We recently decided it was time to have a nice chat with some key app reviewers so we picked up the phone and spent some time asking them what they wanted when they were asked to review an app.
The one thing we got loud and clear from the majority of the journalists was the importance of having a gameplay video. On average, journalists from the big review sites get around 100 requests a day for apps to be reviewed. So, when they’re having to decide what to review, watching a few seconds of an app in action can help them make a snap decision. Sure, a sequel to a previous hit or an app that has a great pedigree because it was developed by a successful studio will count for a lot, but generally we found that the journo really needs that video to help them make a decision. It may sound harsh, but if you’re not investing in a promo video then you may simply not get reviewed.
A great promo isn’t just for reviewers. Let’s not forget the end customer who is also making a decision. You may not know this, but YouTube is actually the second biggest search engine after Google. Putting your movie on YouTube can be great for SEO (search engine optimisation) and if you put in the correct key words then people can discover it and share it. So, assuming that you want to make a video, what are your main considerations ? We’re fresh off the phone from our promo video expert and he has given us the following words of wisdom for you:
- Keep the promo to around a minute. People have short attention spans
- Supplying your trailer producer with original game assets like the logo, app widget and in game art will help make the trailer unique to your app and separate it from the competition.
- Supply in game music to save using 3rd party licensed music – this can get rather costly.
- The greater the resolution of your game capture, the better quality of trailer – many review sites and app promotion portals are now HD enabled – allowing your audience to take advantage of bandwidth and watching your app full screen.
- Capture gameplay with gestures set to visible within your developers kit – adding them afterwards is a lengthy and often expensive process
- Keep wording down to a minimum with captioning – be succinct so the viewer can take in both the gameplay and the description.
- Theme your trailer to suit the game; using game art, sound effects and type faces for a powerful and cohesive piece of marketing.
Don’t also forget that even though you may embed the video on YouTube, reviewers still like to get the original file so that they can host in on their own channels. Oh, and our final advice is that your main promo shouldn’t be your only promo. Think about ‘making of’ promos with designer interviews and even tips and tricks videos after the title has launched. These are great ways to maintain interest and an excuse to communicate with customers and the media. If you want to see how it should be done, just take a look at the preview and trailer for Infinity Blade 2 here