo video. The video can not only be used to give readers more insight into the app but it also drives leads to opt-in forms. Marketers often use demo videos on press releases and when sending emails informing bloggers and journalists of the app’s launch. Including a link to the demo video in the email signature helps too. Forums, social networking sites, video sharing platforms like YouTube, DailyMotion and Vimeo are some other platforms to get the word going.

Here is an example of a video made with Placeit:
YouTube Preview Image

Professional vs User-generated videos

Both professional and user generated videos have their own place.

A study conducted by comScore indicates that user generated videos were good at raising emotional intensity. That means a video with your own voice would be better to user emotions running high. On the other hand professional videos are good at delivering key message in the right manner. Professional videos with an actor and expensive equipment can cost up to $50,000 while with Placeit you can get the same level of professionalism and video-making dexterity at $99.

Concluding thoughts

If you have the money to spend on marketing then a high quality professional video with models, bells and whistles could be the right thing for you. If however you are looking for a professionally done video where there’s little to no work for you and all you need to is insert some screenshots or app video recordings and still get a pretty good video then Placeit is the right choice for your needs. Video making is not only expensive but is a fairly involved process with multiple iterations until you get the message right. You may also need to create multiple videos to see which one works better for you and represents the app in the best possible way. Multiple videos to see which one works better for you and represents the app in the best possible way.

About the author

Antonio-PlaceitAntonio is part of the marketing and growth team at, involved in the SEO, PPC and content marketing teams. He studied communication sciences and has experience in advertising, video production, SEO and web marketing. 


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