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April 9, 2020

The Importance of App Store Video

The App Store Video is a key component of an app listing. When users find an app in the App Store or Google Play Store, the video will be one of the first things to appear with the listing. This can have a major impact on whether or not users will download the app. A good App Store Video can show the app in action in an exciting manner, adding cinematic elements that screenshots alone don’t.

If users are not installing an app, it may be that the visual aspects aren’t showing them what they’re looking for – this is where App Store Videos can make a difference. Including a video in an app listing on the App Store and Google Play Store can help improve conversion, so developers should ensure they have the best video possible.

Driving Downloads

The icon, videos and screenshots of an app listing are the most impactful visual aspects. These present potential users with a look at the UI of an app when it appears in search results. Given that 70% of downloads come from store searches, the first impressions of a video in search results can have a significant impact on the downloads the app receives.

Creatives such as App Store Videos directly affect conversion rates, which in turn improves rankings within the App Store and Play Store. If an app has a high click through rate on a given keyword, Apple and Google will find it to be relevant for that term. This leads to improved rankings for the mobile app’s keywords and the category it’s in. A high conversion rate can even lower the overall cost per install for paid marketing campaigns.

Video Best Practices

Successful App Store Videos highlight the core features and value propositions of their app. Videos can also highlight the user experience, such as how the features work or the benefits of using the app, or a game’s graphics and animation.

Using the video to illustrate the value proposition of an app provides a form of expectations for the user. It allows users to see unique selling points, accolades and get an understanding of the UI.

App Store Videos can also include text that describes the value of the app. This text should be paired with footage of the app UI, in order to properly convey the information and values to users. Keep in mind that using too many transitions and text may result in the video being rejected by Apple’s review team; use them judiciously.

Videos automatically play when they appear in search results, so users may only see the first few seconds while scrolling. Make sure these first impressions are engaging and showcase the app’s best features - this will help keep users watching and encourage them to download the app.

It’s important to highlight multiple aspects of the app in these videos. Displaying the features in contextual scenes can help with this, so long as they are clear and concise. As App Store Videos only have 30 seconds, and Google Play Videos will automatically play the first 30 seconds, a video should focus on the top features and only spend a few seconds on them. It’s advised to limit the video to 4-5 scenes, that way the video can still show a variety of features without spending too much or too little time on any.

Any text used in the video should be related to the core features. Using high-volume search terms can indicate to users who find the app in search results that it is relevant to their queries. For example, an app designed to teach languages can include text like “Learn a New Language” on the video beside a clip of a lesson from the app. This can help a user connect their search query to the app, leading to higher potential for conversion.

Videos can include transitions, but they should be there only to support the video. Transitions cannot imply any functionality that the app does not have, so they should not appear to be part of the App’s UI.

If a video is designed properly, it can improve conversions by up to 25%.

Layouts and Guidelines

When designing an App Store Video, it’s necessary to follow the guidelines for each store. Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store have different rules for their videos and failing to adhere to them could result in the app update being rejected.

For iOS apps, the video can be in landscape or portrait mode. When the app appears in search, a landscape video will be the only creative asset to appear alongside the app name and icon. If the app uses a portrait mode video, two screenshots will be displayed next to it in search results, in the same order as they exist on the app listing.

Videos for iOS apps can only be 30 seconds long or shorter. They begin automatically playing when users see the video, but will have a selected image serving as the still frame before it loads.

App Store videos can only use footage from within the app itself. For most apps, this will involve showing the features and uses in action with minimal effects and narrative text. For mobile games, this can include cutscenes from within the game, but must primarily focus on actual gameplay to avoid giving users the wrong impression. Good video design is essential to properly showcase a mobile app’s features and usage while relying solely on in-app footage.

App Store Videos can also use music and voice overs to enhance their videos. Any artistic elements like music must be material the developer legally owns. Narration should be localized to each region it’s available in.

Google Play apps are taken directly from YouTube, so they will always play in landscape mode. These videos will also include a Feature Graphic as the still frame and first screenshot before it begins playing. While videos do auto-play, the Feature Graphic is still visible as the video loads. Videos on Google Play can run longer than videos for iOS apps, although it’s not recommended for a video to be longer than two minutes at the most.

Videos on the Play Store also have specific requirements, although these are more for video settings than design. The videos cannot be monetized, must be set on YouTube as public or unlisted and must be embeddable so that they can be viewed from the Play Store.

App developers can work within these guidelines to create stunning and compelling videos for their apps. If the app engages users, sets a strong tone with its editing and music and truly conveys why the app is worth downloading, it can potentially result in significantly more clicks and downloads.

To Conclude

App Store Videos can be a powerful tool for app conversions. In order to create optimized videos, they should be designed to showcase the core values and features of the app while following each store’s guidelines. With a proper video, an app can appeal to more users, increase conversions and improve their positioning within the stores. If an app developer can add an engaging, interesting and unique video to their app listing, they will be in a better position to grow and succeed.

- Gummicube Co-Founder & CEO, Dave Bell