Over the years, the gaming industry has become more competitive, with millions of game apps available on mobile marketplaces such as the App Store and Google Play Store, as well as Origin and Steam for PC players. With the recent introduction of technologies like as cloud, blockchain, and virtual reality (VR), the range of genres and gaming styles continues to evolve. Globally, the mobile gaming business is expected to be worth $221.7 billion by 2027.
Video games continue to be popular with gamers of all ages, including those over the age of 18 – in fact, those between the ages of 18 and 34 account for 36% of all gamers in the US, while those under the age of 18 account for 24%, and those aged 35 to 44 account for 13%. This makes it critical for game app marketing to customise its marketing accordingly, as no one technique will fit all.
But where to begin; what challenges must be explored and overcome; and how can gaming companies use their marketing strategy to gain a competitive advantage? This article will look at how to sell your game app.
Challenges to overcome
“Marketing a gaming app is a challenging task, and small business owners need to carefully consider their approach in order to avoid wasting money on ineffective strategies,” said Beatriz Repiso, owner and CEO of Otternative Marketing.
Below are the biggest challenges for gaming app developers to watch out for:
When it comes to marketing, the first port of call for any small business is the available budget. This might also be the first barrier to overcome when marketing a game app, as resources are frequently limited and must be balanced with other activities such as employee management and production.
Keeping up with trends in the ever changing gaming business, as well as staying in tune with client wants and monetising accordingly, might be more difficult said than done, but is critical for marketing success. Marketing professionals must continually strive to improve their strategy in response to such shifts. Companies should assess their alternatives — whether in-app purchases, subscriptions, or advertising — throughout the monetisation planning stage, whether for free or premium apps, and determine which ones are most fit for their market.
Furthermore, game developers frequently face issues about data privacy, as apps in the area grow in size and use user data at an exponential rate. According to study performed by marketing technology startup Bango, more than half of gaming developers feel it has “never been more difficult” to gain new paying customers for their apps as a result of public criticism over data privacy, as well as the sunset of IDFA and cookies.
“[The discovery] is a major issue for the digital economy.
“We’ve been dubbing it ‘the App-ocalypse,’” said Anil Malhotra, co-founder and CMO of Bango.
“For businesses dependent on revenue from mobile gaming apps, user acquisition is the name of the game, as it’s an economy that relies totally on downloads and active users.
So anything that obstructs the sales funnel has a negative impact on the bottom line.”
To respond to a dynamic regulatory framework, this area of operations necessitates an equally strong focus on compliance and asset protection.
The steps to take
Once your organisation has agreed on the budget for marketing your gaming app, it’s then time to establish an actionable marketing plan with specific; measurable; achievable; relevant; and time-bound (SMART) objectives throughout.
Repiso explained: “These should align with the overall goals of the business. Examples can include increasing app downloads, improving user engagement, or generating revenue.”
Planning promotional content
Companies must plan the types of material to develop and share for game promotion from the start, including blogs, videos, and social media posts. Deep market research is required to determine how the competition markets their games, allowing you to find ways to differentiate yourself. Consider the media and channels that your target audience is most likely to use, and tailor your strategy accordingly.
In addition to general use networks like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, you can find specific gaming communities to sell your game app to on sites like Discord and Reddit.
No successful marketing plan in the gaming industry, or any industry, is complete without user acquisition — the aforementioned “name of the game” noted by Malhotra. You can reach new users in your target demographics by doing the following:
- Search engine optimisation (SEO): As businesses across all sectors have increased their online presence over the past few years, SEO has ascended up the marketing agenda as a vital tool to help stand out from the crowd. Using competitive and relevant keywords, and utilising link building can help with this area.
- Paid advertising: Enlisting the services of social media platforms and game websites to display banner ads among other assets proves a common and effective way to get your name out to a wider audience.
- Social media influencers: Also a viable method is user acquisition through the presence of influencers on sites such as Instagram and YouTube. Often a go-to in the latter stages before going to market, game companies can partner with content creators to promote the game through their channels. For example, promo codes are often used as a vehicle for discounted copies of game apps.
Analysis of performance
Once word of the game spreads, marketing personnel should consistently track the number of views that each kind of advertising generates. This may be accomplished with the use of social media marketing tools like Buffer and Hootsuite, as well as analytical tools like Google Analytics.
Game app creators should also “connect with users and receive feedback; understand what users enjoy and dislike about the app, and make modifications as appropriate,” according to Repiso.
The marketing of game applications does not end with the release; marketers should continually be modifying their strategy as industry trends and user behaviours change.
Disrupting the competitive gaming space
Whether it’s your first product, a sequel, or an altogether new game, breaking through the noise may be a terrifying proposition fraught with uncertainty. However, by following these methods and conquering common marketing hurdles, you may successfully advertise your game app to a new or established audience while being responsive to demand.