Behind many successful game marketing campaigns of Gamota, there’s a small but industrious and creative marketing team, from UA (User Acquisition) to brand who always strive to achieve the best result for their clients. Don’t believe us? Take “Tru Tien” – one of our best MMORPG game titles as an example, it grew from the collaboration with Perfect World to an epic blockbuster in the Vietnam game market. Notably, Tru Tien attracts more than 1 millions NRU after 5 months and achieves +180K followers on Facebook alone.
Of course, we are not here to brag about our achievement but to prove that our marketing methods work like magic. For that, we have collected all of our UA team’s best practices to craft this insightful blog. So, whether you are a newbie game marketer or an indie game developer, make sure to stick till the end
The challenges exist but will we survive?
The gaming app market is expected to face challenges in the coming year. After years of pandemic-driven growth, macroeconomic conditions are impacting the industry. Games are prioritizing profit over growth due to funding difficulties and decreased consumer spending.
Marketers are facing significant challenges with iOS measurement and optimization in the age of privacy. The upgraded SKAN 4.0, while showing improvements, may take most of 2023 to be fully adopted and utilized. The enforcement of privacy guidelines by media sources is restricting access to user-level data, emphasizing the need for privacy-enhancing technology and data clean rooms in 2023
Despite challenges, mobile gaming remains a global powerhouse with a vast player base of 2.7 billion. Established distribution channels and effective performance marketing contribute to the ongoing success of mobile games. The market is still projected to generate over $92 billion in 2022, with some studios achieving growth by prioritizing player enjoyment and understanding their user base.
Market Research: Sounds boring but must-do
Market research is like the first step of any successful marketing campaign. There’s a whole market right there, vast and competitive and your game is just like a particle in the big space. In order to make your game standout, you should niche it down. Based on the core features of your game, you should target a specific demographic as, believe us, not everyone wants to play your game.
Utilizing Google Trends is just the beginning. Dive deeper into forums, communities, and social media discussions related to gaming. Understand player preferences, emerging themes, and potential gaps in the market. This holistic approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of your potential audience.
Media Planning for Cost-Effective Campaigns
Before launching into promotions, meticulous media planning is essential. Calculate your advertising budget by considering the number of desired installs, timelines, and the cost per install or targeted action. This strategic approach ensures efficient allocation of resources for maximum impact.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Craft a list of KPIs tailored to your game. From Cost Per Install (CPI) and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) to Retention Rate and Conversion Rate, monitoring these metrics provides invaluable insights into your game’s performance and user engagement. Some KPIs you should take notice are:
- Gameplay metric: completion rate, retention rate, engagement rate, and satisfaction rate
- Business Metric: downloads, conversions, monetization, and return on investment, Monthly Active User, Average Revenue Per User, Revenue Per Daily Active User
Diversify your advertising channels to mitigate risks and maximize reach. Experiment with various platforms, analyze the results, and refine your strategy accordingly. A mix of social media ads, influencer partnerships, and other promotional avenues can yield a well-rounded marketing approach. But remember, multichannel is different from omnichannel. You use many channels to attract users and understand their behaviors but those channels do not necessarily connect with each other.
According to Appsflyer Report, gaming marketers persist in utilizing owned media to connect with both new and existing players, maintaining a steady stream of brand messaging and compelling calls to action. In times of financial constraint, the allure of essentially cost-free channels becomes more appealing than ever.
Analytics: The Backbone of Decision-Making
Setting up robust analytics is as crucial as the campaign itself. Analyze user behavior, measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns, and iterate based on data-driven insights. This ongoing process ensures continuous improvement and adaptability to market dynamics.
Game Testing and Soft Launch
Testing must be an iteration
Testing isn’t a one-time event; it’s a continuous process. Alpha testing addresses developmental issues, while beta testing assesses the game’s readiness for launch. Simultaneously, gauge user activity, especially their inclination towards in-game purchases. Regular updates keep the user experience fresh and exciting.
Soft Launch Strategy
Initiate a soft launch in a controlled market. Monitor performance, identify and rectify any issues, and then scale up strategically. Simultaneously, fine-tune marketing strategies and content delivery. Localization is key—tailor your game for specific markets to enhance user connection.
Agile Testing for Continuous Improvement
Testing should be agile, focusing on fixing design issues and enhancing user experience with each iteration. The goal is to stay ahead of evolving player expectations and deliver a game that resonates with your target audience.
ASO (App Store Optimization)
Crafting an Appealing Presence grows beyond keywords
While keywords are essential, creating an appealing app store presence involves more. Choose an eye-catching icon, localize content for different markets, and curate compelling screenshots and video trailers. A/B testing ensures that your ASO strategy aligns with user preferences.
Particularly on Android, remarketing remains effective. Reconnecting with users, both lapsed and existing, to update them on new expansions, seasons, or promotions provides a simple yet effective means to enhance gaming sessions and optimize Lifetime Value (LTV) precisely when it is most needed.
One-Page Website for Added Visibility
Extend your reach with a dedicated one-page website for your game. Include links to app store pages, promotional videos, screenshots, gameplay trailers, and reviews. Conduct surveys for game name selection and incorporate the main keyword for added visibility.
Regular ASO Updates
ASO is an ongoing process. Regularly update your ASO strategy to align with game updates. Highlight these updates in your app description to keep users informed and engaged.
The Visual Power of Videos
Capitalizing on the visual nature of games, promotional videos play a pivotal role. Keep videos concise, under half a minute, yet emotionally and visually impactful. Showcase gameplay, tell a compelling story, or combine both for the best results.
The emergence of new channels like CTV presents opportunities for mobile gaming app marketers
Playable and Rewarded Video Ads
Playable ads (Gamification ads), where users experience a snippet of gameplay before installing are common marketing tactics that many studios and companies leverage as a they serves as a first-hand trial for users. Users can feel, experience and interact before making a decision of whether to download your game or not. If they do, that’s good news but if they don’t, you could collect the data of users’s behaviour to optimize your game (UI, mechanism or gameplay) and your next ads campaign.
Rewarded video ads, offering in-game incentives for watching, are also a proven strategy. These ads enhance user engagement and incentivize downloads. The more bonuses or rewards you give to users, the longer they want to stick around. But remember, the rewards should be enticing enough such as exclusive in-game currency like gems or diamonds (not plain-ol coin) or lottery tickets for items, skins or character roll (this is quite popular in mobile game such as Genshin Impact, Onmyoji Arena or even Tru Tien)
Paid Ad Campaigns
With nearly half of the global gaming advertising spending, amounting to $12.2 billion, concentrated in the United States, it remains crucial to invest in this market despite increased competition. However, other countries with expanding gaming populations offer opportunities without the same level of competitiveness in acquiring paid installations. Countries with large populations, such as Indonesia, India, and Vietnam, are consistently seeking new content.
Social Media is a go-to-place for your bidding
Social media offers a direct line to your audience. Leverage targeted ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for rapid audience reach. Detailed reports and analytics refine your campaigns, ensuring cost-effective and impactful promotions.
Community Engagement Beyond Ads?
Maintaining active social media accounts is not just about ads. Engage with your community through posts, updates, and interactions. Consider submitting your game to dedicated sections on platforms like Reddit and Product Hunt for additional visibility.
It’s worth reconsidering—gamers frequently turn to platforms like Twitter, Discord, and Twitch to converse about their beloved games. Companies that actively respond to player feedback, openly tackle common concerns, and engage meaningfully with their player community are likely to emerge with a loyal user base.
Cross-Promotion to Improve Reach
Cross-promotion, whether within your game portfolio or collaborating with other developers, is a cost-effective way to boost installs. In-game ads, social media posts, email campaigns, and cross-promotion networks offer diverse channels for increased visibility.
Explore various cross-promotion methods, such as in-game ads strategically placed within your current game. Additionally, utilize social media, email marketing, and cross-promotion networks to expand your game’s reach.
Cooperation with Game Publishers
The Publisher’s Edge
While challenging, collaborating with a game publisher can elevate your game’s success. Access to established marketing channels, app store features, and additional resources can significantly amplify your game’s visibility.
Navigating the Partnership
Working with a game publisher involves intricate negotiations. A well-thought-out contract, potentially aided by a contract maker, ensures a mutually beneficial partnership. Although the publisher takes a share of the income, the broad exposure and marketing support can outweigh the cost.
Read more on: Game Publishing Agreement: Things to Take Note
Additional Offered Resources
A game publisher brings more than just marketing support. Access to funding can enhance graphics, sound, and overall quality, setting your game apart in a crowded market. Evaluate the potential benefits against the revenue-sharing arrangement.
In conclusion, mastering these strategies is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Continuous adaptation, data-driven decision-making, and a commitment to enhancing user experience are the pillars of sustained success.
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