Appromoter MD Ed Vause presents the ten commandments of app marketing

#4 – Thou shalt not forget to produce a video trailer

Appromoter MD Ed Vause presents the ten commandments of app marketing
Ed Vause is the managing director of appromoter, an app marketing service for developers and journalists.

Click through to read the first, second and third commandments of app marketing.

As you're getting ready to launch your app, you'll be thinking about creating good quality, eye-catching game assets.

And at the top of your list needs to be a great video trailer – it's possibly one of the most important, but frustratingly most forgotten, pieces of marketing you can create to showcase your app.

I say frustratingly forgotten because we still find many developers who either don't see the point of creating trailers, or think that something they create in-house is just as good at using a specialist trailer company.

What these developers don't appreciate is that, for the media and also for consumers, video can give you everything you need to know about an app in seconds – and determine whether it's worth a download or not.

That's why it's so important, and yet so underrated. Here's why I think video is an absolutely essential part of your app marketing armoury.

It'll get you reviewed

One of my favourite quotes is from appcraver's editor-in-chief Barbara Holbrook, who once said "It's unfortunate, but I don't have time to download and test every app that comes out... a video takes just seconds to watch and can be the difference in whether an app gets a longer look."

That pretty much remains our most compelling example of why video trailers are essential. The media receive a lot of requests to review apps. If they're looking for a reason to filter out the ones worth considering from those not worth considering, then you can bet that they'll bin any requests that don't have a video.

Think of a video as first base – you won't get to second base (Testflight sharing or promo code) without it

It'll get you discovered

It's often overlooked, but YouTube is now the world's second biggest search engine and its results also show up in the world's biggest one that starts with a 'G'. If you don't have your video on YouTube then you're potentially denying yourself a heap of discoverability.

When you do upload to YouTube, be sure to tag your video correctly and spend some time on the description. There is a maximum length of 500 characters including commas, but that is still pretty generous.

Developers also forget that they can upload their videos for free to several sites including Pocket Gamer Videos, Gametrailers and The Game Trail.

Videos build hype

Why limit yourself to just a launch video? If you plan your campaign correctly then teaser trailers and even developer diaries with valuable insights can be used and sent out to fans and the media.

Check out the great video Chair made for Infinity Blade 2 in order to build hype, or even the recent Angry Birds Star Wars teaser . Throw in some Twitter and Facebook links in the video and they'll also net you some followers before launch

They're great for social media

We all share video on social media like there's no tomorrow. For sure we share text, but people enjoy a good video more.

This means that if you produce a video and put it on Facebook and YouTube and tweet about it then there is a good chance that others will like it and help spread the word for you

Google Play supports video

Apple may not be there quite yet, but you can embed a video on Google Play which customers will watch when browsing the store.

For example, we helped with a productivity app that had a soft launch (no media push) to test the waters, and we saw over 6,000 views of the video about the app in just a few days.

Having a video on Google Play is also a great way of sneakily knowing how many likely hits your app page is getting, as otherwise we would be in the dark about the amount of visitors versus downloads.

Sure, not all video viewers are people on your Google Play page and not all people who visit the page watch the video, but you could create a video that you only link to on Google Play - that would be a good measure of views to downloads

They drive downloads

It isn't just journalists who make their decision based on a video: gamers do too. Customers need something to push them towards that all important download and if you're a premium app then it is all the more important.

Once you have a video, then reviewers will often host the clip on their own channels which also means that you should always offer a reviewer the clip to download and not just a link to your own YouTube page.

In conclusion…

All developers these days should aim to have a great trailer at the heart of their app marketing plan. It's important for discovery, it can drive downloads, and you'll probably not get your app reviewed without one.

But before all of you with lovely gameplay trailers pat yourselves on the back too much, creating a trailer is one thing: making sure it is good is quite another.

Next month, we'll share the tips and tricks we use to make sure your trailer can stand out from the masses.
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