The mobile gaming industry has seen rapid growth over the last couple of years, largely due to the coronavirus lockdowns that kept much of the world isolated in their homes. As a result, many people turned to mobile gaming as a way to pass the time. To give you an idea of just how large this industry is, here are some staggering statistics from 2020:
- Games account for 43% of all smartphone usage
- The number of people playing mobile games is over 2.2 billion worldwide
- 62% of people downloaded a game on their phone within 1 week of owning it
- The mobile gaming industry had over $76 billion in revenue in 2020
In this guide, we will outline how a mobile game developer can create an optimal strategy plan to take advantage of this lucrative industry.
Step 1 – Defining Your Target Audience
One of the most important steps in the development of any strategy plan is defining your target audience. The mobile gaming industry, being as vast as it is, has the benefit of reaching a wide variety of consumers of all ages and genders.
Generally, it is the genre of game that will further define who your target customers are. For example, the people interested in a shooter game are likely different from those playing puzzle games.
Once you determine the age bracket and genders you want to cater to, you can begin doing more market research into how you can specifically target these customers. You want to be able to answer questions such as:
- What, if any, common interests do they share?
- Where do they spend their time online?
- What drives them to make purchases in the game?
Step 2 – App Store Optimization (ASO)
Another important part of your strategy plan is going to be app store optimization – also known as ASO. You may already be familiar with terms such as search engine optimization (SEO). Fortunately, ASO is very similar to SEO, with the main difference being ASO focuses on rankings of apps, and SEO focuses on rankings of websites.
The goal of ASO is simple – the higher your app is ranked in the app stores, the more views your app will receive, and as a result, the more downloads it will get. ASO is a crucial part of your strategy plan because roughly 70% of mobile users find new apps through the searches.
There are 2 app stores you need to know about – App Store for iOS and Google Play Store for Android. Each of these have their own algorithms they use to rank apps, but in general, you should focus on these main categories to improve your ASO:
- App name (most important!)
- Keywords within your app store page description
- User reviews & ratings
- Number of app downloads
You can also help your app standout by adding eye-catching screenshots of the game, as well as a colourful icon for your app.
Step 3 – Creating a Website
Just because your product is an app and is promoted through app stores does not mean you cannot have a website! It is important to create as many ways as possible for new customers to find your game. Having a website allows you to branch out from only promoting through the app stores.
Just like you focused on improving ASO for your game in the app stores, you will want to focus on improving SEO for your website. A fantastic way to do this would be to add a blog to your website.
A blog is perfect for generating discussions and engagements between you and your customers. You can write about your game, create guides for in-game content, provide tips and tricks to players, and so much more.
For more information on how you can improve the SEO of your website, check out this guide.
Step 4 – Social Media Marketing
Continuing with the idea of creating as many ways as possible for customers to find your game, social media marketing is an absolute must. Not only is social media a great way to reach new customers, but it can also be done on a global scale.
This is especially important in the mobile gaming industry because Asia represents the biggest share of users & revenue:
- Asia made up just over $34 billion of the $76 billion in revenue generated by the industry in 2020. This is nearly 45%!
- Over 905 million mobile game users were from Asia of the 2.2 billion worldwide in 2020. This equates to over 40%!
The United States has its fair share of mobile gamers as well, with roughly 213 million. This just goes to show that mobile gamers are everywhere, and you will want to reach as many of them as possible to increase your chances of creating a successful mobile game.
Another popular tool that can be used to promote your mobile game is influencer marketing. What better way to promote your app than to have an influential figure play it in front of hundreds – if not thousands – of potential customers?
One of the best places to do this is on Twitch. Twitch is a live streaming website, most popular for video games, where users can tune in to watch their favourite personalities play different games.
It is not uncommon for game developers to pay certain streamers – some of which have millions of followers – to livestream a playthrough of their game for viewers to watch.
Depending on the following of the streamer, these paid promotions can be pricey. However, if the game is met with positive reviews, it is almost always worth the investment. Statistics show 64% of viewers purchase products recommended by influencers!
You can learn more about marketing on Twitch here.
Step 5 – Define Your Goals
Defining goals is an integral part in keeping people focused and motivated to achieve success. When setting goals, it is important to ensure they are challenging, realistic, and attainable.
It is common practice to create both short-term and long-term goals. This way, you can have goals that you are working toward in the present (1-6 months) as well as the future (6-12+ months).
Your goals should revolve around key performance indicators (KPIs) that you believe are most valuable to your games success. Some example goals could be:
Short-term goals (1-6 months):
- Reach 250 app installs
- Reach 1000 followers on relevant social media platforms
- Have 1000 unique visitors per month on the website
Long-term goals (6-12 months):
- Reach 1000 app installs
- Reach 3000 followers on relevant social media platforms
- Have 3000 unique visitors per month on the website
- Work on supporting other languages in the game to reach a larger global audience
As the mobile gaming industry continues to grow, the importance of a strategy plan is crucial for the success of any newcomers in the mobile gaming industry. Remember to:
- Make sure you have a clear idea of who your target audience is, where they spend their time, and what drives them to spend money.
- Focus on both your app store optimization (ASO) and search engine optimization (SEO) for your website. This is required to have a higher chance of appearing in customer searches.
- Promote your game on social media platforms that your customers frequent. You want to keep your game top-of-mind with your customers at all times.
- Set goals – both short and long term – that are realistic and achievable. Your goals should reflect the metrics that define success for your game.
The best way to ensure your strategy plan is working is to continually measure your marketing efforts. This will allow you to identify shortcomings with ease and make necessary changes.
About the Author
I am an intern at the International Institute of Digital Marketing™. Born and raised in Canada, I am a fitness & health enthusiast, dog lover, and avid fan of both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays. LinkedIn: Mike Duff