As I approach launch, I am considering building an introductory video for my website in order to explain my software and the concept behind it.
In my minds eye, I see this video as a mixture of real world shots showing my 'solution' in use, combined with screencam sections focusing in on the software. The video would need professional titles and professional voiceover.
I am considering outsourcing this whole process - though more than likely based on my script.
I am looking for hints and experiences on this process:
I am surprised how few small companies and web applications make use of video considering how widely used it is on the web now. This in mind, I am also interested in more general comments on the use of video to explain and bring your product to life.
PS - Haven't been to answers.onstartups.com for a while - glad to see it is still thriving.
Do you have a marketing budget set up to plan your investment to marketing your software? If yes, the price for the video production has to be within boundaries. Try to look at it this way: Does the spent cost result in more than twice the sales?
There are some key things that determine how successful such a video will be. It has to be:
FogCreek had a pretty good and informative video on FogBugz 6.0: http://www.fogcreek.com/FogBugz/60movie/60movie.html
Since your software is bound to change after your launch from user feedback your video will become stale if it showed a lot of screenshots. I'd wait until version 1.2 for the that type of video.
Instead of doing a feature focused video think about having a short pitch featuring just you looking into the camera talking about benefits of your software. People connect to faces in the primitive reptile part of our brains.
I rarely, if ever, see the type of video you are describing. Maybe it is particular to some type of industry, but it just doesn't seem like a common approach for software.
On the other hand, many many firms build video turtorials for their software or services. No cameras and no actors are involved in these. Tools like Instant Demo or Wink allow you to "film" the operation of your software. You can add text and make the tutorials interactive. For a more professional tutorial you can add a sound track.
You can build a short tutorial for your application in just a few hours. These tutorials are easy to change as your software grows over time. A professional sound track can add $200 or more to the cost, depending on the length of your tutorial.
If you are comfortable with video it can be a powerful tool.
Watch videos on youtube for "lighting video" and "small business video".
Post your video to youtube and embed it in your website. For the best effect, get an SEO guy to help.