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Do you feel like you aren’t marketing your app with videos as well as you can?

Do you want to know more ways you can market your app using online videos?

Online videos have been around forever, but they are rarely leveraged to their full potential. So in this post, I will give you three simple ways that you can start using video to get the word out about your app.

The best part is that your competition is probably overlooking these strategies. Like most types of app marketing, you will have to test them out and find out what works best for your app.

Some are paid, some are free.

But they are certainly all worth considering.

1. Instagram is a great means for marketing your app with videos

social-platformsInstagram is blowing up.

…as a marketing platform.

A recent study shows that it is the fastest-growing social network, and a legit place to market an app. If you are already on Instagram, then you have probably seen the noticeable rise in spammy accounts on the platform.

This is always a shame, but in a way, it is also a good sign. That usually means that there is money to be made.

There are basically three ways that you can leverage Instagram videos…

Build Your Own Channel

This is the most time-consuming, but cheapest, way to go. Like with any other social media platform, posting regularly, with interesting content, will help you gain a following.

You will probably need to experiment with the type of content that you put out, to see what works best. Keep in mind that people on Instagram are looking for a peek into the lives of others.

Like when Steve takes selfies…

A photo posted by Steve P. Young (@stevepyoung) on

So tailor your video content accordingly. Content that works well on other channels, may not work on Instagram.

Also comment, like and follow other influencers in your niche on Instagram. Yeah, sometimes the old school tactics still work well.

Buy Shout Outs on Other Channels

If you don’t get the results that you are looking for by doing it yourself, don’t get discouraged. Instagram is getting more and more competitive, so it is hard to stand out.

A shout out campaign on a very popular channel can start at $5,000. Yeah, that might be a lot of money to you.

But if you do have the money to spend on marketing, it could be worthwhile. Getting coverage on other accounts can boost your following very quickly.

I have a friend who was able to build his account to 10,000 followers within a few months. But he also spent about $8,000 to do it.

Also consider contacting accounts that aren’t that big. You will probably be able to negotiate a cheaper deal, or do some sort of trade.

Buy Ads

Finally, you can simply buy Facebook ads and be done with it. Some companies have seen good results with Instagram ads, compared to Facebook Ads.

Salesforce has seen almost twice the clickthrough rate. So it is worth throwing at least a few hundred dollars at some ads and seeing what happens.

Here is an example of one of their videos. It’s a little weird, but I can see where it might create curiosity.

A video posted by Salesforce (@salesforce) on

2. AdWords: it’s sneaky, but it works (and it doesn’t violate any of Google’s TOS!)

I think you will like this one. It’s pretty sneaky, but perfectly terms-of-use-friendly.

…and it can lower your advertising costs by up to 74%.

…and you can reach up to 92% of all Internet users.

Yeah, you read that correctly.

Now that I have your attention, let’s take a look at how this works. It’s actually quite simple and it involves a combination of YouTube videos and AdWords ads.


Since YouTube uses the AdWords network, this opens up a lot of cross-marketing possibilities.

Start with YouTube ads or even regular YouTube videos on your channel. Optimize your video or ad for search terms that are related to your app. This will bring you high-quality traffic of people searching for those terms.

When people watch your video or interact with your ads, you basically cookie them and build your marketing list, for retargeting later. You could target them again with your video ads.

…or you can target them with AdWords banner/text ads on other websites. Which, as you can probably imagine, are much cheaper than video ads.

So that is how you can lower your ad costs by such a big margin. Since AdWords are displayed on so many sites, people who watched your video are very likely to visit a site in the near future that displays AdWords.

BOOM! Hit them again.

If you want to learn more about this strategy, this podcast episode provides a good discussion on the topic, along with the exact case study that was used to get the stats I mentioned in the beginning of this section.

3. Optimizing for YouTube Organic

As ubiquitous as YouTube is, not many app publishers use it to its full potential, as I mentioned here.


This is because most people are lazy. If you have published a YouTube video before, you have probably optimized the video title somewhat, then just did whatever on the description and keywords.

…and forget about a custom video thumbnail.

Am I right?

I’m certainly guilty of this. But after going back and optimizing a few of my own videos, my view counts accelerated on most of them, so I’m convinced that this works.

Yes, it is time-consuming. Yes, it doesn’t always work on every video you optimize. What’s that saying about putting lipstick on a cow? Or was it a duck?

Sometimes your video simply doesn’t have an audience or there is too much competition.

…or it just plain sucks.

We always have to be willing to admit that fact. No problem, we learn something from it and move on to the next one.

Now, I won’t get into what kind of YouTube videos you should create. That is very niche specific and you probably already know what kind of videos you should be making.

But once you have a video ready to publish, this is how you give it the best chance of being viewed.

How to Optimize a YouTube Video for Search

Optimizing a YouTube video is similar to doing App Store Optimization. You need to have the right tools.

One tool that we really like is vidIQ. Think of it as the Sensor Tower or Mobile Action for YouTube.

The best part is that all of the features you will need are free. So before you go on, be sure to download the Chrome plugin so you can follow along.

Choosing the Right Keywords

This can be tricky on YouTube because you want to use some generic keywords, so YouTube understands what your video is about. But you also want to use long-tail keywords that your video can rank for.

To get keyword ideas, you can start by using the autocomplete feature in the search bar. If you have a dog training app, these are some of the keywords you could research.


You can also look at the keywords that other popular videos are using. When you have the vidIQ addon activated in Chrome, it will give you the keywords that the top two videos in the search results use.

Here are the keywords that the top video for “dog training” uses.


Finally, you can use vidIQ’s keyword tool to investigate any keyword. The keyword “dog training” has the following characteristics.


The important thing to look at is the Overall score. The bigger the number, the better the keyword is. A 100/100 keyword would have zero Competition and 100 Search Volume.

Remember that you can localize too.

Bonus Strategy: You can use a made-up keyword in related videos, that nobody would use, in your keyword list.


Because this will help you dominate the suggested videos section on the right side of the screen. For example, the creator of this video occupies 16 of the 19 suggested video slots on the right side of this video.


When you use a keyword that nobody else is using, you increase your chances of your other videos being seen as related and being listed in the suggested videos section.

In this example, your made-up keyword could be: “1doggiedoor22” or something like that.

Yes, your videos that use this made-up keyword should actually be related. Trying to trick the search algos will end up biting you later.

Maximizing Your Description

Now, take those keywords and craft a killer description. Like I mentioned before, most people are lazy and only add a few lines to their description.

But if you write a longer description, it will give YouTube a better idea of what your video is about and usually help you in the search rankings. Including more related outbound links in the description is also a good way to tell YouTube what your video is about.

The Attention-Grabbing Title

Now take the primary keyword that you want the video to rank for and put that into your title. Remember, people first, search algo second.

Since most people will only see the first part of your title, especially on smaller devices, make it attention grabbing. Then put your target keyword towards the end of the title, if it wasn’t a good fit at the beginning.

Making Your One Screenshot Count

Now you want to catch people’s attention, when your app appears in search results. You may be tempted to make a really pretty thumbnail that is really detailed and looks great on a big screen.

F…orget that.

You want big, bold…and possibly ugly. Okay, not too ugly, but you want to catch people’s attention.

Going back to the dog training example, here is the thumbnail for the #1 video.


Pretty? Not really.

Eye catching? Totally.

When I used to do postcard marketing, we tested a professionally designed, glossy postcard against an ugly, bright orange, plain paper postcard with just black text.

Guess which one won? Yeah, the ugly one…by a mile. And it was way cheaper to make.

So don’t be afraid to use bright, bold video thumbnails that can be easily seen and read in search results. You will be more likely to catch people’s attention and get more views.

Finally, like with ASO, don’t be afraid to keep experimenting with things, until you find something that works. Try new keywords, experiment with splash screens.


So those are three ideas for marketing your app with video. With increasing competition on the App Stores, you need to explore every option possible.

You can’t just rely on one strategy. Try videos. Try PR.

Try it all and see what sticks.

How do you use app marketing videos? What have been your results? I would love to hear about it in the comments below…

Hugh Kimara

Hugh Kimara is the Inbound Marketing Manager at Apptamin, the app video marketing specialists. To learn more about how to leverage video to market your app, head on over to their blog.

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