How to Create an App Preview Video By Capturing a Video on a Smartphone

Posted in June 2017 by Stuart Renner

App Store Optimization

One of the best avenues at your disposal to engage customers on the App Store is with a great app preview. Essentially an app preview is a short video that normally spans between 15 to 30 seconds in length and showcases the features, functionality, and unique aspects of your app.

Prior to customers actually downloading and installing your app, an app preview is the best way for you to show them exactly what your app can do, and how it can help them. If it is effective, it could lead to more downloads and sales.

Step 1: Planning the App Preview

Before you actually start recording the video itself, you should take the time to plan it out. A good way to start is by coming up with an outline that goes through the features of your app one by one.

Keep in mind that because your app preview is going to be only 15 to 30 seconds long it is important that you focus on the most important and unique features. If you find that you have too many features in your outline, try to narrow it down to the ones that will have the biggest impact.

Once you know the features that you’re going to focus on, you can script or storyboard your video. Essentially you’ll want to map out each scene in detail, including what is going to be shown on the screen, and how long it will take. By the time you’re done you not only should have a firm idea of the shape and form of your video, but also its rough duration.

Throughout your planning you should remember that it is always better to show rather than tell. While some app previews utilize voiceovers or insert titles into the video, these elements won’t be localized and so they may be lost on non-English speakers. Instead of you can ‘show’ the features in action they will be more universally understood.

Step 2: Recording the Video

In order to create the app preview, you will want to record footage of the app directly from your smartphone. While iOS itself does not permit apps to record on-screen footage directly, you can easily capture the footage you need by connecting your smartphone to a computer with a Lightning-to-USB connector and then using a HD screen recorder or QuickTime itself to record the video.

Seeing as you already have your video all planned out, all you need to do is record the footage according to that plan. That being said you should try to be a bit flexible as well, and consider tweaking your plan if a particular scene doesn’t seem to be working or if you happen to think of a better way to portray a feature.

Additionally, you shouldn’t feel the need to record the entire video in a single take (as will be explained further in the next step). Instead, it will be far easier for you to record individual scenes separately and re-shoot any footage as required.

Step 3: Editing the App Preview

Generally, the most effective app previews contain few embellishments and provide an authentic look at the app itself. As such when it comes to editing all you really need is to be able to cut your videos into segments, trim out unwanted content, merge clips as required, and arrange the sequence in which they appear – all of which are features that most video editors should have.

Assuming you recorded your app preview in multiple segments, you will want to piece those segments together and merge them. Also, you may want to trim out any parts that aren’t needed or can be removed to keep the video as short as possible. If you really feel like it you could add a voiceover, animated titles and some other features for flair – but as discussed previously it isn’t necessary and may not be beneficial. At most you may want to add some background music that is tasteful and fits the overall feel and pace of the video.

That is really all that is needed to record and create an app preview by capturing video on a smartphone. As you can see it really isn’t that complicated, but the effect that an engaging app preview can have in convincing customers to download your app makes it more than worthwhile.

Guest Author
Stuart Renner
Stuart Renner is a marketing consultant who specializes in assisting app developers create marketing material and promote their apps. He works hand-in-hand with developers to plan out how best to showcase the full potential of the app that they are working on across different geographic regions and key demographics.

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