If your business has an app, I probably don’t have to tell you that competition is brutal. Thousands of new apps are uploaded each day on platforms like Google Play and the App Store, and it takes a lot to get noticed!
Thankfully, video content can give your app that extra push it needs to stand out from the crowd.
Sure, plenty of other apps out there are already trying to use video as part of their marketing strategy. But, as the finest video marketing teams out there will tell you, it’s rarely used to its full potential.
In this piece, we’ll tell you how to do it right!
From the best style of video for apps, to inside-baseball tips and tricks on how to get the most out of them – Let’s put that awesome app in front of as many eyes as possible, and build the community it needs to grow.
Two Main Reasons Why Video is Worth a Thousand Pictures
Having some pictures and a text description just doesn’t do it anymore for most audiences, and won’t do your app any justice! Next, to actually demoing your app, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to promote your app (and try to figure out the best way to get people to download and try that demo! I’ll give you three guesses…)
In the last few years, video content has become a key strand of the digital marketing tapestry, and here’s mainly why:
- There is a type of video for each of your marketing needs
For starters, the medium gives developers an incredibly wide range of possible angles to tackle: Your video can focus on your brand’s story, the benefits of your app, or establishing and nurturing a relationship with potential customers.
- Videos are engaging and easy to understand
Unlike most other products out there, some apps can get very complex. How can you explain all the features in your app in a simple way? Quickly and clearly conveying what your app is all about can be a tricky challenge for more traditional advertising methods, but not for video.
Remember, as novel as they are, at the end of the day, apps remain as dependent on promotion as any other product out there! No awareness equals no purchases/downloads.
To give you an example, let’s use “Search N Map”, a search engine application that uses a complex algorithm based on people’s comments and reviews. This video does a great job at explaining how the app works in a very simple way, something you couldn’t possibly achieve with just a picture or text.
Add Videos to Your App Profile
Platforms like Google Play and the App Store let you add a video right on your app’s profile, so why not make the best of it? Let’s go over some of the specs and advantages offered by each platform.
Take Advantage of Google Play’s Flexible Video Features
This app storefront for Android devices requires you to host your video through YouTube. This means you need to upload your piece on that planform before you can embed it on your app’s profile.
Why is this good news? Because any views of the video on the store, will count as a view on YouTube as well, and thus will improve your ranking. Moreover, YouTube videos rank independently in Google searches, increasing your chances for further organic exposure.
A useful but lesser-known tip about Google Play in this regard is its video localization option. If you’re targeting consumers in non-English-speaking countries, you have the possibility to add a video for more than one language.
Consider making language-specific versions of your video, or at least add translated captions. Your users will automatically see the version in their language based on their location settings, which is likely to impact your downloads.
Get To Know the App Store’s Video Requirements
Apple calls the videos featured on your app’s profile “app previews”. They have some strict guidelines, but don’t worry! Those won’t stop you from making an engaging video for your users.
Apple allows up to three previews for each language your app supports. Also, your preview can be no more than 30 seconds long! You can think of this as a constraint, but take it as a challenge or, even better, a blessing in disguise: your video should be short and fast-paced to keep it engaging.
Another guideline is that your preview shouldn’t look like an ad. What does this mean exactly? Well, Apple isn’t very specific on that subject, but they do suggest your video should be composed primarily of device-captured footage. (More on that later!)
Lastly, your preview must be device-specific, which means you need to create different previews if you’ve developed an iPad and an iPhone version of your app.
Explore Other App Distribution Platforms
The App Store and Google Play are, hands down, the most popular app stores in the industry. But there are other app stores that offer different amounts of visibility and lower competition. Here are some you might want to check out:
- Amazon Appstore
- Microsoft Store
- Samsung Galaxy Apps
- Ubuntu App Store
- Windows Phone Store
Each of them has its own requirements as far as video content with its own pros and cons. And while we can’t cover all of them in detail for this piece, they might be worth considering for some apps!
Using Explainer Videos to Promote Your App
Different types of videos can be more or less effective at accomplishing different marketing goals. But when it comes to promoting your app, you cannot go wrong with an awesome explainer video.
By focusing on your app’s benefits and not just its features, explainer videos show how your app will make life easier for your customers. They are great at making the complex simple, by answering three main questions: the “what,” “how,” and “why” of your app.
Explainer videos get two jobs done in one fell swoop: they introduce people to your app’s features while also creating an emotional bond with the power of storytelling. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they are one of the most powerful options for your marketing arsenal!
Tips on How to Get Your Explainer Video Right:
- Write a compelling script: By taking your time to develop an effective script, you’re making sure your video will cover all the essential features and benefits from your app. You’ll need to be smart about what to keep and what to leave out, but the end product will benefit greatly for it.
- Keep it short and sweet: And on the topic of leaving things out, nobody has the time to sit through a long app video! As we’ve said, your video should get to the point in the shortest time possible. Don’t spend five minutes saying what could be said in 90 seconds or less.
- End with a clear call to action: A strong CTA is an essential part of any ad, and it should be part of your app’s marketing video as well. Most of the time, all it takes is telling people to go download your app! It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised!
To understand these points better, let’s go over a perfect example of an engaging explainer video.
“Toast” is a money transfer app that allows Filipinos to send money back home. The video shows how the life of Maria, the main character, was drastically improved by using the application.
The script is compelling and simple enough to give the character some depth while also sticking to the app’s benefits. And, of course, it ends with the Google Play Store logo as a CTA, so the audience knows where to go next.
Illustrate the Specific Problems Your App Can Solve
While working with explainers gives you an easy-to-follow framework to create videos for your apps, it’s by no means the only approach you can take. That said, regardless of the specific style you go for, no app video will work without a key ingredient: Context.
You’re not doing a good job at promoting your app with video content if you don’t show your app in context. Your audience needs to watch your app being used in different scenarios to understand how it can make their lives easier!
You can approach this in many ways. If you are going for a live-action piece, you can share captures or live streams of your app in action. I’d warn you about overdoing it, though! As audiences can quickly grow bored with a video like this.
On the other hand, animation can be a fantastic way to overcome this hurdle. By creating attractive visual representations of your app’s functions, you get to keep the viewers visually and mentally engaged long enough to deliver your message!
Having said all that, if you take only one thing from this piece, let it be this: Your app’s video shouldn’t be just about how your app works! It should also be about how it can make the viewer’s life better.
Take this piece as an example.
“I’m Here” is a location sharing application, and therefore can be used in an infinite number of different contexts. You can use it to set a meeting point for your date, to locate your friends in the massive convention, to find the closest exit in a park… the list could go on forever.
This explainer video chooses one scenario in which the app can be useful: travel emergencies. By sticking to this specific and imaginative situation, it makes it easier to understand the app’s benefits.
Ready to start marketing your app?
Book a free call to learn how our team of marketing experts can help you create high converting marketing campaigns today.
As the old proverb goes: if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Well, if you make an app, but nobody downloads it, does it even exist?
So, let’s sum up the actions you need to take to promote your app:
- Use video content to explain how your app works in an engaging way.
- Add video to your app’s profile following the technical specs of each platform.
- Create an explainer video that shows your app’s benefits and creates a connection with your users.
- Use examples to show the specific scenarios in which your app can be useful.
Video content is the most engaging way of communicating your app’s benefits and features, while also building an emotional bond with potential downloaders. So, what are you waiting for? Time to start developing that kick-ass video your app needs today!