Need help creating an app promo video for a mobile game?
You’ve come to the right place!
With this knowledge, you’ll be creating professional app promo videos in no time.
Here’s what’s included in this extensive guide:
- The process of creating app promo videos
- Tips for creating the perfect promo video for a mobile game
- Analysis of good app promo videos
- Google Play and App Store video requirements
But first, let’s start with why are promo videos such a big deal.
The Importance of Mobile Game App Store Promo Videos
As you probably know, Google Play and Apple’s App Store are the main places where users search for mobile games. App store listings contain all the important information about a mobile game (including name, description, screenshots, videos, etc.), which helps users decide whether or not to download it.
However, out of all app store page elements, app promo videos are the most important.
While a mobile game’s name and description can tell you a lot about the game (its features and benefits), it’s hard to get any real sense of the game.
“What about images?”, I hear you ask.
Yes, screenshots and graphics can represent a game in a visual way to some extent, but they’re simply not as effective as promo videos. So while it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures.
Let me explain.
When users are choosing a mobile game to download and play, they want a taste of the game experience. They want to see gameplay, get a sense of the main game mechanics, goals, characters, story, etc.
It’s hard to portray all of that in a couple of images – video is a much better format for that.
I bet you got hooked on an app promo video at least once and decided to download a mobile game because of it.
A good promo video has the power to convert users right away.
We’ll go deeper into that in the following section.
The Main Benefits of App Promo Videos
If you’re still not convinced that you need an app promo video for your mobile game, take a look at these benefits.
It’s the Perfect Way to Present a Mobile Game
As it was mentioned before, app promo videos are perfect for showing off the best features of your mobile game. According to Mobile Action, more than 50% of top mobile games have a promo video.
A good promo video is fun, engaging, and intriguing.
In less than a minute, you can give potential players all the information they need. In other words, they can get an accurate sense of the game experience. Depending on the game, you can show off different storylines, characters, missions, levels, achievements, and game design.
For gamers, these are the deciding factors when choosing which game to download. That’s what makes app promo videos so effective.
It Boosts Conversions
By far the best thing about promotional videos is their ability to influence users to download a game.
So not only can a promo video showcase your game in the best light, but it also drives conversions. According to StoreMaven, a good video can increase conversion rates by 40%!
Our experience in marketing mobile games tells us that games with a promo video in their app store listing get more downloads. That’s what makes promo videos an invaluable part of any user acquisition strategy.
It Attracts High-Quality Users and Gets You More Engagement Post-Install
The benefits of app promo videos don’t stop at getting you more installs. They also have a positive post-install impact.
Let me explain what I mean by that.
Since promo videos do a great job of explaining the main features of the game before users even download it, they attract high-quality users. Those are the users who tend to be very engaged with a game, have good retention, and are more likely to make in-app purchases.
It makes sense if you think about it.
Let’s say you download a mobile game just based on a description and some images, you don’t have a real sense of what that game is about. When you first start playing it, you might have trouble understanding how to play the game and how to engage with it further. Ultimately, you might decide that game is not really for you and lose interest.
On the other hand, when you download a game after you have watched a promo video, that is less likely to happen. You go into the game already knowing what it is about – you’re familiar with game mechanics, characters, storylines, goals, etc. That makes you more engaged with the game right from the start. Moreover, you’re more likely to have an emotional connection with the game as well as decide to spend on in-app purchases.
For that reason, app promo videos result in better engagement and user retention, as well as boost revenue.
5 Examples of Good Mobile Game App Promo Videos
To further illustrate why app promo videos are so effective for acquiring users and how they should look, let’s go through some examples.
1. Roblox App Promo Video
This promo video is fast-paced and exciting, just like the game can be. There’s a fair share of real gameplay footage which gives potential players a good idea of what the game is all about.
Additionally, all of the best game features are highlighted, i.e. things that make Roblox special and unique. There’s a big emphasis on the social and communal aspect of the game, as well as on the infinite possibilities this game offers.
Both footage and captions represent these game features – “Play and chat with friends,” “Be anything you can imagine”.
The CTA “Join now” can be found at the end of the video, as is most common, and invites players to join this unique community of gamers.
2. RAID: Shadow Legends
While this promotional video has a cinematic feel, it still uses in-game assets, which is good. It gives the viewers a fair representation of how the game really looks like.
Furthermore, the main game features are showcased. We can see RAID: Shadow Legend’s PVP fights and boss battles, as well as meet the main characters and factions.
When it comes to audio, there’s a voiceover and suspenseful music. However, the video is also effective on mute as well.
Overall, the video is attention-grabbing, intriguing, and exciting, which is the perfect recipe for an app promo video.
At the end of the video, there’s only the RAID: Shadow Legends logo, but no CTA, which is a missed opportunity.
Homescapes’ promo video includes in-game footage, which is good considering Playrix is famous for misleading ads. Furthermore, it does a good job of showcasing both aspects of the game – match-3 puzzles and interior design.
However, the latter is more emphasized. It shows you all the possibilities when it comes to home renovation, which serves as an incentive for players to download it.
Another good thing about this video is that it has the same feel as the game. That’s really important because it gives viewers a taste of the game experience.
There’s a unique call to action at the end of the video – “What will YOUR home look like?” It’s more specific than “Play now” or “Download”. It invites viewers to design their own unique home, which is the USP of this game.
4. Zombie Catchers: Catch the Dead
This minute-long app promo video starts off with a couple of animated scenes that serve the purpose of grabbing the viewer’s attention right away. The intro is fun, humorous, and makes you want to continue watching.
Then it moves on to actual game footage and in-game assets.
As surf music plays, you get to see all kinds of gameplay action. Most importantly, chasing and killing zombies. However, you can also see a couple of different game locations like the swamp and the beach.
Additionally, you can see how to make your own business in Zombie Catchers.
Overall, the promo video for Zombie Catchers is light, fun, and casual, just like the game. In the outro, there’s a classic CTA (Play free).
5. My Story: Choose Your Own Path
Finally, let’s take a look at a promo video for a storytelling game – My Story: Choose Your Own Path.
The way storytelling games showcase the game experience is by including in-game assets and choice-based narratives in the video. After all, those are the main game features.
There are several different storylines portrayed – fake pregnancy, cheating, and revenge stories. All of them are enticing attention grabbers that will make users download this game.
At the end of the video, “Choose your own path!” is a part of the game title and an effective call to action, all in one.
If you want to learn how to make these types of promo videos, head on to the next section.
The Process of Creating an App Promo Video for a Mobile Game
Here’s a simple guide that describes the basic process of creating a promo video.
If you never created an app promo video, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed and have no idea how to begin.
As with anything in marketing, the best place to start is market research – it’s a shortcut to success.
- Thorough research of the mobile game market, with a focus on a specific game genre
- Identifying creative trends
- Analyzing competitors and identifying what works or doesn’t work for them
- Target audience research
Start by understanding the current state of the mobile game market, especially the particular genre your game belongs to. What types of games are out there, which game studios are the most successful and why, what type of marketing strategies are effective, etc.
Then move on to competitor research.
Competitor Research/Identifying Creative Trends
Start by making a list of your main competitors – those will be successful game studios and games in your genre.
Once you have identified your competitors, head to Google Play and Apple’s App Store and start analyzing their app store pages.
Focus on their app promo videos, but also consider other aspects of your competitors’ app store listing (game title, icon, description, screenshots, etc.). It will give you a better idea of what works for them.
When analyzing competitors’ promo videos, you can use the same technique we used in the previous section to dissect those five videos. Consider the type of footage that was used, CTA’s, hooks, visual style, music, etc.
That type of analysis will help you identify the strategies and techniques your competitors use to intrigue users. Furthermore, it will allow you to determine what are the current creative trends.
Other useful tools for competitor research are intelligence platforms. You can also use Facebook’s Ads Library to check out video ads from your competitors.
Target Audience Research
In order to create a winning app promo video, you also need to know what type of players are you trying to attract.
This largely depends on the type of game you have. For example, if you have a casual game, you need to understand who casual gamers are and what appeals to them.
Furthermore, you need to identify the age, gender, and location of your target audience as well as their interests and behaviors.
This will help you make better-informed decisions when creating a promo video because you’ll know exactly who you’re targeting.
Let’s say your main audience is women in their 30s, from the US, who are casual gamers. Your promo video should reflect that and speak to that particular audience.
Once you’ve done extensive market research and feel comfortable with proceeding, it’s time to write a video script.
In essence, an app promo video script is an outline or a storyboard – a scene-by-scene written version of the video. It needs to include visual aspects of each scene (you can describe the audio as well). Also, consider how many seconds you spend on each scene.
The purpose of writing a video script is to map out how the video will look and what it’ll include. It also serves as a guide for your video production team.
When writing a script, consider the main game benefits & features, your target audience, and what you want to achieve with the video.
You can read more about writing an app promo video script here – we explain it in detail.
When the video scripts are written, it’s time to send them to your video production team. It’s a good idea to have a meeting and go over how the video should look.
When creating the promo video, the video production team should take into consideration competitors as well as the script.
And when we say video, we mean videos – you need more than one video for split testing.
For more guidance on how to create the perfect promo video, make sure to carefully read the section below.
10 Tips for Creating a Winning App Promo Video for a Mobile Game
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.
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.
Your App Promo Video is Done – Now What?
If you think your work here is done, I’m sorry to tell you – you’re wrong. This is only the beginning.
Once you have made multiple killer videos, it’s time to test and optimize them.
Here’s how you do it.
On Google, there are built-in tests you can do with Google Experiments. You can split test promo video vs. no promo video, and test different video versions. There is no such option in Apple’s App Store. However, you can also use third-party testing platforms and different ASO tools.
Begin by split testing a couple of promo videos.
In Google Experiments, you can choose between a global and localized test. The former will show the test to all users and the latter will show it only to a specific language group.
What’s important for A/B testing is that you have a big enough sample size, i.e., the volume of users that come to your app store page. We recommend at least 1,000 users. That ensures your test is scientifically significant.
Once you have enough data, you’ll be able to determine what works and what doesn’t.
Here’s an example of a Google Experiments test we have done for Bubbu – My Virtual Pet.
We tested three promo video variants against the current version and these are the results.
As you can see, the third video variation didn’t perform well. However, the first and the second did, the latter one being the winner.
Time to Optimize
What you do next is take the video that works and create multiple variations of that winning video. What you need to do is make small modifications like adding new intros, changing the video text, or CTA.
You can also try different visual identities or focus on different hooks.
Just make sure your A/B tests are done systematically and that you have good data to base your decisions on.
The most important metric to regularly follow is, of course, the conversion rate. It shows you the percentage of people who have downloaded the game.
On Google Play, you should check Acquisition Reports. It shows you conversion data for organic downloads. On iOS, you can check out Analytics to see conversion data. For videos on Google Play, you can also track YouTube analytics to see how your video performed.
App Promo Video Requirements and Restrictions (Android & iOS)
To finish off this guide, we’re going to go through the most important requirements, restrictions, and app store policies.
Additionally, we’re highlighting a couple of differences between Google and Apple promo videos.
Here’s what you need to know.
App Promo Video Dimensions
Google Play store uses YouTube for promo videos. That means you should use the standard 16:9 aspect ratio and recommended dimensions of at least 1920×1080.
When it comes to Apple’s App Store, video dimensions and orientation depend on the device and can vary. Keep in mind that if a promo video on iOS has a portrait orientation, it is shown next to two screenshots. However, if it’s in landscape orientation, then it takes up the full width of the gallery.
App Promo Video Length
On Google Play, there are no restrictions when it comes to length. However, it is recommended that you keep promo videos short – 30 to 50 seconds is the sweet spot.
On Apple, the video length needs to be between 15-30 seconds. So keep it short.
The Difference Between Google Play and Apple’s App Store Promo Videos
Here are the most important differences you should take into consideration.
While promo videos on Apple’s App Store are shown in the search results, that’s not the case for Google Play.
However, “some sections of the Play Store show groups of recommended games in a large format featuring promo videos that drives higher conversion rate compared to just showing your app icon”, according to Google.
Furthermore, Google Play allows you to have 1 video, while Apple allows you to have 3. Promo videos on Apple are auto-played (but are mute) in the search results, but on Google Play, a user needs to click play a video.
Another interesting difference is that videos on iOS need Apple’s approval – you don’t need approval from Google.
Important Apple App Store Policies for Promo Videos
When it comes to video content, Apple requires that promo videos show real gameplay footage. That means no live action (people interacting with a phone), or animations (footage that doesn’t represent the actual game).
Since videos on iOS are auto-played on mute, it is recommended that you use captions.
Important Google Play Policies for Promo Videos
For Google Play, there are no strict content restrictions. However, it is recommended that promo videos depict an authentic in-game experience – that makes it more likely to be promoted on Google Play. Furthermore, videos showing devices that are not Android are discouraged.
This should go without saying – keep away from any copyright infringement. That goes for both Google and Apple.
Creating the perfect app promo video for a mobile game is everything but easy. For best results, you need a big team of people who know what they’re doing.
If you find you’re struggling, feel free to reach out – we specialize in creating app promo videos.
Not only do we have years of experience in mobile game marketing, but we also have an incredible team of talented video producers, copywriters, and marketing experts.