App store optimization (ASO) is rising through the ranks to play an important role at all stages of app marketing. And new research shows how important video has become, helping marketers step up efforts to build their app’s brand, as well as contributing to the momentum of downloads.

It’s a key takeaway in VB Insight’s new study — “App store optimization – a practitioner’s guide to ASO,” authored by mobile analyst Peggy Anne Salz. The report draws on 35 interviews with ASO professionals and includes data from an informal survey of over 500 ASO users to map out app marketing best practices and identify the next big thing in ASO.

And there’s no doubt about it — brand-building is top of the agenda, and video plays a significant part in determining if you fly high or fall flat.

The new study, launched today, examines the techniques and strategies used by the most successful developers with the largest number of monthly active users, and it reveals that video is the critical element they are using to drive interest, buzz, and downloads.

The timing is right for app developers and companies to borrow a page from successful consumer brands and engage in emotive and effective marketing using images that leave a lasting impression. Get it right, and you can hit it big, particularly if your video trailer or ad goes viral via a social network.

The data tells us the audience for video is there, and so is the massive opportunity to take your app to new heights — even if you don’t have millions to spend on mobile video ad formats, TV spots, and creatives.


App store optimization – a practitioner’s guide to ASO
is available now for $299, or free with your VB Insight subscription


Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish developer, publisher, and distributor of blockbuster entertainment and apps (including Angry Birds), needs no convincing.

An Vu, user acquisition lead at Rovio, says video is a priority in the company’s wider app marketing strategy to build both audience and brand. She reports that the video trailer advertising Angry Birds 2 in the app store “improved conversion by 60 percent” and “cut CPI in half.” She also observes that “users from video ad networks have about 20 percent higher retention on average than other ad networks.”

“We have a good ROI on video but the real value is linked to the quality of users,” Vu said. “Their value is much higher because they are engaged in marketing that really shows, not just tells, the awesome features of our games that formats like icons, screenshots, and text descriptions simply can’t communicate.”

If you choose to make a video ad, keep in mind that providing a “‘sneak peek” of the app or game’s features doesn’t just get users super-excited about downloading your product to experience it first-hand. Andrew French, who leads the EMEA office for AdColony points out that it can shave a sizeable percentage off your overall UA budget.

“Video campaigns also cut down on wasted efforts and spend because users know precisely what they are getting into; they know what to expect, and they genuinely want the app for that reason,” French said. “The result is more users who are aligned with the app from the get-go and more likely to spend more time (and money) to savor the full experience.”

The idea is that users who come to your game via video ads and trailers may not end up being “whales,” but you can count on them to convert.

This dovetails with data from Nordcurrent, a developer and publisher of casual games based in Vilnius, Lithuania, best known for its addictive F2P Cooking Fever game, which has over 15 million monthly active users.

“Users who downloaded our game after watching a video were 50 percent more likely to convert to a paying user, compared with users that just watched a display ad,” Victoria Trofimova, CEO at Nordcurrent, said. She credits the positive results to a strategy built on viral creatives and a cautious approach to video rotation.

“When we introduce a new video, we do A/B testing with our advertising partners to check on how it performs compared to our other videos,” Trofimova said. “After if ticks all the boxes and hits all the KPIs, the video is included in the general rotation.”

Video is just one part of the ASO playbook. The study, available today from VB Insight, details everything an app developer, marketer, or publisher needs to know about how to optimize for the app store marketplace of today — and tomorrow.