How To Use Video To Promote Your App

Artyom Dogtiev | December 21, 2015

App Marketing

Advertising in general is built on three types of medium – text, image and video. It has been proven many times that video is the one that produces the best engagement, simply because it introduces viewers to a product in a best passible way. Some video ads of products have become legendary and today marketers consider them as iconic examples of what impact a video ad is capable of producing. We can clearly attribute to such ads like 1984 Apple’s Macintosh computer commercial or more recent example of Volkswagen car commercial. In both cases the reason for their success was that they’d triggered  an emotional reaction and created a strong bound with a product. Mobile apps is no different from any other product when it comes to creating a video ad. It’s about introducing people to a product, where to get it and, in the best case scenario, creating an emotional bound.
When marketers create ads for a product, they either highlight its features or craft an ad that showcases its benefits. If you follow Apple’s ads success track record, you notice that it’s always about featuring benefits, not features, it’s about telling a product potential users what will be their experience of using that product. In this article we want to give you the step-by-step instruction for how to create a video ad for your app and what marketing channels are available for you to use that ad to advertise your app.

How To Create an App Video Demo

These are the steps to follow to produce a video to promote your app on various channels:
Proper format
How and where you’re going to use a video demo dictates specs and overall style. For example, a video demo to use for a Facebook Mobile App Install ad campaign for your app implies creating a 15 seconds length video, which will feature only a few pieces of information. Because an effective app marketing campaign requires using several channels, we suggest to produce a set of videos of different length. Two major companies in the mobile app ecosystem has their own standards for a video demo, you can find Apple’s requirements here and Google Play ones here.
What information to include
Taking into account all possible placements for your app video demo, its length may vary from 15 to 90 seconds. This constrain defines how much information you can include in your app video demo. The overall list of kinds of information to include is the following:

  • App’s name and logo – this piece of information should be memorable for people to distinct your app from the rest within the App Store or Google Play search results. Brand awareness in general is the second reason for such inclusion.
  • Major features highlight – to give people a sense of what your app is about and what experience should they expect. Make sure that an overall tone of your app video demo isn’t too promotional, include benefits that your app users get, once they start using it.
  • Call to action – this is the classical part of any ad and it should be a part of your app video demo for any marketing channel.
  • Where to download – one of the major reasons to create a video demo for your app is to tell people where they can get it. It may sound obvious, since any tech savvy person knows that iOS apps are available on the iTunes App Store and the major place for getting Android apps is the Google Play marketplace. But you should remember that not all people are tech savvy.

The script
App video demo shooting process is similar to any movie production and requires having a script to follow during its shooting. Each step of a script should describe what information will be presented and duration of its shooting.
Video shooting
There are three major styles to use for an app video demo production.

  • The simplest one, that doesn’t require a lot of expertise at video production, is when you shoot somebody holding a smartphone or a tablet and using the app. You capture on video only person’s hands, the device and actual app using experience. A good example is the Quilly’s Quest iPhone game play video demo:
  • The second type requires using animation to highlight an app’s features and it invokes a stronger emotional connection,  because of more sophisticated visuals. A good example is the “What is Flipboard?” iPad app video demo:
  • The third type implies shooting with either professional actors or your own team members and it has a potential to bring the best engagement for an app. A good example is Paper by “FiftyThree” for iPad video demo:

To shoot a video you can either use your iPhone or iPad or any modern digital camera that shoots 720p / 1080p quality videos.
Post-production editing
All three types of video ads require certain degree of post-production editing. It includes adding special video or audio effects, music, as well as final video composing process. A software we recommend to use is either iMovie from Apple or Adobe Premiere.

Companies To Order App Video Demo

If you plan to outsource a video demo production to a company here is the list of the companies for you to consider:

  • Apptamin – the French company with 3+ years of app video demo production experience. It creates a 60 seconds or less video demo, starting from $1190 to be produced within a 7 biz days period. Within 10 biz day period it delivers a live-packshot format video for $1650. Apptamin also shoots on location videos with actors for a custom quote in a time period that varies with each project.
  • Rewatchable Apps – it operates more than 6 years on the market, it created video demos for apps like TuneIn, Flixster, TripAdvisor and more. The company offers 3 pricing options. With option 1 you get 45-75 seconds video shot with a script, written by the company, with either male of female narrator for $1,000. Option 2 delivers the same features for 3 or 5 apps in a set for $1,500 or $1,750 respectively. Option 3 allows to order a video with a custom script, television quality effects, real-world environments, voiceover and more. Also the company offers optional add-ons.
  • AppDemoVideos – is the US-based company that operates from 2009 and has brought more than 2.5 million views for the company clients app video demos on Youtube. It offers app video demo in three styles – Minimalist, App Review and Live Action Video, as well as optional add-ons, pricing can be provided upon request.
  • Commotion Engine – the company creates video demo for products and services since 2011, mobile apps is one type of products it works with. There are two features that sets the company apart the crowd – it starts any video demo creation with a product audience research and utilizes video analytics tools to measure app video demo viewers engagement level. Pricing can be provided upon request.

Marketing Channels to Promote App Using Video

These are the channels you can use a video demo to promote your app.

  • iTunes App Store – you can submit a 30 second video demo (App Preview), along with other marketing materials for your iOS app to the App Store. An App Preview is what the App Store visitors see first when they find a specific app and it has the greatest potential to impress an app user and convince him to download it.
  • Google Play marketplace – Google began using video as a part of an Android app marketing copy before Apple began with iOS 8 in 2014. App developers can shoot a 30 to 120 second video demo to submit an app with to the Google Play marketplace. It serves exactly the same purpose as App Preview does for iOS apps on the iTunes App Store.
  • Mobile App Install Campaigns via AdWords – there are 3 types of ad campaigns you can launch on Google AdWords for video to drive installs – Display Network, Search Network and YouTube. With Display Network campaign you can reach people while they’re using other apps, similar to your one. With Search Network you can reach out people while they’re looking for apps similar to your app. With YouTube ad campaign you can reach out people who are interested in content related to your app.
  • Facebook App Install Video Ads –  video is one of the formats that Facebook provides to create an app install campaign on its Facebook ads platform.
  • Twitter Ads – the advertising tool from Twitter that allows to drive installs for mobile apps and video is one of the available formats.
  • PR outreach – launching a PR campaign for a mobile promotion is one of the most effective ways to increase awareness about an app. Adding video demo to your app pitch will significantly increase its chances to be featured on various media outlets.
  • App website – a mobile app needs a website as a general hub for all information about it. A video demo should be the focal point of the app’s presentation on its website.
  • Awards & contests – participation in various awards and contests is a great way to increase your app’s awareness and attract media attention to it.  Video demo is the best marketing shot you can make to present your application on such mobile app awards or contests.
  • Mobile Video Advertising Networks – there are number of mobile advertising networks that utilize video demo to advertise an app. The major networks are the following:
    • Vungle – it helps mobile app developers promote and monetize their apps through in-app video trailers.
    • AdColony – is a mobile video advertising company whose proprietary Instant-Play™ technology serves full-screen video ads instantly in HD across its network of iOS and Android apps.
    • Vdopia – is a global programmatic buying and selling platform for mobile video advertising.
    • Inneractive – is an independent mobile ad exchange network with a focus on native and video ads.
    • NativeX –  is the ad technology for mobile games and apps, it utilizes video ads for its Cost Per Completed View pricing model.
    • Unity Ads – is the app monetization solution from Unity that is based on video-only ad network.
    • Beachfront Media – the company helps app developers to distribute and monetize video content across Mobile, Tablet, Desktop, and Connected TV.
    • YuMe – is a provider of global audience technologies, curating relationships between brand advertisers and consumers of premium video content across a growing range of connected devices.
    • Leadbolt – is a mobile advertising platform that champions video ad format for mobile app monetization.

Other Resources

These several videos provide additional information on using video for mobile app advertising.
Firstly, Michael Puriz, senior manager global strategic partnerships, Applift talks about opportunities for app marketers on YouTube, how to create and manage an ad campaign on Youtube and provide a case study.
Create and Manage a YouTube App Marketing Campaign

Secondly, Christian Dankl, director of sales at Adknowledge talks about video and native ad formats to deliver higher CTR, brand advertising and provides a case study.
The Role of Video in App User Acquisition

Thirdly, Sylvain Gauchet, founder at Apptamin talks about examples of the best video app ads and why they work, a proper way of using video in app marketing, as well as hints and tips.
Marketing Your Mobile App Using Video

Further Reading

You can also find out more in these other posts on the topic.
The Simple Guide to Making Awesome Mobile Game Trailers – provides guidelines for creating high quality mobile game trailers and describe marketing channels to promote them on.
What companies make great iPhone app demo videos? – the ongoing discussion that features a number of iOS app demo production companies.
Top 10 Best Video Game Trailers 2016 [Full HD] 1080p – provides the list of top 10 video demo for games.
How to Create Compelling Demo Videos: 7 Key Principles – covers the seven principles to shoot a compelling software video demo.
How To Capture And Record An Iphone Or Ipad Screen Video – describes the steps to capture video from an iOS device using Mac OS QuickTime Player or other software.
Final Thoughts
We hope you’ll find this article helpful for your mobile app marketing. Video as a medium grows fast on all major social media platforms. This quick video adoption rate leads to a rapid video advertising market growth, and so using video ads for your app promotion becomes one of the app marketing must know and do techniques. There are several technologies that will shape the video ads market of the future. Specifically the latest advances with 3D and Virtual Reality technologies promise even brighter feature for video as the medium and advertising communication channel as well.

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