Assuming your app is not for an internal business need such as sales enablement or improving operational efficiency, more than 60% of downloads among retail app users come from people that are actively searching inside app stores such as Google Play or the App Store. In that regard, data shows that a well produced preview may significantly boost app downloads. A succinct video with great content is helpful and effective at projecting a compelling display that may tend to convert people from active browsers to active users.
New App Discovery Methods By Rank (According to Forrester):
- General Browsing in App Store (focus here first to boost app downloads)
- Speaking with Friends and Family
- Browsing “top rated” apps list within app store
- App is pre-installed on device upon purchase
- Social networking
- General web browsing and on any given website
- SERPs (search engine results page)
- Traditional newspaper or magazine ad
- Blog entries
The Video Has To Communicate Value
To effectively boost app downloads, it’s notable that an app preview clip requires more than just a quick screen video of the app in action. When a potential user is taking time to look at your app listing, consider that you have just a series of seconds (minutes if you’re lucky) to engage that person and this short clip is the first major asset towards encouraging that download. As such, every variable that goes into this is important and should be given consideration. Messaging within the call to action, color selections in the background, foreground, and in text, as well as value propositions inclusive of app features that are highlighted within the first seconds will be the difference between a couple hundred and perhaps several thousand conversions.
Quick Points To Consider As You Create a Strategy to Boost App Downloads
In line with Apple’s requirements and set of best practices, you’re dealing with a “nail that sticks out will be hammered down” type of philosophy. With that, know that if your app distribution platform, for whatever reason, declines to accept your app posting, the app will not appear in search results and it will basically exist in the unknown, never to be seen sector of Keanu’s Matrix.
As is the case with any app, whether it is ultimately downloaded by the world or a small community, before the app gets a live listing within your store or stores of choice, a member of that platform’s team will review and scrutinize your download package and marketing collateral, including the great preview video you produce, to ensure that it meets all tech specs and posted creative standards. On the Apple site in particular, developers are warned and instructed not to publish previews that are irrelevant to app content, features, and functionality, also encouraging development, creative, and marketing teams to produce previews that utilize actual screen captures and if possible, in app sound effects or voice-overs that may help demonstrate what the app offers.
An Example of Digital Meets Mobile
When working with apps, unspoken rules and regulations ultimately make the greatest difference and sometimes your preview with the bells and whistles inclusive of that sales sizzle content is best hosted on your “brochure” style website directing users to the app store or Google Play for download. Aside from your app store listing, you can boost app downloads by utilizing a more encompassing digital strategy and a great example of this is displayed by Rovio in regard to their hugely popular Angry Birds game. Notice how they utilize social media and video content to create buzz in addition to a well crafted website geared towards cultivating a community of followers and users.
Apple Best Practices That Mitigate Risk of App Store Rejection:
- Use QuickTime Player to capture the native resolution of the UI
- Transitions between scenes should be simple (ex: basic fade and/or dissolve patterns) to ensure that the preview is not misrepresenting the UX
- Have a high ratio of in-app video versus event scenes to not misrepresent UX… ie: The preview is not a commercial that shows a user having a blast.
- Stay away from animations that don’t exist in the app and try to generally provide just POV shots
- Ensure that your orientation is properly cut in alignment with your app and per Apple or Google requirements (landscape vs. portrait)
Apple is pretty strict when it comes to their app store and even getting a developer account with them compared to Google is more cumbersome. In Apple’s case, they are all about a good representation of what the app offers and generally strive to steer away from portrayals of user experience. In this case, save the awesome user experience portrayals for YouTube and perhaps mainstream television. As mentioned previously, Google Play is more flexible and makes marketing a little more easy in terms of flex of what is or is not accepted. Google Play sets forth a series of guidelines, which honestly do not have a great deal of restrictions outside of video length, being between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. If Google has a problem with your content, they will generally get back to you after the fact and with a short explanation.
Simple Basic Points to Keep In Mind
We know that previews of anything, just like a pre-rental trailer on your Apple TV, help boost engagement and encourage people to move in the direction that you’re shooting for. When it comes to any effort to boost app downloads, take steps to produce a great video that adheres to Apple and/or Google specifications to boost your conversion rates and do so with a multi-faceted approach inclusive of traditional web content and potentially social media and traditional marketing if you’re well funded. The more highly downloaded your app may be, the better you will rank in the app store search (just like any search engine) and see the results you’re after. Some general ways to get maximum exposure and encourage measurable growth:
- Create engaging video content for the app store; Leverage that and pack in the value according to best practices
- Utilize a group of app beta testers. Optimize the app based on their feedback and rely on them to be your app evangelists
- Create more sales themed, sizzle video content for use on your website and YouTube portraying a favorable user experience
- Syndicate your content to social media so as to yield more shares than not among diverse (or targeted) networks
- Depending on your cash flow situation and monetization goals, consider utilizing an affiliate network and pay marketers on a CPI (cost per install) basis
- Understand that your app must be fast (100 millisecond load times), rarely/never crash, and perform well.
- Great performance and solid user experiences will yield good ratings in the app store.
- Negative reviews specific to your app will bring pain when analyzing downloads.
- Utilize your data to determine what retention and engagement metrics look and optimize to avoid users that “install, open once, and forget”
Developing a business mobile strategy and devising ways to boost app downloads may seem like a daunting task. At SevenTablets, we have the knowledge and experience to smoothly guide you through the process and we’re pleased to help our clients find considerable value from technology. Contact us today to learn about the attributes of a solution partner in a bullet proof mobile strategy.
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Adam cultivated the creation of an industry leading $300M affiliate program and also worked as a marketing consultant on the start-up team of a now publicly traded commercial energy brokerage firm. He was one of the first media buyers on Facebook, and also among the first to work in the SAG-AFTRA New Media (WebTV) industry, serving the online commercial and content needs of major Hollywood studios.
Adam holds a BA from Southern Methodist University and a MS in International Marketing Management from Boston University.
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