Tag Archives: app preview

Screenshot App Marketing Tool Roundup

With so much effort invested in increasing the visibility of an app in app store search, attention to converting app store views to installs and users can take a back seat.

Just a reminder – this is how search results look when searching Apple’s App Store:


Notice the 1st two screenshots make up the majority of the app listing in search results?

Screenshots have a huge impact on converting app store viewers into installs and users.

We’ve covered best practices for creating screenshots, and screenshot tips for Google Play and Apple specifically.

Here we introduce tools for building app screenshots – without a designer.

App Screenshots for the App Store

Screenshots tell a story like words just can’t.

Take a look at the screenshots Clash of Clans uses for the Apple App Store:


Screenshots like this require a designer, and have likely been tested on focus groups, A/B tested and optimized by geography.

But take a look at the 13th ranked, free app in the US app store – Spotify:


Much more simple – various screenshots from the app displayed on a modern device with a clean background and text describing features/benefits and calls to action.

The tools below can help you create app screenshots similar to those used by Spotify and many other popular apps.

Even if your team has designers dedicated to your company’s mobile projects, it can be helpful to have a few do-it-yourself options for creating app screenshots.

All of these app screenshot tools are super easy to use, produce professional screenshots and are free or close to it.


The team over at PlaceIt have continued to invest and improve their offering over the last few years.  This tool allows npn-designers to take screenshots from their app and add them to a wide range of devices and scenarios.


Create screenshots for multiple devices, and output your new designs in every format your app supports.

As an example – you can create 5 screenshots using an iPhone 6s as the device in the image, then output the 5 screenshots in the right dimensions for app listing viewed from an iPhone 5, 6,  6 Plus and iPad.

Seb Hareng over at App Marketing Lab recorded a demo of PlaceIt and another screenshot app marketing tool that is worth watching.

LaunchKit Screenshot Builder

If you are looking for a super simple tool for adding your app’s screenshots to a device and adding text – the Screenshot Builder from LaunchKit is free and produces great results.


Drag and drop your app screenshots into the builder, add text, change background colors and export in every dimension you need.

I made these screenshots in 5 minutes:


This is a good tool for creating and testing multiple calls to action, without involving designers.

Davinci Apps

All of these tools make it easy to grab screenshots from your app and add them to almost any device you like, and the app screenshot tool from Davinci is no different.


Choose from multiple devices, backgrounds and text styles or start with one of several templates.

Export your new designs in all the dimensions you need with a single click.

All of these screenshot tools export to the latest dimensions and format for Google Play and the Apple App Store, but to be sure you can check the latest Apple app listing requirements, and Google Play requirements (must be logged into your developer account).

Apple ASO in 9 Steps

You have an amazing mobile app or mobile game, and you’re main challenge now is  getting in front of your target market.

What delivers a better ROI than a user acquisition advertising campaign?

App Store Optimization.

Here are our suggested 9 steps to Apple ASO.

Let’s Talk About Your App

1 – Identify your target audience

Sometimes called creating your avatar, who is the ideal or target user of your app? Starting with basic demographic data is great – but don’t be afraid to push towards being extremely specific. Examples of demographic data include:

  • what is the age range of an intended user?
  • is the app gender specific?
  • is the ideal user a mom, dad, salesperson, musician, movie buff or comic book reader?
  • what language does your target user speak?
  • what social networks does your target user frequent?

Defining an avatar takes this exercise to the next level and can really help marketers define their messaging, target keywords, screenshots and icons. An example of an avatar for a “comic book cataloging” app could be:

James is a 42 year old, married man with 2 kids. James collected comic books in his youth, and now wants to share his hobby and collection with his two children.

Whether you create an avatar (or 3), or just focus on the broader demographics – record the answers and then move to the next step.

2 – Define your app’s core features or Unique Value Proposition

What makes your app special, unique, different, better or cool? In a game, it may be the characters or gameplay. In a non-game, it should be some set of features and benefits. What problems does the app solve? Record the features that make your app stand out from your competition. Mobile users primarily search features and brands in the app stores. By clearly identifying the features of your app – we can focus in on how the market is searching for mobile apps like yours.

What are your Competitors Doing?

3 – Review competitor app store ratings and reviews

What are these users saying?  Which features are they asking for? Complaining about? Because so much of app store optimization is finding and reaching your audience in the Apple App Store and Google Play, we focus a lot on defining your audience and defining features users will find relevant and useful in your app. One way to establish a unique position for your apps is to look at reviews of similar or competitive mobile apps.  Researching reviews for insight into desired features, essential features, user problems and even keywords is called review mining. Listen to the language they are using and gather keywords the users are repeating in reviews.

4 – Research competitor branding, positioning, keywords and category

Let’s start with identifying which categories your competitor apps are listed in. Simple enough. Now let’s review which keywords and phrases competitor apps are ranking in the top 10 for. Add these keywords and phrases to your list of potential keywords. You should be able to get a good feel for what is working for them and what is not. We do not want to blindly follow our competitors strategies – but we do want to see what is working for them and why.

Note:  This is a tough step without good software, as this step is both very manual and requires guessing if you don’t have access to app store data and relevant and trending keywords and phrases.

App Creatives that Convert

5 – Optimize your icon with a focus group

How many users will find your app and decide to download another app with a better icon and screenshots? You only have one chance to make sure users are choosing your app. Improve Click Through Rates by using focus groups, polling your existing customer base, and/or your social media networks to help select which icons and screenshots are more interesting and more likely to drive action.

6 – Optimize your screenshots

Clearly communicate and highlight the key features and hooks of your product to your demographic. Screenshots are a great way to reinforce features and highlight the key phrases your target audience is using when searching for apps. We have compiled some tips for submitting screenshots here.

Your App’s Metadata – Keywords, Title and Descriptions

7 – Optimize your App’s title

We suggest putting your brand name first, followed by 3-5 words which describe the purpose of the app. For the best results in search, include the most important keywords in your title. The goal for the app title should not only be to optimize for rankings or search results, but also to convert potential users to your app. Does the title define your app and its best features to your target demo?

8 – Identify and finalize your keywords

Which keywords are relevant and trending in your category? How many keywords can be built around your core “seed” keywords which will make as many 2-3 keyword phrases as possible?

  • What are your app’s key features? We made a list of features in Step 2. Now use Datacube to determine if those features have search weight.
  • What phrases and features continually surfaced in our review mining exercise in Step 3?
  • What keywords are your competitors targeting? In Step 4 we made a list of competitor’s keywords. Using Datacube we can determine if those keywords are a good use of the limited space.
  • How does your demo usually search for these terms? In Step 1 we made a note of our target user group. By communicating with our beta group we can learn the language they use.

9 – Optimize your description to support your positioning

In Apple’s App Store, the app description should be used to highlight core features, and reinforce expectations set by the icon, title and screenshots.

NOTE:  The description is read by someone at Apple who is reviewing your app to determine if the keywords match the description.

If the keywords are irrelevant or use brand names they will be removed from the title and keywords field.

App Preview Videos: Tips for iOS App Previews

You’ve perfected your description. Your icon looks great. You’ve uploaded all of the screenshots you need in every required size. Now all that needs to happen is the end-user tapping “GET.” Is there anything else you can do?

You can increase your odds with Apple’s new App Preview, a 15-30 second video you can create to get users excited to try your app.


Why do I need an App Preview?

In today’s App Store, the App Preview video shows up before your screenshots. App Previews are one of the first things you see when you search for a new app in the App Store.

As a developer, the App Preview gives you a chance to make a much more engaging pitch to get users to download your app as opposed to static screenshots or sifting through a description. Once a user taps to play, a 15-30 second video will be far more powerful than a few screenshots and lines of text.


How do I make one?

Creating an effective App Preview doesn’t have to be hard! It’s easy if you follow this basic guideline:

Once you have a video captured of your app in action and open in your video editor:

  • Incorporate interesting art assets or instructional text overlays to both excite and educate the user
  • Be sure to include a frame or text overlay that discloses In-App Purchases
  • Ensure transitions between scenes don’t imply functionality that your app doesn’t have

When exporting, don’t forget:

  • Your App Preview can’t exceed a file size of 500mb.
  • .mov, .m4v or mp4 format only.

Doing this for one device and dimension is simple enough, but be sure to include feature & gameplay videos for all dimensions of the devices you support.


What dimensions should I use?

Just like screenshots, App Previews must be in different sizes for different devices. You are allowed to upload a preview for every available device, except for the 3.5-inch iPhone 4 and 4S.

  • 5 Series: 1080 x 1920 or 640 x 1136
  • iPad: 900 x 1200
  • iPhone 6: 750 x 1334
  • iPhone 6 Plus: 1080 x 1920

Don’t forget to ensure your App Previews are up to Apple’s basic video specifications.


What should I say with my App Preview? 

What’s in the video is up to you as the developer: Choose what you want your users to see and experience! It’s important that the content you do choose to use shows the user how the app looks and works.

Apple also requires developers to disclose In-App Purchases in the preview, either through the video itself or as text superimposed on the video.

Screenshots do provide some sense of how your app works, but App Preview could entice the user into their next download or purchase.

As with screenshots, be sure your App Preview is honest to the app’s features or gameplay.


What shouldn’t go in an App Preview?

Everything featured or seen in your App Preview should be your own content or things you have the rights to. Be careful not to use music or footage from other apps or videos that do not belong to you.

There are also some basic things you shouldn’t do for your videos:

  • Only use touch hotspots (not animated hands) to demonstrate touch gestures if necessary
  • Avoid objectionable content, violence, adult themes and profanity
  • Previews may not contain ads, platform logos, pricing or timelines.
  • Stay within the app! You don’t have to show people interacting with the app, or show over-the-shoulder angles or fingers tapping the screen.

App Previews you upload for your app are seen across all region iTunes stores. It’s recommended that you avoid voiceovers and including a lot of text in App Previews so that other users from other territories aren’t deterred.

Unlike apps in the “Games” category, which can have action and art packed in every second, text-heavy categories like “lifestyle” will be under a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to creating an exciting preview video. Don’t fear though- as long as your video is informative, engaging and educational, you can create a great App Preview.


What does a good App Preview look like?

The developers of Geometry Dash used the App Preview to show off the gameplay with short captions while at the same time some of the character options users have in the game.


Another example of a great App Preview is the preview used for FaceTune. Instead of animated hands floating around the screen everywhere to show you where things are, the preview quickly goes through the basic functions of the app with a single touch hot spot for the user to follow.


Most importantly, these videos contain the necessary information to get a user excited about the app- they aren’t too fast and they don’t drag on too long.


What does a bad App Preview look like?

One of the App Store’s more popular games, Blek, released a trailer through YouTube that uses a real hand to show the user how the app works and also does not disclose In-App Purchases.


Apple wants to keep all of the App Previews uniform. It’s important to show how your app works, but without other distracting factors like having animated hands or real hands use the app for you in the video.

Keep in mind- if you lose a user’s attention for even a second, they may turn off your preview video and leave without downloading your app.


What else should I keep in mind?

App Previews could be the final factor that pushes a user to tap “GET” on their mobile devices. Just as how your app’s description and screenshots play a huge part in how your app is seen in the App Store, the App Preview could be what pushes possible users to download your app.

For better insight into how users feel about your App Preview, try showing it to an App Focus Group. Whether it’s A/B testing a few videos you have in mind or simply gaining insight into the video currently live, users may have some insightful feedback about how to improve your video.