If you use apps or know about android app development or iPhone app development, then you have definitely viewed or heard of app preview videos. Google and Apple app stores are maxing out at almost 2 million apps each and new apps stand out because they infuse bright colours with bold designs or simply because they are developed by reputed organizations. In a sea of developers and designers, each with their own unique ideas, mobile app preview videos help your product stand apart from the crowd.
What an app preview video does is it increases the chances of your iPhone or Android app being downloaded and it does this by simply allowing prospective users to take a look at what your app offers and how it works. We can tell you off-hand that a paid app has a higher chance of being downloaded if buyers can preview what your app does before investing their money.
Here is an example for an app video:
App stores are the battleground where iPhone and Android apps compete for downloads regardless of the effort that has went into android app development or iPhone app development, budgets or marketing strategies. The best apps as well as the obscure ones are given equal opportunities to strut their stuff in elaborate app descriptions, screenshots, ratings and reviews.
The only thing standing between your app and a million downloads are the users. Unfortunately, users are lazy. Studies have shown that more than 60 percent of iPhone or Android app store visitors don’t even look at the two most effective means of describing what an app does – screenshots and descriptions. This means that 60 percent of prospective users won’t even bother to check what your app does. App preview videos are the next best thing in these situations because almost everyone will tap a play button instead of scrolling through text.
StoreMaven reports that adding preview videos increases conversions by 20 percent for App Store and 35 percent for Play Store. In other words, people are more likely to download your app if they watch a video of it first. Did you know that app preview videos can affect the ratings of your app? Tune conducted a survey which revealed that apps with preview videos were generally given a higher rating than apps without them. The average rating for apps without a preview video is 3.81 stars, almost half a star lower than the average rating for apps with a video: 4.24 stars.
Image courtesy: Tune
In App Store and Play Store, higher ratings help new apps move up in app rankings and app rank is the default sorting filter applied in both stores when people are browsing. Newly released apps don’t have a tonne of reviews which prospective users can read so unless there are other pointers, like preview videos, users will classify the app as suspicious and move on to other options.
Ankit Jain, former head of Google Play search said at a recent Google I/O conference “Video previews are the next level of screenshots. With a short video, you’re able to show the user really what it’s like to play with your app. Giving potential users an accurate impression of what your app is all about is an approach that keeps on giving… developers have told us that uploading a video can really help gain user adoption, and users in a lot of studies have told us that video previews are amongst the most convincing features of an app details page.”
Image courtesy: Tune
If you have spent your time, effort and money for android app development or iPhone app development, then you want it to have higher ratings. Almost 60 percent of the ratings are achieved through app descriptions and user reviews but where can you find that extra edge to push your app in front of the competition? 40 percent of smartphone users consider app preview videos among the top three deciding factors for a download.
To sum it up here’s why preview videos are essential for your mobile app:
1. It engages users more directly than text or screenshots.
2. Videos are easy to share and have the potential to become viral, unlike text.
3. Users prefer watching videos to scrolling and reading.
4. Videos communicate ideas more clearly and effectively in very little time.
5. It provides a demo of your app so users know what to expect.
So if you are confident that your iPhone or Android app is sure to hit the top-10 list, give the users a preview of your app because if there’s one thing we know, it’s that people like to tap play buttons on their smartphone screens.
5 Simple Tips To Make Mobile App Videos
Now that you know why app preview videos are important, let’s get on with understanding how to make them and ensure the efforts of your android app development or iPhone app development team doesn’t get wasted.
1. Define a script. On Apple’s App Store your preview video has 30 seconds to tell users about your app and convey its usefulness. While Google’s Play Store does not have a time limit, studies show that the average viewer will look at a video for two minutes before moving on. This sort of constraint implies that you need to brainstorm ideas to highlight the most compelling features of your app and write a script which will effectively showcase each of them. Unlike Play Store, App Store does not allow localisation of videos. This means that for an iPhone app, the same preview video is viewed all over the world so including text or narration is not the best idea since you are limited to one language.
2. Capture the video. Apple’s app preview guidelines state that absolutely no real-world footage should be included in the video, unless you have developed a camera app. Your preview video should contain only animation and in-app features. We suggest using expanding dots to convey taps and moving arrows for gestures. Of course, if your app works on only one or a few screens, a preview video won’t really get you anywhere. Play Store, on the other hand, provides a set of loose guidelines/suggestions which, if followed, will ensure that your preview video effectively communicates the usability of your Android or iPhone app.
3. Add music. Including a sound track in your preview video will make it livelier but, for legal and moral reasons, you are limited to using audio tracks for which you have acquired licensing rights. Let’s just say Beethoven wouldn’t like his compositions to be used in an app without his knowledge. For this reason, several app developers source audio from SoundCloud and look for royalty-free tracks. If you are showcasing your Android or iPhone app being used then it is a good idea to include the UI sound effects to give a sense of continuity to viewers.
4. Format your video. Apple’s guidelines are very particular when it comes to preview video resolution, file type and even pixel shape. Your video has to be shot at the native resolution of devices on which it will be viewed. This means that for iPhone 6 users your video should have a resolution of 750 x 1334 and for iPhone 6 Plus: 1080 x 1920, any other resolution and your video is rejected. A tool called FFMPEG will help you easily reformat preview videos.
5. Upload your video. Play Store allows you to link promo videos from YouTube so post your preview video on YouTube and then link to it. Be sure to make the video Play Store specific, for example – don’t include an end slide that says “Download from App Store and Google Play”. App Store is more specific when it comes to preview videos – you need to upload the video using Safari, Apple’s web browser. Apple rejects videos which have non-square pixels but luckily, there are several online tools which will convert your video into a square-pixel format.
So, you are armed with valuable video making knowledge. You can go ahead and make an app preview video that will make your Android/iPhone app shine brighter than the competition! Do you have experience creating an app preview video? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below.