Gaming app marketing: Learn the strategies these savvy marketers use to grow their audience and revenue
When it comes to the business of driving downloads and monetizing apps, the marketing minds behind gaming apps have it down.
They have to, or they wouldn’t survive—the games category is fiercely competitive and crowded, making up close to 25% of the roughly 2 million available apps in the Apple App Store. The category is expected to grow sharply by 2020, when revenue is projected to hit $64.2 billion globally, driving nearly 70% of iOS user revenue.
It’s not just gaming apps, though, that have the app revenue market cornered. This year, worldwide app store consumer spend will grow 5x faster than the overall global economy, so there is money to be made by other players. The key is to take the lessons from the category leaders and apply them to your particular app marketing scenario.
Lucky for you we’ve distilled down the key lessons learned from gaming app marketers into these three tips:
Gaming App Marketing Tip #1: Shift your marketing focus from a one-time download to recurring in-app micro-purchases
Before app marketing reached its current level of sophistication, developers were content to focus on downloads as their key metric. But downloads as a KPI had a major downfall: there was no incentive for developers to keep current users happy. It was a constant quest for new downloads, without a focus on enhancements and engagement.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to move on from this one-and-done approach and think about building an ongoing relationship with your users—one that will incent them to make one or more purchases after downloading your app.
Freemium games like Fortnite are free to download but monetize astoundingly well through in-app purchases. The chart below shows just how good app marketers are at this monetization method.
And there are several different ways you can configure in-app purchases, depending on what works best for your app. Another thing you’ll want to take note of is that iOS users spend 2.5x more than Android users, to the tune of $1.08 versus $0.43 in monthly in-app purchases per user, per app. These iOS users are also roughly 50% more likely to spend any money at all in apps when compared to Android users.
Gaming App Marketing Tip #2: Turn your users into players that always want more
It’s no secret that gamification of apps boosts engagement. When you appeal to a person’s sense of competition, or you offer rewards for desired outcomes, you’ve tapped into a very powerful reward center in the brain that can greatly influence behavior. Essentially, you’re making a game of something that isn’t a game at its core.
Take Duolingo, a popular app for learning languages. It gamifies its daily lessons with quizzes you have to “win” with a certain number of correct answers in a row.
Each lesson includes a speaking, listening, translation, and multiple choice challenges. You also lose a life when you get something wrong, and earn points when you finish a lesson. Many apps take this same approach. Pedometers count your steps and give you rewards and badges for reaching new levels, and put you in head-to-head competition with friends or the app’s community.
Even retailers can learn from this cutting edge segment of gaming app marketers. Although micro-purchases aren’t always a possibility with a retail app, retailer marketers should take note of how gamification can be used to drive engagement with promotions and loyalty program rewards. You can’t be passive with trying to get customers to reopen your app to buy your products, you need to prompt and remind them and gaming apps can provide the inspiration to develop creative methods to succeed.
An example of this is the NikeFuel program which enables users to post their best training times, track their progress, and challenge friends and family to increase fitness and meet goals. Rewards include early access to products and events, free shipping, and customized workouts.
Gaming App Marketing Tip #3: Develop your app from the ground up to be marketed later
Gone are the days when app development happened in one silo and app marketing happened in another. Now, the most successful apps are built by teams that truly partner early in the development process to build marketing and monetization into the app from the ground up. Gaming app marketing is better when you have an app built to market at multiple levels.
According to a recent study by The Manifest, nearly 7 out of 10 companies with a mobile app (68%) have a long-term, fully documented app marketing strategy. And that strategy is getting baked into planning very early in the process because as the chart below shows, marketing’s share of the total app development budget is 31-50% for more than a third of companies.
And according to Google, it’s the little things that can really drive growth and monetization. And it’s tough to identify and address those things without a close partnership between marketers and developers.
Use these gaming app marketing strategies and stay on top of these three trends and you’ll be on your way to being a major player in the app marketing game. And to really take your app marketing to the next level, get on the industry’s leading app marketing platform—Skai™ Apps. To see it in action, contact us for a demo today!