Originally published on January 26th, 2022, and updated on May 5th, 2023.
Did you know that the vast majority of money spent on mobile app stores is spent on games? With over 5.22 billion unique mobile phone users worldwide and over 5 million apps to compete with, it comes as no surprise that mobile games are the sort of apps advertisers spend most of their revenue on.
The mobile gaming industry has grown exponentially in the past few years, and it is expected to grow even more in the coming years. So, with this info in mind, this article will cover the latest and greatest mobile marketing strategies. Take them on board, and they’ll skyrocket your mobile game toward app store success!
How to Market Your Mobile Game – The Winning Duo
Let’s cut to the chase and break down what you’ll need for your winning mobile game marketing strategy:
- An App Store Optimization (ASO) Plan that will boost your app store presence
- Apple Search Ads or other paid media to maximize your ASO strategy
As you can see, we’re mixing both organic and paid strategies here, so your mobile game can benefit from the best of both worlds. We believe that the effect of Apple Search Ads and other paid media efforts go hand in hand with a well-devised ASO strategy for mobile gaming growth.
Need help marketing your mobile game?
Our mobile game marketing specialists are here to help you.
App Store Optimization for Mobile Games
With every great mobile game comes a great app store optimization strategy.
App store optimization (ASO) is the process of using keywords, metadata, and other relevant information to improve the visibility of a mobile game in app stores according to ranking factors determined by the app stores’ algorithms. A higher ranking leads to a higher search presence, which in turn leads to an increased number of organic downloads.
ASO not only improves an app’s visibility but it also increases the likelihood of users converting once they reach the app page by optimizing each element. This is a branch of ASO called conversion rate optimization (CRO).
Why ASO is Important for Mobile Games
ASO is a crucial part of mobile game advertising. It helps developers get their mobile games noticed in the App Store and Google Play Store. It does this by making them more visible to players who are searching for games on those stores. ASO also helps developers to optimize their app pages so that players are more likely to download their games once they’ve discovered them in the app stores.
What Affects the Performance of a Mobile Game on an App Store?
We’re glad you asked! There are many app store optimization ranking factors to consider in your mobile game app store optimization strategy. Reviews and ratings, user experience, app revenue and app keywords, just to name a few. You can read more about how these can affect the performance of your app in our app store optimization guide. But for now, let’s focus on some strategies to improve your mobile game’s visibility within the app stores.
Mobile Games App Store Optimization Best Practices
The mobile gaming market is overflowing with apps. With plenty of mobile games to choose from in the app stores, how can you make sure players decide to choose your app?
Here’s how you can get ahead of the competition:
Getting the Basics Right
Before diving into the best practices for mobile games app store optimization, we must ensure that the technicalities are covered.
Double-check that your game is free of any bugs and is also updated on a regular basis. This will avoid those dreaded negative app reviews. You could even get a head start on being featured on the app stores’ front pages. Well-updated apps tend to rank higher than others. This is because they notify the app stores that they are listening to customer feedback to make constant improvements.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get started…
Keyword Research for Mobile Games
It may seem straightforward at first, but conducting ASO keyword research will greatly optimize your mobile game’s visibility in the app stores and improve your gaming app marketing success.
Confused about how to start? Think about the keywords players could be searching for when they’re looking to find a mobile game such as yours.
Let’s take AFK Arena, a popular mobile game, as a case study. AFK Arena is an idle RPG game. It heavily features the ability for players to level-up even if they’re AFK (Away From Keyboard). This means they can enjoy a casual game while collecting rewards and beating opponents. Pretty cool concept, right?
By combining these two powerful search terms (“RPG” and “AFK”) in the app’s tagline and description, AFK Arena did a great job at attracting players who are looking for a quick and easy game to play. This is a crucial feature of mobile gaming in general. Unlike video games, the casual nature tends to play (no pun intended) a bigger part in the customers’ decision to download and play mobile games.
So what can we learn from this case study?
Identifying the initial keywords should be the first step to building your mobile game’s description and title and optimizing your gaming app marketing. Using the relevant keywords for your target player base will greatly increase your odds of appearing on those coveted top search results.
Action item: Find inspiration and research your mobile game competitors and your potential users’ search behavior. This will help you to see which keywords provide the most reliable results in the app stores.
The Winning Title and Subtitle Strategy
Similar to using the right keywords for your mobile game’s metadata and description, a great title should tell your customers about the features they can look forward to when downloading and playing your mobile game. Implement everything you’ve learned from the app stores’ search keyword research to optimize your mobile game’s title and subtitle. Then, you’ll be on your way to pleasing the algorithm gods.
Bonus Tip: To increase the odds of your game being top of the app stores, see which games are currently being featured. Which trends you can hop on to get that extra visibility boost?
App Screenshots and Game Icons
Let’s face it – humans are visual creatures. When it comes to players who are picking which game to download and play next, aesthetics matter.
There are many creative assets that can affect an app’s conversion rates, performance, impressions, and more.
Sharing snippets of your mobile game with your target audience can greatly increase downloads and even in-app purchases. If your game’s got it, why not flaunt it?
There are already high standards set for mobile games graphics in 2022, so make sure you don’t fall behind. Capture the best parts of your game and conduct A/B tests to see which creative assets work best for each demographic.
In the images above you can see examples of excellent app screenshots from our current and previous clients. These creatives got amazing results in the app stores because they showcased which genres the mobile games belong to. You can see how fun they could be to play!
Action Item: Come up with a list of your mobile game’s most unique features from which players can enjoy. Then, think of creative ways to incorporate them into the app’s page icon and screenshots for the best results.
Looking to Optimize Your Mobile Marketing Strategy?
Our team of mobile experts is always available!
Share Even More with App Preview Videos
Another helpful tool in your mobile marketing arsenal should be app preview videos.
Apple’s Preview Videos feature is especially powerful when it comes to generating more traffic to your mobile game. What better way to entice potential players to download your mobile game than by inserting short preview videos showcasing all of its greatest features?
Keep in mind that all game preview videos you plan on posting must adhere to Apple’s (quite strict) editorial guidelines. Android’s Google Play Store is more flexible in terms of its own editorial guidelines for Promo Videos. Promo Videos are similar to Apple’s Preview Videos.
Nonetheless, both should be incorporated into your App Store Optimization strategy. Both types of App Preview videos will lead us to our main objectives. These are: maximizing app listing conversions and engaging players so they’ll be enticed to install and play your mobile game.
Localization, Localization, Localization (and why it’s crucial for mobile game marketing)
App Localization and internationalization are some of the most overlooked factors when it comes to mobile game app store optimization. When utilized correctly – they can increase your mobile game’s odds of successfully appearing in the top search results.
How to Localize Your Mobile Game
App localization essentially means translating or adapting different aspects of an app according to the local language, culture and requirements of the region in which it operates. When it comes to mobile game localization, you should consider localizing different aspects of your game (and game genre) to different demographics, cultures, languages, etc.
It’s important that you localize your app page too, which can mean anything from translating app preview videos, screenshots copy, and metadata to changing the creative concepts entirely based on what’s likely to resonate better with the different cultures in different GEOs.
Need help marketing your mobile game?
Our mobile game marketing specialists are here to help you.
Supercharge your Mobile Game Marketing with Apple Search Ads
We’ve covered how you can organically increase your mobile game’s visibility in the app stores. But what if you want to go the extra mile and help users find your mobile game in Apple’s App Store using keywords? While this could be done through organic search optimization, Apple Search Ads (ASA) can help boost your app based on its relevance to your target audience. Quite helpful, isn’t it?
Apple Search Ads allow advertisers to reach customers on their iPhones and iPads. They’re an extremely powerful tool for marketers due to their effectiveness with relatively low costs.
However, with the release of iOS 15, Apple Search Ads have gone through some significant changes. These can greatly affect how they could be used to promote your mobile game on the App Store. Apple’s latest software update now includes asking users for permission to enable Personalized Ads in the App Store. This means that users can choose to opt out of this feature, which could impact your ad’s performance.
Luckily, there are a number of ways you can set your mobile game up for iOS App Store success following Apple’s recent privacy updates.
Enhance Apple Search Ads with Custom Product Pages
Your App Store product page is the home base for your app. One of the newest features introduced with iOS 15 was custom product pages. This new tool can greatly improve marketers’ ability to coordinate ad creatives with keywords or audiences. It can also take users on a custom product journey when they see and tap on your mobile game ad. This feature is a new take on Creative Sets, which were previously what was used in Apple Search Ads.
Make use of this flexible feature to set up a successful Apple Search Ad campaign. This can be done by showing potential players what they’re in for with different yet effective visuals, content, and features for different users tapping on your mobile game’s page.
When researching custom product pages, you should also consider localizing your mobile game’s features to different GEOs and demographics.
Looking for even more ways to effectively scale up your Apple Search Ads campaign? Click here to read through more tips from our pros.
Optimize your Mobile Game with Ease
Eager to implement some of the tips we’ve discussed in your mobile game marketing strategy? Drop us a line and let’s work together!
A winning mobile game marketing strategy incorporates both organic and paid elements to maximize app stores success. This is done by devising a comprehensive App Store Optimization (ASO) plan and utilizing paid measures such as Apple Search Ads to ensure great results.
App Store Optimization (ASO) for mobile games increases the likelihood of users converting once they reach the app page through optimizing each element. To achieve a high ranking for your mobile game, your app page should be localized for different GEOs, and include great creatives that adhere to the app stores’ editorial guidelines.
Mobile games differ from other apps in several ways. To make sure you’re reaching the right audiences and player bases, as well as staying ahead of the competition, you should highlight elements that make your game unique and fun to play. With mobile game marketing, a lot can be done with creative visual elements such as app preview videos, logos and screenshots that could bring your game to life on the app stores’ pages.
You can use Apple Search Ads to help users find your mobile game in Apple’s App Store using keywords. With low costs and great results due to their placement in the platform, ASA are a valuable tool to incorporate in your mobile game advertising strategy that can help boost your conversions and reach your target audience effectively.