You’ve done the hard work – you’ve had the killer idea, you’ve built the app, you’ve fixed the app (multiple times) and now you’re ready to introduce it to the world. It’s time to work on your full-funnel app marketing strategy to maximise your chances for app success. Whether you’re kickstarting your acquisition with paid or organic efforts, you need to get your ad creatives in order – the assets or files you use for marketing, including images and videos.
These are used everywhere from your app store listings, such as screenshots and preview videos, to paid media campaigns, such as Facebook, Snapchat, or Google. Effectively communicating your value proposition through video, images, and audio requires expert tactics and tips.
So to make this process a little bit easier for you, here’s our trailled and tested app marketing agency advice that we give our clients when we start discussing mobile creatives…
#1 Get on board with video creative
Static images might be easier – and often cheaper – to commission than video, but it’s the video that typically performs better. In fact, apps that use video in their app store listings get 35% more downloads. Your Return on Investment (ROI) is likely going to be higher having spent a bit more to supercharge engagement rates, compared to spending less on an ad creative with mediocre performance.
#2 Music matters
Even if your video has dialogue or narration, it’s still important to have music in the background – it does a lot of heavy lifting in communicating the overall tone of your brand and proposition. And you don’t have to pay for Taylor Swift’s latest banger to make your video work. A Nielsen study found that a generic, instrumental-only melody improves message recall. Epidemic Sound, artlist and PremiumBeat are all good sources of royalty-free music.
#3 Kill the intro for your ad creatives
A Microsoft study found that video makers have eight seconds to hook in a viewer. Today’s audience is used to immediate gratification – whether your video is six seconds or sixty, you need to hook in your viewer immediately which means getting to your key value proposition as quickly as possible. Keep this in mind when storyboarding your concepts.
#4 Shorter is sweeter
Use your resources wisely – it’s better to make three 30-second videos that you can then use in a variety of places or in combination, compared to one 90-second video packed with everything you want to say. Shorter videos are more attention-grabbing and easier to share with friends. And with the average video attention span of eight seconds, condensing your message into a short video will make it easier for your users to digest.
#5 Add a human touch
We’re hard-wired to respond to human faces. In fact, a group of fun neuroscientists coined the term “Jennifer Aniston cells” after they found a group of brain cells that would only light up when faced with Rachel-from-Friends’ face, over an object, landscape or even her whole body. While you might not be able to afford to use an image of an ex-Friends cast member, any person you feature will increase the chance of a viewer engaging enough to want to know more about your app. By being inclusive in your casting, you can also communicate to the wide range of users who can benefit from what you’ve built. Also, let’s not forget about the power of user-generated content (UGC). Over 92% of consumers admitted that they trust user-generated content more than content created by brands.
#6 If it’s not legible, it’s lost
Whatever copy you’re using, whether it’s in-video text or text placed over an image, it should be short and easy to read. Remember, users are engaging with your creatives via their mobile phones. That means using as few words as possible and ensuring a high contrast between the background colour and the text (this is also important from an accessibility perspective). If there is text overlayed on video, make sure it’s on the screen long enough for the viewer to read.
#7 Borrow brand recognition
Both Apple and Google allow app developers to use the App Store and Google Play logo on app marketing materials. This clearly demonstrates where app users can get your app. But more subtly, the fact that these logos are instantly recognisable means that it immediately communicates that you’re selling an app, without you having to spend time or screen real estate explaining that.
#8 Consider colour
What do KFC, McDonalds and Pizza Hut all have in common? Their logos all heavily feature the colour red. Colour psychology dictates that red is the colour of action and energy – primal feelings that are directly related to the need for food. It’s a great colour for a call-to-action button, but if your app is more about mindfulness, meditation or self-care, you need to look more closely at the pastel section of the colour wheel. You can read more about colour choices here.
#9 Integrate copy early
Words can explain your key message in a way that the choice of music or colour can’t. Equally, words alone don’t offer the emotional shorthand that imagery and audio does. The takeaway? Words, imagery and audio are all important, and should be considered in relation to each other as early as possible in the design of all of your ad creatives.
#10 Be scientific with your ad creatives
Don’t constantly iterate on your creative assets without having a hypothesis in mind. Record the effect you’re hoping to have and the technique you’re employing to do that (“We want to increase engagement, so we’re going to cut the intro to our app demo video”), so you have something to return to in judging whether it’s been successful.
It’s worth noting that creating great creative assets can be expensive. To get the most value out of your investment, it makes sense to produce assets that can be repurposed in several settings – for instance, an app explainer video used in the App Store that can be recut as a YouTube pre-roll ad.
The Bottom Line
When you’re wondering whether to spend the money on your ad creatives, it’s always worth coming back to that idea of ROI: if you spend little but what you produce fails to move the needle, it’s not money well spent. And if you can commit significant budget to your marketing assets, make sure you come back to this ad creatives checklist to optimise for success.
If you want to find out more about how improving the mobile customer experience can impact your app marketing campaign or you have any app marketing questions feel free to reach out to the Yodel Mobile Growth Team. Additionally, you can sign up to our newsletter for exclusive industry updates and app marketing insights from the ASO Agency of the Year. Want to find out more about optimising your app? Make sure to subscribe to our Mastering Mobile Marketing video series. Follow us on LinkedIn, chat with us on Twitter @yodelmobile, and join our #AppMarketingUK LinkedIn group.