Create iOS App Preview Videos That Convert

Animated Explainer Video Series

You have developed a fantastic app, uploaded it to the App Store and…. nothing.  You keep refreshing, waiting for the number of downloads to increase, yet that counter stubbornly refuses to increment. Sure, the competition IS intense, you’ve known it all along, but you know for a fact that your app is just as good, if not better, than your competitors’! If only people gave it a try, they would surely fall in love with it, but they don’t seem to take the time to notice it…  Enter the App Preview Videos.  

What are App Preview Videos?

App Preview Videos are your best App Store ally; they capture the interest and imagination of your customers and help them learn to appreciate its features. That makes the Preview Videos crucial to converting your customers, and therefore a priority to you.  

Read on to find out more on what the App Preview Videos are, how they are displayed in the App Store and why they are essential. After that we will talk about recommended content , and how you can best leverage them to boost your sales.


So what exactly are App Previews? They are 15 to 30-second videos that demonstrate the features, functionality and user interface of your app, that your users can watch right on your product page in the App Store. The videos allow your customers’ imagination to run wild with possibilities and to project themselves in the interaction with your app.

Why make App Preview Videos?

Quite simply, they are your most visible assets. By demonstrating the experience of using your app in context, App Previews can help customers better understand its true value. An App preview gives users the motivation they need to download your app, which is hard to do with just text or some static screenshots.

Once you upload your App Preview Video, when you check your App Analytics page, you’ll see all the relevant metrics spike up, notably the click-through rate and user engagement (you’ll soon notice that uploading the Previews improves the onboarding experience, leading to increased engagement by prospective customers); in doing so, they render any potential paid ads more effective.

Basically, by using App Previews that autoplay right on your App Store page, you further engage your customers by showing off the experience of using your app and thus help them make the decision to purchase.

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What do you include in an App Preview Video?

For starters, it’s important to know that since iOS 11 you can upload up to 3 videos for your app, each running for up to 30 seconds. To optimise the experience of your customers, Apple recommends that you use the first video to focus on the app’s core features and content while using the second and third previews to highlight additional features or specific content that users might not know about. If you create/upload multiple previews, you should ensure that each video shows users your app from a new angle.

Content-wise, you can best exploit their power by using storytelling techniques, allowing your prospective customers to sample the experience your app provides. You start off by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and deciding what it is about your app that will be most appealing to THEM. If in doubt – test. Next, for each video, design a short plot that will guide your customers through your app. Like in grade school – think introduction/plot/resolution, then sketch out your story visually to ensure that everything is clear before you start production. A solid plan will prevent mistakes that can cost you time and money.

Once you’ve planned out your content, it’s time to record your screen & your audio. There are plenty of tools that can help you, and you can find free versions for almost everything you need. If you decide to use a voiceover you’ll need to take the time to make a script, so that the recording can run smoothly without ahmmms and uhmmms. You’ll have to ensure you have the right equipment (recording, editing) and that it’s correctly set up. Then find the appropriate space to record since the audio quality is essential for the success of your video therefore you should avoid any background noise and interruptions. The next step is to consider music & sound effects and make sure they either are free to use or that you have rights for them. Lastly, you’ll need to look into tools for editing (adding graphics and transitions etc.) and producing your videos.

Some additional things to consider

  • You are only able to use footage captured in the app itself (so don’t attempt  over-the-shoulder recording of users interacting with your app or anything else that is not a screen-recording of your app)
  • Avoid turning your Previews in tutorials – their aim is to get your customers excited about your app and not to show how the various commands work
  • Since app previews play with the sound muted by default, use text to give prospective customers the context they need and make sure the text is visible long enough for non-native speakers to be able to read
  • Avoid any reference to pricing as this may differ according to the currency (plus this information will already be shown on your product page).
  • Pay extra attention to the poster frames (thumbnails) that appear wherever app previews do not autoplay; be sure to choose a visually compelling frame from your footage that will best convey the essence of your app without misleading your prospective customers  

While it’s completely possible to do this by yourself, we have to be straightforward with you: this is an elaborate process if you aim for professional quality that will make your app stand out. So if this is not something you or your team are experienced in, you might be better off outsourcing and not risking video effectiveness with lower quality of the final product.

App Preview Videos

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What kind of apps do Previews work for?

The simple answer is: any app. Previews are possible for game apps, business apps, educational apps, lifestyle apps,  entertainment apps, utility apps – even AR apps. Whatever you can create, you can showcase in an App Preview. Be careful though, a poorly crafted video might hurt the experience and drive some potential users away. As with most content online, quality of execution matters!

But this is not all! Hidden features of iOS App Previews:

One of the best things about uploading App Previews to your product page is that they are then featured in the Search Ads you might run for your app – one of the most effective way to help people discover your app.

Combine a set of quality videos with well-crafted search ads, and you’re sure to increase your visibility exponentially (according to Apple, 65% of downloads come directly from a search on the App Store)

You can also test your audience with pre-order previews uploaded to your product page before the actual app launch. This allows you to asses the reaction of your prospective customers and fine-tune your final product to their needs and preferences. To help with this, Apple provides Creative sets, their take on A/B testing; these allow you to create separate product pages that you can customize in terms of content (add screenshots and videos, or only screenshots, only videos etc) for a specific target group in a specific geographic location. The only catch is that they cannot run concurrently – you need to stop one before you run the next. However, you get the results you need to justify a final decision.

Best of all, you can leverage the power of App Preview Videos to maximize your pre-orders. What was a harder job for the simple, static screenshots, is a breeze for App Previews: load them up on your product page and watch it come to life for your customers, who’ll find it significantly easier to see themselves interacting with your app. They will be more motivated to pre-order your app and download it as soon as you release it. This will mean several downloads on your launch day which will yield results in the long term – since you’ll have the social proof you’ll need that your app is popular.

Where can I upload my App Preview?

App Preview Videos are viewable in all Apple environments:  iOS, macOS, or tvOS. However, you might need to make a different video for each one of these because your app most likely will differ in layout and functionality across the different Apple platforms.

Help is here!

Does this sound overwhelming to you? Don’t worry, we’ve got you! We make videos that enchant your users by communicating what’s vital about the app through the genuine experience that the user will have. More than that, we spend as much time as needed with your app to identify and capture its very best, and showcase it in less than 30 seconds through video images and sound, so you can make a profit.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s create a beautiful App Preview Video and get those customers to download your app!

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