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A helpful checklist for online demo development

Posted by Bridget Fair on August 21, 2013

Online demos are a great tool to motivate prospects and customers and get them engaged with your product. When you invest in a demo, you want it to be as effective as possible in order to generate maximum ROI. However, this can be difficult to determine. How do you gauge if your demo is compelling, engaging and viewer-friendly?

Fortunately, we’ve developed a checklist that can help you ensure your demo is poised for greatness. The Demo Best Practices Checklist includes 15 best practices that are proven to engage viewers and drive response. Best practices fall into three key categories: Content and Messaging, Audio and Animation, and Rendering and Playback.


I used this checklist to evaluate a recent demo J&C developed that introduces mobile banking to financial institution customers. Take a look at the demo, then review the completed checklist below.

I’ve included brief comments that explain how the demo fulfills each checklist requirement. This gives context to each best practice and provides insight into the rationale behind the creative elements used in the video.

Demo Best Practices Checklist

Category 1: Content and Messaging

A good script is the basis for a successful demo. Clear, precise messaging sets the stage for a compelling, watchable video that drives viewers to action.

Content and Messaging Best Practices Mobile Banking Demo Comments
Objective is focused and clear The high-level goal of the video is product adoption. Video drives customers to download mobile banking.
Messaging connects with a clearly defined target audience The demo targets banking customers who are not using mobile banking.
The key selling proposition for the target audience is clearly communicated Within the first 40 seconds, the key selling proposition is stated:“Today we want the ultimate freedom and flexibility and that’s what mobile banking is all about.”
Run-time is less than 3 minutes Focus is on 3 high-level product features:
  1. Pay bills
  2. View transactions
  3. Transfer money

The demo briefly covers key functionality that reinforces high-level product features.

This allows viewers to get a holistic overview of the app in less than 3 minutes.

Language is universal and easy to understand Language is straightforward, with no complex technical terminology.
Content is organized and presented in a logical order Demo is organized into 3 parts that flow logically and seamlessly:
  1. Product introduction and key selling proposition
  2. Product features and functionality overview
  3. Recap of benefits with drive to action
Ends with a clear call-to-action The video drives prospects to download the app by clicking the link on the landing page.

Category 2: Audio and Animation

Audio and animation bring a script to life. Visual and aural elements should complement and support the video’s objective by adding interest and engaging viewers.

Audio and Animation Best Practices Mobile Banking Demo Comments
Tone of voice-over and audio elements is consistent with content being presented Voices and music are upbeat and energetic, which aligns with the overall theme of connectivity in a fast-paced world.
Visual elements are dynamic Animation and ongoing visual action, including changing characters, settings and situations, grab and hold the viewer’s attention.
On-screen text reinforces important or complex messaging Key product features and call-to-action are emphasized with on-screen text.
Music is complementary, not overwhelming or distracting Music adds an upbeat tempo without overpowering the voice-over.
Characters or multiple voices are used to enhance story and create aural interest Three characters are used to break up the moderator’s voice-over and provide different users’ perspectives on product benefits.
Transitions flow smoothly and keep viewer engaged On-screen text and character voices bookend sections and topics for smooth, engaging transitions.

Category 3: Rendering and Playback

People are viewing online video in a variety of ways. Not only must a video function on a number of browsers and devices, but it must provide a user-friendly experience on each.

Rendering and Playback Best Practices Mobile Banking Demo Comments
Video plays and renders correctly on all browsers and devices on the video quality assurance list below J&C is using SublimeVideo Player to ensure demo reverts to Flash on browsers that do not support HTML5.
Video is housed in a responsive landing page, which renders appropriately on all devices on the video quality assurance list Landing page and video resize to a device-friendly view on all devices and browsers below.
Video Quality Assurance: List of Browsers and Devices
Windows XP
  • Internet Explorer (7 and 8)
  • Firefox (3.5 and 3.6)
  • Safari (4)
Windows Vista
  • Internet Explorer (7 and 8)
Windows 7
  • Internet Explorer (8 and 9)
  • Firefox (latest build)
  • Chrome (latest build)
  • Safari (latest build)
Mac OSX 10.7 and up
  • Safari (latest build)
  • Firefox (latest build)
  • Chrome (latest build)
Mobile and Tablet
  • iOS 6 (iPhone & iPad)—Safari
  • Android 2.3 (Samsung Galaxy Tablet)—Default Browser
  • Android 4 (Samsung Galaxy II Phone)—Chrome
  • Windows Phone 7.5 (Nokia Lumia 900)—Internet Explorer
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This checklist not only helps you evaluate your final demo, but also serves as a helpful list of considerations at each step of the development process. From script creation to quality assurance, it’s important to ensure each best practice is addressed and executed.

The J&C demo fulfills each best practice and gives us confidence that the mobile banking demo will engage viewers and drive them to action. With this checklist, you have a tool that will help ensure your demo, too, is poised for success.

To learn more about marketing communications best practices, download our free ebook.

Driving Response and Action: Marketing Communications Best Practices

Topics: Best Practices

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