Since its long-awaited release, iOS 8 made the IT world adapt to all the new ‘innovative’ features pretty quickly. Perhaps a fascinating feature marketers found most nifty was demonstrating the functionality of their app via a video preview.
Such areas as mobile gaming adopted video previews as one of the best ways to highlight all the amazing opportunities and gameplay their apps offered. In addition, those companies that used video previewing were usually listed in Apple’s chart devoted to new apps, which was a quite smart advertising maneuver.
A couple of months later, though, video previews quickly lost half of their hype. Why? What’s the reason behind such dramatic loss in popularity? There’re a couple of pitfalls to consider.
First and foremost, it’s necessary to talk production costs. The truth is, creating a proper video that is equally engaging, informative and jaw-dropping is a rather costly and time-consuming endeavor. Even if you had opted for the most essential production rule of thumb, project’s budget still grew substantially to be turned a blind eye on.
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Moreover, a high price of video preview making prevents most marketing budgets from conducting A/B testing, which requires a variety of promotional materials based on different content variations. With video previewing, you have but one asset most of the times, and if it’s not effective, you spent your money in vain.
Secondly, nowadays content gets outdated very fast. When we speak about video content, it can become out-of-date right on the production stage before even being released. While photo assets can be juggled and updated in a jiffy, video production is a way more complex process, which also requires a dedicated expert to manipulated on it.
Thirdly, Apple’s content requirements are harsh. Lenient at first, later on demands regarding photo and video promo materials became pressing. Apps that ignore following Cupertino’s recommendations, which are more of a commanding and imperative nature, are sacked from the store by moderators and then forwarded to owners for reconsideration.
Plus, given these strict video promotion guidelines, the final asset has little creative or entertaining value, which is simply cost-ineffective, especially in comparison to photo materials with much more creative freedom allowed to them by Apple.
Fourthly, another nail in video preview a coffin was hammered when iOS 8 had been released. The truth is that video materials were visible only to iOS 8 users, which constituted only 78% of the total number of Apple audience. In other words, 22% of Apple devices (150 000 000 users!) were unable to check out video promos.
Therefore, the fifth reason why video content lost in popularity was the necessity to provide screenshots alongside an original video to cover those 150 mln users still using iOS 7 or lower. It resulted in extra budget money figuratively flushed down the pipe.
Love and hate are just one step apart
You’ve probably already realized that initial hype had quickly gone to naught. Numerous App Store Optimization (ASO) initiatives revealed the biggest problem of video previewing. A serious effect on designated page visits in a too great number of cases with a subsequent conversion rate sinking.
According to the textbook, the goal of any landing page is to provide solid user experience to make a user act the way you originally designed. Thus, the longer it takes to decide if your app is worthy to be downloaded or should rather be skipped, the less is the chance a user will make a target action. With this in mind, app screenshots have once again proven themselves a handier marketing tool with a higher persuasive value and potential.
On the flip side, videos provide users with too much room for doubts and contemplating, which seldom results in taking actions you need.
To stack up, video previewing is a rather niche tool that definitely isn’t a definitive fit for all of marketer life's emergencies. While for some apps it might work great, for others it will bring nothing but financial loses spent on production, and subsequent time expenditures spent on waiting for Apple’s verification.
Therefore, in search of flexibility, acceptable conversion rates, and as little as possible expenditures, video previewing tool is the last to consider. Big brands, nonetheless, with AAA projects might include video previews into their marketing plan without any hesitations.