Video consumption is on the rise. It’s been predicted that two-thirds of global traffic will be video content by 2018. And while we are watching video on multiple screens, mobile video in particular is quickly engraining itself into our daily routine. Whether it’s user generated video shared on social media, a video you find via search, or a piece of video meant to sell you something, video is proving itself as the most engaging medium.

app demo video demographics


Leveraging the popularity of video to reach your target audience is a great strategy. While you can opt for placements or display advertising in video to attracted people to your app store listing, what I’d like to talk about today is actually developing your own video for user acquisition.


What Role Does Video Play In App Promotion?

In a recent Adcolony survey of the top 100 grossing app developers, 98% of respondents turn to video advertising for user acquisition, outranking all other paid channels options like interstitials, Facebook ads and general display ads, as well as traditional media, like TV, print and out of home.


most popular mobile app user acquisition channels


In the same survey, video was identified by half of respondents as the most exciting user acquisition channel this year, making it 2.3x more popular than advertising on social and 23x more popular than display ads.

While the top app publishers are shifting budgets to create videos to promote their apps in paid channels, it’s certainly not the only reason to create a video.

Videos can also be used to support your App Store Optimization (ASO) efforts – namely in the form of app preview videos. Both the App Store and Google Play allow publishers to upload a demo video of their app to give potential users a sneak peak at the app. Having a video can also give your app a competitive edge in search results. A thumbnail of your video shows up in the preview, along with another screenshot, which can have a big influence on your conversion rates. After all, if they aren’t enticing, people will swipe to the next result.

app store preview video example

Finally, video can also support your viral or word-of-mouth marketing efforts. One of the most successful gaming apps of all time, Clash of Clans, did exactly this when they enlisted Liam Neeson in their now famous TV commercial which aired during the 2015 Super Bowl. The video, which is now on YouTube has over 54 million views, not only helped Clash of Clans insert itself into pop culture and increase their brand equity, but it also earns them traffic and drives downloads.

Clash Of Clans App Preview Video


Types of App Demo Videos

Your app demo video should show off your app and get people excited to download it. Here are a few of the most effective formats for app promotion:


App Preview Video (iOS)

As mentioned before, an app preview video on the App Store is the next best thing to downloading your app. That being said, Apple’s guidelines for App Previews limit creativity and require simple, 30 second screencasts of key app interactions. It’s also important to note that right now your iOS App Preview Video cannot be localized for different stores, so if your app is available in multiple markets, it’s wise to avoid voiceovers. I would definitely suggest reviewing Apple’s guidelines for App Preview Videos before getting started.

RetailMeNot iPhone App Preview from Apptamin on Vimeo.



Packshot videos take their name from tradition product demo videos, show a user’s hands interacting with your app on a mobile device. These videos can be taken against different backgrounds and can incorporate voiceovers and/or call-to-actions to make the video more engaging. You can also bookend your video with live shot video to add context.




Animated videos

Cartoons and animations can give a fun and friendly feel to your app video. Often used for Lifestyle, Games and Kid’s apps, these videos bring the benefits of the app to the forefront, with less emphasis on showing exacting how to use the app.


Kikolabs Thinking Time from Apptamin on Vimeo.



Live Action, On-Location

Shooting your app promo video with actors in a live location may require more budget that the previous options, but this type of video is the best option for storytelling. With more creative liberty you can get into why your app was created in the first place – what real world problem does it solve? Showing the context in which your app is used makes this type of video great for social channels, your website, as well as traditional media like TV.


Tinder Plus from Tinder on Vimeo.



Steps For Creating Your App Promo Video

Regardless of the format you choose, producing a quality video will require some planning. Here are 4 key steps and considerations to create a great video:


  1. Scripting: Scripting is the process of deciding the key points you want to talk about in your video. You can focus on the app’s main features, the problems your app solves, or your app’s competitive advantages. But don’t forget that the goal of your video is to get viewers to download your app – so be sure to end with a call to action (with the appropriate app store logos!). With your key points in hand, select a video format that is best suited to meet your communication goals.


  1. Storyboarding: Once you’ve decided on the type of video you’d like to create the first step is to create a storyboard. If you’re creating an iOS app preview or packshot video, decide which interactions and screens you want to showcase. Instead, for animated or live action videos, you’ll want to decide what concepts you’ll want to bring to life, frame-by-frame. Keep in mind that app videos are between 30 seconds and 2 minutes – anything longer and you risk losing the attention of your audience. At this point, you’ll also want to decide on audio or voiceover requirements, as well as talent.


  1. Recording the video: Depending on the format and your budget, you’ll need to decide whether you can DIY or if you need professional help. There are many websites that can help you put together a quality app preview video using templates, including Placeit, VideoHive, RenderForest and MakeWebVideo. These solutions are great if you have a smaller budget and some editing skills, however if you want to do something completely custom, it’s best to work with an agency that has experience creating app promo videos. A few online companies that specialize in promotional videos for mobile apps are Apptamin, AppDemoVideo, Veed and Video4Apps.


  1. Editing: Now it’s time to package your final video. If you’re going the DIY-route you can use video editing software like Apple’s iMovie (free with OS X) or Windows Movie Maker to add voiceovers, music, animations, text layovers or other effects to increase viewer engagement.


Get Your App Promo Video In Front Of Your Target Audience

Now that your video is ready, it’s time to get it seen!

Upload your app preview video to the app stores and use video app install advertising products from Facebook, Yahoo or Adwords to drive downloads across display networks, search and YouTube. And, for additional online reach, embed your video on your website, blog or app landing page, and be sure to post it on YouTube or Vimeo for easy social sharing.

Do you have an app demo video? How has it helped your user acquisition efforts?

About The Author


Krista McLandress, Marketing Manager at AppsBuilder – a professional, yet easy to use mobile app development platform. An expert in inbound and web marketing, Krista creates content for marketers who are bringing their brands mobile and need help navigating the new world of app marketing. You can read more of her posts on the AppsBuilder Blog or by following @appsbuilder.