Mobile Game Marketing: A Complete Guide to Leveling Up and Cashing In

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Mobile gaming has taken the world by storm, becoming a multi-billion dollar industry that shows no signs of slowing down. In this blog, we’ll unlock the secrets to successful mobile game marketing, providing you with the strategies and insights needed to level up your game’s visibility and player base. Let’s get right into it.

What is mobile game marketing?

Mobile game marketing is the process of promoting and advertising mobile games to attract and retain players. The ultimate goal is to make the game appealing to the target audience, drive downloads, encourage in-game purchases, and create a loyal player base. To get it done effectively, you’ll need to craft clever strategies and creative tactics to capture your audience’s attention. But more on that in a moment.

Mobile gamer participating in mobile game marketing on a smartphone

Most common mobile game marketing campaigns

The three most common mobile game marketing campaign types are push, pull, and paid campaigns. The effectiveness of each depends on your game, target audience, and budget. However, a combination often yields the best results. Here is a little on each:

Push campaigns

These involve proactive outreach to the target audience. It includes strategies like push notifications, email marketing, and social media updates to inform and engage players. Push campaigns are ideal for promoting in-game events, updates, or special offers, ensuring players stay engaged.

Pull campaigns

Pull campaigns aim to attract players organically. This involves optimizing app store listings, focusing on ASO (App Store Optimization) to increase visibility, and creating appealing app icons, screenshots, and descriptions. It’s about making your game more discoverable in app stores to draw in users actively searching for games like yours.

Paid campaigns

Paid campaigns require advertising spend to acquire users. They include strategies like social media advertising, in-app ads, influencer marketing, and partnerships with ad networks. Paid campaigns can quickly bring in a large user base, but they require a budget and careful targeting to ensure a good ROI.

How to market games: 6 Tips for getting the most out of your strategy

Ready to put your game out into the world? Here are six tips to consider to make sure your product gets in front of the right audience. 

Tip 1: Invest in paid advertising.

Paid advertising, or PPC (pay-per-click) is almost like a cheat code in the digital marketing world. Here is why it is crucial to your strategy. 

  • Instant visibility: You can be on the first page of Google or at the top of social media feeds within hours.
  • Precision targeting: PPC lets you aim your ads and hit audiences by demographics, interests, and even behavior. 
  • Budget control: If you want to go big, you can. If you’re on a shoestring budget, that works, too. It’s like having a dial for your ad spend. 
  • Data-driven insights: PPC platforms provide mountains of data. Track what’s working and what isn’t, and adjust your strategy on the fly. 

Here are a few ways to get the most out of your PPC strategy:

  • Choose your keywords wisely. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find popular keywords. Remember, it’s not just about clicks—it’s about conversions. 
  • Write A+ copy. Your ad copy should be catchy and concise. Think of it as a movie trailer, leaving your audience wanting more. 
  • Perfect your landing pages. When someone clicks on your ad, where do they go? Create a landing page that delivers what your ad promises. 
  • Watch the competition. Keep an eye on your competitors. What keywords are they targeting? What strategies are they using? Learn and adapt. 

Tip 2: Leverage social media and influencer marketing.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a mobile gaming company that isn’t putting in work on social media. Here’s why it is so critical: 

  • Massive audience: Social media platforms are bustling hubs with billions of users. It’s where the party’s at, and your brand needs an invite.
  • Two-way street: Unlike traditional marketing, social media is a conversation. You engage with your audience, get their feedback, and build relationships.
  • Cost-efficient: You can start with a modest budget or even for free. The options are endless, from organic posts to targeted ads and partnerships with influencers.
  • Insights galore: Social media platforms provide a treasure trove of data. You can peek behind the curtain to see what’s working and what’s not.

Want to optimize your own strategy? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Choose the right platforms. Not all platforms are created equal. Know where your audience hangs out and focus your efforts there. 
  • Consistency is key. Regular posting keeps your brand top-of-mind. 
  • Engage and respond. Don’t be a wallflower. Respond to comments, answer questions, and be a part of the conversation. 
  • Partner with influencers and content creators. Collaborate with creators who can introduce your brand to their loyal followers. Just be sure to partner with folks who align with your brand’s mission and values. 
  • Tell your story. Your brand has a story. Share it. Connect with your audience on a personal level and tell the world what makes you unique outside of your product. 

Tip 3: Keep users and prospects engaged via email.

Email marketing is like your marketing Swiss army knife. When used effectively, you can achieve the following:

  • Direct communication: Email goes straight to your audience’s inbox. It’s kind of like sliding a message under their office door, only more personal. 
  • Targeted communication: You can tailor your emails based on user preferences and behaviors. When done right, it feels almost like a one-on-one chat. 
  • High ROI: Email marketing offers fantastic return on investment. It’s cost-effective, and can bring in more money than you spend. 
  • Analytics: You can get detailed insights into who is opening your emails, clicking your links, and more. 

So how can you harness the power of email marketing for your mobile game marketing strategy? Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Build a quality list. Collect email addresses from parties that might be interested in your game. But don’t spam them!
  • Segment your list. Divide your audience into smaller groups based on their interests and actions. 
  • Personalize your messages. Address subscribers by their names and recommend products or content based on their previous interactions. 
  • Always have a clear call to action. Every email should have a purpose. Whether it’s to buy a game, sign up for your newsletter, or read a blog, make it clear what you want the recipient to do. 
  • Keep a regular schedule. Consistency matters. Don’t inundate your subscribers, but also don’t disappear for months. Find the sweet spot.  

Tip 4: Use location-based marketing.

Location-based marketing can help you connect with local players in a whole new way. For example:

  • Real-world integration: Seamlessly merge the virtual gaming world with real-world locations. 
  • Engagement boost: Location-based features encourage players to get out and explore, fostering longer play times and higher engagement. 
  • Monetization opportunities: Location-based marketing can create avenues for in-game purchases, partnerships with local businesses, or location-specific events. 
  • Data-driven gameplay: Location data offers valuable insights to enhance gameplay mechanics, quests, and rewards. 

Let’s get into a few ways to take advantage of location-based marketing for your mobile game. 

  • Use augmented reality (AR). Implement AR features to overlay game elements on the player’s surroundings, enhancing immersion. 
  • Hold “lure” events. Host events at physical locations to encourage players to gather for unique in-game rewards or challenges. 
  • Prioritize local partnerships. Collaborate with local businesses for in-game promotions or to sponsor in-game events. 
  • Provide location insights. Utilize player location data to understand where your game is popular and tailor marketing efforts accordingly. 
  • Leverage in-game advertising. Incorporate location-based ads for nearby businesses or in-game events. 

Tip 5: Prioritize engagement and retention. 

Engagement and retention are keys to the ongoing prosperity of your game. By delivering personalized, immersive experiences and maintaining a strong relationship with your player community, your game will flourish and create a loyal fan base that keeps coming back for more fun and excitement.

A few ways to do it:

Provide regular game updates. Keep the game fresh with new content, features, and fixes to maintain player interest. 

Create loyalty rewards. Encourage players to return by offering loyalty programs or in-game currency for long-term players. 

Open feedback loops. Actively listen to player feedback and make improvements based on their suggestions. 

Consider push notifications. Use notifications sparingly to remind players of the game, updates, or special events. 

Always test. Continuously test and optimize game elements to ensure they resonate with players.   

Tip 6: Tap into nostalgia.

Want to take your mobile game marketing strategy to another level? Hit your target audience right in the feels with nostalgia marketing. With so many iconic characters and moments throughout gaming history, you’ll have plenty of content to pull inspiration from. 

Here are some ways to tap into nostalgia in your mobile game marketing strategy: 

  • Retro graphics and sound: Embrace pixel art, retro-style graphics, and chiptune music to recreate the classic gaming experience.
  • Classic game references: Include references to classic games, characters, or consoles within your game.
  • Remakes and sequels: If your game is a remake, sequel, or inspired by a classic title, highlight this connection in your marketing.
  • Collectibles and memorabilia: Offer in-game collectibles or real-world merchandise related to classic gaming brands.
  • Nostalgic ads: Design marketing materials and ads that pay homage to the style of vintage video game advertising.

Key takeaway: Level up your game marketing strategy by mastering the basics.

In the ever-evolving landscape of mobile gaming, marketing success hinges on creativity, adaptability, and a deep understanding of your audience. The journey is bound to be an adventure filled with twists and turns, but armed with these insights and a dash of innovation, you’re well-prepared to embark on a thrilling quest to captivate players, conquer the competition, and ultimately triumph in the world of mobile game marketing. So, power up, level up, and game on!

Frequently Asked Questions

Marketing a mobile game successfully requires a multi-pronged approach. Here is a synopsis of some of the strategies we talked about above. 

  • Know your audience. Understand your target audience’s preferences, demographics, and behaviors.
  • Create an awesome game. It all starts with a great game. Make sure your game is engaging, fun, and bug-free.
  • Optimize for app stores. Optimize your app store listing with relevant keywords and attractive visuals.
  • Prioritize social media. Build a strong presence on social media platforms. Share teasers, updates, and engage with your audience.
  • Leverage influencer marketing. Partner with gaming influencers for reviews and gameplay videos.
  • Invest in paid advertising. Invest in targeted ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads.
  • Build a community. Create a player community, encourage reviews, and listen to player feedback.
  • Update your app regularly. Regularly update your game with new features to keep players engaged.
  • Analyze. Use analytics tools to track user behavior and adapt your strategy accordingly.
  • Monetize. Implement a monetization strategy, such as in-app purchases or ads.

The cost of marketing a mobile game can vary widely based on several factors.

  • Marketing channels: Costs depend on the advertising platforms you use (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads) and the competitiveness of those platforms.
  • Campaign scope: Budgets for marketing campaigns can vary from a few hundred dollars for small campaigns to millions for larger games.
  • Influencer marketing: The cost of partnering with influencers varies based on their reach and influence.
  • Art and creatives: Design and development of ad creatives and assets can also impact costs.
  • App store optimization: Costs for ASO tools and services can be part of your budget.
  • Analytics tools: Subscription fees for analytics tools to measure campaign effectiveness.
  • Maintenance: Ongoing marketing costs include maintaining social media accounts and community management.

There’s no fixed cost, but smaller indie games might have budgets in the thousands, while larger studios might spend millions on marketing. It’s crucial to determine your goals, target audience, and available resources to create an appropriate budget.

The target audience for mobile games can be quite diverse, as there are various types of games catering to different demographics. It’s important to understand your game’s genre, style, and mechanics to define a more precise target audience. Conducting market research, analyzing user data, and creating buyer personas can help tailor your marketing efforts to reach the right audience.

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Written by Quinn Schwartz

Quinn studied journalism at the University of Kentucky and now lives in Portland, Oregon. He’s particularly interested in storytelling in digital marketing and cost-effective creator strategies for smaller brands. When he’s not writing, you can find him at a concert, dog park, or debating whether or not to go on a run.

All-in-one creator management platform helping ecommerce companies build more valuable brands through the power of creator partnerships.

© Grin Technologies Inc. 2022. All rights reserved.

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