How To Create App Marketing Videos That Convert: Interview With Sylvain Gauchet

93% of marketers use video for online marketing, sales or communication, based on a Syndacast research on video marketing trends 2015. It also stated that 69% of smartphone users rely on marketing videos to make their purchase decisions.

No doubt, videos help convert better as they provide a more attractive way to grab the attention of the customer, what with the attention spans becoming shorter and shorter.

A good reference is the sheer success of video streaming platforms and closer home, look at your own Facebook timeline for the number of videos that are now being shared and consumed.

Continuing our Interview series at App Inspiration by Arkenea, I spoke to Sylvain Gauchet about leveraging video marketing to build traction for your mobile app. I discussed in detail the components of app marketing videos, different formats such as animated marketing videos, ways of using videos, and getting conversions through them.

Sylvain Gauchet is the co-founder of Apptamin and App2Video, and is very experienced in the mobile marketing field. Apptamin can help developers promote their apps through videos. App2Video is a new tool allowing app developers and entrepreneurs to easily produce their own app videos.

What makes app preview videos contribute to conversions and how does one measure and track the performance? Can you share statistics/case study from the 300+ videos that you’ve produced?

Sylvain: Video in general is a good way to convey your message and get someone to download your app, while letting them know what to expect and already ‘educating’ them about it. Apple allows developers to have App Previews for their app on the App Store since September 2014, and we’ve indeed produced a lot of them.

At the moment, Apple doesn’t allow A/B testing on the App Store (kudos to Google for almost being there on that one) so it’s hard to truly assess the impact of the App Previews when it comes to conversion. What I can tell you is that our clients keep them on their apps’ pages.

Also, it’s very important to choose the ‘poster frame’ of the app preview carefully and to test it. Same thing here, not easy on the App Store.

We’re currently working on some case studies with companies like OneTwoSplit and SplitMetrics to test this out. By setting up ‘fake app store pages’, it allows to assess the impact of both the app preview and poster frame. Some poster frames give 80% better conversions than others!

What are the components that help put together a well-made app explainer video?

Sylvain: The first thing to do is to plan it. You can’t just plug in your device and start capturing footage.

Write the outline of the scenario, and make sure it fits in 30 seconds without being too rushed: you know your app very well, but potential users on your app page don’t.

A good starting point is your app store description, as you’ve probably spent some time already crafting your message there. But 30 seconds being short, you might not be able to fit everything and you’ll have to stick to the essential and what’s truly unique about your app. For App Previews, an intro with your app icon is not really needed as people are already on your app’s page so it’s enough to keep that for the call to action at the end.

Once you’ve defined the flow of your video, you need to figure out how to display the most relevant content possible. If you have a cooking app for example, show the best and most appealing recipes. You don’t want to show an app as it would be when you have no content created yet, you want potential users to see how it would look if they were active users.

When everything is defined, you can start capturing. An iPhone 6 Plus will give you the best resolution and in most cases you can scale down the video for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5/5S resolutions when exporting the video.

Edit everything together, keep things simple and make sure you respect Apple’s guidelines and advices.

There are many different formats of creating an interesting video and am sure one technique doesn’t fit all. What techniques would you suggest for different types of apps?

Sylvain: This is true especially if we go beyond App Previews (that are specific to the App Store and mostly based on captured footage which is so simpler), because there are more possibilities.

Some apps require putting things into context so people really understand the ‘magic part’ and added value.

Let’s say you have an app that lets you discover things happening nearby, then quickly going through use case(s) can help understand it. This can be done either using motion design or live video with actors. If you take a look at this video, a short intro puts things into context before showing the app: you walk around and receive local offers.

Some apps like real-time photo sharing apps are only really useful when used by several people at the same time (on different devices). So showing the interaction between devices is better. Same thing goes for apps that are used with connected objects: it’s better if you can show that interaction.

For games, it’s going to be more about telling the story, showing the game universe and displaying exciting gameplay. In this video, you can see some gameplay but also the characters in the game and the back story.

(Almost) every app is different, so you have to figure out the best way to present it in video, which can vary depending on what channel you use and your goals.

What are the other ways app developers can use videos (apart from app preview videos) to build traction for their mobile apps?

Sylvain: Video is a great way to show what’s unique about your app in a few seconds. So there are multiple ways to use it, including

  • App Store (App Previews) and Google Play store (+ other stores with video like Amazon) – the goal here is to give a quick overview of the app so people are compelled to download it, while already getting a good idea of the product they are going to use (so they can enjoy the added value faster).
  • Video ads – on YouTube (TrueView mobile app campaigns), Facebook and specialized networks like Chartboost, Vungle, AppLovin, etc. Here you often have a shorter format (15 to 20 seconds) and you have to keep things very dynamic, quickly showing what the app looks like and end with a strong call to action. Like in this video.
  • Reaching out to bloggers/journalists/influencers – rather than sending people a long text/email, keep things short and include a YouTube link in your email. If they have Gmail, they can read it straight from the email. So make it easy on them!
  • Website – if you have a landing page for your app, it’s a great place to A/B test if adding your video helps conversions.

Can you give examples (with links) to some of the best app videos that you’ve seen so far?

Sylvain: Here is an App Preview we’ve done that I think works well.

This video from Snapchat is good, because it shows a new feature. It’s a marketing video yet seeing the app in action allows users to quickly understand how to use it.

This one is a good game trailer too, a good mix of showing both the atmosphere of a game and what the gameplay looks like.

The Clash of Clans commercials are usually pretty cool. What’s nice for them is they are already super well known, so they can do those ads (like this one or this one) where it’s more about branding than letting people know what the game is like. You can see they’re just having fun.

Can growth hacks be applied to marketing with videos? If yes, can you share one/some that you are aren’t common knowledge yet?

Sylvain: One growth hack that comes to mind if we go beyond app videos is creating interesting video content for your audience and sharing it on YouTube or Facebook. And promote your app at some point in the video. This video for example has 4 million views on Facebook, and you’ll see that at 0:45 they have a screen showing off the app. If your app is built around video content, it makes things easier: for example we created an intro, outro and an in-app spot for the Tales with Gigi app (here is an example – in-app spot is around 0:40).