How to Sell your App via App Previews

Promatics Technologies
Published on Jun 05, 2019 in App Development
How to Sell your App via App Previews

If you are an app developer on the lookout for a chance to glory; App Previews present a golden opportunity. An App Preview is a 30-sec window of opportunity to present your product to your target audience and turn them into active users. As per research, 54% of the Top 50 iOS apps are using videos to reach out to the audience. Leverage the opportunity right and it can be the most impactful conversion tool you would ever use. Give your audience a great preview of what you have to offer by telling them an impactful story and stand a chance to convert an ‘occasional browser’ to an ‘engaged user.’

However, most app developers are versed at crafting apps better than they are at fabricating stories. An App Preview video is much more than recording an app in action. It is about summarizing the gist of an app in a 30-sec video. We have been using App Previews as a marketing tool for years now. Our team at Promatics Technologies has been in the business long enough to know the ins and outs of successful apps. We believe App Previews are a powerful marketing tool for app creators to help them reach out to the users. We use App Previews to help customers access the utility of an app product for themselves. Here, we present to you a small collection of things to keep in mind while you try to sell your product through an App Preview.

Do I need an App Preview?

We know we are convincing enough in our argument in support of having an App Preview to lead you into wondering ‘Do I need an App Preview?’ The blatant answer to this question would be ‘not necessarily’ Apps can be submitted to an app store with just screenshots too. It is not mandatory to have an App Preview video in place. However, the perks of having such preview videos are manifold:

  • Preview videos can stir emotions in the viewer and build pre-launch excitement for the product.
  • The videos can aptly convey the value of the app to a user, illustrating why it's suitable.
  • Videos also educate the visitor about what your app can do and how.

Thus, not having an app preview video would be a huge disadvantage for an app business. As all modern apps are launching with preview videos nowadays, users are growing accustomed to the concept. They rely on App Preview videos to access the value of an app.

How to Sell your App via App Previews?

We all know a first impression lasts. An App Preview video is a 30-second stint to create that impression on audiences’ mind. Seemingly insignificant elements like ‘call to action’, ‘colours palette’ and even ‘features highlight’ can play a big role in driving conversions. Since an App Preview is going to be the first thing about your app that target audiences would see, seize the opportunity. Work on a short video that lures the audience's attention and communicates how your app is a solution to their needs.

Here is how you do it:

I. Work on Your Core Value Proposition

The prime objective of a preview video is to make your audience comprehend the value of your app. Begin with a making a list of all the features you think are definitive to your app product. Arrange these features in the order of priority, next. Choose the propositions on the basis of their importance, engagement levels and how easily understandable they are through the app UI. Such prioritization helps to ensure that the correct story is conveyed to the target audience. It okay to leave out less significant value propositions of the app from the preview video, especially if they are too complicated to be explained and less visually engaging. Now think of ways to highlight these features when you share the value proposition with the users through the preview video.

II. Align Visuals with Value Propositions

App Previews are meant to communicate the value your app provides to users as well as to provide them with a feel of how the app works. The stringent 30-second time limit on the preview videos make this rather difficult. It’s best to ensure that both these goals are met simultaneously in the video. Align your core value propositions with your app's features. This will highlight the points of alignment or reinforcement. Use these points of alignment and direct focus on them in the App Preview. This will give users a visual clue about how your UX reflects your intended purpose.

III. Comply with the App Store’s Preferences

Having an App Preview Video alongside your app on the play store is not as easy as it looks. App store validations are mandatory if you are hoping to use App Previews to sell your app. No matter what app store you choose to host your app on, a member from its team would review your app structure including the preview video. They will access if the Preview video meets the technical requirements and creative standards. It's important to ensure that preview videos are not irrelevant to the app’s content and functionality. Apple encourages that app businesses come up with previews that use video-screen captures, voice-overs, and textual and design overlays. Previews that misinterpret the UX are a strict ‘no’ for Apple. Tools like ‘QuickTime Player’ help developers capture the native resolution of the user interface. Every iOS must feature a preview video that is a true representation of the product itself and not just a promotional commercial. As for the Google Play Store, preview videos are in the form of a YouTube video and are displayed in a landscape format regardless of their orientation.

IV. Story Structure

Only a product developer who understands the core value proposition of the product can create a strong story structure to demonstrate it. Lay down the propositions along with aligned app features in a sequence so that they fall in a captivating storyline. Keep it simple. The brief preview comes with a restricted time limit but offers a chance to use boundless creativity. Work out a story structure that weaves a captivating narrative of all the important aspects of an app.

V. Orientation First

When a user scrolls through app-store search results, the visuals he/she sees sets his/her expectations. The preview video orientation can make or break the visual allure you are trying to cast on a prospective user. For example, a Preview video oriented portrait style comes with the poster frame and first screenshot that roughly occupy 38% of a device’s screen space. Accommodating two separate images in less than half of the screen’s width automatically mean shorter text callouts, smaller art and illustrations and fading minor details. It is best that only apps with portrait-style gameplay typically keep the preview video orientation in portrait mode. On the other hand, if both the preview video and first screenshot are in landscape mode, graphics and text become difficult to read. However, there still is more room to show off other features of the app, such as tools, or to use the empty space around the portrait frame for call-outs.

VI. Structuring your story with an AV script

An AV script is a champion performer when compared to the traditional screenplay. It is used to map out not only what you want the audience to see and hear in the App Preview but also how the transition is made from one visual to another. An AV script can accurately track timing, shot numbers, notes, and changes to all the moving parts in your App Preview. It gives a clear picture of where the audio and visual elements overlap.

VII. Poster Frames

‘Poster Frame’ of an app preview video is its “paused” state. It is the very first thing a user sees in the search results and thus associates it with the in-app experience he is likely to have. Even when a device is used on Low Power Mode, videos don’t autoplay and only the Poster Frame is shown. Poster frames can be changed by selecting another poster frame image in iTunes Connect, for iOS apps. Always select a frame of your video that most accurately portrays the app. It is a crucial creative consideration to design a poster frame for your Preview video. Ensure that no important text or visuals are hidden under the play button.

VIII. Data

App-preview videos are conversion engines for apps. After an app is discovered by a searcher, a number of factors determine he/she gets converted into a user. It is important that each app preview video is tested to ensure that it is optimized for the target audience. Tools like surveys, focus groups, and multi-variant testing platforms help marketers gather quantitative and qualitative data, which determines what makes users click “DOWNLOAD” in an app store. It is a good practice to carry through keywords from the app and highlight them in the screenshots and video for best conversion rates.

Concluding Note

Creating an App Preview brings forth various creative challenges for even a seasoned mobile app development agency. However, a good video can help you convert users that otherwise would have dropped. Following simple procedures like these mentioned above, help you make impactful App Preview videos for your target audience. It is best to create two or three app previews for your users to engage with. We at Promatics Technologies believe that app preview videos made in accordance with app-stores’ guidelines bring out the features of an app in a way that does it justice.

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About the author
Promatics Technologies
Promatics Technologies
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Promatics is a young, rising software development agency from India. They have wide expertise ready to take on the most demanding projects on web and mobile app development, e-commerce, digital marketing, cloud solutions, quality assurance and IT consulting. In the mobile field, they have expert app developers ready to work on Android, iOS, HTML5 and wearables projects.

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