There are many different components to mobile game marketing, such as paid ads versus organic, but one of the major goals for all this marketing is to drive player installs. And even though more players than ever are downloading mobile games, competition for those downloads is fiercer than ever, especially since Netflix entered the gaming market last year.
The company drove more than 8 million downloads in its first few months alone. And while that level of engagement is heartening as an indicator that audiences are open to trying new games, it is also evidence that the market is increasingly crowded with huge companies pushing games.
So what should mobile game marketers do to make sure their games get discovered, downloaded, and played by new audiences?
The answer likely lies in taking a holistic approach to mobile game marketing, by focusing on organic and paid ads, as well as the in-app experience.
Here is everything to know about finding–and keeping–new audiences by creating engaging mobile game marketing.
Getting started in mobile game marketing
With over 5 million apps to choose from in the Apple App Store and Google play, planning for mobile game marketing should begin before a game is even developed. In a game’s initial stages, there are many factors to consider about the audiences for a particular game. Searching app stores for similar games, taking note of market saturation, is a critical first step. From there app marketers need a clear picture who who their target audience will be from the jump in order to better target both paid and organic marketing efforts.
Once the game is finished, app marketers also need vital information about their user experience. Installs are just part of the goal when it comes to mobile app marketing, retention is also key. Some of the major metrics mobile app marketers need for understanding, finding, and retaining their audiences include:
Frequency of Use: How often are users engaging with a game, and how long does each session last?
Audience Retention: How many audience members never open the game? How long are they waiting before uninstalling?
Progression Funnels: How far in the game are users getting before stopping play?
Engagement: Which parts of the game are users engaging with most, and which are they ignoring?
Once mobile game marketers understand exactly who their target audience is, what other games on the market they are also playing, and how users are interacting with their game, the next step is understanding both paid and organic mobile game marketing basics.
Paid vs. Organic
Both paid mobile game marketing and organic search results matter when it comes to driving installs. Understanding the difference between the two is critical.
Paid marketing encompasses all paid advertising campaigns on the many different ad networks available to mobile game marketers. Organic mobile game marketing is a term used to describe all the other, free, marketing channels. These channels are the app store, social media, websites, etc. Acquiring new audiences requires a blend of both paid and organic strategies.
Find the right ad network
The two most important paid ad networks for mobile game marketing are Google and Facebook. Here are the basics for getting started on both.
To advertise with Google, begin by creating a Universal App Campaign. This allows advertisers to promote games across many different Google properties. One of the biggest benefits of advertising with Google is the fact that, once an advertiser creates a Universal App Campaign, one ad works across all Google properties. Simply upload assets, then set the language and location for the ad. From there, Google tests combinations of asses, and the ads that perform best are served the most.
For Facebook, Automated App Ads simplify the mobile game marketing process. They are different from the other option, which is manually building app ads, because they require just one ad set per campaign. Dynamic creative testing and machine learning adjustments are built into the ad platform, so that, like Google, the most effective ads are the ones that are served. Automated App Ads can also be run alongside standard Facebook app ads.
But paid advertising is just the first step. Organic advertising, especially in app stores, is critical for getting a mobile game in front of new audiences.
Optimize the App Store
App store optimization is much like SEO in that app store algorithms are looking for a few critical pieces of information, including:
Game Title: Much like website SEO, a game title should include keywords that provide the style, theme, and of course, the story of a game.
Description: This should also be keyword-rich, including descriptions of the game’s story along with updates and features.
Keywords: In Apple’s App Store, there is a designated keyword field. This field should also include game features, description, and functionalities.
Screenshots and Video: Visual elements are also critical to app store optimization. Make sure to include compelling screenshots and an immersive game promo video.
Mobile game marketing requires a strategic mix of paid and organic advertising, but the key to a great strategy is knowing your audience and creating a great game.
Skai’s App Marketing solution
As part of Skai’s intelligent marketing platform, our App Marketing solution helps your app stand out among millions in the top stores with Apple Search Ads, Google Universal App Campaigns, and more. Skai™ leverages an advanced algorithm based on AI and machine learning to ensure your ads reach your target users. Increase installs and user acquisition with streamlined automation, optimization, and reporting.