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By David Morneau
14 min READ | Dec 7 2022
Mobile games have become increasingly popular in the past few years. While in the 2010s, people would dedicate approximately 4.7 minutes for one gaming session, most now spend 30 minutes and some even four hours playing online smartphone games.
But while the revenue is obviously there for the taking, you must ensure your game is doing most of that taking.
And for that, you need thoughtful planning.
This article helps you understand your target audience, analyzes five of the most effective strategies for marketing a mobile game, and discusses plenty of examples to help you start.
Keep reading below:
App Store Optimization:
Apple Search Ads:
Effective Ad Types for Gamers:
Starting Your Campaign:
Mobile game marketing encompasses all the marketing strategies you use to promote your mobile game. These marketing efforts aim to increase the game’s downloads and get more ROI.
There’s a problem:
The gaming industry is an exhaustive market, with many quality games in app stores, each providing unique user experiences and incentives that keep people hooked.
There’s also a solution:
You need a customer-centric approach to increase sales. If you adopt this mindset, focusing on your customers’ needs above all, the strategies will follow.
You will know how to build persuasive messages, contour an exciting in-app experience, and engage users on social media. This guide will teach you what to follow from each of these perspectives.
You can’t market anything (effectively) if you don’t comprehend your audience. To be persuasive, you must adapt your mobile game marketing strategies to your target.
Mobile gamers are a colorful bunch, but here’s what we know about most of them:
But those stats aren’t the only variables that matter for marketing a mobile game. To truly understand your audience, you must analyze:
Player motivations define the reasons why your specific audience plays your specific game. These reasons can include the following:
Why motivations are important: You can target specific segments starting from their interests.
For example, people play Pokémon Go for different reasons. Some do it for the community, others for nostalgia, and others because it’s an addictive game that helps pass the time faster.
Each type of gamer interacts with your mobile game app differently:
Why archetypes are important: Find out which archetype best fits your audience. Adapt your marketing messages to showcase how your game meets their specific needs/interests.
Baba is You offers an interesting example of advertising with their audience in mind. The mobile gaming app caters to Thinkers, Skin Masters, and Strategists. Each level features the game’s rules as blocks people can manipulate to change the action. Pushing these blocks around transforms users into different objects and even transforms the gameplay.
This example is relevant because the Google play store screenshots, descriptions, and keywords are specifically crafted for these three archetypes.
Notice specific words like “puzzle,” “logic,” and “rules” – all these appeal to Strategists and Thinkers. But the pixelated images are the most interesting. Most people who want something light wouldn’t touch this interface with a stick.
But Skill Masters, Thinkers, and Strategists get a rush of dopamine just by looking at these images below:
The best mobile game marketing strategies to attract new users to your mobile game can be categorized into two groups:
We’ll discuss some of the most effective such strategies below:
An app store optimization strategy is essential for marketing a mobile game because:
To optimize your mobile game for the app store, follow the elements below:
Ensure your game title:
Pro tip: Special symbols make your title hard to find. You should also check the app store’s terms and conditions to ensure you haven’t used inappropriate words.
The Lost Treasure is an adventure game that ticks all the boxes above.
Paid search is a non-organic marketing strategy, but it can bring you a massive boost of downloads quickly. Use:
Create a Universal App Campaign so that Google can customize your campaign for you, testing different ads.
Automated App Ads from Facebook might be a good start if you want to start your campaign faster. The input you have to introduce is limited, and machine intelligence will take it from there.
Couple this strategy with the classic, manual Facebook app ads if you want more control over the creative process.
Pro tip: Use our free ad mock-up generators to test how different ads would look for your game.
Here’s one intriguing example:
Rovio used Automated App Ads for its Sugar Blast Game, using a two-cell split test as follows:
Content localization is essential for marketing a mobile game in a specific area. This strategy is especially important if you want to rank in the top results within a certain geographical location.
Here’s how you do it:
Remember: Translate and adapt everything on your app page, from videos to descriptions or titles.
Pro tip: Use English if you’re targeting a global audience.
Here’s one neat example: The French Belote app.
Notice that the game’s description, title, and keywords are translated into French. But more interestingly, the cards are different in France.
The Ace (A) is 1, the King (K) is R (from Roy), and the Jack (J) is now V (from the French Valet).
Key takeaways: Tiny cultural details matter, so ensure you get them all straight.
Apple Search Ads can:
Warning: Although these mobile game ads are affordable and have many benefits, people can turn off their Personalized App features. In this case, you may not be able to target them through your ad.
Here’s how to avoid this problem:
Use custom product pages in tandem with your Apple Search Ads.
If your ad is creative enough to raise people’s interest, they will tap into it. And doing so will take them on an exciting product journey, with stunning visuals and convincing words.
Pro tip: Remember to localize the game features you’re presenting on the custom product pages.
Here’s Voodoo’s original situation:
When they launch highly casual games, they get a high volume of organic downloads. Voodoo leverages Apple Search Ads to get more customers when these taper off.
Voodoo decided to do things differently with their Helix Jump game to increase discovery and get ahead of the competition from the get-go.
This time, they used an Apple Search Ads campaign to increase discovery. Voodoo’s Apple Search Ads campaign brought a 30% increase in installs, a 10% decrease in cost per acquisition, and a 5% higher retention.
Social media is an organic marketing strategy that helps you create a community around your game. Remember to:
Pro tip: Integrate all your social media platforms with your game to ensure people can share their in-game results online. For example, each time someone shares a high score, you get free word of mouth. Besides, you can analyze this data and tap into the insights to hone your game.
A neat example is the famous Kripparrian discussing the mobile game Art of Conquest:
This content creator has a lot of sway and credibility in the gaming niche, so he can be very influential, especially when he produces an in-depth app review like the one above. However, the downside of partnering with a massive gamer is not reaching the correct audience.
Kripp’s fans are mainly old-school gamers who have a good dose of disdain for mobile video games. Kripp experienced backlash from these fans and the Art of Conquest game publishers may not have reached the right audience.
Pro tip: inBeat has a wide database of content creators, so you can pick the right one(s) for your game. We have hundreds of thousands of partners, but we’ve cherry-picked the top 1%. You can leverage our free database or schedule a free call to set up your strategy.
Video ads are the most effective type of ads to attract new gamers. To create an ad, you will have to go through three (main) stages. It’s also a good idea to follow a production calendar schedule during each phase.
It’s essential to choose the correct video format. Of course, if that works for your target audience, you can create many video ads using different formats.
Rewarded video ads: This format is best for helping you drive revenue from your active users. As such, these gamers can watch an ad to obtain a specific reward, such as in-game currency or discounts.
This guide has taken you through all the stages of marketing a mobile game. First, you must understand your audience and pick the most persuasive approaches.
These approaches are based on each segment’s interests, basically what makes them tick.
Then, you will have to pick a strategy that works for your game and audience specifically. Or, even better, blend multiple strategies.
inBeat can help you set a plan that will work for your mobile app. Whether you’re going for influencer marketing, paid ads, or organic content, we can help you define a plan.
Book one free strategy call to help you get started – no strings attached.