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Customer Onboarding Videos — What they are and why you should use them

8 min read | Last updated on

Because videos offer a quick explanation and attractive storytelling with visual representation, many people prefer to learn by watching videos rather than reading. That makes video the perfect medium for educating prospects and customers about products and services in a process known as customer onboarding. When the onboarding process is engaging enough for the audience, businesses can effectively nurture them into becoming loyal customers that stick around for years to come and tell everyone they know about how awesome the brand is, generating massive amounts of revenue. That is the power of customer onboarding videos.

So, if you want to win more customers, and you want each customer to give you more money, then continue reading or listening to this K. M. Wade guest post.

What is customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding is technically the process of educating new customers about your brand and what you offer, so they get more out of their purchase. However, the term can also be applied to educating leads who’ve signup up to a free trial of your software or are sampling your products.

Here are a few examples of things that can considered customer onboarding:

  • Showing customers how to clean their new baby bottles
  • Recipes for a new kitchen gadget
  • Software walkthroughs
  • User case studies that give ideas about how to use a product/service

In each case, there are several ways to deliver that value to customers:

  • Cleaning instructions could be delivered with pictures and text, and they could be shown in a video
  • Recipes are frequently delivered as text that gives the basic instructions for what to do, and often that text is accompanied by a video that shows more detail about how to do it (that’s why cooking shows are so popular)
  • Software walkthroughs can be delivered in person (physically or over a video call) for each customer, or they can be delivered via a video
  • User case studies are often delivered as a downloadable document with images and text (or even as a printed brochure), or they can be delivered as a video which includes interviews with the happy customers

Why is customer onboarding important?

You might think your product or service is self-explanatory and therefore that customer onboarding isn’t useful to you. But for the majority of businesses, customers don’t agree.

  • The average business loses 75% of its customers within one week of initial conversion
  • Around 40-60% of free trial users never make a purchase
  • SaaS companies often see more than a 5% churn rate 

That’s pretty sobering evidence that many businesses are failing to satisfy their customers. Sometimes that’s due to the product or service not meeting the customer’s needs. But often, its simply a result of customers not understanding the full value of what they’ve bought (or tried) or how to get the most out of it.

Customer onboarding is the tool that solves that problem.

Why is video a good choice for customer onboarding?

Videos are the most sought-after type of content on the internet, accounting for 82% of traffic in 2021. So, clearly they’re popular. But is video a good choice for customer onboarding?

A study from Breadnbeyond suggests that consumers prefer learning about businesses and their products/services via video given that:

  • 74% of people have watched a video to better understand how to use a new app or website
  • 65% of customers say video is their favorite way to learn how to use a product or service
  • When asked how they feel companies could improve onboarding, 69% of people say that they feel more videos should be used
  • 97% of people think that video is an effective tool for welcoming and educating new customers

Furthermore, 83% of marketers say video has helped increase their visitors’ average time on page (up 2% from the previous year), and about 84% of them suggest that video has helped generate more leads (up 1% from last the previous year).

Written content can be great for reference material. For example, when a customer wants to make a dish for the third or fourth time, a written list of ingredients is probably what they need because they’ll know how to make the dish but are unlikely to have memorized the ingredients yet. But customer onboarding videos are usually far better for initial explanations as they can explain features more clearly and quickly than written content can.

What customer onboarding videos can do

Customer onboarding videos are unlike any other content. Your audience is more likely to consume your content when it’s presented in the more engaging format of video. And they can often understand your point more quickly when it’s conveyed via video. Here are some wonderful things customer onboarding videos can do.

1. Capture attention faster

Videos are natural attention grabbers. The thumbnail of a video itself is enough to catch attention on a page full of text. Hence, incorporating customer onboarding video is highly advised when it comes to making attractive customer-centric content. With a video, users or leads are able to grasp the information more conveniently as they can listen and see the visualization of your message together. 

2. Convey messages more concisely 

Imagine you’re trying to teach someone how to ride a bike — without being physically present. Which do you think help them more quickly understand what they need to do:

  1. A video that shows them how to get on the bike and push the pedals and which shows them what it should look like when they’re doing it right
  2. A written explanation of how to get on the bike and push the pedals with a few pictures that illustrate the concepts

I think you’ll agree that a video would help them understand more quickly. Though, that doesn’t mean a video is quicker to create (which is why a lot of people shy away from video).

3. Engage with customers more effectively 

Are you the kind of person who reads through instructions from start to finish before you use a new tool? Do you read instructions when you’re putting together furniture or other things that need to be constructed? If you answered ‘no’, I’ll bet it’s mostly because you can’t be bothered and think it’ll be quicker if you just get started rather than wasting time reading the instructions. (If you answered ‘yes’, then you might not find this point relevant to you personally, but I’m sure you know someone who doesn’t read instructions, so think about this from their perspective.)

But I bet if there were video instructions, you’d be willing to press play on those while you tinker…

That’s the power of an onboarding video when it comes to engaging with customers.

4. Improve customer retention 

When you can capture your customer’s attention, convey important information concisely and engage with your customers more effectively, it becomes much easier to educate them about all the amazing benefits of what you’ve sold them (or want to sell them in the case of free-trial customers). If you can keep them engaged long enough to show them how to make the most of your offering, they’ll be far more likely to love that offering and keep coming back for more. That means you’ll keep more customers for longer, which dramatically increases your revenue as attracting new customers if very expensive!

Here is an example of a customer onboarding video that explains why the price of a particular digital currency fluctuates and how investors can make the most money from trading in that currency. This particular video could be used equally well for customer onboarding or as part of sales messaging.

Key takeaways from Kelly

Customer onboarding is critical to business success. It can help you increase customer loyalty and the lifetime value of your customers (and if you’re a SaaS company, it can help you convert free-trial customers into paying customers) by ensuring your customers get as much value as possible out of what you’ve sold them. This can also encourage them to advocate for your business and products/service by telling everyone they know about their awesome experience. The result of all that is increased revenue.

There are many types of content you can use to onboard customers and you should always use the one that works best for your message and audience. Video is a great choice when you want to show customers how to do something or convey information quickly and in an engaging way.

Of course, customer onboarding is only useful if you’ve got customers to onboard. So, if you’d also like to convert more leads into paying customers, check out these 4 things small businesses can learn from big business sales conversion challenges.

About the author

Andre Oentoro

Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order). You can find Andre online here: Twitter | Email | LinkedIn


Dr Kelly Wade

Hi! I’m a full-funnel marketing specialist and my mission is to build a better tomorrow by helping organisations that solve crucial problems, efficiently generate sustainable growth with strategic marketing assets that attract, nurture, convert and retain the target market.

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