You might ask: why do I need a promo video for my game? Because you worked hard to create your playing. It took you and your team at least a few months to put together all the ideas, to write all the texts and dialogues, to create all the visuals, to go through the development and all testing processes, you even considered the languages for your game localization.
There is one problem yet: no one will download or play your product.
Why? Because at this stage, your target audience doesn’t even know your game exists. All that you’ve done so far is just half of the way. The other way is all about marketing your product, to bring it in front of your potential customers’ eyes.
And for this, you must put at least as much work as for the development of your game. The truth is that people have so many different options to choose from, that you need to think of a plan to get them hyped about yours.
Fortunately, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel! By including videos in your marketing strategy, you can ease your way into promoting your game and attracting your dream customers. However, before starting to create your promo videos there are important details to be clear about.
Why and when should you use a video? What production decisions come with that? How should your video look? These are some of the questions we’ll go through to help you raise awareness about your game.
But first, why is the video such a big deal?
The importance of promo videos
As you probably know, when speaking about mobile games, Google Play and Apple’s App Store are the main places where users are looking for when searching for games. Then you can think about your own website, social media, and gaming platforms, to name just a few other options.
However, regardless of the channel you use to advertise your game, there are some important elements you should include in your listing to help users decide if they will download your game or not: name, description, screenshots, and videos.
The last ones are the most important, and there are a few good reasons for this. When you talk about a visual way of presenting your game to some extent, yes, some graphics and screenshots can help you. But not in the most efficient way. While it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures.
It’s the perfect way to present your game
While your game’s name and description can tell you a lot about it (topic, features, and benefits), it’s hard to get the real sense of that game just from there. According to Mobile Action, more than 50% of top mobile games have a promo video.
A good video clip is fun, intriguing, and engaging, being perfect for showing off the best features of your mobile game. Before deciding which game to play or download, your potential players want a taste of that game; they want to know which kind of experience they can expect. They need to see gameplay and get a sense of the main characters and story, mechanics, goals, etc.
By using videos, you can provide them with all the information they need in less than a minute. Depending on your game, you can include in your teaser different storylines and game design, characters, levels, missions, and achievements, all of them are very important for gamers.
With 85.5% of marketers using video in their business strategy in 2021, why shouldn’t you also do that?
Promo videos boost conversion
When using video content, the best thing is their ability to influence users. So, the video about your game showcases it in the best light and drives conversions. In fact, according to Optinmonster, videos bring 66% more qualified leads per year!
Therefore, promo videos are invaluable assets of any user acquisition strategy.
They attract high-quality users and get more engagement
Since videos do a fantastic job of presenting your game’s main features, they are an excellent tool for attracting high-quality users. Those who tend to be very engaged with a game, have good retention, and are more likely to make in-game purchases.
And this is because a promotional video about your game will show your target audience the main topic, heroes, levels, and features. Therefore, they’ll know from the very beginning what to expect, and it will be easy for them to create an emotional connection with your game. For that reason, promo videos result in better engagement and user retention and boost revenue.
Now that we have cleared some main benefits of using promo videos in your marketing strategy let’s see what you should consider before starting to produce them.
What to consider when creating a promo video?
If you’ve never created videos to advertise your game or if they didn’t have the expected results, you’ve probably felt overwhelmed. Here are the important steps to consider when creating video content for your game.
Market research – the shortcut to the promo videos’ success
As with anything in marketing, market research is the best place to start. This includes:
- in-depth research of the gaming market, with a focus on a particular type of game
- competitors’ analysis
- target audience research
Therefore, start by understanding the state of the gaming market you target, incredibly the niche that includes the genre your game belongs to. What types of games are there? Which are the most promising ones? What market trends can you identify? These are just some questions.
The next step is to analyze your competition. Start by listing your game’s main competitors and their games. Which are their strengths and their weaknesses? Which are their marketing strategies? What kind of promo videos have they created? Consider the type of footage used, CTA’s, hooks, visual style, music, etc. Where have they published them?
This way, you can identify the strategies they used to intrigue the users and determine the creative trends. Some useful tools for competitor research are intelligence platforms.
Identify your target audience
The third step is to research your audience. To create a winning promo video, you also must know who you target. Who are your potential players? What do they look like (in terms of age, education, behavior, and customs? What appeals to them the most? By answering these questions, you’ll know exactly who you’re targeting and can make better-informed decisions when creating a promo video.
Write your video script
Your next step is to write the video script. Generally speaking, a promo video script is an outline or a storyboard (a scene-by-scene description) of your video. To help your production team, you need to consider how many seconds has each scene and include the visual aspects for each of them.
When writing a script, consider your target audience, the main features and benefits of your game, and its goal.
When the video scripts are written, it’s time to send them to your video production team. Before starting to produce your game’s promo videos, you should send them a brief that includes your previous research and the script. And they must consider all the information you provide, as part of the creative work.
10 tips for creating a winning promo video for your game
Here are the most important 10 tips to consider when creating video content to promote your game:
Never mislead players with your promo video
Misleading is one of the most common mistakes video production studios make. Sure, you want to present your game in the best possible way, but don’t overhype, because you can get the opposite effect.
When players watch a promotional video in app stores or on social networks, they want to get a real idea of what your game looks like, what the action and key characters are, and how they can play it. To avoid them being disappointed after downloading and playing the first games, always base your video ads on the real gameplay footage, even if you add different visual effects to make them more exciting and engaging.
For example, the creator of the promo video for Rise of Kingdoms: Last Crusade achieve a good balance between the real gameplay footage and some visual effects.
Be consistent in your visual style
When you include in your promo videos different assets that don’t belong to the game, use the make sure they fit the style of your playing. Otherwise, you’ll create a disconnection that will confuse your audience and they’ll skip your game.
Impress First, Explain Later
You have just 7 seconds to impress your potential users. Make them count. That’s why is important to make the first part of your promo video attention-grabbing.
It’s your chance to set your game apart from your competitors and show your uniqueness. You also have to keep in your mind that your intro will set the tone, personality, and even the expectations for the entire video.
Use video hooks and persuasion techniques
Every promo video needs to have that special hook that will make the potential users watch it entirely and, in the end, download the game. Since persuasion is an intrinsic part of your advertisement and conversion process, you can’t ignore the psychologist Robert Cialdini’s six principles:
- social proof
They are a great way to persuade your audience because they can operate at a conscious level, and all pack a subconscious punch as well.
Include a Call to Action (CTA)
Because the goal of your promo videos is to convert viewers into gamers, don’t forget to include a CTA (Call to Action) at the end of your video. The common CTAs are “play now”, “download now”, and “install the game”, but you can also use other options. Just make sure they fit with the content of your video and correspond with the actions you want your audience to make. Here’s a great example of one of our clients, Nanobit, and their game MyStory.
Choose the appropriate length for your promo video
Video length largely depends on the platform you publish it on. While Apple allows game previews of up to 30 seconds, in the Google Play Store you can have longer videos and Facebook and Instagram have different video length specifications across placements.
However, a video of 30-45 seconds long is usually more than enough to showcase a mobile game and convince people to download it
Include the game’s features and benefits
Even if this might seem obvious, we can’t stress enough to say: make sure you include your main game features and benefits in your video ad. Tell (and show) your audience why your game is so special and what makes it better than its competition in the same genre.
Also, be clear about how the game works and what players can expect from it.
Testing and optimization
If you think that after creating your promo videos your work ends, you’re completely wrong. The next step is to make an A/B test and according to the result, you have to improve or change them to bring the expected results.
Bonus: Localize your video
As mentioned earlier, you might come up with the question: “What should I do if my target audience doesn’t speak my native language?”. That’s the part where you should consider developing an international game marketing strategy and hiring a game localization company. If you localize your game into different languages, you also preferably localize your videos or even choose actors and settings that fit best your target audience. Localization isn’t a banality, it is essential to connect with your players globally and brings countless benefits. The good part is: it’s not as expensive as you might think. If you don’t know where to start, check out our video game localization beginner’s guide or contact us straight.
Creating winning promo videos for your game can be everything but easy. To get the best results you need to do your homework and also work with a team of creatives that includes talented video producers, copywriters, and marketing experts.