App Preview Videos: How Important Is It For Conversion?

April 22nd, 2017

App Preview Videos: How Important Is It For Conversion?
David Bell

by David Bell

CEO at Gummicube, Inc.

While many developers have followed ASO best practices and improved their app’s metadata (title, description and screenshots), not many focus on the app’s preview video. The preview video is in place to improve conversion rates by engaging the audience and showing users the app’s core features. Unfortunately, it’s a forgotten part of the app’s metadata. Developers need to optimize their preview video with ASO to increase their odds of converting users and encourage them to tap “GET.” What’s a Preview Video? Preview videos are one of the first visual representations of your app that users will see when searching in the app stores. On an Android device, the video appears at the very top of the listing, encouraging users to interact with the gameplay and see how to use the app before scrolling down to read the description. Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 3.44.49 PM For iOS, the preview video can take the place of a screenshot and is always listed first in the sequence. Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 3.44.12 PM A preview video is supposed to be rich in content and deliver the app’s message well. There are three common types of preview videos developers tend to use, and those are:

  1. Promo Video
  2. Demo Video
  3. Tutorial Video

Each video is unique to the app and may differ depending on what the developer wants to showcase. The length of the video, however, needs to be taken into consideration. Depending on what a developer wants to highlight, if the video is too short it risks leaving features or gameplay out. Other developers take too much time showing every feature and end up showing too much of the app. Regardless, the preview video needs to be engaging to the audience in-order to increase conversion.

What Each Store Allows

Following ASO best practices will help developers create a preview video that can help drive their conversion rate. Before developers start making a preview video, they need to familiarize themselves with the App Store and Google Play Store different requirements. Apple wants developers to engage customers with the app’s preview video. By showing the experience of using the app, it can give users a better understanding of how to use the app and improve conversion. Some basic guidelines to follow are:

  • Preview video can only be 15 to 30 second long
  • Must use straightforward transitions
  • Needs to real-world usage and functionality of the app
  • Cannot have people interacting with a device that has the app

While Apple has a handful of guidelines in place, Google gives more freedom to developers. The preview video does not need to stay in the app like it does for the App Store, and instead can be more of a promotional video. The only rule Google enforces is the preview video’s length, which needs to be between 30 second and 2 minutes.

Importance of the Poster Frame

A common mistake developers make with their preview video is choosing a random place for the video to stop. The preview video takes the place of a screenshot and should be treated like one. The still image, otherwise known as the poster frame (App Store) or feature graphic (Google Play Store), is incredibly important to an app’s conversion. In screenshots, developers use high-volume keywords to explain the app’s core features. If the poster frame does not deliver the app’s message, it is less likely to improve conversion. Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 3.53.25 PM ASO best practices suggest that the still image should be an image that engages well with the audience and makes a good first impression. A user’s attention span is typically 3-5 seconds when scanning an app listing, and only 5-10 seconds when viewing the preview video. Make sure the preview video has a solid call to action with high-volume keywords to encourage more decisive users to convert. Developers also need to take into consideration the color choices and background images of the preview video. If the preview video in general looks clumsily made and difficult to read, then a poster frame will not engage the audience well. Also, make sure that the call to action with high-volume keywords is placed either at the top or bottom of the poster frame. Apple and Google both place a large play button in the middle of the poster frame, and developers do not want their call to action going unseen. Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 12.08.26 PMScreen Shot 2017-04-20 at 12.08.10 PM Key Takeaways Regardless of which style developers choose, the preview video needs to keep the intended audience in mind and be treated as the first visual representation of the app. The preview video needs to be interesting and engaging to convert users, and the poster frame cannot be a random image that is not relevant to the app. Developers need incorporate an ASO strategy to properly execute the preview video to yield higher conversion rates. If the preview video is engaging and uses high-volume keywords to target the audience, it is more likely to improve conversion rates. Having a good preview video that highlights the app’s core features further expands the app’s reach in the app stores and helps acquire more users.

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