iOS App Previews

How to Create the Best Mobile Game App Preview videos

We’ve been writing fairly extensively about App Preview tips and greatest practices.

A LOT of games have a video on their iOS App Store listing, and it’s fascinating to take a better take a look at recreation App Previews specifically. Considered one of the reasons is that plainly’s the place Apple provides the most flexibility to builders and publishers, who subsequently experiment more.

AppTweak has been variety sufficient to share with us some knowledge from their ASO software, which allowed us to get some key numbers to analyze throughout this submit. And as traditional, you get several cool examples for inspiration.

State of recreation App Previews on the App Retailer

Supply: AppTweak

A powerful 73.5% of the prime 200 free video games has a video on the App Retailer. For the prime 200 paid games, 62.Four% of apps have a video (we’re lacking knowledge for 6 paid video games). That is virtually counterintuitive, as you’d anticipate video games for which you will have to pay to provide a video to potential customers in order that they have a fair better sense of what they could possibly be shopping for.

How Many VideosSupply: AppTweak

There are some major variations per recreation class, and for 9 out of 16 categories greater than 50% of the video games have at the very least a video.

In case you are in these categories it is best to contemplate testing video on the iOS App Retailer. This is especially true if in case you have nice gameplay animations which are exhausting to portray with only a screenshot.

What to think about when creating recreation App Previews?

Ok so most video games have App Preview videos.

Storemaven considers that customers who interact with video are up to 3X as probably to set up your app. That’s one excellent purpose to make your video nearly as good as potential!

So if you would like to create a video on your recreation, what things do you have to contemplate?

What are the greatest practices when it comes to orientation, number of videos, size, content material, and so forth.?

Under our thoughts and analysis.

These are common recommendations, and every app might differ. If you’d like our opinion and proposals on your recreation, contact us to get a free proposal on your App Preview video.

App Preview tips from Apple

Let’s start with the not-so-fun stuff: the restrictions Apple places on these videos when it comes to their content material.

We’ve a number of assets on Apple tips and App Preview specifications, so we gained’t detail every little thing right here.

Briefly: your App Previews have to be between 15 and 30 seconds, are device-specific (totally different resolutions for the iPhones, iPhones X and iPad). They’re additionally supposed to be principally based mostly on captured footage.

The key phrase here is “supposed” (that’s from us, not Apple) because it appears that evidently the rule of “footage only” has been increasingly flexible, especially when it comes to App Preview videos for games.

Because it seems, numerous recreation trailers on the App Retailer are leveraging recreation belongings (assume: characters, and so on.) to create elements of their videos. This enables you to give extra spirit to the video than “just” displaying gameplay.

Combined with the use of copy (see further on this submit), this will make for really powerful and dynamic App Previews that typically don’t have something to envy to recreation trailers outdoors of the iOS App Store platform.

In case Apple decides to enforce their tips fairly strictly in the future, see it this manner: the video you created can in all probability be used elsewhere.

Video orientation: panorama or portrait?

App Preview Video Orientation StatsSource: AppTweak

Prime free games have far more vertical App Previews than prime paid games, a minimum of in the prime 200 US. Nevertheless something to think about is that paid video games appear to be principally performed horizontally. So it is sensible that there are extra App Retailer listings with horizontal videos and screenshots.

A “trend” (or a minimum of experiments) that we’ve been seeing on the App Retailer can also be to have a unique orientation for the video(s) than for the screenshots:

  • Landscape video(s) with portrait screenshots

  • Portrait video(s) with landscape screenshots

These create what has been referred to as “Hybrid” listings.

We will see in the charts above and under that hybrid listings stay a minority of App Store listings: about 6% of listings with video for prime 200 free video games and about 5.5% of listings with video for prime 200 paid video games.

Video Screenshots Orientation App StoreSupply: AppTweak

There may nevertheless be a hidden benefit for you in doing one thing that the majority aren’t, and this might explain why hybrid listings are used extra in very aggressive categories like Game On line casino (18% of hybrid listings with video) and Game Journey (17% of hybrid listings with video). Across all recreation classes, a vertical video with horizontal screenshots could be very rare.

A landscape video for a portrait recreation means that you would be able to have a really eye-grabbing asset in the search outcomes, which is particularly fascinating for those who get numerous natural visitors. And should you get your poster body right, this might improve your click on by way of fee to the product web page.

Once on the product page, you then either rely simply in your portrait screenshots (the panorama video is pushed in a piece under the description referred to as “A closer look”) or you may as well have a portrait video displayed subsequent to your screenshots.

Splitmetrics shared with us that for greatest efficiency, the video orientation ought to be the similar as your screenshots orientation. They say that panorama video + portrait screenshots is a dangerous combination and should have an effect on conversion badly.

“we’ve noticed that videos from “A Closer Look” are virtually never watched” – Anton Tatarinovich, Advertising Manager @Splitmetrics

It’d nonetheless be an fascinating experiment to think about, because as seen above videos and screenshots do not show the similar means in the search results and on the product web page. However as a lot as attainable, check it before going stay!

There are additionally several “landscape games” that went with portrait belongings. Right here is an instance under (the developer also selected to have branding very current in the video):

This seems to be true especially in the On line casino category (e.g. Double Win Casino, Scatter Slots, Coronary heart of Vegas, Infinity Slots, and so on.).

How many App Preview videos in your recreation?

Sadly there isn’t a one answer to this query. But let’s begin by taking a look at what number of video games in the prime 100 have multiple App Preview video:

How Many App PreviewsSupply: US App Retailer (as of January 28, 2019)

Though we will assume most prime games have examined video vs. no video, it is unlikely that they’ve all tested outcomes with one, two or three videos.

Here too Splitmetrics shared their impressions: 1 video is right. The 2nd video is usually watched less, and the 3rd video is nearly never watched.

For those who do select to have several videos, make sure that they provide totally different content material. Tremendous Mario Run is a moderately good instance:

Consistency between video and screenshots

That is in all probability less essential for games than it’s for apps but needless to say your App Retailer listing ought to feel like one thing. It shouldn’t be all over the place design-wise.

Because of this, it’s a good suggestion to think about using the similar sort of copy fashion or belongings in your video and your screenshots like in the Tropicats video under that we produced:

This is available in notably useful when choosing your App Preview poster body.

App Preview video structure and content

The appropriate App Preview Poster Frame

The poster frame is the identify that Apple gave to the video thumbnail that’s displayed earlier than the video autoplays.

Additionally it is displayed for those who turned off autoplay of their settings, or when a video above or under is enjoying in the search results.

Why are we putting this inside the structure and content material section? As a result of this poster frame has to be a part of the video itself (one in every of the video frames), so you need to plan for it when creating the video.

It ought to subsequently not be missed, especially since when you add your video, it replaces (if just for a fraction of a second) what would have been a screenshot.

In your portrait poster frame (for a portrait video), you need to be certain that it goes nicely together with your first two screenshots since they are displayed together.

Bricks n Balls Video Thumbnail

For panorama videos, you want your poster body to convey as much as potential.

An fascinating development is to separate the poster body in 3 sections, identical to if it was three screenshots (see instance under).

You possibly can see many extra examples of excellent poster frames (and some fails) in addition to App Preview poster frames greatest practices here.

Video period

So how lengthy should your App Preview video be?

Let’s start by taking a look at video period amongst the prime 200 free video games and prime 200 paid video games that have no less than one video.

App Preview DurationSource: AppTweak

It’s fascinating to notice the difference of period between free and paid video games. Exhausting to know what this is due to for positive, however we will think about that developers of paid video games need to present as much as potential of the app of their video.

So why doesn’t everyone reap the benefits of the full 30 seconds that Apple permits to have for an App Preview?

It’s because App Store guests often do not watch the full video.

We unfortunately wouldn’t have official knowledge from the App Store (there are not any video metrics out there) however the A/B testing instruments do.

Splitmetrics signifies (from exams on their platforms) that the average view time for the first App Preview is 10-12 seconds and that brief videos performs greatest.

Storemaven says (additionally from analyzing periods on their testing platform) that the common watch time amongst all app categories (so not recreation specific) is just 4-6.5 seconds.

In fact this counts people who solely barely watch the video at all, so you shouldn’t neglect anything in your video.

However because of these stats, we advocate to hold your recreation’s App Preview video as close as attainable to 15-20 seconds.

Nevertheless we all know this is REALLY arduous to do.

Should you can’t get yourself to have a video that brief on your App Retailer presence, then needless to say all the things after 10 seconds will in all probability not be seen by many.

It is best to no less than make it possible for your video begins robust and the whole lot important is claimed throughout the first 3 seconds.

The primary 3 video seconds

We know we’re repeating ourselves, but identical to for an ad the first couple of seconds of your video are essential.

They don’t seem to be only the first impression, they decide if guests hold watching your video and have interaction together with your App Retailer listing (or obtain the app for decisive users).

That’s why until you’ve a really robust model, it is best to not present a emblem or app icon at the start of your video. And even in case you do have a robust brand, this is perhaps better accomplished with the App Preview poster frame anyway.

We advocate that you simply avoid beginning your Video with a splash display, countdown, or even App Icon – StoreMaven

Even individuals which might be looking for a selected sort of recreation on the App Retailer (or a competitor of yours) and have intent are going to be scrolling pretty fast on the search outcomes. You subsequently want to begin with the greatest part of your recreation, what’s the most visually compelling and/or what makes it totally different.

Between your App Preview poster frame and these first three seconds, individuals should give you the chance to describe what your recreation is.

Do you have to use copy?

iOS App Store videos autoplay in mute.

Again, no official knowledge from the App Retailer on how many individuals unmute the video.

Our guesstimate? 98% of individuals never hear the sound of your video.

The truth is, in two advanced metrics evaluation we’ve seen from Storemaven, the one for the app had an unmute price under zero.3% and the one for the informal recreation was at 0%!

So briefly: do not depend on sound to get your point across.

We still all the time add a music to the videos we produce, and listening to the gameplay (or added) SFX is a pleasant to have. But for that particular use (on the iOS App Retailer), it really doesn’t matter that much.

That is the place using text may be very fascinating: individuals gained’t miss it.

App Preview Video Text vs No TextSource: US App Store (as of January 28, 2019)

A number of games do not use any copy of their videos, and these are principally easy casual video games. Typically these video games have already got some textual content within the gameplay, like Polysphere for instance.

We’re not advocating to have tons of text either: you need to maintain it ultra brief (a few phrases every time) and never all the time current.

This may be executed by overlaying text in your gameplay, the similar method you’d on your screenshots.

Or this may be completed using text interstitials (screens with text), that are additionally a approach to deliver some dynamism to your videos (and a few customized designs and animations that mirror your recreation’s environment).

Gameplay vs. animations

This brings us to the precise content of your video.

What do you have to show from your recreation in that limited time? Cinematic sequences, recreation menu, gameplay?

What we advocate here is to maintain your App Preview video principally targeted on displaying gameplay, as it’s Apple’s intention with videos to let developers give an summary of the precise app experience.

At this point in the consumer journey you additionally don’t want to deceive players (ever actually, but much more so as soon as on the App Store vs. in advertisements). So it’s good to show what your recreation is made off.

But since you’re displaying principally gameplay doesn’t imply you possibly can’t make it thrilling.

First, you want to present fast cuts of the absolute best gameplay. It’s good to go “gradually” on individuals so don’t solely show difficult ranges from your recreation: give them enough time to understand what this seems like once they begin enjoying (take a look at Run Sausage Run on the App Store).

You may as well use zooms (fairly) to focus the viewer’s eye to a selected part or remove distractions. This may be effective especially when the video is shown in small in the search outcomes.

And as we’ve seen you possibly can add copy or textual content interstitials. On these text screens, you possibly can have a special background or add character belongings that present the recreation’s environment.

Kung Fu Panda Video Text Screen

Text display of an App Preview we produced for Kung Fu Panda

If characters are an essential a part of your recreation, you possibly can create a brief scene with several characters over a selected background.

Battlelands characters

If maps and building is a vital a part of your recreation, you possibly can present one thing shut to a timelapse with things being added shortly.

Needless to say technically, Apple needs App Preview videos to show the actual true expertise. So these enhancements are a gray area, and it’s good to have a backup plan and nonetheless principally show gameplay.

What about video loopability?

Your app trailers on the iOS App Retailer are performed in loop:

  • On the product web page;
  • In the search outcomes as long as there’s not an app under yours that also have a video, through which case the video of that app starts enjoying at the finish of yours.

Given the variety of video games with a video, the latter can happen so much (instance under).

With average view time estimated between Four.5 and 12 seconds, it doesn’t appear actually fascinating to put in place intelligent methods to make your video loopable so that there’s continuity between its finish and its begin.

You’re higher off placing your efforts elsewhere. Until what you want to do is for instance a loop of 5 seconds of video.

Localizing your video

Do you have to localize your recreation’s App Preview video(s)?

It will depend on your recreation, its class/niche and your customers.

In case you’ve already localized your App Retailer listing, including your screenshots, then when you validate that your App Preview videos assist conversion in one language (e.g. English) you need to localize the video in the foremost languages.

When you haven’t but localized your App Store listing, then think about the following stat: Storemaven’s knowledge show that the CVR raise gained from localizing app retailer belongings reaches up to 26%.

How to select the proper nations? Listed here are a number of steps you possibly can take:

  1. Examine the place your users are from – start with your personal iTunes stats. Do you see a language/nation after your primary one that stands out, from a download perspective or even higher and engagement/monetization perspective?
  2. Verify where users from comparable games are – to do this you need to use an ASO or Intelligence knowledge software. With a few of them you’ll be able to even get a sense of income per country;
  3. Examine the localized App Store listings of the apps that you simply identifies (Storemaven ASO toolbox’s Chrome Extension is ideal for that, and the AppTweak ASO Chrome Extension also allows you to change nations easily).

This is what we do for our prospects and shoppers to determine localization alternatives for his or her App Store belongings.

A low proficiency in English for a language the place potential appears huge is one other indicator.

English proficiencyA couple of examples of countries with average proficiency

You may also in fact when step additional and “culturalize” your App Retailer belongings, from screenshots to video. Individuals in several nations (e.g. US vs. Japan vs. India) certainly react in a different way and are used to various things. Right here is an fascinating submit on the matter.

How to A/B check your App Preview video?

You’ve produced the App Preview on your recreation.

Now you need to analyze its influence, and ideally to additionally work out ways to optimize the video (and poster body) itself in the future.

There isn’t a good answer, but under are a few choices.

Pre-post iTunes Join analysis

Apple doesn’t permit you (but?) to A/B check creatives on the App Store.

So to analyze the influence of your video, you’ve gotten to take a look at totally different metrics in iTunes Analytics and examine them before vs. after adding the video.

Take a look at the submit above for a detailed information however briefly you want to examine:

  • “Click-Through-Rate”: Impressions -> Product Page views
  • Conversion Price:
    • Impressions -> App Models
    • Product Web page views -> App Models

Unfortunately, there are not any superior video metrics in iTunes Analytics either so that you’re just about left to your personal conclusions when it comes to enhancing your video.

Apple Search Advertisements Artistic Sets

Through the use of Creatives Units in Apple Search Advertisements, you will get knowledge from Apple for various videos (in case you have several App Previews in your itemizing, relying on their orientation).

A/B testing platforms

App Retailer A/B testing platforms “recreate” a cellular net page that simulates your App Store itemizing.

You then run paid visitors (often Facebook Advertisements) to that page, so you possibly can analyze potential users’ conduct.

Right here is extra details about how to A/B check with Splitmetrics.

Splitmetrics vs. Storemaven

We’re not going to inform you our choice, as we’ve heard great things about each platforms.

Both supply a free demo, so it is best to see them by your self and discover the greatest match in your recreation and finances.

What to check

What’s superior about these instruments is that they may give you not solely conversion fee knowledge, but in addition exploration knowledge (e.g. exploration knowledge like page scroll, gallery scroll, video views, and so on.).

Additionally they supply superior video metrics, together with video engagement metrics so now you can the place individuals drop off in your video.

This could be a bit overwhelming, so it is best to go step-by-step:

  • Video vs. no video – see if including your App Preview video to your App Retailer itemizing increases conversion;
  • Video content – your video leads to an analogous or improved conversion price? It is best to work out what makes viewers convert by leveraging advanced video metrics so you possibly can check new variations. If video does not enhance conversion, take a look at the metrics to see what could possibly be improved as properly. This could also help you determine which elements of the video you must hold when making an attempt to make it brief (close to 15-20 seconds);
  • Video poster frame – upon getting your video found out, attempt A/B testing the video poster frame;
  • Video orientation – you may also attempt a video orientation that’s totally different out of your recreation or screenshots’ orientation, and see how this impacts conversion. Hold the video content material as comparable as attainable (you’ll have to change your App Preview poster frame to some extent);
  • Video amount – you’ll be able to check adding other videos to your listing (up to three videos).

One other factor you’ll be able to attempt is having 2 or three videos (App Preview #1 and App Preview #2) which have a unique orientation, since their placements are going to be totally different like in the Coin Dozer video (cf. example in the “Video orientation” part).

What you possibly can’t know sadly is how video(s) influence your new consumer’s engagement together with your recreation. Nevertheless until the video is deceiving it’s probably that seeing your recreation in action “educates” gamers on its value added and improves the on-boarding expertise and subsequently retention.

Conclusion

We went by way of the present practices from prime games when it comes to video, and most of them have a video.

When you determine to create a video there are several issues that it is best to think about from Apple’s tips to your video orientation and of course the video content itself. Taking a look at how prime builders strategy these is beneficial and we also offer you pointers, developments and issues to take note.

To go additional, we advocate you to get began and check your video’s impression.

Did we overlook any issues for someone that’s creating an App Preview for a recreation? Let us know in the feedback!

Sylvain Gauchet

Hi there, I’m Sylvain and I’m one in every of the co-founders of Apptamin. Apptamin is a artistic company specialised in app videos (video advertisements, app retailer videos, and so on.) where we find partaking methods to current cellular apps and games so our shoppers can either improve their conversion rates or improve their consumer acquisition.

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