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How To Market Your Game App
With the mobile gaming industry growing rapidly, more opportunities exist to develop your gaming app. But creating a mobile game is only the first step. How do you ensure your no code app creation gets into the hands of players?
With so many apps released daily, ensuring your marketing plan is strategic and well-executed to stand out from the crowd is essential. This guide will teach you everything from marketing strategy to app store optimization to rank higher in the game stores.
Don’t let your no code mobile app development efforts go in vain. Read on for tips and tricks to getting your game seen by as many people as possible. Let's get started!
What is Mobile Game Marketing?
Before diving into the steps, let's define what you are doing to get your game in players' hands. Mobile game marketing is creating and executing a marketing plan to promote a mobile game app. On a large scale, mobile game marketing includes paid advertising, public relations, social media outreach, and more. As an entrepreneur or single creator, you can achieve a successful marketing strategy without a big budget and huge team.
The core areas to focus on for successfully marketing your game are:
- User acquisition
- User experience
- User engagement and retention
There are many ways to achieve these three core elements, but time is money, and we will make this simple and effective. Here are four ways to create a killer marketing strategy for your game app.
Research: Market and Audience
We can't say it enough: research is essential to your game’s success. It’s important to conduct market research for a mobile app's success because doing so allows you to figure out who your competition is, how to beat your competitors, and identify your target audience. If you have a clear idea of who your target audience is, great! If not, you can get started by researching who your competitor's users are. Knowing your target audience will help you focus your marketing efforts and make them more effective.
No matter what stage you are in, research must be at the core of your development efforts. To gain in depth knowledge on the app market, you can use tools like Apptopia. This tool allows you to get a pulse on mobile app trends, track your competitors, and provide you with data to develop your marketing strategy.
If you are early in your app development stage and need help designing your app idea, no worries; read our article on how to build a game app.
Optimization: Ranking for Visibility
The App Store and Google Play Store are two of the most important marketplaces for mobile applications. They provide a platform for people to search for apps or games and download them.
App Store Optimization (ASO) is the practice of enhancing app exposure in app stores and boosting conversion rates. What does this mean for you? Similar to your search on Google, the same principles apply when searching for something on the App or Google Play Store. To elaborate: when someone searches the word "fruit" in the App Store, the first thing to rank is Fruit Ninja. Your app's name, description, and rating all work together to determine where your app ranks in the app store and how easy it is for your audience to find your game app after searching.
According to App Radar, 70% of mobile users look for new apps by using search. Therefore, the more visibility you have, the more downloads you will receive for your game. The end goal of ASO is to get the most downloads and increase loyal customers, so focus on optimizing your app's name, title, rating, keywords, and rating.
The App Store and Google Play Store have their search metrics, so you will want to ensure you are optimizing for each platform. App Radar has a great deep dive into App Store Optimization (ASO) for everything you need to know about selecting the right keywords to stand out.
Audience: Develop a Community
You are creating a gaming app for your audience, and audience is everything. You need players to download your game and an audience help drive new eyes & new users to your app; this ties back to our user engagement and retention core elements.
By engaging and building a loyal community, you grow and help your ranking in the app store. According to App Radar, 80% of mobile users read at least one review. Having an engaged user base fond of your game will help you gain a bigger audience. So, how do you go about this?
Launch Social Media Accounts
Marketing tip: Be where your consumers are at! This one might be obvious, but it still needs to be stated. Developing social media accounts for your gaming app gives you a platform to promote your game, provide updates, and engage with your audience (and potential audience!)..
Being active on social media and ensuring your game is where your audience is spending their time will help you grow your community. For example, One Tap Calculator, developed on Thunkable’s drag and drop app builder, has its social page to promote the game.
Use social media to connect with prospective consumers. Connecting with people who might be interested in your game via platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is an excellent method. However, you can take it a step further and run advertisements tailored to your target audience to increase your app downloads.
Create a Landing Page
Much like creating social media accounts for your game app, a website or landing page for your game will allow prospective players to learn more about it and what it offers. In addition, you can expand upon what you have listed on the app store and include images, videos, or testimonials to highlight your game's features. For inspiration, look at the widely popular WannaDraw game developed on Thunkable. Their landing page is simple and to the point.
Build Your Network
Find your people! Whether your game is for a niche audience or will appeal to the masses, you must get involved in the mobile gaming community—search forums or online communities to help you reach audiences for increased downloads, engagement, and feedback.
You can find the right community for you during your market research phase. There are plenty of people looking for their next gaming opportunity and during your research you will find the types of users you want to attract. Do some simple Google-ing to see what fan bases exist on other social media networks. A simple search for “racing games reddit” or “facebook groups puzzle apps” will yield dozens of active threads, communities, and groups discussing the type of game you are looking to create. From there, you can politely join these groups and share your app to spread awareness, gain insights, and receive feedback. We recommend a polite approach because individuals do not want to be sold something upfront. Instead engage with the community and then you can find an active and positive user group willing to give you feedback and support your endeavor.
Free: The Freemium Model
The freemium model is a business model where a product or service (usually a digital good or application, such as a mobile game) is provided free of charge. Still, users are given the option of paying for premium features or virtual goods. To learn how a Thunkable creator used in-app purchase functionality to generate a second income read our Amazing Aurora case study.
The mobile gaming industry has quickly adopted the freemium model, making it the most popular model for games on iOS and Android. Think of such games as Fruit Ninja or CandyCrush that allow you to download and play for free but will have purchases inside the game. There are several reasons why games use the freemium model:
- Developers can reach a wider audience as there are no barriers to entry. For example, users do not have to pay to download the game.
- A creator can generate revenue from users willing to pay for additional features or virtual goods in the form of in-app payments.
- You can gather data about users, such as what features they use and how much they are willing to pay, which can be used to improve the game.
This business tactic is an excellent way to increase your downloads, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you are considering using the freemium model for your mobile game:
- Make sure the free version of your game is fun and engaging, as this will encourage users to upgrade to the premium version.
- Do not overcharge for premium features or virtual goods, as this will deter users from upgrading.
- Be careful not to bombard users with too many offers to upgrade, as this can be off-putting and may cause them to uninstall the game.
Create a Game App with Thunkable
Remember, understanding how to build a game app and publishing is only half the work. You will want to ensure you acquire users to download your game and provide a great user experience to gain organic engagement and retention. If you wish your mobile game app to be a success, follow our four simple steps.
First, conduct market and audience research to determine your target audience and what they’re looking for in a game. Second, app store optimization will help ensure more people see your game when they search the app store. Third, engage with your audience on social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, where gamers are most active. And finally, develop a freemium model so players can try out your game before deciding to purchase it.
With the best no code app builder, Thunkable allows you to easily create fun and engaging mobile games without any coding experience. So, get started today!