When considering every element of your app store listings—or metadata—mobile industry experts agree that every piece is important. Your app name and keywords are especially important for ASO while the app icon, screenshots, descriptions, etc. play a key role too. And what about an app video—will having an app preview video increase your app’s performance in app stores?
First off, is having an app preview video mandatory? No, it’s not. And while including an app video in your App Store or Google Play listing doesn’t directly affect your app’s visibility in app stores, having an impactful app video can help increase conversion—which is a definite win!
So back to the original question: Does an app video increase your app’s performance? Well, that depends. If done correctly, yes it can. App store visitors that watch a preview video are up to 3x more likely to download an app.
But it’s important to remember that a poorly executed app video can have the opposite effect and deter a potential user from downloading your app. So if you’re going to do it, make sure you do it right!
Here at AGN, we have a team of creative professionals that dedicate themselves to getting mobile creative strategies right, so we’d like to share some of our own learnings, what to do (and what not to do) when creating an app video, along with some effective app preview video examples.
Why use an app video in app stores?
When scrolling through any app store, the app preview video is one of the first assets that the audience sees. It’s an introduction to the key features and benefits of your app—which is similar to what effective screenshots do.
So, what is the difference between an app preview and screenshot? An app video serves as a tutorial or guided tour through the app. App screenshots are static images that highlight main features, but a video gives a potential user a more in-depth look at what your app does, how it works, the look and feel, and the type of user experience they can expect. It’s a chance to take the app for a test drive!
As a new app, a video can help distinguish from competitors. We found this to be true when running Apple Search Ads campaigns for our client, Quantum Pigeon, an app for content creators. Because QP was a new player in the market, building brand awareness was key. Having a preview video that highlights its key features helped users understand within 30 seconds what sets them apart from the rest.
In the end, it’s all about standing out and increasing your app’s installs by quality users. A high-quality app video can increase your conversion rate by up to 40%.
App preview video examples
Let’s take a look at app preview video examples that have performed well and why.
These examples are for Quantum Pigeon—the first is their App Store video for iOS and the second is their Google Play Store video for Android.
App Store preview video for iOS:
Google Play preview video for Android:
Which app preview video best practices do both of these examples follow?
- Reveal the app’s most compelling features at the very beginning
Even though you technically have 30 seconds worth of information to share with the viewer (or more in the case of Google Play), the average video watch time is only 4 to 6.5 seconds. This means that front-loading your app video with your strongest selling points within the first few seconds is key.
Also, videos autoplay without sound in the iOS App Store. This means that you want to grab someone’s attention with a compelling feature that’s easily understood on mute and enticing enough to get them to pause their scrolling action and keep watching.
In the video examples above, the message of ‘having control’ is front and center—a feature that addresses an important pain point for the app’s target audience (content creators).
- Showcase the app’s best features
Remember, potential users are watching your app video because they want to make an informed decision about whether or not they want to download your app. Take this opportunity to showcase the main benefits the user will receive in a simple, clear way and avoid overwhelming them with every feature.
The QP app can do lots of things, but it’s better to not put off users with information overload by focusing on only the app’s top 5 features.
- Make the app video interesting and on-brand
Besides being informative, videos need to be visually appealing. The colors, effects, transitions all play a role in making the app preview interesting to watch. Remember that every asset plays a part in developing a successful app branding strategy—so you want to use your logo and brand colors in a way that ties the video together seamlessly. Having professional video editing makes a big difference in the look and feel of the final product.
The branding in the QP video examples is clear. The brand colors stay consistent in all the video overlay treatments—the logo and bird imagery are used frequently to make the movement interesting while communicating a strong brand message.
How are iOS app preview videos different from Google Play app preview videos?
You’ve probably noticed that the videos are slightly different. When developing an app video, it’s critical to pay attention to each store’s guidelines.
In the version of the Android video for the Google Play Store, the features and functionality are shown “in app” meaning that we see the action within a frame of a mobile device. But there is no device in the iOS version because this violates App Store app preview guidelines.
Also, the App Store video is 30 seconds whereas the Google Play app video is 55 seconds. App Store guidelines mandate that app preview videos cannot be longer than 30 seconds, otherwise you won’t be able to upload it to iTunes Connect. Google Play app videos, however, are Youtube videos and GP guidelines don’t enforce a maximum length restriction—they recommend keeping the video between 30 seconds and 2 minutes.
App preview video creative process
A storyboard is key. The storyboard provides the guidance of what to expect and breaks the video into sections to better understand the roadmap of the video. After discussing which key features the client would like to highlight, we break the storyboard into sections highlighting the features. Time is also of the essence for iOS (video must be under 30 seconds) so you have to deliver the features quickly.
Before attempting the video editing process, you need to line up all of the pre-approved elements that you’ll need to create the video. These include: in-app footage, screen recordings and app screenshots of the selected features, voiceover recording and/or background music (make sure it’s licensed!), and all of the brand’s creative assets such as logos, colors,etc.
Avoid these common app preview video mistakes
Especially with Apple’s more strict iOS preview guidelines, there are a few common errors you want to avoid when developing your app video. To save yourself time and money, it’s best to do everything possible to avoid getting rejected by Apple.
To do this with iOS app preview videos, avoid these common mistakes:
- Including frames, borders, or anything resembling a device mockup in an iOS preview video.
- Not using only captured footage from the app itself and including outside ‘live action’ footage (required by Apple but also recommended for Google Play)
- Overlaying animated hands that simulate gestures
- Incorporating transitions between scenes with video editing that imply functionality that the app doesn’t have (opt for straightforward transitions like dissolves and fades)
Wrapping it up
As you can see, developing and creating an app preview video takes a lot of planning and professionalism. But, when done correctly, a well-made app video can mean conversion rate boosts that make all the effort worthwhile. Just remember to keep quick and clear communication top-of-mind while adhering to consistent branding, attractive visual effects and app store guidelines.
To make sure you’re on the right track when it comes to developing an app preview video, we recommend following the steps and examples outlined in this article and you’ll be well on your way to attracting more attention to your app store listing, engaging more potential users and ultimately, getting more app installs.