Is making video for promoting app worth it?

Is making video for promoting app worth it?

Nowadays it is difficult to survive on the market, so when we promote our apps we try very different things. Some work and others don’t. In this post I would like to share my views and experience in the matter of video for apps promotion. Does it help? It depends on a few things.

Video type

We can approach video from many angles. There are some types of videos that I think are most popular:

  • Walkthrough/Tutorial – this is when you just click through the app showing how to use it. It can be with music or with a voice explaining what is going on.
  • Showcase of features – here we show most important features of the app, how it can benefit user. Can be pretty similar to screenshots, but allows animations so we can show a little bit more.
  • Use case from real life situation – here we have a story where user have a problem and the app comes to solve it. It is often done as as a drawing and doesn’t even have to show the app itself.

Do’s & Don’ts

Each type of video can help if it is done well and used in appropriate way. What we show avoid and what is a good practice?

  • Screenshots first. Make great screenshots and only then think about video. When screenshots can show everything then making a video that is showing basically the same thing is pointless and waste of money.
  • First few seconds matter the most. If you can’t catch attention of potential user at the very beginning he will probably close video with finishing it. Start it with the most eye-catchy feature of the app.
  • Don’t make it just for the store. If video is only in the store then user has to find the app first and then watch the video. Screenshots are already there so if video won’t provide much more value it is pretty useless. If you make it you should also use it in promotion outside of the store, whether this is video ads campaign or articles on blogs/portals.
  • Make it short. People won’t watch 2 minute video unless it is next cinematic from Blizzard or funny cats compilation. Even if you hook them in the first few seconds, they will go away if video is too long. They have other things to do at the moment. 15-30 seconds is probably the best shot. If you need longer than 30 seconds to explain what your app is about then you probably are doing it wrong or your app’s UX is poor. People don’t like to figure out how to use app and often won’t bother.

Final thoughts

I often mute my phone and I’m sure many people do that too. It’s probably better to rely mostly on the image, not the sound. Sometimes you don’t have a choice, for example, when you’re promoting a music game, but in other cases it is good to convey the message just with visuals.

Production of promo video can cost a lot. Poorly made may only scare off or confuse the audience. If you don’t have enough budget and can’t do it properly then it is better to invest in great promotional screenshots and images. However if you can afford it then go ahead and do it. Just remember that making a video is not only about how much money you spend on it. You can spend a lot and still have a mediocre results. Without great script, putting it to work in this format and getting to the customer you won’t get anywhere.