How to make an app preview that converts
The article is based on the data from Apptamin, the app video agency. Apptamin is a creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, app store videos, etc.), we find engaging ways to present mobile apps and games to help our clients increase their conversion rates or improve their user acquisition.
When thinking about your ASO strategy, there’s a lot of tools at your disposal. Driving users onto your app’s product page is just the first step. Once they land on it, how can you make sure they download it? Preview videos are a great way to capture your audience’s attention, give them a try!
Why should you make a preview video?
App preview videos (or promo videos as they’re sometimes called on the Play Store) are a unique opportunity to boost your app installs. Actually, visitors who watch a preview video are 3x more likely to install the app!
A research by Google even showed that for 20% of users, a video about the app is a decisive factor when deciding whether to install the app or not.
However, if you want to make a preview video, quality is essential! If it’s done properly, it can increase your conversion rate by up to 40%.
So what are you waiting for?
Time to do some research!
The first step to making an appealing app preview video is research! Check out what other developers are doing in your category. What kind of video are they producing? How do they showcase their app?
This will help you figure out what works best for apps similar to yours. Of course, once your videos are ready, a good A/B testing will let you know what yields best results and what you potential audience is more interested in. Your app preview video might not be the one and only.
In the meantime, look around to see what’s going on and identify what sets your app apart from your competitors. Seeing what’s happening in your app category is a great method to better understand your target audience. What are people looking for? What makes your app unique?
Once you pinpoint your best selling point, make it the star of your video. A preview video is there to help you show not only the different features of your product but also the solution you bring to users. Take advantage of it, it’s a useful storefront for your product.
Beware of the rules
When starting to map out a preview video, it’s easy to get carried away. However, there are some rules in place to check out before preparing your video. The App Store and the Play Store both have different sets of rules and guidelines for preview videos.
You shouldn’t use the same video for both app stores. Each store has its own specificities. One video may encounter great success on the App Store but fail on the Play Store because it’s not tailored to the same audience.
Make sure to follow the guidelines, make sure your videos comply so they can go through review without a hitch. Some may be a bit more precise, for example, the App Store requires different resolutions for different Apple devices. You can find more information about the requirements in this table:
Preparing for your video
Once you’ve checked out the guidelines and the competition, it’s finally time to start the production process. Don’t start filming and screen recording right away, you still need a little prep beforehand!
- The moodboard: one of the first steps we sometimes take is to prepare a moodboard. A moodboard will help you get a feel of what you want to figure out helpful resources and an aesthetic direction. It may also come in handy if you externalize the video production process, it gives a clearer idea of what you’re imagining.
- The story: your preview video should tell a story, don’t just show your app, tell the viewer what they’ll gain from using it, what benefits it can bring to the table. A little storytelling can go a long way towards making your video a smashing success.
- The script: it’s the document that will lay out all the scenes (and sometimes the length of them too) that will appear in your preview video, in chronological order. Writing it will help you structure your storytelling and figure out how much and which assets you need to prepare. Your first scene should be an attention grabber, to make sure that users will want to watch it through.
- The assets: when your script is finalized, you need to make a list of all the assets you will need. Do you need to film some content? Which part of your app will you need to record? Being prepared is a real timesaver.
- The sound: sound is extremely important in video! Do you want a voiceover or just keep the regular sound effects of your app or game? Should you add background music? If you want to add a soundtrack, you may need to buy music in order to be allowed to use it in your video. There are lots of different kinds of music out there, it may take a little time to find the perfect one for you but it’ll be worth it.
- The technical details: now you just need to tie up the loose ends. Like choosing which kind of device you will need for your screen recording. Or if your preview video should be in landscape or portrait (for this one it’s easy: use the orientation in which your app is used!).
Let’s start production!
Your video is almost ready, it’s time to start the grunt work. If you followed the previous steps, you’re fit to start shooting your scene and screen-record what you need.
Remember that you need to take post-production into account when planning the timeline of your video production. Recording and assembling the assets you need is just the beginning of the process. It’ll take some time to edit and put together a finished product.
While there’s no validation process for videos on the Play Store (you just need to upload it to YouTube to add it to your listing page), there is one for the App Store. If your video follows Apple’s guidelines, there shouldn’t be any issue but it can take a little time until App Review validates it and allows you to add it to your app page.
Additional tips to elevate your video
Producing a preview video is one thing, but making a great preview video is another. Don’t worry, we have some tips for you to take full advantage of this tool.
- We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, you need different videos for the App Store and the Play Store.
- Focus on your core message, a preview video should last between 30 to 45 seconds so optimize your time and drive attention to focus on your unique selling point.
- Start with a bang and strong visuals, the first few seconds of your video should be the most impactful. Relevant material should be shown in priority.
- Even though sound is an important part of any video, you should ensure that your video can also be enjoyed and understood without it. Some users simply don’t activate sound, some may have hearing issues. Subtitles and call-to-actions can be a nice way to get your message across to everyone.
- Show actual footage of your app. Not only will it steer the right users to download it (those who now understand how the app works, liked the solutions it brings and will find a long-term use for the app, will after installing it), but it will also help you set realistic expectations for the audience.
- Use your poster frame wisely (your video’s thumbnail). Videos autoplay on the App Store but they don’t on the Play Store. Even though, Apple will show your poster frame where your preview video won’t autoplay. Showcase important information and make sure it fits in well with your videos and screenshots.
- Localize it and improve your reach. Once your video is done, think about localizing it for your different audiences. Localized assets are a good method to increase your user base.
Creating a preview video is quite an adventure but if you do it well, it will be extremely rewarding for your listing page! Preview videos are a good strategy to improve your conversion rate and show users what your app is really about.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity! There are many rules and know-how that Apptamin knows how to deal with and make sure that you don’t make common mistakes.