Best Practices for Creating the Perfect App Store Preview Videos

Jenna Rodrigues
June 15, 2021

Video is one of the most potent weapons for businesses of all sizes and for a good reason: it helps appeal to and engage potential users, therefore triggering more app downloads and ensuring users stay engaged after download.

With their ability to bring your app to action and go beyond still images or screenshots to really show your app through video, app store preview videos are an effective way to help increase conversions. Conversely, a bad app preview can hurt the conversion rate of the app. The best part about the app store preview video is that it can tell the user what to expect after downloading, which is great for better retention rates after download and installation.

So, what are the best practices for creating app preview videos that you must keep in mind to ensure you create a video that precisely describes your app while ensuring you reach as many users as possible? Stay with us to find out!

But before we dive into the best practices, let’s look at exactly what is an app store preview video and why you should consider this approach.

What is An App Store Preview Video?

An app preview video is short, auto-playing video content that gives the user a sneak peek inside your app’s features and functionality. It’s displayed before any content or images on both the app store search results page as well as your product listing page.

Why Is an App Store Video Important?

While Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store differ slightly in their format when it comes to previewing videos, the end goal of visibility and conversions remains the same.

The studies around video performance are quite impressive. Close to 55 percent of users pay close attention to video compared to all others forms of content. Additionally, video has shown to have higher engagement potential and conversion rates than images — 20% more on Apple App Store, and 35% percent more on Google Play.

The auto-playing functionality of app videos is a great opportunity to make an instant first impression, especially for users who might not notice you at first. And viewers who view demo videos on an app first are 1.81x more likely to make a purchase than non-viewers.

Videos are also an incredible way to showcase your app including how it’s easy to use, how users interact with it, and its unique features. It’s a great way to show what’s in store for them before using the app.

App Store Preview Videos: Google Play Vs. App Store

Preview videos on both Apple Store and Google Play vary. Here are some key differences to note:

• For iOS, the app previews video auto-plays in mute to grab the user’s attention. It’s shown in the app store search results and listing. In Google Play, the video is shown in the store listing but lacks autoplay. It features a promo video thumbnail that has a “play button” as an overlay on the video.

• On the iOS App Store, you can upload up to 3 videos. Google Play allows you to have only 1 video per localization, and you need to upload it to YouTube first.

• Videos on the App Store should be 30 seconds long and between 30 seconds to 2 minutes on Google Play.

• The “poster frame,” appears whenever the video doesn’t auto-play, so it’s important to select a frame for your preview video footage for the App Store. Google Play automatically utilizes YouTube thumbnails.

• Apple App Store uses very strict editorial guidelines that are firmly enforced when submitting your app. For instance, it only allows you to use captured footage from within the app itself. Google is a little easier here as it uses no content-specific restrictions, and you’re free to be as creative as possible.

• Additionally, the iOS App Store uses what is called a “device-specific” size for app review videos. This means that there must be separate videos for every iPhone screen shape. The same case applies to videos for iPads or Apple TV.

Best Practices for App Store Preview Videos

The App preview highlights the key features, functionality, and user interface of your new app that users can access and watch on your product page. Realistically, you have 30 seconds to make a good impression.

So, how do you make sure you get the most from your app preview video, in your 30 seconds of fame?

Take the Lead with Your Most Important Message

Most videos will be on auto-play mode and users will be scrolling almost infinitely. Most won’t watch your video until the end, so you’ll need to grab their attention in the first few seconds of the video. Hit them with something so intriguing and visually striking that they won’t resist watching the video to the end and even click on it. You can also use captions and transition screens to capture their attention and increase the chances of engaging with your app even more.

Ensure Your Preview Contains Only the Footage from the App Alone

While repeating your message may sound like a great idea, when it comes to previewing videos, you don’t want your visitors to see the same message across multiple videos. They may think that that’s all your app has to offer and decide to move on. Instead, use every section of your video to highlight different app concepts and unique selling points to keep users engaged.

Make Your Video Work for Muted and Non-Muted Audiences

Most videos on Apple’s App Store are usually on auto-play without audio. So, ensure your video is fully optimized for both muted and non-muted audiences. Engage users with titles, callouts, text, and other visual elements.

The best scenario is when sound is there as an added bonus, and not a fundamental part of the video. Also, use easily understandable terms and language that appeals to the audience. The text should also be legible and remain on the screen long enough for your audience to read it.

Be Keen on Content-Type and Format

App review videos are designed for all audiences, and for this reason, they should contain appropriate content that caters to all ages. Avoid copyrighted content, objectionable content, adult themes, violence, and profanity. Additionally, show only content you have the legal right to display. If you have to displays protected content like film, music, brands, characters, and more, make sure you have the licensing rights for marketing use in all areas.

Test and Test the Video Quality

Probably the most vital part of having an effective preview video is to ensure your video is optimized for and compatible with various device types. The best way to ensure that the videos you create are of high quality is to run tests. A/B testing can be a great way to help determine the likability and performance of the video. Be sure to test different aspects such as video variations, video content that prompts more installs, the number of videos to include, and video orientation (either landscape, portrait, or a mix of both). The higher the quality of your video, the more impactful it’s going to be.

Don’t Forget About the Poster Frame

The Poster Frame is shown whenever the user has enabled low power mode, or when they’ve manually disabled autoplay mode, or before the video autoplays. In all these scenarios, this feature should not be overlooked.

The frame should be planned to ensure it fits nicely with the app’s screenshots and conveys the right message. Choose a frame that is visually compelling from your app footage, so that users feel inclined to tap on it. Note that if the screenshots are changed, you might need to adjust the poster frame once more.

Create A Great Preview Video (The Right Way)

When used correctly, App Store Preview Videos can help you increase engagement and improve conversions. But you have to follow several best practices as outlined above to attain this goal.

Also remember, the rich medium of your preview video creates an opportunity to display elements of your app that might otherwise not be displayed in the App Store — so it’s imperative to get it right.

So, do you need help with your App Store Preview Video? Schedule a free consultation with our experts and we’ll help put your ideas to life and kickstart your journey to success.

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