Marketing your mobile game has become just as important as designing your levels or polishing your user interface. The market place is as competitive as ever, with large development studios spending millions on celebrity endorsements and TV ads.
If you’re daunted by the prospect of finding users for your mobile game, your best bet is a solid marketing campaign. These marketing techniques will help you lay the foundations of a successful promotional campaign and get your game the attention it deserves.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
The first step is to find out who are the people that will like your game the most. Finding this group will save you a lot of time and money and stop you from pushing your game on an audience that have no interest in it.
The concept behind this is pretty simple. If you wanted to sell a board game aimed at kids, you wouldn’t pay to have it advertised late at night. Similarly, you wouldn’t try to sell ice-cream during the winter. Identifying your target audience means getting the results you want, without wasting time.
If you don’t know where to start, take a look at your competitors to see where they’re investing the most effort. Try to identify what parts of their strategy you can easily replicate and target users accordingly.
You should know that it’s ok to consider your target audience in broad terms. You probably have a general idea about the people that will like your game already so keep that in mind too. Later on, you can consider the whales that you need to target.
With an audience in mind and a game in development, you’re now ready for pre-launch marketing. This is the time to start marketing your game. If you wait until your game is released then you’ve already missed out on weeks’ worth of marketing opportunities.
In pre-launch, you need to set a release date for your game. This will inform a lot of your other marketing efforts so make sure you set a realistic date. You don’t want to spend weeks telling everyone that your game will be available on a certain date and then end up missing it.
You’ll also need to decide what the marketing story of your game will be. Does it have some educational benefits or is there something revolutionary about how it works? What will make people interested in your game before they can even play it? Create a narrative that will help you to inform people about your game.
3. Landing Page and Email List
A landing page is a simple one page website that you can use to promote your game. One of the benefits of a landing page is that you can place links to your game’s app store pages online. You can also use this page to grab email addresses.
Having a potential user’s email address is the best way to tell them about when your game will be released or when you’ve released an update. Your landing page is a great place to gain subscribers because you know that these potential users are already interested enough in your game to visit your website. These users are the first people you should inform about your game launch.
Designing a landing page is pretty simple. The idea is to keep it as uncomplicated as possible while providing all of the essential details for interested users. Check out Pixduel’s landing pagehere for a great example.
4. Social Media
Nowadays, marketing campaigns for almost every type of product involve some kind of social media activity. Social media is a useful marketing tool because it allows you to directly connect with potential users in a way that they’re familiar with. There are a number of different social media platforms you can use to promote your game but the key is to find the one that works best and concentrate on it.
To find out which social media channel works best for you, you can start with the most popular channels such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., and do some analysis to see which works best. Free tools such as Buffer can help you to manage your social profiles and give you the basic analytics you need to identify your most profitable channel.
Post pre-launch info about your game and see who’s interested in your project. Try to share game graphics, storyline previews, or else look for pre-launch feedback on certain ideas. You can also add links to your landing page from your social profiles which helps to funnel people to your game.
5. Content Marketing
Content marketing can take on many forms but the one most people are familiar with is blogging. An interesting blog can be a great way to gain people’s attention and share information about your game online.
You can host a blog from your landing page or else from a number of platforms online. Use your blog to create intrigue around your game by sharing your best work and you can build excitement for users before they even play your game.
The key to content marketing is to write really interesting articles. Don’t just write a post for every little detail that you work on. Make sure to tell people about interesting changes to the game and how they will affect the finished product. You also need to keep a regular schedule when implementing a content marketing campaign. If people expect your blog posts to be published on a certain day, they’re more likely to read it every week.
6. Multimedia Materials
Multimedia materials such as video, audio and images can be very powerful tools in your marketing campaign. Although these resources may take time to develop, no marketing campaign would be complete without them.
As soon as your game is ready for it, you should make a game trailer. You can include this on your landing page and share it on social media to give people the best possible idea of what your game will be like.
If you’re using unique game music, consider sharing it online ahead of time as well. A catchy bit of game music is enough to pique potential user’s interest and anything that stays in their head will give you an advantage. Just think about how recognizable any of the Mario themes are.
Also try to have some promotional images for your game, even if they’re just screenshots. You’ll need these for creating your app store pages anyway, but they can also be useful for sharing online or sending to the press.
Getting press for your mobile game is one of the best ways to tell people about your game. Before you go to the press, you might want to put together a press kit. This will help journalists to write quick stories about your game.
You’ll need to put together a couple of different resources for your press kit. It should include screenshots, logos and any other promotional art. You should also write a game fact sheet, a company fact sheet, and a press release about your game. If you’ve already prepared them, you should also include your video trailer and a game demo if possible.
Putting together a press kit is the easy part, getting the interest of journalists is a little bit trickier. Before you start contacting Venturebeat about your game, consider who will actually write about your game. Go directly to journalists that have covered games like yours in the past and you’ll do much better than just sending emails to generic contact addresses.
8. Getting Game Reviews
Similar to getting press, game reviews are a powerful form of marketing. Game reviews can reach users that you might never discover on your own and you can integrate them into your press kit and other parts of your marketing campaign.
There are a large number of sites that can give you reviews, and obviously some will be more trusted than others. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t approach less popular sites for reviews in the beginning. In fact, getting a number of reviews on smaller sites might help to build more buzz around your game and attract the attention of the bigger sites.
Once you get some reviews, make sure that you tell people about them as well. Share them on your social media profiles or include them in your newsletter. You can also include your review ratings on your app store pages, which is a great way to convert prospective users.
9. Measure your Analytics
Once you’ve implemented all of these techniques, it’s crucial that you measure the results and adjust accordingly in order to maximize the potential of your marketing campaign. Unfortunately, no marketing campaign works on a “set-and-forget” basis.
Measure the success of your social media posts and email newsletters to see if they’re gaining any traction. There’s a wealth of resources online to help you maximize the potential of both of these techniques. You should also keep an eye on your landing page to see what type of traffic you’re receiving. This can tell you how most people find out about your game.
Don’t forget to update your press kit regularly and try to gauge the impact of downloads after a review is released. If one site has a bigger impact than others, then you’ll know who to contact first the next time you release a game.
Did We Forget Your Favorite Marketing Techniques?
If there’s something missing from this list, let us know in the comments. These 9 tips should help you start your marketing campaign and get the players you need.