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Product Demos
8 min read

Best Practices for Embedding a Demo on Your Website 

Best Practices for Embedding a Demo on Your Website

The B2B space is changing. And a lot of these changes can be traced back to trends within the B2C landscape. 

B2C online buying has become faster, more convenient, and tailored post-COVID. And as these changes became more and more prominent, they have started to impact B2B buyer expectations as well. 

To complicate matters even more, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.

All of this has meant that being able to try the product during the buying process and social proof have become critical for modern SaaS buyers. 

And one way to meet these needs is by using interactive demos earlier in the sales process. Or more specifically, embedding interactive demos throughout your website.

This allows you to showcase your product from the outset, and in turn, offer your prospects a truly product-led sales experience.   

With this in mind, join me as I go over the best practices for building and embedding product demos on your website to drive awareness, generate interest, and convert visitors into leads. 

Where should you place an interactive demo?

Well, it depends. 

Right now, you may be thinking, “Gee, thanks for that super specific answer.” But don’t worry. I’ll explain what I mean. 

Based on where your demo will appear on your website, here’s how I recommend placing it:

In your website hero section 

This is the best way to show, not tell. 

With short attention spans and today’s information overload, placing a short, guided demo that’s focused on the most relevant parts of your product is the best way to showcase value. 

This demo should feature a concise narrative about your product. And it’s best to use guides with either audio narration or guides that auto-play the demo sequence after visitors’ first interaction. 

In these demos, placing a lead form is not mandatory because these types of demos are usually designed to boost awareness rather than generate leads. However, if you decide to do so, place it somewhere in the middle or as the last step of the demo. 

Product or use case landing pages 

Think about breaking your product demo down into smaller sections that are focused on specific areas of your product, features, or benefits. 

Then, you can place each demo separately with an easy way to navigate between them. A demo gallery or just a separate section on your website would be the best practice here. 

Unlike the homepage hero section demo, these demos should be more interactive. Usually, they should include guides, but without any auto-playing logic applied so the viewers will be proactively engaged when they consume the content. 

This way, you’ll also be able to identify intent using metrics like demo completion rate, session time, and the visitors’ funnel drop points. 

Mobile

The advantage of using mobile demos over videos is that they entice your viewers to view the demo again on a desktop to get the full experience.  

This is because it shows what the product looks like and how it works, but doesn’t fulfill the need to explore it yourself. 

With mobile demos, the demo will be the same size as your video, and be either a portrait or landscape view. Unlike video, the guides will be shown below so your visitors will be focused on seeing the product in action. This way, the guides also won’t take the focus from the product. 

There are two options when it comes to placing your mobile demos on your website. The first and the most common would be to have a mobile-friendly iFrame (full-width size with a ratio of 5:6), so the demo and the guides will be the same height. This will also leave enough room to see the section above and below to encourage scrolling after finishing the demo. 

The other option would be to have the demo open in a full-screen pop-up, so the users will be forced to stop scrolling when they see the demo.

How to build your demo

Here are some quick tips on how to build your demo:

Length

In general, the rule of thumb is to keep your demos as concise as possible (i.e. around two minutes). 

Just to clarify, when I say two minutes, I mean 14-20 short guide steps or four-six topics/value moments. 

That being said, if your demo is longer than two minutes, that’s okay! I recommend breaking it down into multiple demos with shorter narratives, and letting users navigate between them using guides, CTAs, and guide toolbars. 

Flow  

The most common demo flow is linear. I recommend this kind of flow for hero section demos because it can help you make sure the narrative is clear and tells the story you intended. 

Semi-sandbox demos 

This type of demo can be a great solution if your product UI is so intuitive, that letting your website visitors explore it themselves would deliver the message and make your product shine without the need for guidance. 

In addition, if there’s a secondary CTA on your website, these types of demos are also a great option. This is because it sets the expectation that this demo is a free-to-explore experience. It should be complementary to a linear marketing-oriented demo that is in your website header. 

On top of this, semi-sandbox demos can also be very effective if you want visitors to explore the more product-oriented pages on your site.

Guides

If you have a linear demo, guides are the way to go. And if you want the product to speak for itself, use hotspots or beacons to help users navigate. 

That being said, with a semi-sandbox demo, you should not use guides. In addition, you should also capture and replicate the majority of your product interactions so the demo looks and feels as authentic as possible.

Mobile 

I highly recommend making your demo available on mobile devices.

In fact, according to Statista, mobile internet traffic makes up 59% of the global online traffic

So, make sure your demo is short and concise, with no more than 10 guide steps, so it will be suitable for viewing on the go. 

To gate or not to gate? 

Again, it depends on where you want to use the demo.

In the hero section, I recommend making it ungated to help you boost awareness. That being said, if your goal is to generate leads, you can add a lead form to the middle or end of the demo. 

As for the rest of the demos embedded on your website, they can be gated with lead forms. 

Tracking your demos

There are two main ways to track your demos.:

1. Marketing tracking pixels Use demo engagement metrics to optimize your website traffic. You can (and should) implement different pixels on the first screen, the last screen, and key points throughout your demo, so you will be able to optimize your traffic sources.

2. Demo engagement data – You will have access to demo engagement data in the Walnut platform or directly in your CRM. This capability is compatible with HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, and webhooks.  

In cases where you implemented a demo gate or lead form, the data can be automatically associated with your lead or deal records, and you will have access to the demo engagement data directly in your systems. You can also use webhooks to send this data into any system that you use internally to track marketing activities.

Optimizing demos for your website 

You can think of optimizing your demos as being very similar to optimizing your website. 

I recommend analyzing your demo performance using marketing pixels, Walnut’s Demo Insights, and Funnel Analysis to understand whether your visitors are reaching the key parts that want them to experience.

For the initial analysis, find out which traffic source performs the best, and what the overall pixel conversion rates are. Dig deeper with the demo analysis to see where the biggest funnel drops are to pinpoint where you need to make some improvements.

The second part of your analysis should involve analyzing the guide completion rate and the average time spent on demos. This should correspond with the pixels you implemented to measure the traffic sources. 

If the overall metrics are lower than you expected, you should work on creating more demo versions based on potential red flags you’re seeing. 

Ask yourself: Are visitors getting stuck in the first few steps? If so, you should rephrase the content to make it clearer and more engaging. 

If completion rates are okay, but the time spent is too high or too low, experiment with the demo length to accommodate your website visitors. 

Finally, identify more specific optimization opportunities by using the Funnel Analysis tool in our Demo Insights section to identify where most of your visitors drop. By optimizing these specific steps, you should see much higher overall conversion rates and drive your visitors to go through the whole narrative. 

Embedding interactive demos on your site to enhance your top-of-funnel strategy

Embedding interactive demos throughout your website can help your company take a product-led approach to your top-of-funnel strategy. 

However, I do want to say that there’s no right or wrong when it comes to how and where you embed your interactive product demos. 

More importantly, it’s about understanding what you’re trying to achieve and the metrics you need to track so you can consistently optimize your demos and measure success.

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