Great resources for building a killer app trailer

by Fergus Hurley

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The demand for mobile applications is undeniable. According to Gartner, revenue from mobile apps will exceed $15 billion in 2011, and pass $58 billion within three years. IDC reported that 10.9 billion apps were downloaded in 2010 and projects that more than 76.9 billion will be downloaded in 2014.

The new mobile app culture is extending into virtually every area of our personal and business lives. A mobile app turns our smartphone into a stockbroker, cookbook, personal shopper, and accountant.

When it comes to building buzz and monetizing apps, nothing plays as significant a role as the app trailer. With over 350,000 iPhone apps and approximately 300,000 Android applications on the market to date, simple screenshots and wordy explanations aren’t enough to make an application stand out.

The 1-2 minute video trailer is one of the few ways a potential customer can experience an application before downloading it. Done right, trailers communicate what an app is all about and trigger the urge to buy and/or download. In just the last couple of years, the mobile app industry has given rise to a whole new world of supporting applications and a proliferation of services and tools to help app developers build these uber-important app trailers.

We’ve seen a full range of application trailers, everything from low-budget demos to big budget productions. Flipboard, for example, showed just what’s possible with some clever editing, creativity, a great soundtrack and a little humor, as did the videos for Groupon Now! and popular App Store puzzler The Heist.

If you’re gearing up to launch an app, you might be wondering how you can showcase your application with your own really cool video demo. To help your application stand out in today’s ocean of mobile apps, there are many resources at your disposal.

Useful software for video production includes iMovie (available as part of the iLife suite and as an iPad app) Apple’s Final Cut ProAVID, and both AfterEffects and Premiere Pro from Adobe.

When it comes to creating app demo videos, some great examples of helpful software packages include Sound StageSimFingerSnapz Pro XiSowU HDXtranormal and Prezi. Whichever platform you’re working on, there should be something there to suit you.

Finally, to create great screencasts, check out software programs like ScreenCastsOnlineCopernicus or Telestream ScreenFlow.

If, however, you don’t have the time, expertise or inclination to create your own trailer, you can hire a freelance video producer or firm to produce a customized demo. These experts not only handle the technical and creative aspects of video editing and animation, but they can help you determine the most compelling way to show your app.