To beat the competition, mobile gaming companies should channel their efforts using mobile user acquisition strategies. If you’re not convinced, then check out these stats:
- Approximately 25% of iOS and 21% of Android apps downloaded on a device are games
- Almost 62% of people install a mobile game upon owning a mobile device
- And by the end of 2021, mobile games revenue reached $175.8 billion
Importance of user acquisition for mobile gaming app success
Gaming companies spend a lot of money and resources developing gaming apps, but if no one installs or uses them, they’re functionally useless. As such, gaming companies use various methods to attract customers and lure them into downloading their apps and playing their games.
In simple terms, mobile user acquisition is the process that gaming companies follow to acquire new users who play games on the apps they develop.
And to increase their chances of success, gaming companies can adopt different types of mobile user acquisition strategies.
In this article, you will learn strategies to acquire more online users for your gaming app.
I. Understanding Your Target Audience
1. Defining your target audience for the mobile gaming app
Gone are the days when games were considered children’s hobbies. Nowadays, lots of people play mobile games!
For example, in 2021, the global gaming community reached a staggering 3.2 billion players. Of these gamers, those in the United States accounted for 226.6 million, Europe boasted 408 million, and Asia boasted a whopping 1.6 billion players. Moreover, in both the US and Europe, female players comprised nearly half of the gaming population in these regions.
What’s clear, then, is that gaming dynamics have changed drastically over the past decade. These days, mobile games are played by lots of different people.
Identifying your ideal users has, therefore, never been more necessary. If you want to do it correctly, you need to develop your gaming app while simultaneously identifying your target audience adding features and elements that will appeal to your target audience.
2. Conducting market research and competitor analysis
Finding a target audience involves market research, AKA gathering and analyzing data to gain insights into potential customers’ characteristics, preferences, behaviors, and needs for a product or service. Doing so helps businesses identify and understand their target audience, allowing them to tailor their marketing efforts effectively.
Here are some critical aspects of market research in finding a target audience:
1. Demographic analysis: This involves collecting data on demographic factors such as age, gender, income, education level, geographic location, and other relevant attributes. It helps define your target audience’s primary characteristics.
2. Psychographic analysis: This focuses on understanding your target audience’s psychological and lifestyle characteristics, including their interests, values, attitudes, hobbies, and behaviors. Psychographic analysis helps create a deeper understanding of their motivations and preferences.
3. Competitive analysis: Evaluating competitors provides insight into their target audience and positioning strategies. This helps identify market gaps or opportunities and refine target audience selection.
4. Surveys and interviews: Conducting surveys, interviews, or focus groups can gather direct feedback from potential customers. These qualitative and quantitative methods help uncover valuable insights about preferences, needs, pain points, and perceptions related to the product or service.
5. Data analysis and segmentation: Analyzing the collected data allows you to identify patterns, trends, and segments within the target audience. This segmentation helps tailor marketing messages, strategies, and product offerings to specific groups with similar characteristics.
6. Online analytics and social listening: Leveraging online analytics tools and social media monitoring can provide real-time information about audience behavior, sentiment, and engagement. These insights help refine targeting strategies and stay updated with evolving trends.
7. Testing and iteration: Conducting small-scale tests or pilot programs with a subset of the target audience can help evaluate the effectiveness of marketing strategies, messages, or product offerings. This iterative approach allows for continuous refinement based on feedback and results.
Therefore, market research plays a pivotal role in understanding a target audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviors, enabling businesses to develop tailored marketing campaigns and products or services that resonate with their audience, leading to more effective customer acquisition and retention strategies.
II. App Store Optimization (ASO)
1. Importance of ASO for mobile gaming apps
As of 2023, the Apple App Store offers a vast selection of approximately 1.96 million downloadable apps, while the Google Play Store boasts an even more extensive collection of around 2.87 million apps9+-yyyrrrrrry ready for download.
And because there are so many products available in these app stores, consumers just won’t download yours unless it stands out from the crowd. The solution might seem tricky, but app store optimization, also known as ASO, will allow you to optimize your app to a higher ranking so users can find it easily.
2. Optimizing app title, description, and keywords
If you want your app to achieve a high ranking in app store search results, you need to concentrate on these six factors.
- App name and title
- Ratings and reviews
- Total number of downloads
3. Utilizing appealing visuals and screenshots
They say an image is worth a thousand words, but to encourage people to download your app, you must upload eye-appealing, captivating, and interesting visuals and screenshots from the game itself.
4. Encouraging positive reviews and ratings
To build a strong reputation and attract new users, you have to encourage positive reviews and ratings. Here are some strategies to help encourage positive reviews and ratings:
- Provide an excellent user experience: Focus on delivering a seamless and enjoyable user experience within your gaming app. Ensure it is user-friendly, intuitive, and free from technical issues or bugs. A smooth and engaging experience increases the likelihood of positive reviews and ratings.
- Prompt users for feedback: Implement in-app prompts or notifications that kindly ask users to leave a review or provide feedback. Timing is crucial, so consider requesting reviews after users have completed a level, achieved a milestone, or interacted positively with the app.
- Make It easy to leave reviews: Streamline the process of leaving reviews by simplifying the steps required. Include clear instructions and direct links within the app to the review section on the app store platforms, making it convenient for users to leave feedback.
- Offer incentives or rewards: Consider implementing a reward system where users receive virtual currency, power–ups, or exclusive in-game content for leaving a review or rating. However, ensure this approach aligns with the app store guidelines and policies.
- Respond to user feedback: Actively engage with user reviews and ratings by responding to them, particularly when users provide constructive criticism or encounter issues. Show appreciation for positive feedback and address any concerns promptly and professionally. Doing so will demonstrate your commitment to user satisfaction and encourage others to leave positive reviews.
III. Social Media Marketing
1. Leveraging social media platforms for user acquisition
As of January 2023, Facebook has approximately 2.958 million active users, while Instagram has around 2000 million active users. In order to achieve successful mobile user acquisition, you should, therefore, include social media marketing, as it is one of the fastest ways to reach your target audience.
2. Creating engaging and shareable content related to the mobile game
If you want more people to learn about your product, you should create entertaining and shareable content. If it resonates with your target audience, they will likely share it with others. Here are some ideas to create things people will want to share:
- Build content around trending or popular content.
- Share a story
- Create evergreen content
- Add value
- Be original
3. Running targeted ads and promotions on social media
No matter what you do, reaching the right target audience and users is not always possible, so you should also invest in social media advertising, one of the best mobile user acquisition strategies, both long-term and short-term.
Targeted advertising not only helps you to reach a lot of people but will help you target the right target audience. Nevertheless, while it can aid you in acquiring many customers, your social media results depend entirely on how much you are willing to spend on social media advertising.
It may take a long time for you to reach people organically. However, running ad campaigns can help you get quick results and reach your target audience quickly. And the number of people you reach on social media depends entirely on the amount you are willing to spend.
4. Collaborating with influencers and gaming communities
There are so many ways to reach your target audience using social media. For example, content creators or influencers can help share the details of your gaming app with their followers, making it easy for you to get more users quickly.
There are also so many online gaming communities where you can share information about your app building interest in potential users to learn more about your gaming app.
IV. In-app advertising
Effective marketing strategies are indispensable in the highly competitive world of mobile gaming apps. One of the critical components of a comprehensive marketing plan is in-app advertising. By leveraging various types of in–app ads, developers can reach their target audience, drive app downloads, and increase user engagement. With this in mind, let’s explore the different aspects of in-app advertising for mobile gaming apps.
1. Types of in-app advertising for mobile gaming apps
In-app advertising offers various formats to engage users. Common types of in-app ads include interstitial ads, banner ads, rewarded ads, and incentivized installs. Each format serves a unique purpose and can be strategically utilized to maximize the impact of your ad campaigns.
2. Implementing rewarded ads and incentivized installs
Rewarded ads are a popular choice for mobile gaming apps as they provide users with incentives, such as in-game currency or power-ups, in exchange for watching an ad. This consequently creates a positive user experience, encouraging users to engage with the ads willingly—Similarly, incentivized installs reward users who install the app through a specific referral or promotional link.
3. Utilizing interstitial and banner ads strategically
Interstitial ads are full–screen ads that appear at natural break points in the game, such as between levels or during loading screens. These ads provide an immersive experience and have higher visibility. On the other hand, banner ads are smaller and displayed at the top or bottom of the screen. They can be used to maintain a continuous presence without disrupting gameplay.
4. Optimizing ad placements for maximum user engagement
Strategic ad placement is vital when capturing users’ attention and maximizing engagement. Through it, developers can determine the most effective ad placements by analyzing user behavior and gameplay patterns. For example, placing interstitial ads before a challenging level or between game sessions might yield better results.
V. User referral programs
Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful tool, and user referral programs can leverage an existing user base to drive app downloads and expand your user community. The following are some key considerations for implementing successful user referral programs.
1. Encouraging existing users to refer the mobile game to others
Developers can incentivize existing users to refer the game to friends and family. Users are motivated to spread the word about the app by offering rewards or bonuses for successful referrals.
2. Implementing referral reward systems and incentives
A referral reward system ensures that the referrer and the new user receive incentives. It creates a win-win situation and encourages users to participate in the referral program actively.
3. Leveraging social sharing and personalized referral codes
Integrating social sharing features within the app allows users to share their experiences and referral codes on social media platforms. Personalized referral codes can also be generated for each user, making tracking and rewarding successful referrals easy.
4. Tracking and measuring the success of user referral programs
To assess the effectiveness of user referral programs, developers need to track and measure key metrics such as the number of referrals, conversion rates, and overall user engagement. This data also provides insights into the program’s performance, helping optimize referral strategies.
VI. Influencer partnerships
Collaborating with influencers in the gaming industry can significantly increase app downloads
and user engagement. Here’s how to effectively leverage influencer partnerships.
1. Collaborate with gaming industry influencers
Identify influencers with a large and engaged following within your target audience. Partnering with influencers with a genuine interest in gaming can create authentic endorsements and drive higher user engagement.
2. Create sponsored content and gameplay videos
Influencers can create sponsored content and gameplay videos featuring the mobile game. These videos showcase the app’s features, gameplay, and overall experience, generating interest and curiosity among their followers.
3. Drive app downloads and user engagement by leveraging influencer reach
Influencers can promote your mobile game through various channels, including social media platforms, YouTube, Twitch, and live streaming. Their endorsements can drive app downloads, increase brand awareness, and encourage user engagement.
4. Track and analyze the effectiveness of influencer campaigns
It’s essential to track and measure the impact of influencer campaigns. Monitoring key metrics such as app downloads, user engagement, and social media mentions helps evaluate influencer partnerships’ ROI and identify areas for improvement.
Cross–promotion with other mobile gaming apps can be mutually beneficial for both parties. Here’s how to effectively implement cross–promotion strategies.
1. Partner with other mobile gaming apps for cross-promotion
Identify complementary gaming apps with a similar target audience and partner for cross–promotion campaigns. This collaboration allows both apps to tap into each other’s user base and expand their reach.
2. Implement in-app cross-promotion campaigns
Integrate in-app cross–promotion campaigns that showcase the partner app to users. Whether through interstitial ads, banners, or pop–ups, they can be strategically placed within the app to maximize visibility.
3. Utilize ad networks and programmatic advertising for cross-promotion
Ad networks and programmatic advertising platforms provide opportunities for cross–promotion. Consequently, developers can leverage these networks to display ads for their partner apps, targeting specific demographics or user segments.
4. Track and analyze the effectiveness of cross-promotion efforts
To evaluate the success of a cross–promotion campaign, it’s important to track key metrics such as click–through rates, conversions, and user engagement. This data helps optimize cross-promotion strategies and determine their return on investment.
VIII. Performance marketing and paid acquisition
Performance marketing and paid acquisition campaigns drive app installs and expand user bases. It is how you effectively utilize them.
1. Set up performance marketing campaigns for app installs
Performance marketing campaigns focus on specific goals such as cost per install (CPI) or cost per action (CPA). Developers can achieve efficient and cost-effective app installs by carefully selecting ad networks and optimizing their campaign targeting.
2. Utilize mobile ad networks and programmatic advertising
Mobile ad networks provide access to various ad inventories across different apps and platforms. Programmatic advertising platforms enable automated buying and optimization of ad placements, ensuring maximum reach and efficiency.
3. Implement app install campaigns on social media platforms
Social media platforms offer powerful targeting options and extensive user reach. Developers can leverage platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to run app install campaigns, reaching a highly engaged audience.
4. Track and optimize paid acquisition campaigns for ROI
Tracking key performance metrics, such as cost per install (CPI), conversion rates, and lifetime value of acquired users, is essential when measuring the effectiveness of paid acquisition campaigns. Continuous optimization based on data insights helps maximize ROI and user acquisition success.
IX. Measurement and analytics
Measurement and analytics are some of the best ways of evaluating the success of user acquisition efforts and some of the best tried-and-tested means of making data-driven decisions while optimizing strategies. Critical considerations for effective measurement and analytics in mobile gaming app marketing include:
1. Utilizing mobile analytics tools to track user acquisition efforts
Mobile analytics tools provide valuable insights into user behavior, app performance, and marketing campaigns. By integrating these tools, developers can track user acquisition efforts, understand user demographics, and measure the effectiveness of various marketing channels.
2. Monitoring key metrics such as cost per install (CPI) and lifetime value (LTV)
Measuring key metrics such as CPI and LTV will evaluate a user acquisition campaign’s cost-effectiveness and profitability. Tracking CPI provides insights into the efficiency of acquiring new users, while LTV helps estimate the long-term value and revenue potential of acquired users.
3. A/B testing different user acquisition strategies and campaigns
A/B testing allows developers to compare the performance of different user acquisition strategies, creatives, and campaigns. By running controlled experiments, they can identify the most effective approaches and optimize marketing efforts based on data-driven insights.
4. Making data-driven decisions for continuous optimization
Analyzing the data collected through mobile analytics tools and A/B testing enables developers to make informed decisions. By continuously optimizing user acquisition strategies based on data insights, they can maximize ROI, improve user acquisition efficiency, and drive sustainable growth.
Measurement and analytics provide the necessary foundation for effective user acquisition optimization. By leveraging mobile analytics tools, monitoring key metrics, conducting A/B testing, and making data-driven decisions, developers can fine-tune their marketing strategies, enhance user acquisition efforts, and achieve long-term success in the competitive mobile gaming market.
Companies work hard to increase mobile user acquisition. A well-rounded mobile gaming app marketing strategy encompasses various elements, including social media marketing, in-app advertising, user referral programs, influencer partnerships, cross-promotion, and performance marketing.
Developers can drive app downloads, increase user engagement, and achieve long-term success in the competitive mobile gaming industry by implementing these strategies effectively and continuously optimizing based on data-driven insights.