The Complete Guide To Uncovering Intriguing App Store and Google Play Promo Video Ideas

Learn how to find the best ideas for your next app promo or preview video.

video brainstorming

An exciting and informative app preview video can increase your downloads. But if you have never created a preview video or you have created a video and you did not see any results, you may be skeptical as to the benefits of a video.

If you fall into either of these categories, this post will give you some ideas on where to get good ideas for your next video. Just like with everything else in App Store Optimization, you will usually have to try a few different things before you find something that works.

So don't be discouraged if your first video didn't do as well as you expected. You may simply need to try something different.

We will not be discussing the technical details of creating a video. To learn more on this process, you can read this post.

I will be using promo video and preview video interchangeably in this post. In either case, I'm referring to a video that could be used for the Apple App Store, Google Play or any other video marketing avenue.

Research The Competition

The best place to start your research is with the leaders in your category. Obviously, just because an app is on the charts does not guarantee that it has a good promo video. But they are doing something right, so this a great place to start.

There are a couple of ways to find the best apps in your category. First, you can look at the Top Charts to see which apps are performing well.

lt="top charts

You can get to these charts by selecting Products > Rankings & Leaderboards > App Store Rankings or Google Play Rankings from the menu at the top of our homepage.

lt="Top Chart rankings

Another way to find the top apps in your category is to look at our App Worth Leaderboard. This chart uses our proprietary estimate of an app's value to rank top apps and can provide you a different view of which apps are doing the best.

To view these charts, simply choose Products > Rankings & Leaderboards > App Worth Leaderboards from the drop down menu at the top of our homepage. It is currently only available for the Apple App Store. Note: Since this post was first published, we have deprecated the Estimate App Worth feature in favor of our Store Intelligence product.

lt="app worth

Regardless of which chart or app store you choose to examine, select your category from the menu on the left side of the screen. Then click on a competing app's icon on the list to take a look at the App Profile Pages of that app. Each page will display the app's video, if it has one.

lt="app profile pages

Look At A Random Category

Next, examine a category that you feel would be the complete opposite of your current category or pick a totally random category. For example, if you have a business app, take a look at some app preview videos in the game category.

Also remember not to only focus only in the first 10 apps on a chart. Go as far down the list as possible because many times the apps at the top of the charts rely heavily on paid ads or already have a lot of momentum. Apps that are further down on the charts can be more of the up-and-comers.

There is something to be said for utilizing ideas that are already working. But sometimes you need to step outside the confines of what others are doing in your category and try something different. This is where examining other categories can help you expand your thinking and come up with new ideas.

Search Blogs

Blogs can also provide a great place to discover new video ideas. You might have to do some searching because blogs can tend to rehash the same videos.

But you can try searching for terms such as:

  • best app store videos

  • funny app videos

  • app promo videos

Movies And Viral Videos

Watching full-length movies can provide inspiration for app preview videos too. Making references to movies that your audience likes is a great way to build a following and user loyalty. Viral videos that are popular with your users can have a similar effect.

This can be a little tougher with App Store videos, but you should at least explore the possibility. Since we are on the topic, let's take a quick look at the differences between promo videos in the two app stores.

App Store And Google Play Differences

If you are making videos for both Google Play and the App Store, it is important to examine the requirements of each before actually making the video. Apple only allows your video to be 30 seconds long and it can only show app footage. No devices or people allowed.

However, just because you are limited to 30 seconds, it doesn't mean that you can't make longer videos for other platforms. For example, you can create videos for YouTube and share them on social media.

Google Play is much more liberal. You can create a longer video, but you should still keep it short. Most people won't watch a five minute promo video. One minute or less is usually ideal, unless you can make it really compelling.

Just like with screenshots, you should experiment with different videos and find out what works best for your app. Before we finish this post, no discussion on app preview videos would be complete without talking about localization


App preview videos and localization can be a great ways to increase the number of downloads of your app. But should they be combined?

If you are thinking about localizing your videos or even simply adding text to your iOS app video, stop right now. The App Store currently only allows one video across all countries. Therefore, you should make your video as country independent as possible.

The Google Play Store is a different story. You can add a separate YouTube video link for every country. So localization is something you should try if you have an Android app.

Also consider that a video may not be the best thing for your app. Screenshots may be a better option. Test both and see which one is more effective.


So if you still haven't created your first app preview video, give it a try right now. It might be more fun than you think. To see an example of how a video can be created quickly, check out this blog post.

If you have already created a video and it didn't do as well as you expected, don't be discouraged. You might simply need to try a different idea.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with. If you are a first time video creator, leave a link to your app store listing below and share what was the easiest and hardest part about creating your first video.

Sensor Tower's platform is an enterprise-level offering. Interested in learning more?

Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: February 2015

Never miss an insight. Get quality content sent to your inbox every week.

Thank you!

By clicking "Subscribe" above, I agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge the Privacy Policy.