Which mobile game are you playing right now? With over 2.2 billion active mobile gamers worldwide, the market has sunny days ahead. Mobile games revenues are increasing and users spend more and more money on their favorite games. But with a growing number of games being published every year, how do you stand out? What will make or break your mobile game’s success?
Knowing how to market your mobile game is a key component of its success. Lucky for you, we spotted 5 trends to help you make the most of your marketing strategy.
Make it a (success) story
One of the main components of a successful video ad is storytelling. It’s now an essential part of advertising. You can’t drive users to your game without a strong narrative. Mobile gamers are a motivation-led audience.
And good storytelling is the way to help you get your message across. You can even connect your ad creatives between each other, create a bigger story just like Tactile Games did with Lily’s garden: all their video ads are loosely connected to each other and create a bigger story once you connect them all. They also use their social media presence to strengthen their branding, fleshing out their characters’ stories as time goes.
Moreover, Newzoo’s latest research shows that characters, settings, and story are user’s first demand in mobile game ads.
It’s time to bring out the big (creative) guns!
It’s more than a game, it’s a brand
Your mobile game marketing strategy should be global. Once you’ve set the final touches to your ASO strategy, focus on building a brand around your games. As Ryan Kelley, ASO specialist, said “Don’t rely on people going to the store to download an app. Build a brand outside of the store and drive them to the store”.
Search will bring most of your downloads, and relying solely on keywords (whether they are general and well-known keywords or more niche-specific ones) is tricky. The best way to get a user to download your app on the stores is to make sure they come to the store specifically to download it after having heard from it. So it’s time to invest in your UA campaigns and a strong social media presence.
Moreover, building a brand will help you legitimize your future games too. Most of the big mobile games out there play on the success of their games to drive brand recognition. Just like most mobile users, you’d recognize Rovio’s Angry Birds anywhere (and there are 10 mobile games featuring them) or King’s Candy Crush design style.
Having a strong brand image will create a bond between you and your users, which will definitely help your long-term strategy. Consumers’ trust is possibly the best marketing tool you can ever hope to have.
UGC (or UGC-like) content is the way to go in 2022
With the power held by social media platforms (like TikTok we’ll dive into that topic right after), users love user-generated content. While you can sometimes get some UGC content directly from your users thanks to social media, you can also emulate the feeling in your ads.
You could set up fake testimonials, or hire influencers to make one or several ads with you for your game. When they seek out UGC-like content, users are actively looking for authenticity. When they feel like the ad is genuine, they’re also able to connect better with the brand (and later on the game).
In 2021, the search for authenticity was already at the core of mobile users’ desires. They like to feel included, to see themselves playing the game. They’re a few ways to play on UGC-like content to create a good video ad for your mobile game, we’ve mentioned fake testimonials and hiring influencers. But if you’re planning on a live-action video ad you can also have the actor address the camera (and through it the user) directly.
Let’s get creative!
TikTok is your friend
It’s no surprise that 2021 was a very successful year for TikTok. The app stayed on top of the charts for almost every month last year. What’s even more impressive, is the power the platform has over the success of mobile games.
In 2021, several mobile games met a striking success after heavy advertising campaigns on the platform (like High Heels which launched a plethora of similar games to try their luck at TikTok advertising).
TikTok has become the place to be for mobile game advertisers. You can see that according to MobileAction data, in January, 8 out of the 10 top android advertisers for TikTok were mobile games. The other two are a shopping app, and Instagram advertising its TikTok-like tool, Reels, directly in the competitor’s app.
Roughly 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34, making the platform inevitable. TikTokers will take your game further, they install 50% more games and play for 36% longer than people who do not use the app. This is why 49% of mobile games advertise on TikTok.
TikTok is also a cultural phenomenon, all the biggest cultural products of the moment started on TikTok (whether it’s music, books, or, you guessed it, mobile games). Investing in the platform is a good bet for mobile games developers.
The Chinese social app is a user-driven platform. According to Newzoo’s guide, the mobile gamers present on the social media app are 50% more likely to recommend games to friends, and 70% more likely to discuss games on social media.
With TikTok’s advice to advertisers being “Make TikToks, not ads”, TikTok ads tend to feel more organic and authentic (because they resemble the other content you can find on the app), so it’s also great to play on the desire for authenticity that mobile gamers are looking for.
Bring a gift
Last but not least, rewarded ads are the ad tool you need to take your marketing campaign to the next level. We’ve said before, contextual advertising is the new black. Advertising your game in another game is the best way to target a relevant audience. It’s even more efficient with rewarded ads.
Not only rewarded ads position your ad in front of relevant consumers, but the reward aspect also ensures that users are open to the ad. Because watching the ad will bring them a gift to use in their game, you’ll ensure their attention and a positive mood because your ad is linked to an in-game gift, and who doesn’t like gifts?
Being placed as a rewarded ad can give you a headstart (and that’s always useful in games) so go ahead and start planning your ad campaign, and bear some gifts on the way in.
What do you think will be the big mobile game advertising trend of 2022? Do you agree with the trends we talked about? Tell us in the comments!
Hi there, I’m Marine (she/her), I’m a Content Manager at Apptamin. Apptamin is a creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, app store videos, etc.).