App Preview Videos: Best Practices for ASO

December 14th, 2019

App Preview Videos: Best Practices for ASO
David Bell

by David Bell

CEO at Gummicube, Inc.

For an app to gain installs, developers must show users what makes the app great. While this can be done through screenshots and descriptions, App Preview videos are another effective way to help with conversion.

A good App Preview video can increase conversions by up to 25%. Conversely, a bad App Preview can have a negative effect on an app’s conversion rate.

Developers should understand what makes a good App Preview. With that in mind, here are some of the best practices to remember when designing your App Previews for App Store Optimization.

Store Compliance

You can make a great looking App Preview video, but if it does not pass App Store Review no one will see it. The App Store has strict guidelines that developers must follow for their videos. Developers should be sure to follow them when designing their App Previews:

  • App Previews can be up to 30 seconds long
  • Content must be suitable for all audiences and ages
  • App Previews can only use footage from within the app
  • Previews cannot display copyrighted content such as music, film or brands unless you have the legal right to display them

The guidelines are set to provide users with an idea of what the app will look like on their devices. This means that the App Previews should not include iOS devices inside the video frame, and graphics such as touch hotspots should be utilized sparingly.

App Previews can include transitions and text, but these should not imply functionality that the app lacks. Using too much text or too many transitions is a common cause for rejection.

Failing to follow these guidelines can result in an App Preview being rejected. There are some apps in the store that include elements like device frames or a substantial amount of text and transitions, but they always risk rejection with each new release.

Best Practices

Knowing what to do to improve success is just as important as knowing what mistakes to avoid. Apple provides the following suggestions for App Previews:

  • Get to the point quickly and get users excited early on
  • Capture the native resolution of the UI rather than zooming in
  • Mobile games should show more gameplay than cutscenes
  • Use copy to add context to the footage
  • Use audio to establish continuity
  • Include a good poster frame (static image) for when the video isn’t playing

While those are good recommendations for App Previews, App Store Optimization best practices should also be taken into consideration.

Consider the App Preview’s video orientation. Landscape videos will be the only creative appearing with the app’s title and icon in the App Store search results, while portrait mode videos will be displayed alongside two screenshots.

The App Preview should align with the brand’s identity in terms of design, color usage and so on. If the app features any characters, they can be included as well.

Any text added on to the footage should include important app features or values along with keywords, so users can see how it’s related to their search.

The App Preview video should grab a user’s attention instantly. App Previews and mobile advertisements are different assets in different landscapes, but some similar concepts can be applied. Namely, research shows mobile advertisements have less than half a second to capture a user’s attention – the first impression is of the utmost importance.

Starting the App Preview by focusing on the core value or feature can help by instantly explaining the app to users. Mobile games can typically begin with engaging cutscene footage to show off the graphics and animation to initially catch user attention but should still include footage of the gameplay and mechanics.

A/B testing can also help developers determine if an App Preview will perform well or if a variant is preferable. Testing new iterations to ensure optimal performance is important for all aspects of an app, including the App Preview.

By ensuring an App Preview is compliant with Apple’s guidelines and designed following App Store Optimization best practices, developers can design preview videos that help attract and convert users. As with any Store Listing asset, A/B testing and iteration are always vital to ensuring increased conversion. App Previews are a great way to help improve conversions when done right.

Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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