7 Valuable Marketing Tips to Showcase Your New Game
This is a guest post by Deepali
How many mobile games do you think see the light of the day? Even when the gaming industry is constantly hitting ground-breaking revenues, only 5% of the mobile game titles (Fortunly) manage to achieve profitability.
One of the biggest reasons for this is the lack of exposure. In the crowded gaming marketplace, many game developers fail to get noticed by their prospects, let alone be purchased and played with. No matter how spectacular your mobile game is, its chances of success depend on how visible it is to its target audience. Marketing is the way to go about it.
Let’s dive into the basics of mobile game marketing and explore the various channels you can use to promote your game.
Why is marketing important in the gaming industry?
Around 10,000 video games (Statista) were released in 2021 on the online gaming platform Steam alone. This number is only going to get bigger this year as the gaming industry is booming exponentially. Then there are other stores and platforms, including the App Store, Google Play, and the Nintendo eShop, that have more games launching every now and then.
Amidst this cutthroat competition where a myriad of mobile games try to get visibility on the app stores, many amazing games lose the fight. This is because they mostly rely on “relevant” keywords with the hopes of being found by the algorithm. While using relevant keywords does help users find your gaming app with those search terms, in today’s age, it alone is not sufficient to get your app discovered.
By marketing your game in a strategic way, you:
- Get your mobile game visible where your target audience hangs
- Analyze your market fit and how you can position your game better
- Adapt a unique voice based on your player demographics’ preference
- Create hype around your game even before the launch
- Build a loyal following waiting for your game to launch
All in all, marketing will help you reach your audience in different ways at a time. All you need is to start putting it out there.
Set the foundation to promote your mobile game
Honestly, the easiest and most cost-effective approach you can follow while starting out to market your mobile game is to establish your online presence. All it takes is a free account and you’re good to go!
However, the first thing you need to do is plan and develop a marketing strategy. Remember that marketing is not something you start working on once your game is developed and ready to launch. You must kick off marketing as soon as the idea for the game hits your mind.
1. Know your game audience
The first thing is to identify users who would be interested in your gaming app – what they do, what age group they belong to, or what their habits are. Prepare an audience persona for each category of your audience base, and you’ll better understand them.
2. Set goals and objectives for marketing your mobile game
Sit back and analyze what you wish to really achieve with your marketing strategy. These goals need to be tangible and realistic.
For example, you want to sell 300 copies of your game within the first 3 months of its launch. To formulate the exact strategy, you need to reverse-engineer your goal. Selling 300 copies in 3 months would mean 100 copies a month. To achieve this target, you need to build a community and target 1000 followers in 6 months. Make a plan to post regularly on social media in the pre-launch state of your game and run ads twice a week. Once you hit the 1000 followers mark, announce a special launch price for the community. Post launch, you can increase the frequency of ads and reduce the number of posts.
Therefore, set a goal, make elaborate plans, develop strategies, and define your KPIs. Then there’s nothing that can stop you from establishing your brand.
3. Study the competition
To understand what works and what doesn’t for your game, you must test the waters and see what your competitors are doing. This not only involves their game but the various marketing channels they’re on:
- Study your competitor’s strategy
- Look at how your competitors are positioning their games
- Observe how your competitors interact with their audience
- Keep an eye out on what kind of branding do your competitors use
- Know how active your competitors are on social media platforms
Identify gaps in your competitors’ marketing strategy and analyze how you can fill in those gaps by leveling up everything. With AppTweak’sTimeline Feature, you can look at competitor’s metadata updates and A/B tests. This can help you make important decisions or even inspire you to try new things for your mobile game.
4. Create a pre-launch buzz for your game
The pre-launch period is very crucial for game developers. This is their ticket to create an aura, influence gamers, and have at least some true fans that are ready to become loyal gamers.
5. Create brand presence on social media
Social media is the place to be if you want to understand your target market deeply and keep a close eye on competitors.
While different platforms have their appeals, Twitter is where most exciting gaming conversations happen. It has a high engagement rate and high chances of your getting discovered with retweets. TikTok is another emerging platform for gamers where they share videos with cool graphics to invite their prospects in.
To create a brand presence for your mobile game, you should:
- Craft content around video games in general
- Share exciting and open-ended posts and stories
- Maintain a persistent brand image (logo, colors, fonts, etc.)
- Talk about your upcoming game launches
- Share strong opinions and thought-leadership content
6. Organize gaming events
Events are a crucial part of game marketing as they allow you to reach the masses and meet your prospects face to face. Events are where journalists hang out and where your players are. They’re an amazing opportunity to create a good first impression, build up the momentum before your game launch, and cover more ground other than online platforms.
To boost ticket sales for your gaming event, run marketing campaigns to target potential crowds:
- Create exciting offers such as early bird discounts, or referral offers
- Launch a visually attractive promo to invite your fellow gamers
- Lay out clear plans and agenda of the event, and the incentives attendees will get
- Show a snippet from your game in the banner or video posts to create excitement
- Have an influencer or popular YouTuber (like Pewdiepie or TobyGames) promote your event
- Create game merchandise and goodies such as badges, t-shirts, or stickers to get registered in gamers’ minds
Popular events like Gamescom, PAX, and The Game Awards are good places to start promoting your game.
7. Digital advertising to the rescue
Want to know the quickest way to reach your target customer? Say hello to digital ads that have the power to spread the word about your gaming app in a highly targeted way. While organic marketing takes its sweet time, digital ads offer instant results and help you cut through the noise, provided that you’re clear about your campaign goals.
Here are some top trends on digital ads we’ve seen emerge this year:
- Video ads showcasing fine details about the product (game specs in your case)
- Automated ad creation that allows you to bulk create and streamline processes while saving time
- Brand marketing campaigns that showcase what the brand stands for (e.g. the idea behind your game launch or game characters that inspire you)
- User-generated ads where your gamers talk about their experience with the game or share a video of them while playing
- In-game advertising where you show a teaser of your game as an ad within a mobile game (what better way to reach gamers!)
8. Build a community for your game
If the pandemic taught us anything about gaming, it’s how it can help reduce anxiety, especially those involving multiple players. Community is a great way to unite all the players and look for new players to form alliances with.
Discord is a platform where most of these communities and highly engaged audiences are formed. You can either create your own servers to interact with your gaming friends or join a community of gamers with an invite.
Besides that, Reddit is a fantastic place to indulge in thought-provoking questions and answers about gaming trends and know what the gaming community has been up to.
Should you continue your efforts after your game release?
Of course! In fact, it’s highly recommended that you do. Stay in touch with your gamers, know their experiences and feedback, and offer them an in-app coupon for every referral they bring. As a result, word-of-mouth will do its magic and more people will know about your game.
Moreover, if you continue supporting your players with patches and updates, they’ll remain your loyal fans and support your business in the long run. By the time you plan your next launch and start a new campaign, you’ll have a community of buyers who will help your launch be a success.
Make your next game a big success
To shine in the gaming industry, you must know where to market your mobile game and how you can outsmart your competition. The key is to follow a well-planned marketing strategy that covers multiple channels at once and provides high ROI in less time.
Tailor these strategies as per your audiences’ preferences, and you’re sure to see a significant improvement in your game visibility in no time:
- Know your game audience
- Set goals and objectives for marketing your mobile game
- Study your competition
- Create a pre-launch buzz for your game
- Build your brand presence on social media
- Organize gaming events
- Leverage digital advertisements
- Build a community for your game
Which of these marketing strategies are you going to try first to promote your mobile game?