Making a game that captures hearts and minds is just the beginning. The real game-changer is how you bring it to the people who will love it most. In this guide, we’ll explore the real talk of marketing mobile games – no jargon, just straightforward strategies and insights that will help your game shine and grab people’s attention for a long time.
Understanding the Mobile Gaming Market
Before getting into marketing tactics, it’s crucial to understand the terrain of the mobile gaming market. It’s diverse, expansive, and can change swiftly. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
- Current Trends: Mobile gaming isn’t just about passing the time anymore. With the rise of eSports and interactive social gaming experiences, the market is more dynamic than ever. It’s important to know what’s hot and what’s not.
- Who’s Playing? The demographic of mobile game players is a rainbow spectrum. From busy moms playing puzzle games to teenagers engrossed in strategy games, understanding your audience’s demographics is key to tailoring your marketing approach.
- Competition Analysis: The mobile gaming market is crowded, with thousands of games vying for attention. Analyzing what your competitors are doing can give you insights into what works and what doesn’t.
Key Mobile Gaming Stats and Figures from 2023
|Average daily time spent on mobile games
|Indicates user engagement level
|Most popular game genres
|Role-playing, puzzle, adventure, strategy, and idle games
|Helps in targeting game development
|Age distribution of players
|32.7% of mobile gamers are between the ages of 25 and 34
|Guides demographic targeting in marketing
|Gender distribution of players
|55% are women, 45% are men
|Guides demographic targeting in marketing
Knowing these aspects helps create a solid marketing strategy and fine-tune your game to meet the expectations of your target audience.
Developing a Mobile Game Marketing Strategy
A successful app marketing strategy for a mobile game is like a custom-made suit – it needs to fit your game perfectly. Here’s how you can create one:
- Setting Clear Objectives: Begin by defining what success looks like. Is it a million downloads, a strong player community, or high engagement rates? Your goals will shape your strategy. In most cases, the overall objective depends on the monetization model. If you’re promoting a completely monetized game via ads, you most likely aim for high volume at the lowest possible price. On the other hand, if your gaming app is monetized through in-app purchases, you will want to find people with higher spending power willing to pay a higher price for installation for those users.
- Target Audience Identification: Who will love your game the most? Understanding your audience’s preferences, habits, and gaming styles is crucial. Are they hardcore gamers or casual players? This will direct your messaging and channels.
- Market Research’s Role: Don’t just guess; know. Use surveys, focus groups, and market analysis to understand your audience better. This research will inform every aspect of your marketing, from messaging to choice of advertising platforms.
Building the Marketing Mobile Games Strategy
- Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): What makes your game stand out? It could be an innovative gameplay mechanic, a compelling storyline, or unique graphics.
- Choose the Right Paid Channels: Depending on your audience, select the most effective platforms for promotion. Social media platforms, gaming forums, or offline events could be key. The monetization system can also be important in choosing the right channel.
- Content Strategy: Plan your content to engage and attract your audience. This includes blogs, videos, social media posts, UGC content, and more that can support the Paid UA activities.
1. Pre-Launch Marketing Tactics
The pre-launch phase is all about creating anticipation and interest in your game. Here’s how to get people talking about your game before it even hits the app stores:
- Generating Hype: Start by teasing the release with sneak peeks, trailers, and behind-the-scenes content. This can build excitement and curiosity among potential players.
- Social Media Campaigns: Platforms like Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are perfect for reaching out to your audience. Regular updates, countdowns, and interactive posts can keep your audience engaged.
- Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with gaming influencers who can introduce your game to their followers. Choose influencers whose audience aligns with your target demographic for maximum impact. The gaming vertical is one of the most crowded with influencers, with even specialization within specific game categories.
- Pre-Registration Rewards: Encourage users to pre-register for your game by offering exclusive rewards. This boosts early interest and provides a ready base of players at launch.
Building Pre-Launch Momentum
- Develop a Teaser Campaign: Release intriguing snippets about your game to spark interest.
- Engage with Communities: Be active in online gaming forums and communities to build relationships with potential players.
- Email Marketing: Use email newsletters to keep your audience informed and excited about the upcoming launch.
2. Launch Strategies for Marketing Mobile Games
The launch of your mobile game is a hit-or-miss moment. Here’s how to make it count:
- Perfect Timing: Choosing the right release date can significantly impact your game’s success. Avoid launching alongside major titles and consider seasonal trends in gaming. Remember that seasonality may change from game to game and according to the specific target audience.
- Press Releases and Media Outreach: Craft compelling press releases to generate noise in gaming and tech communities. Reaching out to gaming bloggers and journalists can amplify your launch.
- Leveraging App Store Optimization (ASO): Optimize your app store listings with relevant keywords, compelling descriptions, and eye-catching graphics. This improves visibility and attracts organic downloads.
- Kickstarting User Acquisition: Implement strategies to acquire your first batch of players. This could include promotional offers, in-app advertisements, or featured placements in app stores.
Leverage our ASO experts and cutting-edge technology to increase your mobile app’s visibility strategically.
Mobile Game Promotion: Launch Checklist
- Complete QA and User Feedback Sessions: Ensure your game is bug-free and offers a smooth user experience by conducting user research within your target audience and completing QA through specialized services. Make sure that the onboarding part is clear and helps the users move the first steps in the gaming experience, increasing the chances of monetization. Check our eBook on user onboarding to refine your strategy.
- Create a Launch Event: Consider hosting an online event or live stream to celebrate the launch.
- Monitor Feedback: Pay close attention to initial player feedback and be ready to make quick adjustments. You can regularly repeat user feedback sessions with a champion of your users.
3. Post-Launch Marketing Techniques
The journey doesn’t end at launch. Keeping your players engaged and attracting new ones is crucial for sustained success. Here’s how:
- Engaging Updates and Events: Regular updates, new features, and in-game events keep the game fresh and exciting. This not only retains existing players but also attracts new ones.
- Community Management: Build a strong community around your game. Engage with players through social media, forums, and in-game channels. Feedback from the community is invaluable for continuous improvement.
- Utilizing Player Feedback: Listen to what players say about your game. Use their feedback to make improvements and show your community that their opinions matter. Encourage leaving user reviews on app stores.
- Referral Programs: By offering referral incentives, motivate your current players to bring in new ones. This can be an effective way to grow your player base organically.
Strategies to Boost Post-Launch Engagement
- Regular Content Updates: Keep the game interesting with new levels, characters, or storylines.
- Social Media Contests and Challenges: Engage your audience with fun and interactive social media activities.
- Player Rewards for Milestones: Celebrate game milestones with rewards for the players, enhancing loyalty.
- CRM activities: Keep your users active and increase monetization chances by communicating special offers or discounts.
- Apple In-app Events (for iOS): Re-engage old users and attract new ones with special weekly and monthly events.
Paid Advertising and Mobile Game Promotion
While organic growth is important, paid app advertising can significantly change your game’s visibility and user base. Here’s how to approach it:
- Choosing the Right Advertising Channels: The key is to select platforms where your target audience is most active. This could be social media, search engines, gaming websites, or in-app advertisements on other games through DSPs or Google App Campaigns. Budget and campaign objective are two factors to consider when choosing the channels. If we aim to acquire more users at a cheaper price, we may opt for cheaper channels like Google or TikTok. We might want to start from Meta if the objective is to optimize campaigns toward a higher ROAS. DSPs are an excellent opportunity to scale; however, they require a costly initial investment in learning, which might not make sense when the total budget is limited.
- Balancing Organic and Paid Acquisition: A healthy app marketing strategy includes a mix of organic and paid user acquisition. This helps maintain a sustainable growth rate without relying solely on ad spending. You can boost organic growth through ASO strategy, referral programs, and tactics like allowing users to share their results on social media to gain free visibility.
- In-App Advertisements: These can be a powerful tool for promoting your game within other apps. The trick is to find apps with a user base that matches your target audience. It is possible to place your ads in other mobile apps through Google, DSPs inventory, and even Facebook. However, there is no complete control over categories.
- Cross-Promotion with Other Games: If you have more than one gaming app available on the store, make sure to make cross-promotion of your games, proposing other games through in-app communication
Paid Strategies for Marketing a Mobile Game
- Targeted Ad Campaigns: Use demographic data to target your ads to the right audience. This will depend on the game category, topic, and objective.
- Retargeting Campaigns: use retargeting campaigns across different platforms for retention purposes by re-engaging inactive users and paying users who are not paying anymore or for activation purposes by engaging users who have downloaded your game but have not yet made an in-app purchase.
- Analyzing Ad Performance: Regularly review the performance of your ads and adjust your paid strategy for better ROI. Even if the ultimate goal is to have a high Return on Investment, a good marketer’s job is to keep control of the full funnel conversion, from impressions to clicks and installs.
Investing in paid user acquisition can accelerate your game’s growth, but monitoring and tweak your strategies for the best results is crucial. Think about partnering with the right app marketing agency for the best results.
Analyzing Marketing Performance
To ensure your marketing efforts are effective, analyzing their performance is essential. Here’s what you need to focus on:
- Key Metrics to Track: Understand and monitor metrics like download numbers, daily active users (DAUs), retention rates, ROAS, and average revenue per user (ARPU). It’s imperative to analyze upper funnel metrics, such as CTR and, especially for DSPs, the Install-per-mille (IPM). These metrics provide a clear picture of your game’s Paid UA efficiency and should give you an idea of how to allocate your budget.
- Tools for Analytics and Tracking: Having an MMP is the first step to analyzing the performances of your Mobile game Paid UA campaigns. Through the MMP, you can understand which channel is bringing you better users according to your initial objective, but you can also understand LTV, ARPU, organic growth, etc. Other tools like data.ai (previously App Annie), Sensor Tower, or Apptica can help you track the performance of your game compared to other games in terms of total downloads, revenues, advertising channels, and demographic distributions. It’s important, however, to have internal BI systems that combine data from the different tools to analyze the overall profitability of the game better and make predictions on our users’ LTV.
- Data-Driven Strategy Adjustments: Use the insights gained from analytics to refine your marketing strategies. For instance, consider allocating more resources if a particular ad campaign is performing well.
Essential Metrics for Game Marketing
|Cost per Install (CPI)
|Cost to acquire a new player
|Guides budget allocation. This is important for games that are monetizing through ads
|Player Lifetime Value (LTV)
|Total revenue expected from a player
|Helps in long-term planning and understanding how much we can afford to pay a user
|How actively players are engaging with the game
|Indicates the game’s appeal
|For how long a user is playing your game
|Helps you understand the LTV and plan your user acquisition campaigns
|Install per mille (IPM)
|How many installs you get every thousand of impressions
|Indicates how effective your campaigns are ads in terms of both CTR and Install rate. It is important because, for the gaming industry, CPMs are extremely high, so we need to maximize every impression
|Return on ad spend (ROAS)
|How much money the users acquired through paid UA are generating
|Helps understand the profitability of your Paid UA campaigns
|Average Revenue per paying user (ARPPU)
|How much revenue a paying user is generating
|Helps understand the value of the paying users
|(Average Revenue Per Daily Active Users) ARPDAU
|How much revenue each daily active user generates
|Indicates the profitability of your game’s daily active users
Analyzing marketing performance allows you to make data-driven decisions that enhance your game’s reach and ROAS.
Our experienced team delivers customized and data-driven strategies with a holistic approach to growth. Explore our paid UA service today.
Future Trends in Mobile Game Marketing
The mobile gaming industry is constantly evolving, and staying abreast of future trends is crucial for success. Here’s what to look out for:
- Emerging Technologies: Technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are starting to play a bigger role in mobile gaming. Marketing strategies that leverage these technologies can offer more immersive experiences to players.
- Personalization at Scale: Personalized marketing is becoming more sophisticated with AI and machine learning advancements. Tailoring the gaming experience and marketing messages to individual preferences can greatly enhance engagement.
- Social Gaming and Community Building: The trend towards social gaming is growing. Games that encourage community interaction and social sharing will likely increase engagement and virality.
- Influencer Marketing Evolution: As influencer marketing matures, collaborations become more creative and integrated. Partnerships that go beyond simple endorsements to involve influencers in game development and live events are becoming more common.
By keeping an eye on these trends, you can future-proof your mobile game marketing strategies, ensuring that your gaming app remains relevant and appealing to new generations of players.
From understanding your audience and crafting a holistic marketing strategy to launching and maintaining the momentum post-launch, each step is crucial for the success of marketing mobile games.
Remember, the key to effective mobile game marketing lies in:
- Knowing Your Audience: Tailor your game and marketing strategies to their preferences and habits.
- Innovation and Adaptability: Stay current with trends and be willing to adapt your strategies.
- Data-Driven Decisions: Let analytics guide your marketing decisions for better outcomes.
Mobile game marketing is not just about promoting a game; it’s about creating a connection with your players, offering them an experience beyond the game itself.
Are you seeking the ideal partner to elevate your app marketing efforts? Get in contact with our experts and learn how we have helped many partners succeed.
What are the most effective strategies for promoting a new game app?
Optimize app store presence, engage on social media, collaborate with gaming influencers, use paid advertising, and create shareable content like trailers.
How can I use social media to market my mobile game?
Post engaging content, interact with followers, run contests, and use targeted ads on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook.
What role does app store optimization (ASO) play in promoting a mobile game?
Improve game visibility by optimizing the app title, description, keywords, and screenshots; respond to reviews and update the app.
Can influencer marketing be effective for mobile game promotion, and how do I approach it?
Highly effective; partner with influencers whose audience matches your target demographic to review and showcase your game.