It’s no secret that video is an immensely powerful marketing tool.

This is especially the case for software products. Since software tends to be more complex and abstract than most physical goods, using software videos can help prospects to build familiarity and comfort with your solution. Including a human element in your videos can turn your company from a faceless software vendor into a warm, authentic business partner.

There’s a reason that 52% of digital marketers name video as the type of content that generates the best ROI. If you’re ready to reap those benefits, here are four types of videos to try:

 

Explainer Software Videos

An explainer video is a short video that gives prospects a quick overview of what your software does, and how it can help solve their business problem. It’s often placed above the fold on the homepage, as an engaging introduction to your solution.

Explainer videos are very effective because most prospects don’t want to spend a lot of time up front reading about your product. Instead, they’re just looking to get a general sense of whether your software is a good fit for them. And the easiest way to do that is by watching a concise, visually appealing video.

Vidyard has an excellent explainer video on their website:

Notice how the video doesn’t go into specific details about how the software works, but simply focuses on a few key pain points, and how Vidyard can solve them. That’s all prospects need to know at this stage.

After implementing explainer software videos on their homepage, Vidyard saw their conversions increase by 100%.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce the bounce rate and increase time spent on your homepage, explainer software videos should really be at the top of your list.

 

Landing Page Videos

The landing page video is similar to the explainer video in that it is the first video your visitors see on your website. But unlike an explainer video, a landing page video is designed to turn intrigued prospects into paying customers.

Visitors who click through to your landing page from a PPC ad or an inbound link have already indicated some level of active interest in your product. So your goal at this point is not to educate them on your solution in general terms, but to show how your offering is superior to the alternatives.

To that end, landing page videos should:

1. Explain what makes your product unique
2. Add a human element – either through an engaging narrative or featuring actual people on screen like your customers or employees
3. Include a clear and direct call-to-action

CrazyEgg’s landing page video does a great job distinguishing its uniqueness while also creating a compelling case to start a free trial. After all, it only takes 30 seconds.

 

Onboarding Tutorial Videos

For SaaS businesses, the initial conversion is often not a direct sale, but a free trial. Once prospects are interested enough to sign up for a trial account, you need to deliver proven value so they will eventually upgrade to a premium plan.

In the words of customer success expert Lincoln Murphy, “the seeds of churn are planted early”, and this applies just as much to your non-paying trial customers. Most of them will either neglect to upgrade at all, or churn shortly after they upgrade because they never succeeded in getting full value out of your solution in the first place.

Without a solid onboarding process, you are essentially leaving this critical stage of the customer lifecycle to chance. At the same time, most companies can’t afford to provide live customer support to all of their trial accounts.

That’s where onboarding tutorial videos come in. By developing a library of focused training videos for your trial customers, you will be able to ensure they get the most value out of your solution without requiring live training or support. At the same time, they’re a lot more engaging than downloadable text documents, increasing the chances that customers will actually consume the information.

And there’s no reason these videos should be limited to trial accounts – they can also serve as a useful supplementary resource for paying customers. For instance, WordPress plugin developer Thrive Themes has a comprehensive video library for their flagship landing page editor, Thrive Architect:

Thrive Architect's video library

Since Thrive Architect only costs $97 for lifetime updates on up to five different websites, this high-quality video library has been essential in allowing them to scale their business without a corresponding increase in support overhead.

And since the videos are publicly accessible, it’s also a great marketing tool for prospects who want to see the software in action before buying.

 

Lead Nurturing Videos

If your prospect has not registered for a free trial, but has raised their hand for your content, lead nurturing videos can be a very powerful engagement tool.

After all, your prospects are probably inundated with text-based marketing emails and are going to ignore most of them. But put a video thumbnail with a play button in your emails, and you’re a lot more likely to grab their attention.

There are a number of effective ways to use lead nurturing videos, so don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment.

One powerful method is to use video to supplement inbound marketing efforts. For example, you can create a short video to welcome new email subscribers who have opted in to partnership content like a joint webinar or collaborative report. Chances are, many of these viewers are not too familiar with your brand in comparison to your partner, so this is a great chance to make a strong first impression. This type of video is especially powerful if it’s directly relevant to the associated partner content.

You can also use personalized videos to follow up with sales prospects. Instead of a text-based email or voicemail, sales reps can connect with prospects on a more human level by sending them a “video voicemail” instead. According to Wistia, this method resulted in 16% open rates and 17% CTR.

Here’s a great example from Bamboo HR

 

Boost Your Marketing Results With Video

Given the shrinking attention spans of the average digital customer, well-produced software videos are one of the best ways to truly engage your audience.

Video is also an exceptionally versatile tool with a variety of uses, but these four types have been used by many companies and consistently produce strong results. By leveraging them effectively, you’ll be able to cut through the noise, capture your audience’s attention, and convert them into paying customers.