Marketing Your Apps With Awesome Screenshots For More Downloads And Income

Going on from the part 1 of this series, how to create app icons that sell, the second most important part of organic app marketing within the app store are your screenshots.  Just to recap, remember how people decide on apps to download:  they either search within the app store for a particular topic, or they browse the app charts.  Whichever avenue they use, their initial decision making is made on the app icon, the app name and reviews – based on these factors they will decide to whether to click on the icon for further information, or not.  Once they’ve clicked on the icon, the most important piece of marketing real estate is the screenshot section – if they like the screenshots and the reviews are positive, the user will download the app.

Don’t be one of those developers who neglects their screenshots!

A lot of app developers neglect the screenshot section and don’t give it the love it deserves.  An important point to note is that the screenshots section doesn’t have to be “just” an actual boring old screenshot and in fact IT SHOULDN’T BE! Clever marketers will use the space to insert their marketing messages and advertising copy.  Think of all the potential this space has…

We’ll discuss copywriting for apps in a later post, but for the meantime I want to open your mind to the concept of using your screenshots the “right” way.  I’ve seen lots of mistakes from app developers, including not using all the screenshots available (you have 5 slots) to not including copy within the screenshots.

Concrete Examples of How Screenshots Should Be Used In App Marketing

Here are some links to app profiles that have decent screenshots (open up in itunes, these are affiliate links so I may get a small commission):

The above app developers have done a decent job in marketing through the app screenshots.  In the first example above you can see the use of a testimonial in the first screenshot (although it’s a bit difficult to read in my opinion and doesn’t credit the source).  All the apps above also feature the benefits prominently in bold text surrounding the actual screenshots themselves and also there is a nice use of two screenshots combined together to form a large image.

The above examples are great for showcasing the options possible using the screenshot real estate, however all the above examples can be improved.  Personally there is a really important element missing here in these screenshots, namely a call to action! Remember, people need to be told exactly what to do, and the call to action should definitely be incorporated here.  Additionally, once you have some real testimonials built up or if you’ve been featured in media outlets, these elements should definitely be incorporated prominently into the screenshots – imagine seeing “as featured in CNN, Forbes, Time Magazine” in the screenshots and what this does for social proof!

How To Use ScreenShots To Sell Your Apps – Click To Tweet

Another small tip is that if your app is available for both iphone and iPad, make sure that you’ve uploaded screenshots for both devices.    iPhone screenshots need to be either in JPG, TIF or PNG formats, at least 72 dpi  and of the dimensions 960 X 640, 960 X 600, 640 X 960 or 640 X 920. iPad screenshots have similar criteria, however the dimensions for the iPad must be 1024×768, 1024×748, 768×1024, 768×1004, 2048×1536, 2048×1496, 1536×2048 or 1536×2008 pixels.  These figures have been taken straight from the source (iTunes Connect) and are valid for August 2012.

My Own Use Of Screenshots

Below you can see how I’ve incorporated these concepts into my own magazine app screenshots.  I’ve used the first screen to include both the key benefits to the user as well as a prominent call to action.  The second screenshot includes prominent figures that I’ve interviewed and contributes to the “social proof” element.  The subsequent slides feature more benefits.

MAKE APP screenshot 1

MAKE APP screenshot 2

MAKE APP screenshot 3

MAKE APP screenshot 4

MAKE APP screenshot 4

These screenshots are by no means perfect and there are still definitely ways that I could improve these.  I held off publishing this information because I wanted to make sure that these marketing laden screenshots were approved by Apple.  They were! So this method is OK by the Apple reviewers…

Now it’s up to you…

Let me know below how you would improve my app screenshots!

Also feel free to leave a link to your own app screenshots for people to comment on them and give you some unsolicited advice!

Remember to sign up below to get notified as soon as MAKE APP Magazine is launched (VERY SOON NOW!).  Also for being a member of this private list I’ll give you totally exclusive insights into my own app development experiences (as they occur) which won’t be available elsewhere… I won’t email you too often, around once a month…


Author: David Janner

David Janner is a former M.D. and the Editor-in-Chief of MAKE APP Magazine. His passion is app development and app marketing. You should follow him on Twitter and Facebook and Google+ in order to get the most important industry related news, hot off the press. If you would like to arrange a 15 minute app marketing session to discuss your App Store Optimization strategy, contact him here.

613 thoughts on “Marketing Your Apps With Awesome Screenshots For More Downloads And Income”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *