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What are best ways to promote mobile game

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by iamknew3, Dec 11, 2020.

  1. iamknew3


    Jul 4, 2020
    Hi, guys,

    Every developer has gone through the game design, coding, graphic design, all kinds of development related stages. And now that finally we got our game done, but what are the best, most efficient ways to promote your games?

    We appreciate any ideas especially for small studio indie developers.

    Thanks a lot for your time and help!
  2. Antypodish


    Apr 29, 2014
    You are essentially too late to optimally promote your game. You should have done that, far long during dev process.
    Other than that, this subject has been discussed here many times over. I suggest to search for similar topics.
  3. MDADigital


    Apr 18, 2020
    You are too late to the game. What you can do it so artificially create progress. Checkout older versions of the game in git, and create blogs and show progress. :p
  4. MadeFromPolygons


    Oct 5, 2013
    I have to agree with the others, for mobile (and any game) doing this after the fact is basically not going to be worth the time and effort put in.

    Start this process from the point you end pre-production and enter production next time, and above all contact apple and google to build a relationship and chances of store feature. You wont get featured without doing that.

    Good luck on the next game!

    EDIT: best thing would be to reskin your game and start marketing it during development and release as a "new" game, or pull it apart and turn it into a kit to sell on asset store :)
  5. iamknew3


    Jul 4, 2020
    Thanks all, now I have learned a big bitter lesson :(
    Will definitely search for more similar topics.

    Just one more question, why it is too late to do this after release? Any specific reason/explanation?
  6. MDADigital


    Apr 18, 2020
    It takes time to build momentum. Sure if you have the killer game that looks like a latest gen AAA game and have innovative indie mechanics you might get immediate hype.
  7. Havyx


    Oct 20, 2020
    The first thing you need to do is know your market!

    preface: all examples are 100% made up)

    Marketing (especially for mobile) is not possible without knowing a few key items of information.

    1) Game Type/Rev Research
    For example, what category is the game? Hypercasual? Casual? Midcore?

    Different categories perform better in different countries/languages. For example (100% made up)

    - Research shows that Hypercasual games are the most popular with Japanese players.

    - Research shows that USA players provide the highest CLTV/LCV (Lifetime Customer Value). In other words... USA players, on average, generate the most revenue.

    - Even more research shows that although USA has the highest lifetime value /revenue per player... they also have the highest user acquisition cost.

    (again... made up stats for demo purposes)

    USA (Hypercasual)
    LTV: $4.00/player

    Germany (Hypercasual)
    UAC: $0.70
    LTV: $2.70

    You can clearly see that german players provide more revenue on average even though USA players provide higher LTV.

    It's stuff like this you need to be aware of in pre-production because it has a major impact on development. (do you provide localization, etc)

    Without knowing this information you can't really decide on a marketing plan. Marketing to german players will require different techniques than USA players due to cultural differences and other discrepancies.

    2) Soft Launch
    Soft launches are a standard method of fine-tuning your game without risking poisoning the well of "better" markets.

    For example, let's say you decided to make a Casual game. Research shows that for casual games the top countries (in terms of downloads, engagement, IAP spending, etc) are:

    1) USA
    2) Australia
    3) Brazil
    4) Germany
    5) South Korea
    6) UK
    7) Canada
    8) Mexico
    9) Uzbekistan

    You would be insane to launch in USA, Australia, Brazil, Germany, South Korea.

    Soft launches allow you to launch in countries where you don't really care about player churn. The point is to fine-tune your game for a world release to your actual target markets.

    However, it's not always simple as you sort of need "similar" countries for this to be effective.

    Soft launching in Mongolia and fine-tuning your game will most likely not work if you intend to release in the USA. The cultures are just so different it's too hard to reconcile.

    A typical strategy is soft launching in Canada, Australia and New Zealand for English-games. Then you fine tune your IAPs, ads, whatever... and then launch in the USA, UK, and europe.

    3) Online Presence
    Whilst you should have an online presence it should not be considered a "full" marketing tool. Nobody likes new accounts just spamming hashtags on twitter. Whilst you are building your game you could simply build a presence.

    Build a basic website... get a twitter account but provide benefit to the community. Post tips on tuesday to #UnityTips. Join in conversations with other people (but don't use it as an excuse to talk about your game). The idea is not to go around promoting your game, but rather building an online presence for your studio.

    Nobody cares about a new studio with 0 titles who only spam post about their game all of the time.

    When it comes to the time you do release your game there is a good chance you will have some kind of userbase (even if it's only 40 followers) and lends more credibility to you as a developer if you've shown that you can be a part of the community - rather than someone only looking to use social media to selfishly promote themselves 24/7.

    4) Money
    Outside of organic promotion (being on social media, being on the forums, etc) money is obviously the most effective method of promoting your game. However, even with a lot of money you need the right knowledge in order to leverage your capital.

    5) One Man's Game Is Another Man's Twitter Content
    There are a lot of twitter accounts that promote the indie market. Don't think they are being virtuous - they somewhat rely on these games for content. Check out some profiles, send them an email (if provided) or DM them.

    A more subtle way of doing it is like one of their posts every now and again. Like one of their tweets, check back a week later and like another one. It's not advisable to do this with more than 1 or 2 likes maximum. Most people will check out your profile (assuming they don't have 20,000+ followers or something) and if they think you might be interesting to follow - they will follow you. If not then move on and be considerate in the actions you take (nobody likes like spam or follow spam).

    The point is more about letting people know you exist - rather than trying to directly tell them about your game or promote it.

    Consider walking down a street and you are suddenly accosted by a stranger trying to sell you a game they made. You don't know them and they're now causing an awkward situation.

    Juxtapose this with aTV advert for a product made by a company you've never heard about. It's indirect but they are still connecting with you. You are now aware they exist.

    6) Indie Websites
    Again, just like a lot of twitter accounts that retweet game dev-related news (and retweet some games too) there are a lot of indie websites that you could try and establish contact with early on.

    Again... the key importance is basically to not beg.

    "Hey we are X and we are making game X. Would you please consider reviewing our game when it comes out?"

    "Hey, we are X and are reaching out to let you know that we're currently developing a game called X (maybe a brief description). We would be more than happy to provide further information."

    You really should have this information during re-production in order to start building a presence (assuming you are a new studio with no titles).

    Without a solid foundation (online presence, a few website contacts, a website, twitter, etc) you're looking at an uphill battle without some amount of capital when you launch (less than $1,000? I don't know the scope of your game).

    If you do have some capital then again, depending on your target market and game type, ads on youtube/facebook/instagram tend to be the standard method.

    I'm sure I've probably missed a lot out but without knowing what type of game you have it's hard to say... each type of game has different requirements.

    Marketing a midcore strategy game in the USA is going to require different methods than if you were marketing a match-3 game in brazil.

    and that's how m̶a̶f̶i̶a̶ marketing works.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
  8. iamknew3


    Jul 4, 2020
    Thank you guys so much for so detailed information!

    I've definitely learned a lot, and I also started building my own promotion strategies based on my target customers (even though it is far too late ..).

    I hope one day if it turns out successful, I can come back here to contribute and share some of my experience!
    MadeFromPolygons likes this.
  9. AcidArrow


    May 20, 2010
    I will disagree about being late.

    To be able to build a community you have to have something striking or interesting about your game, otherwise you will have spent a lot of effort trying to build a community and have no one be interested.

    But if your game has something interesting or striking about it, I think if you can produce a great trailer, you can get some of the press interested as well.

    Really depends on what kind of game you're making though.
  10. Moonjump


    Apr 15, 2010
    I also disagree about being too late. It might be, but might not be. There isn't enough information given. Creating a game that will appeal to those who identify as "gamers" and actively participate in forums and follow games news will benefit from early marketing. Create a hypercasual game that appeals to the general population that plays games, but consider it a bit of fun rather than a hobby, and don't actively look for news about new games, then there is little benefit to early marketing.
    ADNCG and Havyx like this.
  11. iamknew3


    Jul 4, 2020
    Ah, yes, sorry, forgot to mention about the game type.

    Yes, it is some sort of hypercasual, very light-weight. So sounds like for this type, missing early marketing is still acceptable without fatal damage :)

    Also our unrealistic dream is one day it can go viral like "flappy bird" used to be, but I know this is one in a billion, and more than a billion developers have the same dream ..

    That being said, did "flappy bird" use Unity? Any idea?
  12. AcidArrow


    May 20, 2010
    Frankly, I think the days of flappy bird / Angry birds style ultra mega hits are behind us.
    I don't think so, but it really doesn't matter.