We’ve been expecting this for a while now, but just last week Apple announced that with the release of iOS 8 the App Store will now be able to house App Previews. App Previews are short videos that demonstrate the features, functionality, and user interface of your app. Instead of static screenshots, users will now be able to get more insight into an app before buying it.
You know what that means? It’s time to start making some videos! But not just any old videos. We want to make sure you’re equipped to create an App Preview that does your app justice. In conjunction with Apple’s guidelines we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to creating your own killer App Preview.
Define the content. You should brainstorm the features that you want to highlight in your video. Figure out the most compelling parts of your app (or the updates you’ve made) and rank them. You only have 15 – 30 seconds to get through the best your app has to offer. By ranking the priorities you can make sure you cover the most important functions.
Write a script. Having narration in your video can ensure you are getting all the great components of your app across clearly, so it’s important to script it out rather than improvise it. For a 30-second video, we recommend keeping your script under 75 words. If you ranked your content (see Step 1), you will know how many talking points you can fit in those 75 words. Then do a dry read to make sure it adheres to the time limit and comes across naturally.
Record a voiceover. If you plan to record the VO yourself, be sure to get a good microphone, go to a quiet location – like a closet filled with clothes, or just drape a blanket over yourself – and enunciate clearly. If the budget permits, you should hire a professional voice talent to add a level of polish and professionalism to your video. We recommend using Voices.com for quality VO at a good rate (typically $100-200).
Capture the video. Apple requests that your App Preview be comprised primarily of device-captured footage. With iOS 8 this is easy to do. Just plug in the Lightning connector from your phone to your computer and record live footage as you navigate the app. The footage from your phone will go directly into QuickTime. When in doubt, record a couple takes and get more footage than you think you need. You can always cut things out in post.
Edit and animate. Drop the footage you’ve captured into Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Screenflow, or your preferred editing software and start piecing it together. It’s a good idea to add some sort of simple text and/or animations on screen that highlights certain sections of your app or where your finger is supposed to tap. We also recommend adding a custom title card and end card (with a call to action) to engage your audience and reinforce your brand.
Add music. App Previews may not be the most exciting videos to watch, but they serve an important function. A simple, upbeat royalty-free music track from a stock music site can greatly enhance your final video. Songs typically go for $50 or less.
Upload. Submit your App Preview to Apple through iTunes Connect and use the following formatting specs to ensure proper playback on the appropriate devices – iPhone: 640×1136 (or 1136×640 for landscape mode) or iPad: 900×1200. Also be sure to choose an attractive Poster Frame (or thumbnail) that will entice users to tap play.
There you have it, your DIY guide to making a great App Preview. For more information on please visit Apple’s App Preview guide.
We’re looking forward to seeing what you all come up with! If you have any videos or suggestions to share, please post them in the comment section below.
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