Mobile Game Marketing: Best Strategies to Boost Your Mobile Gaming App Installs
Want your mobile game to stand out in a crowded market? Dive in to learn proven mobile game marketing strategies that boost installs.
A staggering 90% of mobile game apps struggle to gain traction post-launch. With millions of games launching on app stores every day, standing out is tougher than ever.
This guide cuts through the noise, giving you actionable strategies to drive installs, especially using platforms like TikTok, Google, and Meta. Learn how to boost mobile game installs with mobile game marketing strategies by harnessing the power of platforms like TikTok, and strategies that have transformed ordinary games into global sensations.
By the end of this article, you’ll learn how to:
- Boost reach with targeted social media campaigns.
- Grow through strategic cross-promotion.
- Build trust with authentic reviews.
- Harness TikTok for organic and paid engagement.
How to Market a Mobile Gaming App: Post-Launch Blueprint
Having worked closely on tons of gaming app campaigns, we’ve seen firsthand the transformative power of the right kind of marketing for boosting app downloads.
During this time we have learned a thing or two about mobile game marketing strategy.
To help you, we’ve identified key strategies that leverage social media’s unique ecosystem to boost game installs. Think of a strategy informed by data, research, lots of trial and error, and a deep understanding of the marketing ecosystem based on your target audience.
Let’s unpack the strategies:
1. Leverage Social Media for Maximum Impact
Social media is no longer just a social networking medium. It is the place where you reach your target audience because you go where your audience hangs out.
Each social media platform has its unique strengths:
- X (formerly Twitter), is a hub for real-time conversations and trends.
- Facebook is the go-to for community building and targeted advertising.
- Instagram shines for visual storytelling and brand aesthetics.
- TikTok offers a blend of creativity and virality.
It’s essential to recognize and harness the distinct advantages of each platform to effectively reach and engage with your target audience.
With over 3.6 billion people using social media worldwide, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok offer a vast audience. Video content captures attention like no other. A well-crafted video ad can tell your game’s story in seconds, compelling users to take action.
In fact, 54% of social media users use social media to research products, including games. A well-targeted visual content strategy, especially on TikTok (yes, we are biased) can significantly increase your game’s visibility.
Here’s how you do it.
- Craft a compelling narrative for your ad, be it gameplay highlights, a gripping storyline, or player testimonials.
- Target ads based on user interests, especially those who engage with gaming content.
- Monitor performance and adjust targeting as needed for optimal results.
Have a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA). What do you want viewers to do after watching? Download the game? Visit your website? Make the CTA clear and compelling.
Real World Insights.
Lessmore’s “Eatventure” utilised TikTok’s creative challenge to generate UGC-style ads, leading to a 46% lower install cost than other platforms. We will be discussing their success story in detail in the next section. Stay tuned!
2. Use Cross-Promotion and UGC for Mutual Growth
Next, one of the most important strategies we recommend to our partners is to collaborate with others to engage with their target audience. This could be in the form of other brands or influencers and users.
By forging these partnerships, you get to have access to established user bases leading to increased visibility and downloads.
Pokémon GO & Starbucks did something similar in 2016 when Niantic’s Pokémon GO turned over 7,800 Starbucks locations in the U.S. into PokéStops or Gyms. This not only enhanced the gaming experience but also drove significant traffic to Starbucks outlets.
In a masterstroke of cross-promotion, Epic Games’ Fortnite collaborated with Marvel, introducing iconic characters like Iron Man and Thor into the game’s universe. This partnership resulted in a significant spike in engagement for Fortnite.
But the benefits were mutual. While Fortnite players enjoyed enriched content and gameplay experiences, Marvel tapped into Fortnite’s vast player base, promoting its expansive universe and characters to a younger, engaged audience. This collaboration stands as a testament to the power of strategic partnerships in amplifying reach and engagement for both parties involved.
Seek out game developers or apps with a similar or complementary target audience. Mutual growth is more achievable when both parties share audience interests. It’s about tapping into established communities and introducing them to your game.
A staggering 80% of mobile app users find new apps either by browsing the app store or through recommendations. Cross-promotion is a strategic smart move. By leveraging the user base of another app, you’re expanding your reach.
Here’s how to use cross-promotion and UGC.
- Identify potential partners to collaborate with. Look for apps or games with a user base that aligns with your target audience.
- Propose mutual promotions. Think of in-game items or cosmetics. Make it irresistible.
- Keep it seamless. The last thing you want is for the promotion to feel forced.
By collaborating with other developers or apps, you can amplify your game’s reach and appeal, creating a win-win situation for both parties.
3. Build Trust with Authentic Reviews
Trust and reviews play a pivotal role in getting your ideal customer to download your game. Authentic reviews, testimonials and even showcasing UGC during promotional campaigns help showcase to new users that your game is worth a try.
If your game is new, encourage your current players to leave genuine reviews to significantly boost your game’s credibility. Positive reviews act as social proof, assuring potential players of the quality and entertainment value of your game.
Among Us by InnerSloth is an indie game that became a massive hit. The developers actively engaged with the community on platforms like Reddit and Twitter. They took the feedback seriously, leading to many players leaving positive reviews appreciating the developer’s engagement.
Here’s how you can do it.
- Regularly engage with your players, asking for feedback and reviews.
- Consider offering in-game rewards or bonuses for players who leave a review.
- Actively respond to reviews, both positive and negative, showing players that you value their feedback.
By fostering a culture of authentic reviews, you not only build trust with your audience but also create a community of advocates for your game. Remember, a well-planned review strategy can be a game-changer in the competitive mobile gaming market.
4. Maximising Reach with Comprehensive Paid Media Campaigns
We understand that there are times when even the most innovative and unique mobile apps sometimes struggle to find their audience organically. This can happen, especially when your game offers a fresh perspective or a unique gameplay experience.
To overcome this challenge, we suggest a hybrid approach to our partners where they use paid + organic social media strategy to find their potential and target audience.
Paid ad campaigns help you spread awareness about your mobile game. They also help you carve out your niche when your unique idea doesn’t get the organic traction it deserves.
The key to running a successful post-launch game marketing campaign are precision and creativity.
How to do this?
Choosing the right platform is important. The platform you choose depends on your mobile game, the kind of audience it has, and other factors.
However, knowing where your audience is hanging out or how they usually search for similar apps like yours can help you filter your options down to one or two platforms.
Paid media campaigns are not just about throwing money at ads and hoping for the best. It’s about crafting a strategy that leverages the strengths of various platforms to reach your target audience effectively.
Examples of effective paid campaigns.
- TikTok Ads: For games targeting a younger demographic, TikTok’s short-form video platform offers a unique space to engage users. Casual games, in particular, have seen success with creative challenges and influencer partnerships on TikTok.
- Google Ads: Google’s vast ecosystem, spanning from Search to Play to YouTube, can help your game reach billions. Universal App Campaigns (UAC), for instance, harness machine learning to optimize your ads across Google’s platforms, leading to increased conversions.
- Facebook & Instagram Ads: With their detailed targeting options, these platforms allow you to present your game to a specific demographic, from age groups to interests. Games like “Clash of Clans” have effectively used Facebook video ads to showcase gameplay and attract new players.
Here’s what your creative strategy should be like.
- Set clear objectives for your campaign – for example, app installs or in-game purchases.
- Create engaging ads for your campaigns catering to the platform you are using. A compelling video or image can tell your game’s story in seconds.
- Precision targeting is the key. Focus on users who engage with gaming content and fit your game’s demographic.
- Analyse performance regularly and monitor ad metrics to adjust strategies for optimal engagement and conversion.
Launching a successful campaign comes down to constant monitoring, adapting, and refining the campaign. The best strategies are agile, data-driven, and always in tune with the user’s needs.
With paid media, you’re strategically targeting the right audience on various platforms. It ensures your game not only gains visibility but also resonates with the audience most likely to engage and convert.
As you navigate the intricate world of paid media campaigns, remember that the right strategy can make all the difference. And if you’re looking for expert guidance to elevate your app’s success, we’re here to help.
Let’s collaborate and craft a journey that skyrockets your app’s growth.
While we’ve discussed the potential of various marketing strategies, nothing speaks louder than real-world results.
Let’s delve into a case study showcasing the transformative power of TikTok marketing in mobile gaming. This example will validate the strategies we’ve discussed and provide actionable insights you can apply to your campaigns.
Case Study: A Deep Dive into the Mobile Game App Marketing Campaign of Lessmore’s “Eatventure”
@eatventuregame its all a bit mad #NikeShesBallin #eatventure #mobilegames ♬ original sound – Jay
Lessmore’s “Eatventure” use of TikTok, combined with a deep understanding of its target audience, makes it a great study for marketers. This analysis aims to dissect the campaign, offering insights into the strategic decisions that led to its success.
“Eatventure” was designed as a holistic restaurant simulator, targeting a diverse demographic.
- The game, designed for a wide audience, combines in-app purchases and in-app advertising.
- The primary goal was to maximize installs and in-app purchases and scale across various markets.
For Lessmore’s “Eatventure”, the strategy was to reach the right audience in the most effective way.
Let’s delve into the strategic choices that paved the way for their remarkable success.
TikTok Creative Challenge
Lessmore began by targeting iOS users in the US, focusing primarily on app installs. However, as their player base expanded, the goal shifted towards enhancing in-app purchases.
To keep the content fresh and engaging, they embraced the TikTok Creative Challenge. This innovative approach encouraged TikTok creators to craft UGC-style ads, resulting in a whopping 500+ creator-generated videos for “Eatventure.”
Targeting and Optimization
The campaign targeted different demographics and smartphone parameters. After determining the most efficient approach, it expanded to various markets, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, and Spain.
The numbers speak for themselves. The campaign outperformed expectations, achieving a cost per install that was 46% lower than other platforms. The focus on results ensured a return on ad spend that was 28% higher on the seventh day compared to other platforms, coupled with an impressive 22% conversion rate.
The campaign showcased TikTok’s potential as a leading user acquisition channel, especially for iOS users and in-app purchases.
The game achieved significant success in various markets, such as Germany, UK, Israel, and Canada.
Gus Viegas, Head of Growth at Lessmore, emphasized the importance of being open to new strategies and collaborating closely with account managers. The results of the “Eatventure” campaign are a testament to the power of TikTok as a marketing platform for mobile games.
“Our collaboration with TikTok transformed our marketing approach. The platform’s unique engagement capabilities, combined with our team’s dedication, led to the unparalleled success of the ‘Eatventure’ campaign. Being open to new strategies and working closely with our account managers was pivotal,” says Gus Viegas, Head of Growth at Lessmore.
How to Apply the Lessmore’s Strategy to Your Game
- Understand Your Audience: Just as Lessmore initially targeted iOS users in the US, you should identify and target your primary audience.
- Leverage User-Generated Content: Emulate the TikTok Creative Challenge approach by encouraging your players to create content related to your game.
- Optimize Targeting and Expansion: Learn from Lessmore’s targeting of different demographics and their expansion to various markets. Analyze your game’s performance and adapt accordingly.
- Collaborate and Communicate: The success of the “Eatventure” campaign was attributed to open collaboration. Engage closely with your marketing team or agency, and be open to new strategies.
- Harness the Power of TikTok: Recognize the potential of TikTok as a leading user acquisition channel, especially if your target audience aligns with TikTok’s user base.
Eager to supercharge your game installs?
Essential Post-Launch Strategies for Mobile Game Marketing Using TikTok
TikTok has rapidly emerged as a dominant force in the mobile marketing landscape, especially for game app developers. To truly harness its potential, it’s crucial to understand the different facets of TikTok marketing.
A robust TikTok strategy can be broadly divided into:
- Organic Engagement: This revolves around creating authentic content that resonates with the TikTok audience. It’s about building a community, fostering user-generated content, and leveraging the platform’s unique features to drive organic growth.
- Influencer Collaborations: TikTok is home to a plethora of influencers with vast and engaged followings. Partnering with the right influencers can amplify your game’s visibility, credibility, and appeal.
- Paid Promotions: While organic growth is vital, paid promotions turbocharge your reach. TikTok’s ad platform offers a suite of tools and targeting options to ensure your game reaches its intended audience.
By understanding and integrating these components, game app developers can craft a TikTok strategy that’s effective and game-changing.
Let’s talk about each of these in detail.
Organic TikTok Strategies
If you’re in-game app marketing, here’s a pro tip: TikTok is where your players are, and they’re looking for real, fun content.
Organic and authentic content, regardless of the niche can find its audience on TikTok.
While 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24, the platform is seeing a surge in older demographics, with a growing percentage of users in the 25-34 and 35-44 age brackets. TikTok also has a fairly even gender distribution, making it a versatile platform for targeting both male and female audiences.
Here’s our deep dive into leveraging this goldmine of genuine engagement.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
Games that seamlessly integrate with the TikTok culture by encouraging players to share their experiences witness a significant uptick in organic reach and engagement. It’s not just about playing the game; it’s about being part of its story.
- In-Game Challenges: Introduce challenges that players can take to TikTok. Whether it’s a dance move, a high-score challenge, or a unique gameplay moment, make it shareable.
- Rewards for Sharing: Offer in-game rewards or bonuses for players who share their TikTok videos. It’s a win-win: they get rewards, and you get free promotion.
In the TikTok universe, influencers are the guiding stars. Their word can make games soar in popularity overnight. But it’s not just about numbers; it’s about finding the right voice that aligns with your game’s spirit.
A single shoutout or gameplay video from a TikTok influencer can be the catalyst for a surge in game downloads. It’s the power of trust and credibility.
- Research and Outreach: Identify influencers who resonate with your game’s theme and audience. It’s not just about big numbers; it’s about genuine engagement.
- Collaborative Content: Work with influencers to create content that’s both entertaining and showcases your game’s USPs.
Spotlight: Playkot’s “Age of Magic.”
Their strategic use of organic TikTok strategies led to a 25% cost-saving per installation. It’s proof that with the right approach, organic growth can yield tangible results.
Ready to elevate your mobile app’s reach with the perfect influencer partnership? Collaborate with House of Marketers to craft a strategy that resonates with your gaming audience.
Paid TikTok Promotions: Amplifying Your Reach
While organic growth on TikTok offers your mobile game a chance to reach its target audience organically, paid ads and promotions accelerate it.
Harnessing the power of TikTok’s advanced targeting capabilities ensures that your ads reach the individuals most likely to engage and convert.
- Diverse Ad Formats: TikTok offers a range of ad formats, from in-feed videos to branded effects. Experiment and find what resonates best with your target audience.
- A/B Testing: Run multiple ad variations to determine which one drives the most installs. Refine and optimize based on real-time data.
TikTok challenges are the modern-day word-of-mouth. They’re not just about virality; they’re about creating a movement where your game becomes the talk of the town (or the world).
TikTok challenges have the potential to become viral sensations. It’s a blend of creativity, engagement, and the platform’s unique culture.
- Engaging Themes: Your challenge theme should be engaging, fun, and aligned with your game’s core mechanics.
- Promote Your Challenge: Use TikTok ads to promote your challenge, ensuring it gains the traction it deserves.
Spotlight: HOMA’s “Attack Hole.”
Their decision to invest in TikTok’s paid promotions yielded a whopping 300% increase in daily installs. It’s a testament to the platform’s unmatched potential for game promotions.
Boosting game installs isn’t just about visibility; it’s about creating compelling reasons for players to download and dive in. It’s a blend of art, psychology, and strategic marketing.”
Checklist: How to Market Your Game App
Checklist: Kickstarting Your Game App Marketing
- Research: Identify your target audience and study competitors.
- USP: Define what sets your game apart.
- ASO: Optimize game name, visuals, and descriptions for app stores.
- Plan: Set clear objectives and a budget.
- Social Media: Engage players with regular updates and teasers.
- Influencers: Partner for game shoutouts and reviews.
- In-Game Events: Host challenges with rewards.
- Referrals: Incentivize players to invite friends.
- Ads: Invest in targeted advertising on popular platforms.
- Feedback: Listen to players and update accordingly.
Remember, while these strategies provide the blueprint, execution is key. It’s about understanding your audience, being authentic, and continuously adapting. The world of mobile game marketing is vast, but with the right approach, the potential for success is limitless.
Want Us to Help you Make Your Game’s Marketing Strategy?
At House of Marketers, we specialize in helping Mobile game apps like yours navigate the complexities of digital marketing. From TikTok campaigns to influencer partnerships, our team of experts is here to guide, support, and propel your game to new heights.
House of Marketers (HOM) is a leading TikTok Marketing Agency. Our global agency was built by early TikTok Employees & TikTok Partners, which gives us the insider knowledge to help leading brands, like Redbull, Playtika, Badoo, and HelloFresh win on TikTok. Want us to convert more of Gen Z and Millennials with TikTok? Get in touch with our friendly team, here.