This post is created by Dave Bell, Gummicube Co-Founder & CEO.

What makes an app stand out? If you want to catch a user’s eye on the App Store or Google Play Store, including a video is one of the best app marketing ideas you can have. That is, of course, assuming the video is made well.

A good video can help attract users and boost installs, while a poor video reflects negatively on the app. If you can learn and understand what goes into creating an effective app video, you’ll be well prepared to begin your app marketing.

Target Your Audience

A single style of app video won’t appeal to all audiences. You need to research what trends work best for both your targeted audience and territory. Take the best practices for your field and App Store Optimization (ASO) and adapt from for your video design.

If designed properly, your video can potentially improve conversions by upwards of 13%. It’s important that you consider all major aspects of your video to ensure optimal performance.

Target Your Audience
How Videos Can Improve App Performance

Audience Targeting

Consider your audience. If your app is a mobile game for families and kids, perhaps a colorful and energetic video filled with gameplay will perform well. On the other hand, a business app targeted at professionals will want to clearly explain the uses and benefits of the app.

If your video targets the wrong audience, you’ll miss out on the users you want. Those that you get will soon find that the app isn’t right for them, so you’ll continue to fall behind the competition.

Audience Targeting
Various types of apps will require different styles, formatting, music and editing to convey their values.

Convey Functionality

Your video should call out features and functions your audience cares about. Showcase the selling points of your app and make it clear why users should install it. Your video must prove that your app is worth installing.

What is the value proposition you want to illustrate? If you can present a key value, you’ll be better equipped to reach users.

If users can’t see what they’ll get from your app, why should they even download it?

Convey Functionality
This photo editing app shows the various filters and tools it provides in action.

Keyword Integration

Keyword targeting is important for apps on both the App Store and Google Play. The keywords you choose determine what searches your app will appear in.

While including keywords in your video will not help with your search indexation, they do serve an important purpose in gaining installs. Users are more likely to download an app if they see it relates to their search queries, so including the terms they search for in your video can be beneficial.

How do you choose what keywords to use? Consider how relevant the keywords are to the app and their search volume. Perhaps your app is a mobile game, and you’re targeting RPG related keywords; you can include a section in your video calling it a “hit roleplaying game,” or perhaps an “MMORPG” if that is relevant. These are frequently searched terms that relate directly to the app.

Keyword Integration
This game’s video includes text highlighting keywords like “MMORPG” and value propositions.

Different Stores, Different Guidelines

The two major storefronts for mobile apps are the App Store and Google Play Store. When you create an app preview video for the app stores, you’ll want to ensure it follows the guidelines for the store it’s on. This may require creating two distinct videos.

App Store Guidelines

The App Store uses Preview Videos intended to provide users with an accurate idea of what using the app is like. This means that it has some strict guidelines on what videos can and cannot include. Failing to follow the guidelines can result in an update being rejected.

On the Apple App Store, videos can be in either landscape or portrait mode. When the app appears in search results, portrait mode videos will be displayed alongside the first two screenshots, while landscape videos will be displayed on their own.

Your video can be up to a maximum of 30 seconds. All footage used in the video must be available in the app, including any animations or footage. Developers should be careful that their videos do not give the impression of the app having any functionality it lacks.

Additionally, developers must be careful about using artistic elements like music with their videos. The developer must legally own these elements to use them, so while mobile games can include their soundtrack or streaming apps may include theme songs, you’re unlikely to hear hit pop songs in Preview Videos.

Google Play Store Guidelines

Google Play has slightly different rules and restrictions for its videos which provide more room for creativity. On Google Play, apps include Promo Videos that can be used as essentially commercials for the app, which means outside footage is allowed in order to illustrate the benefits or uses of the app.

Google Play Promo Videos are taken directly from YouTube. This means that the videos will always be in landscape mode, so portrait mode videos will need to add a framing effect or else they’ll have two large bars of darkness filling the screen on either side of the in-app footage.

Google Play Store Guidelines
This video focuses on an app used in portrait-mode, but it uses the video frame to keep the landscape-mode video filled and active.

Developers also need to ensure the YouTube videos are available for public viewing, otherwise users might not be able to see them. Google will also not allow any videos that are monetized, so users shouldn’t click on your video and see an unrelated advertisement.

Videos will automatically play when users see them on Google Play. At the same time, you’ll want to include an image for the loading screen. This is the Feature Graphic, which can present an immediate first impression to users as it’s the first creative element they’ll see.

You should follow the guidelines for each store to the letter. If you don’t follow them properly, all the time and resources invested into creating the video will have gone to waste.

Find the Right Partner to Produce Your Video

“But wait,” you may be asking, “I don’t know the first thing about making videos!” Fortunately, you can always work with a partner that does, such as Performante. If you can find a company with experience in the mobile app industry and creating videos for the app stores, you’ll be in good hands.

You need to find a partner who has a sense of how videos for the App Store, Play Store and even Facebook perform and the nuances required for potential users. They should also have an understanding of popular and current trends that can contribute to a higher conversion rate.

Working with an experienced partner will also mean finding an agency that’s familiar with the different do’s and don’ts of app marketing videos. This will help decrease your chance of getting rejected, since they know what does and doesn’t make the cut.

Why This Matters

The video you use can have a direct impact on your positioning in the app stores. The video can improve your installs and the number of users that click on your app, which influences your search rankings. The higher you rank, the easier it is for users to discover your app.

Designing an effective app video will help yield a higher return on investment. In a competitive environment like the app market, you need any edge you can obtain.

About Gummicube

Gummicube is a global company specialized in App Store Optimization with more than 11 years of experience optimizing and marketing apps. It offers the leading enterprise ASO technology and agency services, providing support to clients around the world. Gummicube is trusted by Microsoft, LinkedIn, Bethesda, SWEAT, GrubHub, McAfee and many others.

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