With millions of apps available for iPhone and Android devices, getting users to download yours is in itself a feat, much less keeping them engaged after they download. According to Adobe, 5 out of 10 apps are only used 10 times, and 20% of the time, an app is only used once. One trend among successful mobile apps is using video to enhance user experience, and increase engagement and sales. In fact, customers who view a video on a digital property are 64-85% more likely to convert.
If you have a mobile app and haven’t incorporated video into it—it’s time.
Users are increasingly demanding richer experiences in mobile applications. They want to be engaged, and are looking for easy, fluid experiences. Video gives you the chance to transform your app into a more interactive and intuitive tool. Not only that, the emotional nature of video makes it an essential part of creating an engaging mobile application.
Benefits of Incorporating Mobile App Videos
Storytelling goes back a long, LONG time in humanity’s history. It’s what makes us people. Video is the modern equivalent of the campfire that everyone gathered around to tell stories.
What video does for mobile is bring that sense of storytelling to this already powerful medium. Whether it’s live action or animation, video adds a layer of relatability to mobile applications. The user experience is dramatically improved with the addition of video. Here are seven more reasons it’s time to get on board:
Video Works Everywhere
Thanks to improvements in technology, video can be everywhere. What’s more, it’s effective everywhere. It works well inside and outside of mobile applications, and inside and outside of traditional ad networks. You can leverage video to connect with both current and potential users. For example, did you know that Google Play allows you to add a YouTube video to your app’s description, so you can entice a user into downloading it?
Videos Are Social
Increasingly, social media is driven by video, and today’s leading marketing strategies are undeniably tied to social. According to Invisia, 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day. That’s a statistic that’s hard to ignore. Take advantage of this by creating a paid ad campaign on Facebook using video and watch your downloads soar!
Video Ads Signal High Quality
Potential users want to know that an application is going to be high quality. With the lightning-fast changes in technology, users have come to demand that products are in line with the most usable and connected innovations. Video is now. It lets users know that your application is going to meet their quality expectations.
Video Encourages Engagement
Back to the campfire. Video draws us in, allowing us to be part of a story. Videos offer users a glimpse into another world that includes both sight and sound. Moving pictures draw the eye, engaging a different part of the brain than either text or images. That video that you are making for your mobile app? Make it shareable—post on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Video Increases Retention
According to Hubspot, 55% of people who view video content, view it thoroughly. Think about how difficult it is to look away from the television display in an electronics store. That same idea applies everywhere. Video makes technology feel closer and more real. It’s no wonder that successful mobile apps are those that incorporate video. We’ll go over a few of these later in the article, so keep reading!
Video Saves Time
A video can explain your mobile application more quickly than text or images. You only have a few seconds to capture the imagination of the people you’re targeting, and using video cuts down on that time dramatically. You’re essentially shortening the time that you take to make the connection with users. This is especially helpful if your mobile application solves a complex problem that’s difficult to explain.
Video Is Ubiquitous
It’s everywhere, from watches to billboards. That’s the case more and more each day, and it’s a compelling reason for you to include video in your mobile or web application. Video is the future, but it’s already here. Mobile app developers have to get onboard with video now if they want to be part of the conversation. No matter what need an app fulfills, video is applicable.
Ideas for Incorporating Videos Into Your Mobile Application
With all of the benefits of adding video, why wouldn’t you want to dive right in? Here are just a few ideas for incorporating videos into your mobile application. Use video to:
- Welcome a new user;
- Demonstrate how to use the app;
- Announce/demonstrate new features;
- Improve your FAQ;
- Provide bonus material for premium users.
Video allows you to reach out to your users. The functionality that you already have inside your application can be enhanced with the addition of video. Videos can be embedded as actual content within your app, or can be added as layers to enhance various components of your app. What’s more, these videos can also serve as effective advertising for your application.
The critical part of the equation is to allow video to be a natural fit with the content that’s already there. Complementary video incorporation means putting video into mobile apps in such a way that it makes sense to users. Glossy videos that aren’t intuitively part of the app process are counterproductive and offer users nothing more than a sense that they’re being overly sold to.
Here are some real-life examples of how businesses use videos in their apps to engage customers.
Examples of Mobile Apps That Used Video Successfully
As more applications become available in the iOS App Store and on the Android marketplace, getting an application to stand out is a huge challenge. With nearly 3 million apps available for Android and over 2 million on the iOS market, that’s a ton of competition.
Some of the most successful applications out there today are those that incorporate video.
Here are five apps that use mobile app video to stand out, and what we can learn from them when creating our own mobile app videos:
Home improvement is big business. One company that’s using mobile app video to stand out from its competition is Home Depot. This company has taken mobile app video to a whole new level, allowing users to interact with and learn about products that they wish to purchase.
Think of the Home Depot app as offering a similar experience to the one that users get inside the store. The videos are embedded right there alongside products, explaining specifications, features, and how to use products. It’s literally like having a Home Depot associate right beside you. This app stands out because it mimics the in person customer experience.
STRIVE with Megan Ewoldsen
Megan Ewoldsen, a fitness professional and mom of three, already experienced success with videos on her website and wanted to provide her followers with an easier way to access her workout plans and nutrition tips. The STRIVE with Megan Ewoldsen app is packed with workout videos, nutrition plans, and challenges. She supplements these videos on social media by providing her followers with updates and demonstrations via Facebook Live.
Despite only being a few months old, STRIVE already has thousands of downloads. Users love connecting with Megan via video. The medium allows her to connect with her users on a more personal level, which contributes greatly to the success of this mobile app!
How could video possibly improve the way that a shoe company sells its products? Zappos, that online retail behemoth, has of course figured out a way to take their mobile app to the next level.
Shoes on the Zappos mobile app don’t just come with a textual explanation or a set of images, they also come with an explainer video that breaks down the shoes for users in terms of features, style, and fit. Conversion rates went up by nearly a third for Zappos when they started adding video to certain shoe styles. If that astounding figure isn’t enough to convince you to look into video for mobile applications, then nothing will.
Online dating is nothing new, but how online dating works is about to undergo a transformation. Currently, users across online dating applications are limited to images and text to communicate with one another. That’s all about to change. In June, the Hinge dating app became the first to offer recorded video as an option for users when creating their profiles.
With Hinge’s new feature, users can upload videos to the mobile app from Facebook, Instagram, or their phone’s camera roll. Videos are then incorporated into profiles in the same way that photos are currently. Hinge isn’t the only dating app that’s ready to incorporate video though. Bumble is set to launch short, disappearing Snapchat-style videos in the next six months, and Tinder recently acquired Wheel, a video messaging app, so their video feature won’t be far off.
Shopping for luxury items is something that’s fairly new to the online marketplace. High end products used to be the bastion of niche retail shops with highly knowledgeable staff. As online shopping has begun to take over the market, retailers are learning to match that.
The autoplay video demonstration snippets help Lux stand out from the crowd. According to AdExchanger, product pages with video garnered 30% more engagement than static images. That’s a number that can’t be ignored. The videos are fun and engaging, seamless and slick. The highly professional quality appeals to the high end clientele that they are seeking.
The method of video incorporation at Lux is slightly different than in many other applications, as Lux includes videos as part of its product scroll. Users get to casually see products in action. It’s almost like a virtual Tupperware party, with product features and advice being given to customers right in the palm of their hand.
Affordable Methods for Incorporating Video
Getting video into your mobile app might be a great thing, but how do you go about getting there without breaking your budget? Though it might sound daunting at first, there are many ways to get video into your mobile app without costing an arm and a leg.
Have a Plan
Figuring out how exactly you’re going to incorporate video into your mobile app, what steps you’re going to take, and which videos you need, is the first plan. Creating and uploading videos can be an expensive process, so it’s critical from a budgetary standpoint that companies have a codified plan for how they’re going to make videos that work. Plan, plan, plan! An ounce of planning is worth a bucket of money.
For example, here are some steps you would take if you were to create a video demo of your mobile app:
- Outline the basic steps for someone using your app for the very first time.
- Write a script.
- Create a storyboard: This is essentially a rough idea of the visuals that will go along with your script. Here is some more info on how to create a storyboard.
- Hire a professional or use an app like PlaceIt to produce the video.
- Edit and format the video.
- Add it to the app itself, the app description on the App Store and Google Play, upload to YouTube, etc.
Hire a Professional
How can hiring a professional SAVE you money? If you don’t have experience with video, creating one on your own can be a long and daunting task. Consider the number of hours you might put in while trying to do it yourself. A professional can get you high-quality results in a shorter amount of time. Video that’s low quality or poorly created is a massive turnoff for potential customers. The better your video, the better your conversion rate.
There are even agencies that offer services for both developing your app and creating video. There is a clear advantage to this, as the team already has a deep understanding of your mobile application and can communicate its features like no one else. Hiring someone local would likely be the most affordable way to go when it comes to hiring a professional. Do a Google search for “videographers” or “video professionals” or get referrals from friends and colleagues.
Keep it Short and Simple
The length of your video will be dependent on many things. For example, if your mobile app has a lot of features or solves a complex issue, you might need a longer video than a simple dating app. You should, however, be sure to grab the attention of the user within the first 30 seconds.
According to Tubular Insights, if you can hook them in the first 30 seconds, they are more likely to watch the rest. Still, the consensus is that shorter is better. According to Wistia, 50% more people will complete a one-minute video than a two-minute video. If your video is over two minutes, you might want to consider breaking it into two 60-second videos, or even four 30-second videos. You can create short and powerful videos that work for customers and are friendlier to your budget.
Look Outside the Box
Would a simple slideshow be just as effective? Consider all options when choosing a style of video, as a slideshow-type video may be more affordable. Placeit provides an easy-to-use tool for you to place screenshots and short clips of your app for demonstration purposes. Animoto is another application that can be used to create simple videos that can be easily incorporated into your app.
Repurpose Your Video
Any content assets you have should be repurposed, and this advice isn’t just for video, it’s also for written content, images, etc. This will help you save money on providing content for your video.
Only have the budget for one 30-second video? Make it do double duty! Write a script that’s promotional AND instructional, so it can be effective inside the app and in your marketing. Post it on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram…anywhere your potential customers might be!
Video Makes a Difference
Companies that perform the best are those that build on their existing models of sales and customer interaction. The more the mobile customer experience mimics the brick and mortar experience, the better companies will be able to connect with your products. That connection is everything in mobile technology.
Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, welcome to your next step in creating and marketing mobile apps—video.
Which mobile apps do you find most engaging? Seen any amazing uses of video? Tell us about it in the comments!