So, you’ve made an app? First of all: congratulations. Not all app ideas actually make it to the app store. Most of them remain a shower thought for years, sadly.
That’s why it’s understandable that when you do launch your app, you want as many people as possible to download it and use it with love.
But with 1.96 million apps available for download in the Apple App store, and 2.87 million apps on the Google Play Store, how are you ever going to stand out?
You only have a few seconds to catch your audience’s attention and to make clear what your app actually is and why they would want to use it. That’s a lot of information to convey in the blink of an eye.
The best way to do that? Video.
There are several ways you can use video marketing to draw attention to your app. It has plenty of benefits and space for your creativity.
In this article, I’ll list six ways you can use video marketing to promote your app. You’ll find real-life examples from big names to draw inspiration from. Plus, some tips to really make your video pop. Let’s get started.
Video marketing for apps: a quick overview
- Not creative or don’t have a lot of reach yet? Partner up with the content creators and influencers that are relevant to your audience and let them create video content.
- Use video content to give a preview of what people can expect in your app to get people hooked.
- You can’t go wrong with an explainer video. Show how your app works in an engaging and simple way.
- In product videos, don’t talk about how the app works, but how it affects people’s lives.
- The opinion of others does matter. Capture customer testimonials on camera and use them in your marketing.
- An app doesn’t just depend on new users, you want users to stay active and engaged. With targeted video content, you can kindly remind people to use your app.
Before you get started
Before I overwhelm you with inspiration, here are some tips to make any video a success.
Create a plan
Don’t just create a funny video, or a beautiful one. If you want your video to be effective, it has to fit into your strategy. Define what the goal is and link this to the call to action.
Then define who you want to reach and adapt the content and channels to this. Then, by knowing what channels you will be using, you can make sure the video is the right size and quality. There’s no excuse for having a poorly-fitting video in 2021.
Make it accessible for everyone
Luckily, more and more brands are acknowledging how important it is that their videos can be watched by everyone. Whether you have bad hearing or can’t put sound on because you’re in class—naughty you!—you want to be able to follow a video.
If you translate audio to text and/or add subtitles to your video, you open it up to a lot more people. If you use videos to be displayed in the app store, this becomes even more important, because there they start playing on mute.
- Bumble uses the creativity of influencers to reach its audience
Video marketing isn’t always big commercial-like productions. There’s one type of video most people consume daily, and that is on Instagram and TikTok. Reels suck you in, don’t they?
As a brand, it can be hard to understand what type of video content is interesting enough for your audience to keep watching. So, better ask someone who turned that into their entire profession: influencers.
If you don’t have the capacity or creativity to create engaging content, leave it to them. Bumble has plenty of #bumblepartners on Instagram and TikTok. One that stands out is Haley Faulkner. She’s an LGBTQ Influencer who presents the struggles and joys of dating as a young LGBTQ with Bumble.
It’s a great way for Bumble to reach their target audience in the place they love being: on TikTok and Instagram. They’re not interrupting ads. Instead, this type of video content fits seamlessly into people’s timelines and is highly shareable.
- Calm draws you in with free additional content on YouTube
Nobody scrolls the app store for fun but we all find ourselves getting sucked into other platforms. We don’t want to watch ads. We want original, helpful and engaging content.
So, why not try to lure your target group in with video content on YouTube? A great example of this is Calm. Calm is a meditation and mindfulness app that also helps you sleep, through stories, sounds, you name it.
Now, the app is paid, but on YouTube, you find plenty of free content. Why would they do that?
Many people don’t like signing up for a free trial for an app because they’re afraid they forget to cancel it and are eventually stuck with a yearly subscription to yet another fitness app. (Or is that just me?)
Being able to explore content on a platform they’re accustomed to, which doesn’t require any form of commitment, is a safe way to get to know the style of an app.
For Calm, you get to know the voices that guide your meditations or try out some of the sleep stories read by big stars and see if your kid (or you!) likes them.
- Butler has one of the clearest explainer videos you’ll ever see
Show, don’t tell. Especially when trying to explain how an app works to someone who isn’t familiar with it at all.
With words, it’s hard to visualize what the interface looks like. Using only pictures is, well, a bit outdated. So naturally, you end up making an explainer video.
Let’s look at how Butler App did it. They combined storytelling with explaining how the app works to make it clear what the benefits are, and show how easy the app is to use. They included the main features and showed how it works, so you can already familiarize yourself with the interface.
Don’t just have someone stand there with their phone and tap through different screens. Use the app as it was intended. Make up a problem that your app can solve, and show them how it’s done.
- Hinge created a product video that is honest and funny
Another dating app on the list? Don’t mind if I do! There are dozens of dating apps out there, so looking at how they approach their video marketing gives you a good idea of how you can stand out.
With Hinge, it’s absolute honesty. Where Bumble focuses on the struggles and funny things about dating, Hinge is more goal-oriented: they don’t want to keep you on the app. It’s designed to be deleted.
You might think all of them are the same, but there are actually differences in how different dating apps are used. Hinge focuses its marketing on what its users say they’re best at match quality and messaging. In other words: finding a long-term relationship.
- Elevate uses Customer Testimonials to get you excited
Granted, testimonial videos can be a bit cringy, but if they are authentic and done the right way, they can be a powerful tool in your marketing strategy.
Take a look at all your downloaded apps and count how many of them were recommended to you by a friend, or how many you’ve recommended to others. That’s quite a lot, right?
We depend on the opinion of others to make decisions like this, but reading reviews simply takes up too much time. Plus, just seeing 4.5/5 stars doesn’t really tell us much. What type of person left that review? What is their main message?
Elevate shows you what their users look like and has them explain the benefits of the app in a simple but effective video. You can argue about the quality of their acting skills, but it’s believable enough to at least sign up for the free version of the app and give it a go. At least for me, it was.
- Duolingo targets funny videos at existing or non-active users
Video marketing is not just for drawing in new users. It can also be used to keep them engaged, or to keep them coming back. With dating apps, whether we redownload them is partially out of our hands. But with apps like Duolingo, a language learning app, some users might need a little nudge to keep using it.
That’s right: you don’t want to just focus on new users. By keeping your current users engaged, you build a strong community and are able to gather valuable feedback from people who know your app beyond a superficial level.
Duolingo is famous for its green owl that sends you somewhat aggressive reminders that you need to practice your Spanish.
The good people at Duolingo picked up on the fact that their mascot was turning into a meme, and decided to make a video about their new ‘feature’” Duolingo Push. Whether they manage to guilt-trip you into using the app again, or it was just the reminder you needed, it’s a highly effective piece that keeps users coming back, again and again.
Find the video that works for you
Depending on your audience, the complexity of your app or the competition out there, you can decide what type of video fits your strategy best. My last piece of advice is to not put as many goals into one video but to keep them separate to keep the message loud and clear. Now, show us what you’ve got!
About the author
Vicky Frissen is a freelance copywriter based in Barcelona. She helps brands and businesses stand out from the crowd by putting some personality in each piece of copy she writes—whether it’s a 1,000-word blog post or a short and snappy Instagram caption.