It is no secret that almost every game developer or game studio dreams about creating a super popular game that will be played by millions of people on this planet! I bet that almost everyone of us who will be reading this article has at least one game installed on his or her mobile or tablet device.
When we play our games, we might not necessarily think about how much effort it takes to create an engaging idea or concept and then transform it into a playable application. What is even more difficult is to make the game stand out among thousands of other apps and persuade users to install YOUR game on their device. This article will briefly cover some of the strategies that can be taken to promote your mobile game online!
So, let’s imagine that you have a really cool game built. Now it is time to get it to market. I very much hope that you have already thought about your target audience and ready to start your user acquisition. Below are some of the stats to keep in mind:
- On average, users have about 26-29 apps installed on our mobile device
- 60% of all apps on Google Play are not installed at all! Shocking right? Your goal is to make sure that your game gets into the remaining 40%!
So, how do you make users install your game?
For the purposes of this post, lets just focus on the promotion services available from Google. Google has 4 tools that one can use to market his game:
- Google Search
1. Google Search
Google search results is one of the most effective ways to acquire users since the conversion rate is the highest due to the fact that the link to your game appears exactly when a user wants it (after the user types in the relevant keywords in search):
It is worth mentioning that Google does not show Android apps if a user searches for games on iPhone for example and vice versa. In addition, as you can see from the screenshot above, Google also shows the ratings for the game to encourage installations.
AdMob is a product by Google which allows you to buy text or banner ads for your game. These ads are then inserted into other apps produced by other developers, and as a result your game gets visibility in existing target audiences. According to Google, “AdMob brings together best-in-class technology in a single platform, so you can gain insights about your users, drive more in-app purchases, and maximize your ad revenue.“
AdMob can be used to display your ads to a very wide audience worldwide or setup a narrow targeting based on various filters (e.g. category of the app, audience, language, etc). Some of the options you can use is to setup inter-page banners (banners between screens)
or inter-page videos in AdMob. According to Google, AdMob inter-page videos (which can be used to show the gameplay/teaser) have a 30% conversion for installs.
In order to make your AdMob campaigns effective and increase the conversion rate, you should create ad filters based on user actions (e.g. those who buy inapps should see one message/ad while those who have never purchased anything in the app show a different message/ad).
YouTube is the second largest search engine. YouTube can be used to publish your game video teasers which will appear as video ads that show up prior to the requested video clip playback that a user wants to watch.
These video teasers have the SKIP AD button which allows users to stop the ad after a couple of seconds if this ad is not of interest to them. As a result, you pay not for a teaser view but ONLY if the user finishes watching your video teaser till the end! And, if the user skips your video ad, Google still shows the install button in case a user has a change of mind and decided to install your game.
Remarketing is an advertising technique used by Google (and there are also other vendors who can manage your remarketing campaigns, e.g. AdRoll) which allows to reach people who have previously visited your game’s website. The advantage of remarketing is that you are going after users who have already been exposed to your game/brand but have not been convinced to make an install. There are lots of filters that you can use to setup your remarketing campaign to reach wide audience or narrow down your targeting reach.
In order to make your remarketing campaign effective and increase the conversion rates, it is recommended to create landing pages for remarketing ads.
So now, you should be well-versed in some of the strategies that can be used to promote your game and encourage users to install it. The next step is to keep your users engaged into your game. The engagement is a completely separate topic and requires a dedicated post, but I will only stress out the following useful stats and some recommendations:
- 20% of installed apps are opened only once
- 95% of installed apps are not used after 1 month of use
- 91% of apps are free
- 76% of app revenues come from the in app purchases
I will end here. The key takeway from me is to try to use as many online marketing techniques as possible, focus on your target audience, start small and then gradually go global! Good luck!
John oftentimes takes the lead as the Agile Project Manager and SEO expert on selected projects, which allows him to be hands-on with the latest trends.