Use Video to Increase Google Play App Downloads

Did you know that, before 2013 is out, Google Play is on course to overtake the number of total downloads from the iOS App Store?

This means there are more users than ever looking for, finding, and downloading Android apps on Google Play. Of course, it also means that there’s an unprecedented level of competition, and – if you’re not smart – you risk your app being totally lost in the mix, which clearly isn’t what you want!

The success of your app ultimately comes down to 3 factors:

  • Can your target market find your app?
  • Do they know what it’s all about?
  • Will they recommend it to other users?

So how can a mobile app video help?

A simple mobile app explainer video can actually help ensure that the answer to all three of the above questions is an emphatic ‘yes!’

Video can optimise your app for discovery on the Google Play search engine, boost a customer’s pre-download understanding of your app, and even improve your feedback and reviews.

In order to fully understand how, we first need to explore how Google Play’s search engine works.

Video is great for Google Play search

When Ankit Jain – Head of Search & Discovery at Google Play – spoke at Google I/O in May 2013, he discussed Google Play’s search engines in public for the very first time, making a 40-minute presentation which was jam-packed with fascinating insight and incredibly useful advice. (You can check out the full presentation at the bottom of this article!)

Google Play is similar to any other search engine, using a series of algorithms to prioritise content and tailor it to its desired audience. Of course, as you’d expect, Google Play looks for many simple things – the app’s title, for example, or the presence of relevant keywords in your description.

What’s interesting is that it also ranks apps by factors such as the number of downloads the app has achieved, and its star-rating, based on customer feedback. Video has been proven in countless cases to super-charge conversions and feedback, which can all add to your app’s visibility.

Video tells potential users EXACTLY what your app does

Forget about lengthy passages of text in your description, or even screenshots – video is the very best way to educate people about how your app works.

Near-enough every app on Google Play will have screenshots included on the App details page – it’s commonly accepted that they help users to visualise what they’ll get if they hit that ‘Download’ button. But how can you make this even clearer?

“Video previews are the next level of screenshots,” Ankit Jain said in his presentation at Google I/O. “With a short video, you’re able to show the user really what it’s like to play with your app.”

“Giving potential users an accurate impression of what your app is all about is an approach that keeps on giving,” he continued.

“Developers have told us that uploading a video can really help gain user adoption, and users in a lot of studies have told us that video previews are amongst the most convincing features of an app details page.”

In simple terms, if a user lands on your App page in Google Play, the last thing you want is for them to be confused about exactly what your app does, and not download it. You’ve done the hard work by bringing the app to your potential user – don’t let it go to waste!

Video is great at improving customer feedback and reviews

One of the most effective ways to spread the word and attract more downloads for your app is simple, old-fashioned ‘costs-as-much-as-fresh-air’ word-of-mouth marketing. If people download your app and think it’s cool, they’re very likely to recommend it to a friend or post about it on social media.

Not only that, but they’re much more likely to leave you a positive review and a high star-rating – which we’ve already established is included in Google Play’s search algorithms.

Now, imagine that you’ve stumbled across an app that you find interesting on Google Play. You’ve looked at the screenshots, read the description and you have a general idea of what the app is all about.

You download it…and, well, it isn’t exactly what you expected. Maybe the interface is a little sluggish. Perhaps some of the features promised in the description aren’t as you imagined them. You basically feel cheated – this isn’t what you were promised! Are you likely to go ahead and leave a 5-star review and let the developers know they did a great job? Probably not!

If a user has already watched an explainer video about your app before downloading it, there’s a much greater chance of them knowing exactly what they’re getting, simply because a video allows you to say so much more about your app experience than a series of screenshots.

As Ankit Jain explained, “The whole goal is to tell a user what your app does; if you can convince them, and communicate what your app’s promise is – and then deliver on it – you’re going to delight them and they’re going to recommend you to other users as well.”

A video helps to build an accurate picture of what your app does, and thus makes it much easier to deliver on your user’s expectations. Bring on those 5-star reviews!


So, to sum up, a simple mobile app explainer video on your app details page has the ability to super-charge your app’s performance on Google Play, because:

  • It tells your customer what your app is all about, which helps to drive conversions
  • It builds a clear picture of your app’s functionality, creating clear, deliverable expectations which increases customer satisfaction
  • Google Play’s search algorithms are clearly set up to reward apps that are regularly downloaded and receive good feedback.

Ok, ok, I want a video…where do I get one?

Great decision! Check out our handy guide to choosing a video production company, or just go ahead and look at our Plans & Pricing page. Here at Wyzowl we can look after every aspect of your video production, from script, through to storyboard, all the way to your completed HD video file which you can use wherever you like…and all at a price that won’t break the bank!