We are back with more ASO tips on App Shastra. This time we are discussing App Preview Video Optimization. These videos as such come under the category of App Promo Videos but here we are specifically talking about App videos, the publishers upload on the product page of their app – their landing page at the app store. Both Apple and Google have their guidelines regarding these videos. We will discuss important bits on preview video optimization.
It is essential to have a good app preview strategy for marketing your apps at the stores. And that strategy should definitely include an app preview video. App preview video or App store video is a short video that tells users all about the features and different functionalities of your apps. It gives them an idea about the interface-provides the users general tips on how to use the app. Static screenshots have their limitations. App preview videos show interactivity between the elements present in the app simulating the use, which is very helpful for the users. In the app store where millions of apps are vying for user’s attention a good app preview video helps your app stand out and make a statement.
Users watch these short app preview videos to assess the app and to decide if they want to download it on their smartphones. Videos have been winning wars for marketers. According to emarketer, 82.9% people think product demonstration videos or how-to videos are helpful. It is time for app marketers to put app preview videos in the marketing mix to get more conversions – which means more downloads, more installs and better ratings. The best part is – the number of views your app preview video garners, count as views garnered on You Tube which in turn impacts your ranking in the search engine results.
Do app preview videos affect your rankings? Yes. Do they help you in ASO? Yes. Preview videos are in a way, explainer videos and the numbers have consistently shown that explainer videos increase conversions. So, what are some of the things you should keep in mind when making an app preview video? Let’s find out.
#1 Keep the videos short
Keep the video short and crisp. Pointless sass and lengthy descriptions about your app will not win the day for you. It may get you a few views but it irritates the viewers who want you to get to the point in double quick time so that they can then decide if the app is useful and if they should download it.
Apple’s App Store video previews can only be of 15-30 seconds while those in Google’s Play Store they can be of 30 -120 seconds.
This Cord – voice messenger app preview neatly describes everything it has to in a few quick seconds.
#2 Focus on the features
You need to storyboard your script and shoot the video carefully. Make a list of the scenes you will need and then plan the timing. You need to decide how many seconds you can devote to each scene. Limited time span makes every second of the video important. Make it count. You need to focus on the features. Explain the important ones as clearly as you can. You have precious few seconds to tell the story of your app to your users. Create a lasting impression. Don’t imply functionalities that your app doesn’t have.
This ‘Family Orbit’ app preview explains the features nicely. You can watch the video and know how the features work.
#3 Dimensions of App Preview Videos
App Preview Videos are device specific at the Apple App Store. Not on Google play though. To upload your app preview video on Google Play is easy. You need to upload the video on You Tube. The You Tube link is then provided at the Play Store. The dimension can be Portrait 1080 x 1920 and Landscape 1920 x 1080.
For the Apple App store, App video previews need to be in different sizes for different devices – a preview for every available device except for iPhone 4 and 4s.
Device Portrait Landscape
iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6 Plus 1080 x 1920 1920 x 1080
iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 750 x 1334 1334 x 750
iPhone 5s,iPhone 5c, iPhone 5 640 x 1136 1136 x 640
iPad Air, iPad 4th Gen, iPad Mini 900 x 1200 1200 x 900
You can read more on Apple’s basic app preview video specifications here.
# 4 Keep the preview video appropriate
Everyone right from a 3 year old toddler to your 85 year old granny uses the smartphone and the apps. They do need help in browsing through the app store agreed, but you get the idea – you don’t want the youngsters to stumble on to something inappropriate. As for the elders, you don’t want to offend them either. So, ensure that the content shown in the preview video is appropriate. In the words of Apple, “Avoid objectionable content, violence, adult themes, and profanity.”
In short, don’t make your preview videos ghastly or uncomfortably amorous. In this video of app Exploding Kittens publisher has managed to keep the goriness quotient down successfully.
#5 Share your story
You want the users of your app to know you. If you are assured that your user is mature and would be interested in the nuances of your story, go ahead and share it. The app preview video need not be ONLY about features, it can also be about the story of the brand.
Airbnb has this app preview video on Google play and it works.
#6 Keep it simple
Simplicity has its beauty. If you have a simple app with few functionalities and features, do not be discouraged. It only takes one useful functionality of an app to make it popular. The popularity of flashlight apps proves it. Keep the message simple yet clear.
#7 Don’t use copyrighted content unless you have the licence
Stay inspired but be original. Create your own content, if possible. Do not use any copyrighted material. You can land in a big soup for that- the app stores can blacklist you and can refuse to accept apps published by you. Buy licences to display footage, pictures, and songs you feel you must have in your video but you don’t have the ownership of.
#8 Choose a good poster frame
Preview videos don’t autoplay. There is an image that covers the video and this image is known as poster frame. Some people call it a splash screen or video thumbnail too. This poster frame has the play button in the center. It is a single frame from the video. You need to choose a good poster frame. It should be inviting and interesting. Users enticed by the poster frame click on the play button of the video to see what it holds.
#9 Keep the video updated
If your app has evolved and now it has more functionalities than it previously had, you should update your app preview video too. In the new preview video you can show new features and new functionalities. Users will not get the idea about the new features you add in the app, unless you tell them on the product page in description, screenshots and in the preview video.
#10 Make it a quality video
Invest in quality. Editing, lighting, camera angles, the actors everything needs to look professional. Hire professionals if you think you need help. Use high quality voiceovers. According to a research by Brightcove, a brand that publishes a poor quality video is viewed negatively by its consumers. Similarly, a publisher who publishes a poor quality app preview video will fail in getting the user’s right attention and will not get his app downloaded.
# 11 A/B test your preview video
It is a good strategy to A/B test your preview video. You can test for content, style, voiceovers, poster frame or splash screen. Check the stats and find out what works for you in a video, what doesn’t. There are several tools that allow you to test your preview video. Google play developer console can help you with preview video testing.
Preview video is a very important marketing tool for your app. Understand how it can work optimally for you and your app. You can definitely attract users with a quality video that is fun, engaging and informative. If you want more information you can read more on the app preview videos here.
The best way to know what works for your app preview video and what doesn’t is to conduct experiments and tests with a few variants. The data will give you the answers you seek. App stores do not prescribe app preview videos as a compulsory requirement on app stores. Publishers can use their discretion to decide if app preview videos are needed by their apps on their products page or not. A preview video which has been thoughtfully put together is an asset. Go on. Optimize your App Preview Video. You can use the tips that are given here and make necessary changes. Wishing you more users and more downloads! Until next time, Adios.