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How to Make a Demo Video for Your Mobile App

Updated on May 7, 2013
Demo Video for the 3D Weather android app
Demo Video for the 3D Weather android app | Source

Video as a Medium of Choice

Videos are an essential tool for marketing your product or service, albeit a mobile application, website, software application or beauty product.

With content delivery mediums like the App Store and Google Play raking in billions of mobile app and eBook downloads, it's not surprising that most apps go un-noticed on the app stores today, though they may have been beautifully designed and serve unique purposes.

Why Videos Rule

It's not surprising that according to the B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Report 2013, prospective customers use videos much more than they use white papers, live demos with sales representatives, case studies, eBooks and toolkits.

Graph illustrating the percentage of marketing respondents that use each content medium or offer
Graph illustrating the percentage of marketing respondents that use each content medium or offer | Source

People are Used to Videos

How many webpages can you browse today without seeing a video embedded with a YouTube or Vimeo player?

The writing is on the wall. You need to make a video showing off your app, and you need to make that available within the first scroll of your website or app product page. No matter what you are selling or giving away for free, videos today are an awesome tool to convince prospective customers that your app is exactly what they're looking for!

Make Your Own App Demo Video

So, what does it take to create a video for your own mobile application, product or service? A variety of skills are required to make a professional app demo video that looks and sounds right. After all, you need to put your best foot forward when it comes down to marketing your app!


1. Write A Transcript That Tells Your App's Story

A successful video begins on paper: a neat blueprint or written transcript that documents what you wish to showcase in the video.

The transcript would include an introduction to your app and what it does for the user, the most important app features and a demonstration of your app in action. This would be much different from your writeup in the app's description page. A description page simply lists all the features of the app for the user to read, whereas a video transcript excites the user by showing off the richest features and use cases of the app in action.

A well written transcript ensures that the video will convince the user to buy or install the app!

While writing the transcript, plan for showing off the features in the video as well. If you need to fill out a form, ensure that there's enough transcript to support the time in which you are going to be typing. No one likes to watch a video in which the voice is muted for more than 2 to 3 seconds of video!

2. Find A Professional-Sounding Voice

Yes, you could have a team member who is enthusiastic enough to volunteer to be the voice for the transcript. However, give it a deep thought before you choose to do that.

A professional voice artist knows the tricks of the trade, and comes packed with the expressions and jingles that are required in a marketing video. The probability that someone from your team is going to be able to pickup a skilled profession like that overnight does not sound feasible at best.

Conduct auditions and choose the right voice artist with the right accent in the best interests of your video. The accent should match with that of your target audience. Once you've done that, get the transcript recorded.

Remember to get your voice artist to sign a written agreement that will legally let you use the artist's voice for marketing your brand or product without having to pay any loyalties down the road.

3. Latest & Greatest Mobile Device

If you are making an app video, ensure that you have in your hands, the top range device to show your app on. In case you do not possess one, a mid-range device should work.

It would be a bad idea to make the video with a low-range or cheap device. Think about your target audience, especially if you are making commercial apps. Will people who have a higher end device be impressed to see a cheap device showing off your app? Will people who buy a lower end device have the budget to purchase your product or service?

4. A HD-capable Video Camera with Tripod Mount

Mobile app videos must never be shot with emulators or screen-recording software. What you need to show in the video is a real user interacting with the app and its features. This will increase consumer confidence, as the video looks more real and promising this way, and also shows off the app on a real device as caught on camera.

Ensure that you have a HD-capable Video Camera that can record the video. It is essential that you mount the camera on a tripod. Shaky videos will look horrible and distracting to users. Poorly made marketing material will cast a bad image on your app and drive off users to your competitors.

5. Lighting

Lighting can be one of the trickier elements when it comes to filming with mobile devices.

Whether you need heavy or light lighting depends on the app's colors and graphics. A dimly lit app would show dull if filmed with bright lights.

If you are filming on a black-colored device or an app that has a black-colored background, it should likely reflect light and imagery which is highly undesirable as it would be captured in the video. In this case, it is important to use light control sheets and caps to control light emission. Make shift screens made of cloth should work great for this purpose.

After filming the video, ensure that you check it on a big monitor or laptop to study the outcome. It may take a few iterations of filming and plenty of patience to get the lighting right!

6. Film To The Transcript

The filming phase should easily be the trickiest part of the whole process as you must film the app according to the transcript that you've already written. The camera must be mounted and still. You may move the device if your app needs movement in order for it to function. However, keep the device still and mounted on a pad for as long as possible, as the video looks more professional that way.

If your app has background sounds and music that must be recorded, you must film in a room which is totally quiet and resistant to external sounds. Do keep in mind that users may view your video while wearing headphones, so any minute sounds accidentally added in may show off in the video.

Camera and mobile settings should be reviewed prior to making the video. Make sure that you read the user manual that comes with the camera. You need to check and switch off aspects such as auto-brightness which may ruin how your mobile looks when filmed with the camera. Similarly, the mobile device's brightness level should be adjusted based on your lighting level.

7. Professional Editing Software

Once the filming is complete, it comes down to the Editing process. Ensure that you use a leading Editing software tool like Adobe Premiere. A free 30-day trial is available, so you could check out the software's features and learn them in order to get going.

Video Editing is a tricky process. There are several dos and donts in the game that you can pickup with some research on the Internet. Too many jump cuts and the video would look shady. Too many animation effects and it would lose the professional outlook that is essential for the video. Loud music ensures that you lose your viewer quickly - remember how irritated you got when a webpage played a loud background promo when you were peacefully browsing the Internet?

Ensure that you save your project file in the default format as suggested by the Editing software. Once this is done, you can export the video to a more player-compatible format such as AVI or WMV. If your video is for the web, upload the converted video to YouTube or Vimeo and ensure that is shows and sounds properly on your web browser. Video codecs are a jungle, so verification after upload will save you from disappointments. If you hit on a problem, try exporting the video from your Editing software into a different format.

That's That

While you go around making a video, ensure that you have fun and live the moments! We at AppVJ enjoy making videos for our customers, and that's possibly why we've managed to make some beautiful ones! Good luck with your video!

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