Creating the Perfect Video To Promote Your Mobile App

One of the fundamental problems facing app developers is to make sure people know their app exists; after all, no awareness, no downloads.

This raises a significant question: How do you build this awareness?

Well, if you’re looking to make the biggest impact, creating a video for your app is hard to beat; good videos are shared more than written content, which potentially puts your app in the limelight for a much bigger audience.

Google quickly understood the impact a good video can have on app downloads, making it a key feature of their Google Play store. And, at long last, Apple seem to be catching up, finally announcing app developers can upload an app videos — for the iOS 8 App Store, at least.

If you’re looking to produce a video for your app, the following pointers should get you started.

1. Purpose

First and foremost, your video should tell the world what your app does. A great example of this is the video for the FourSquare app.

Now, ignoring the cute cartoon visuals for a moment (which, let’s face it, look fantastic!), let’s focus on the message: It’s clear, incisive and practical — after watching the video, you’re left with no doubts about what the app is for.

Showcasing your app this way makes the decision process for your audience easy; if they see a practical use for your app, they’ll download it.

An audience won’t spend time trying to figure out what your app is by themselves; make your message ambiguous and you lose them.

2. Practical Benefits

It’s far more powerful to talk in terms of the practical benefits of your app to your end users, rather than endlessly listing off its features.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by showing your audience the possibilities when using your app, with a great example being the TripAdvisor video above. It shows the simplicity of each feature in the context of something much bigger: Booking a dream getaway.

Remember, revolutionary new features are of no interest to your audience; they want to know how the app will entertain them, save them time or money, or make their life easier.

Show them how the app benefits them and they’ll show you the money.

3. Short and Sweet

People online have a notoriously short attention span: If your video doesn’t get to the point, your audience won’t stick around waiting.

Never, ever spend two minutes saying what could be said in 30 seconds.

Make your video short, sweet and to the point if you want a viewer to reach the end — a great example of this is the video for the Rough Guides app above.

4. Simple

Not all app developers are blessed with the same sort of marketing budget as the likes of Foursquare and TripAdvisor — for many, fancy videos with flashy graphics just aren’t an option.

This doesn’t mean you can’t produce an effective video for your app, though; you just need to work smart and simplify.

Filming yourself actually using the different features of your app is one of the most cost-effective ways of producing a video, and can still be remarkably persuasive when done well, as shown with the Mailbox video above.

It might be lacking the bells and whistles of many of the other videos, but it’s proof that you can still show the world what your app can do whilst on a budget.

5. Planning

The very best app videos have one thing in common: they are meticulously thought out. Consider the Flickr video above; every word and image was chosen to serve a purpose.

Now, you probably don’t have the same budget as Flickr, but that’s no excuse for sloppiness — you can still write a strong script to effectively convey your message, film in the best location and edit your video in an order that feels natural.

Remember, your video is essentially an extension of your app; if it’s a bit of a mess, people will assume your app is too!

6. Entertaining

If your app is quirky and light-hearted — like the Durex app above, rather than, say, a personal finance app — your video should reflect this.

The more entertaining your video is, the more often viewers will want to share it with their friends.

Get this right and you could expand your audience exponentially, such is the power of a video going viral.

Remember though: you should never dilute your message just to entertain. The aim of your video is to get your app downloaded, not to make your audience laugh.

Wrapping Up

Have you seen a fantastic example of an app video? Share the link with us in the comments space at the bottom!

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Pietro Saccomani

Pietro is the founder of MobiLoud, where he helps site owners grow their audience on mobile with their own mobile apps.