Here are the most important tips on what to include in an app promo video. By following this simple guide, you’ll create a winning video for a mobile game in no time.
Table of Contents
1. Never Mislead Players
When creating a promo video, many game studios think the goal is to hype it up, use crazy effects, and make the game look out of this world.
This is a very common mistake.
Granted, you want to show your game in the best light, but overhyping it usually has the opposite effect.
Here’s what I mean by that.
You have probably come across games that look spectacular in the app promo video. The graphics and visual effects are stunning – it seems like an incredible game.
Then you download it and realize that the game looks nothing like that and it’s actually quite basic and boring.
You’re disappointed and you delete the game.
This scenario happens so many times in the mobile gaming world, and it’s fascinating many studios still use this technique. It’s obvious that it leads to low engagement and poor user retention.
An example of this is the app promo video for Lords Mobile: Kingdom Wards. It is solely animation and has no real game footage.
Granted, this video looks fantastic – it makes the game seem exciting and better than all games in the genre. But it is very misleading which is something you find out once you download the game.
To avoid players getting disappointed after downloading the game and poor user retention, always use real gameplay footage in the app promo video.
When gamers watch videos in the app store, they want to get a true sense of how the game looks and what it’s about. They’re not interested in misleading and deceptive cinematic scenes that are animated.
That doesn’t mean you simply add gameplay footage and call it a day – you can use visual effects and other assets that will make the video more interesting and exciting. However, the main element, or the foundation of the video, should be authentic gameplay footage.
A good example of this is a promo video from Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade. This video achieves a good balance between real gameplay footage and some animated scenes.
Furthermore, you should avoid scenes of people playing the game – that’s best left for mobile game video ads.
2. Be Consistent – Follow the Same Visual Style
When you use assets that don’t belong to the game, make sure they fit the style of the game. The key here is to be consistent.
Above, you can see an example of a video that uses out-of-game assets that fit in well – the casino table and chips seen in the intro.
3. Impress First, Explain Later
Make the first part of the video grab attention of the viewers. In other words, impress first, explain later.
App stores tend to autoplay promos, that’s why your attention-grabbing beginning will be worth it.
Your video introduction is sometimes your only chance to grab somebody’s attention and also, a great opportunity to make a great first impression.
Imagine the situation where you’re meeting someone new, a partner, or a colleague. You want to make sure you are an interesting person and you take care of your visual appearance. It’s usually only the first few seconds that greatly influence how they feel about you and how they will perceive you later.
When it comes to videos, the intro is your chance to set yourself apart from your competition and show your uniqueness. Your intro can set the tone, expectations, and even the personality for the rest of the video.
To make an interesting intro, you can open with something sudden, a surprise element. Some games even go as far as using provocative messaging in order to attract attention. Now, this is a slippery slope because it can both easily attract players, but also easily drive them off.
So, always be careful about using risky trend tactics. You can also use sounds to your advantage here but have in mind that promo videos are mute by default, and the user will have to decide whether they want a sound or not.
It makes no sense to create an awesome promo video with a lame and boring intro. Users tend to have a very short attention span. If the beginning is not interesting, they will simply move on to the next game, before the impressive part of the video begins.
4. Include Game Features & Benefits
This one might seem obvious, but make sure to put the focus of your app promo video on the main game features and benefits.
This is your opportunity to win people over.
Explain why’s your mobile game special – what makes it better than other games in the genre? Furthermore, be clear about how the game works and what players can expect from it.
5. Use Video Hooks and Persuasion Techniques
Every promo video needs to have an interesting angle, something that will hook the users to continue watching and, finally, download the game.
Since persuasion is a big part of conversions, you might try some techniques like Cialdini’s principles. His 6 principles of influence are reciprocity, consistency, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity.
How does that relate to promo videos?
Well, an example of the social proof principle used in videos is, “Join millions of players on the battleground!”. That kind of messaging implies that there are millions of other gamers who are playing this game, so it must be amazing. It can also create FOMO, which is another great technique for boosting conversions. Or, try the trusted: “Are you still not playing(game)?”, which is also a good FOMO technique.
6. Include a Call to Action (CTA)
Since the goal of the app promo video is to convert users and thus increase downloads, don’t forget to include a CTA at the end of the video.
Common CTAs are “Play Now”, “Download”, “Install Game”. However, you can use others as well. Just make sure they correspond with the action you want users to make, which is to install and play your game.
7. Optimize Video for Mute Viewing
When creating an app store promo video, keep in mind that most people watch videos on mute. Plus, videos are auto-played on mute on Apple’s App Store.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include music or voiceovers, but make sure to use subtitles and captions. The point is to make the video completely clear and understandable even without audio.
8. Choose the Appropriate Video Length
Video length largely depends on the platform. Apple allows app previews of up to 30 seconds, while Google allows for longer videos.
However, even though an app promo video can be longer on Google, know that it’s harder to retain viewer attention with longer videos.
For that reason, we recommend that you stick with shorter videos. 30-45 seconds is usually more than enough to showcase a mobile game and convince people to download it.
9. Abide by App Store Guidelines
Another important tip we have for you is to follow the terms and conditions of both Google Play and Apple’s App Store. That means no inappropriate content, no scams, etc.
Furthermore, you need to make sure your promo video aligns with dimensions, lengths, and other app store requirements.
We’re going to go through these in detail at the end of the article, so make sure you stick around!
10. Turn Monetization Off
Our final tip is to turn monetization off. You don’t want an ad for another game to come up on your app store promo. Plus, it’s against app store policies – we’re going to talk about that more extensively later in the article.