Many app development companies run lean, and that means using both money and time wisely. It also means having to decide whether or not a particular marketing tool is the best use of your budget (whether that’s time, money, or both).
Video – particularly if it’s professionally produced – is certainly a valuable part of a marketing strategy, but it’s definitely not free to produce, so we often get questions about its ROI. There are many places where video can be tremendously beneficial to a software product, but one kind of video stands out as low hanging fruit: an App Preview video for the Apple App Store.
App Preview Videos Definitely Increase Conversion Rates
The most important takeaway is that the increase in conversation rate from having a high-quality App Preview video is tremendous when compared to other non-video types of advertising and marketing. This gives them a really good ROI when compared with many other promotional tools.
While the numbers vary depending on which article you read, numerous ASO and app marketing companies have verified through testing and user surveys that having an App Preview video greatly improves conversion rates and increases the likelihood that an app will be installed. A/B tests conducted by StoreMaven demonstrated that otherwise identical Apple App Store listings that added a video saw a 20% increase in conversions, and when comparing the performance of the exact same video in iOS 10 (where videos didn’t auto-play in the App Store) and iOS 11 or later (where they do), the conversion rate jumped by over 47% in iOS 11.
Additionally, Leanplum found that users who watched and engaged with preview videos were twice as likely to install the app, and at least half of those who watch a video will view it all the way to the end.
All of this means that adding a video can give your app a tremendous boost, making it one of the highest-ROI investments for iOS (or iPadOS) apps.
The benefits of auto-play are truly huge; Google Play doesn’t have auto-play for most of its app videos, and the number of users who actually click and play video is extremely low (though those who do are far more likely to decide to download and install). It’s easy to experience the benefits of auto-play just by scrolling through the App Store on an Apple device: the apps with videos literally come to life and command your attention as they hit your screen, whereas the static results are easier to just scroll right by.
What Should Developers Do?
The answer is clear: add a video to your app store listings.
However, video is no longer “one size fits all.” Different store platforms have very different specifications, and using a video that isn’t optimized for that platform may actually harm your conversion rates.
While you don’t need a whole stable of videos – in fact, ASO Stack found that having additional videos beyond the main one didn’t appreciably increase conversion rates – you can’t re-use videos across platforms. An iPhone or iPad App Preview is a very different video than a Google Play promo, so having a video optimized for each app store platform is a must.
If you can only afford a single App Store video, that’s probably okay: but focus on making one for Apple devices. Only 6% of Google Play users actually play a video in that app store, while Apple users will automatically see the videos almost every time your listing is on their screen.
What’s a good formula? ASO Stack saw significant increases in conversion rates when an app had a single preview video followed by two screenshots showing different features of the app.
Best Practices for App Preview Videos
Be sure to have your most important and impactful information at the beginning of the video –StoreMaven data shows that only 55% of users watched a video to the end, and in fact, an average of 10% of users drop off for every 5 seconds of playback. This means that the first 5 seconds of a video are crucial; use them wisely to grab attention and engage the viewer.
Your video also needs to be compelling both with and without sound. Make sure you’re using text to good effect within the video itself; don’t depend only on audio to get your message across. App Previews play silently by default, and many viewers have the volume turned down or off altogether on their phones anyway, so they will never hear the audio of your video.
Because your video is such an important tool to increase installs, you want it to be as high-quality and polished as possible. You can DIY it, but for the absolute best results and to give your app its best chance of success, a professionally-produced video is the way to go. If you’re ready to collaborate on a top-notch preview video for your app, get in touch!