Launching a mobile game is a challenging business. Some achieve overnight success, while others take time to build momentum, and most of the millions of releases remain obscure and unloved.
If you don’t want your latest creation to fall into this last category, it’s important to plan for boosting its profile from day one. So how can you go about this, and what obstacles must you deal with along the way?
Get your business model in order
Before you can start promoting your mobile game, you need to understand how you’ll be making money from it. This is the only way to set a sensible budget for marketing, because otherwise you could be paying more to get hold of players than you are generating from their interactions.
There are three main options, and they are not mutually exclusive, but can be combined. The first is to set a price for the software that people must pay upfront in order to gain access to it. This is a traditional approach, but one which is less popular in the mobile sphere.
The second is to offer the game for free, but use in-app purchases to generate revenues over time. A common example of this is providing players with a basic set of character costumes, but letting them pay to unlock extra cosmetic items to customize their avatar of choice.
The third is to use ads within the game itself to earn revenues. These can be displayed somewhere unobtrusive on the screen at all times, or even used between levels to get the full attention of the player and increase the likelihood of earning clicks and conversions.
As mentioned, you can blend these business models, but the point is to be clear about the route you’re taking as early as possible. This can then feed into your digital marketing efforts.
Embrace the latest technologies and techniques
There are holistic strategies for promoting new releases which are tried and tested, and provided by agencies like https://upptic.com/, offering growth marketing for web3 and/or mobile games.
It’s important to see elements like user acquisition, analytics and creative production intertwined in a way that leads to genuine, sustainable growth, and not just initial spikes in interest followed by prolonged periods of stagnation or decline.
Outsourcing user acquisition in particular is sensible because it means that you don’t need to rely on your in-house resources to handle this element post-launch.
The latest AI-powered models allow for predictions to be made about the trajectory your game will take, and how any changes you make will impact this in real time.
You can also benefit from things like app store optimization, ensuring your game doesn’t languish unseen on the likes of Google Play.
In short, a unified approach combined with growth-focused tactics and tech overseen by experts will stand you in good stead.
Study retention stats and make tweaks to improve engagement
It doesn’t matter how big your marketing budget is; if your game isn’t able to engage players and keep them coming back for more, then it will never catch on.
This is where looking into retention levels makes a major difference. This is the one data point which can point to a game that’s ready for prime time, and one that needs more work.
As a rule of thumb, if you are able to hold onto at least a third of the players who install your game after the first 24 hours, then you are on the right track. The higher you are above this proportion, the better.
Obviously more analysis and investigation will be needed if retention rates are low, but if you want global recognition, you need to make a game that people actually enjoy playing, not just one that is cleverly monetized and promoted.
Create shareable content to generate organic buzz
Paying to promote your game will be necessary at some point, but a lot of the most memorable mobile experiences are word of mouth hits rather than heavily marketed mainstream releases.
Social media is your friend here, so you need content that people can share and discuss before the game goes live to build up a bit of hype and help to get those all-important initial downloads rolling.
A trailer is a good example of a versatile piece of content that will showcase the best aspects of your game, and make it easy for others to distribute it.
Even having some carefully-chosen screenshots available on your social feeds, which are then re-shareable by others, is better than merely relying on paid ads to gain traction.
Unless you are very lucky, or are already an established developer with deep pockets, getting global recognition for a mobile game will take time.
Having a diverse set of strategies for marketing and growth in place, and knowing which aspects to outsource, will catalyze this process.