app store video size

Why App Commercials are Different from Your Typical Marketing Video

This guest-post is courtesy of our partners at Sparkhouse.

In the iOS App Store, there are currently over 38,000 new apps released every month. That is some fierce competition, even for those running mobile app marketing campaigns. You have put in a lot of time, work, and effort to design and create your app, but how do you get people to get excited about it enough to download it?

Video is an effective way to get your app noticed and downloaded, allowing you to highlight, explain, and demonstrate each benefit and feature. Video testimonials from industry influencers can lend credibility to your app and get people excited about what it can do for them.

Apps Live in Two Worlds

Creating a video for the App Store or Google Play to promote your app is a bit different than producing a traditional marketing or promotional video. Each has its own guidelines and protocols for video content and your video needs to be flexible to adjust for optimization on both platforms.

Key differences between marketing videos for the App Store and Google Play include:

  • Videos on Google Play can run up to two minutes long, while App Store videos are limited to 30 seconds.
  • On Google Play, you are permitted to upload any pre-produced video content that may have been used for other uses and applications. Apple requires you to submit only videos that have been produced specifically for the App Store.
  • Google Play makes your video available and compatible with all kinds of devices, while App Store videos must be different for iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches.
  • Google Play allows for live-action footage, while Apple does not.

Benefits of App Video Marketing on Google Play

The Google Play Store allows you to add a video that will show up next to the app screenshots when viewed on a desktop computer. Mobile versions display a play button over the featured graphic.

Additional benefits and features of using Google Play to market your app with a video include:

  • Video views from Google Play count as views on YouTube, meaning the more views you get, the higher your ranking the video will receive on both YouTube and Google.
  • Google Play Store videos allow for localized videos, allowing you to post videos in different languages, expanding your reach throughout the globe.
  • If you are unable to translate your video into different languages, Google Play offers an option to create transcripts in different languages and add it to the YouTube video, where they will automatically be displayed depending on the user’s specific YouTube language settings.

Tips for App Video Marketing in Apple’s App Store

The App Store launched their App Preview to upload video promotions for your app. While App Preview videos are specific to each kind of device, you can now upload the highest resolution video and iTunes will convert it to a lower resolution automatically if you need.

Tips for using Apple’s App Store to market your app with a video include:

  • Videos can be up to 30 seconds in duration
  • Different videos are needed for different devices, such as iPhones and iPad apps
  • App Store videos should not look like or be presented as advertisements
  • Only one language allowed per iTunes entry
  • App Previews can also be created for Apple TV apps

App Preview Resolution Breakdowns

  • 5 Series
    • Native Resolution: 1136 x 640 (16:9)
    • Accepted Landscape Resolutions: 1920 x 1080 or 1136 x 640
    • Accepted Portrait Resolutions: 1080 x 1920 or 640 x 1136
  • iPad and iPad Pro
    • Native Resolution: 2048 x 1536 (4:3)
    • Accepted Landscape Resolutions: 1200 x 900 or 1600 x 1200
    • Accepted Portrait Resolutions: 900 x 1200 or 1200 x 1600
  • iPhone 6
    • Native Resolution: 1334 x 750
    • Accepted Landscape Resolutions: 1334 x 750
    • Accepted Portrait Resolutions: 750 x 1334
  • iPhone 6 Plus 
    • Native Resolution: 2208 x 1242 rendered pixels, 1920 x 1080 physical pixels
    • Accepted Landscape Resolutions: 1920 x 1080
    • Accepted Portrait Resolutions: 1080 x 1920
  • Apple TV
    • Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
    • Accepted Landscape Resolutions: 1920 x 1080   
    • Accepted Portrait Resolutions: N/A

Tips for Producing Marketing Videos for Your App

Beyond the app store video size and other specifications each of the app stores requires for video promotions, there are some important differences between producing a traditional video ad for your company and one promoting your app.

Show Your App Off

Traditional marketing videos are used to sell a product or service. In this case, the video is designed to sell the experience of your app. Video production allows you to show real gameplay or other user interface features to let the viewer feel what it will be like to use the app.

Benefits over Features

Especially with the 30-second limit imposed on the App Store, you have very little time to explain or demonstrate all of the features of your app. Focus on the benefits users will receive by downloading and using the app and its features. While you have undoubtedly spent an inordinate amount of time developing and creating amazing and unique features, the benefits to the user are what will get them emotionally involved and invested, driving them to download your app and give it a try.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Because there is no guarantee the viewer will watch the entire video, unlike a television commercial or YouTube pre-roll, a video promoting your app will need to grab the viewer’s attention from the start.  Show off the key and most impactful highlights and benefits at the start of the video to get them excited enough to keep watching.

Silent Videos

More online video viewers than ever are watching on their cell phones and tablets, often watching content when they should be working or studying. This frequently has viewers watching with the sound very low or completely off, making it crucial that your message still gets across without sound. Large graphics, visuals, or even subtitles will ensure the key information of the video can still be received even with the sound off.

Keep It Simple

Particularly since many viewers will be watching the video on a tiny screen from their phone or tablet, it is important to keep the content simple. Avoid overloading the video with features, callouts, walk-throughs, and reviews. It is important that your message is delivered in a clear, concise, and easily understood, rather than trying to impress the viewer with flash.

Make it Fun

Get clever, get creative, have fun with it. Adding humor will lighten the content and soften the sales pitch aspect to the presentation. Make it so the viewer enjoys the experience of watching the video apart from the information and messaging aspects.

Beyond Google Play, Apple App Store

When it comes to promoting your new app, Google Play and Apple’s App Store are not the only outlets you can use to reach the maximum amount of downloads. Producing videos promoting your app can be posted on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.  

Make Videos a Key Element of Launching Your App

You have put a lot into the creation of your app and you want as many people to download it and reap its benefits as you possibly can. Creating a promotional video for Google Play or Apple’s App Store is a great way to get your app noticed among the thousands of others. The right video that properly appeals to your demographic audience will help to exponentially increase downloads and usage. 

About the Author

Torrey Tayenaka

Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO at Sparkhouse, an Orange County based video production agency. He is often asked to contribute expertise in publications like Entrepreneur, Single Grain, and Forbes. Sparkhouse is known for transforming video marketing and advertising into real conversations. Rather than hitting the consumer over the head with blatant ads, Sparkhouse creates interesting, entertaining, and useful videos that enrich the lives of their clients’ customers. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey has also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse & Forge54.