— 21 Jun 2024

11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)

Anastasiya Starovoytova

For a mobile game, leveling up in marketing is as important as advancing through quests for a player. In this read, we break down the top game app marketing strategies that will help you earn XP as a professional and make your game’s title a beloved name among gamers. 

What Is a Mobile Game Marketing Campaign?

A mobile game marketing campaign is a process of attracting and retaining a player within the game. It uses a bag of tricks to increase visibility, downloads, and brand awareness, both organically and through paid channels. 

Marketing campaigns for mobile games often use influencer partnerships, gameplay trailers, and social media buzz to build excitement. App store optimization techniques also differ from the ones for consumer apps as they rely on players’ motivation and mobile game’s genre.

Why Is Gaming App Marketing Important?

If you want people to play your game, let them know about it first. Gaming app marketing is all about informing and hyping up potential players about your title. It is equally important for a mobile game’s launch and its continued existence.

How to Choose the Right Mobile Game Advertising Strategy?

Take into consideration the following factors before choosing a mobile game advertising strategy:

  • Type of your game
  • Competition
  • Target audience
  • Budget
  • Monetization strategy
  • Size of your team

An indie game may not have resources for running paid ads on a regular basis or cooperating with an influencer. However, it still can win the marketing game by doing ASO activities to increase visibility organically.

You should also think about the metrics you’re going to track. Here are the most common ones:

MetricDescriptionWhy It’s Important
DownloadsThe total number of times the game has been downloaded.Indicates overall interest and reach of the game.
InstallsThe number of times the game has been installed on devices.Reflects user intent to play the game after downloading.
Sign-ups/RegistrationsThe count of users who have created accounts or registered in the game.Shows engagement and willingness to participate more deeply in the game.
UpgradesThe number of users who have upgraded to a premium version or made in-app purchases.Measures monetization success and user satisfaction with premium features.
User Growth RateThe rate at which new users are joining over a specific period.Helps assess the game’s popularity and effectiveness of marketing efforts.
Daily Active Users (DAU)The number of unique users who interact with the game daily.Indicates the game’s ability to attract and retain players on a daily basis.
Monthly Active Users (MAU)The number of unique users who interact with the game monthly.Provides insight into long-term engagement and user retention.
StickinessThe ratio of DAU to MAU, indicating how often users return daily.Higher stickiness suggests stronger user engagement and loyalty.
Retention RateThe percentage of users who continue to play the game over time.Critical for assessing long-term success and user satisfaction.
Churn RateThe percentage of users who stop playing the game over time.Helps identify issues leading to user drop-off and areas for improvement.
SessionsThe number of times users open and play the game.Indicates user engagement and how compelling the game experience is.

If one or several metrics show poor results, it may be a signal you need to reassess your marketing strategy.

How to Market a Mobile Game? 10 Best Strategies in 2024

Time to explore the strategies for effective mobile game marketing. 

Defining Your Target Audience

Every mobile game must cater to a specific audience. Ideally, you must define it before you launch your own project. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Check reviews, comments on app stores, and social media for similar games/games of a specific genre to understand the demographics and preferences of these players.
  • Set up paid ads targeting different demographics and interests. Monitor which groups respond best to your ads to refine your understanding of your audience.
  • If you already have a player base, use tools like Google Analytics to gain insights into users’ demographics, behavior, and engagement patterns within your game.
  • Join forums and communities on platforms like Reddit and Discord. These spaces are rich with insights that can inspire your marketing strategies.
  • Talk to players directly through Q&A sessions, surveys, or demo events. This feedback is invaluable for understanding your audience’s preferences.

When defining your target audience, understanding players’ motivation is key. Gamers have different reasons for downloading and playing games, ranging from social interaction to strategic planning, and from skill improvement to the thrill of competition. Recognizing these drivers helps you create detailed profiles of your potential players and tailor your marketing efforts to their specific interests. 

11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)
Dragonheir: Silent Gods appeals to players with different motivations right through its Google Play screenshots

One more thing to take note of is that you may want to broaden the horizons of your mobile game and attract new audiences. This case may need readjusting your mobile marketing strategy and introducing new features/events/storylines/visuals. The best path here is to run A/B tests — for instance, you can test out new gaming mechanics via screenshots and see whether changes are worth their salt. 

App Store Optimization (ASO)

App Store Optimization (ASO) is a strategy for enhancing the visibility and ranking of mobile games in app stores. It involves optimizing various elements of the app listing, including the title, keywords, description, icon, screenshots, and reviews. 

ASO for games is different because of how unique the gaming experience is. When selecting keywords, focus on making them responsive to the game genre, theme, and mechanics. Engaging screenshots, videos, and an app icon usually make it easy to display the graphics and features of a given mobile game. A clear call to action (CTA) is also a must-have.

11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)
Source: the App Store

Seasonality is a big thing for mobile games. App marketers love to cater to different holidays and major events to attract the attention of potential players:

11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)
Source: the App Store & Google Play

Making your mobile game standing out through a seasonal theme isn’t the only thing you can do to improve visibility. For instance, you can align your visuals with a new in-app event/update. Such a move can both attract new players and engage your long-time fans. 

11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)
20 Minutes Till Dawn announces a weapon update to the game right on its Google Play screenshots

And, of course, you should make ASO updates regularly and audit your efforts every 3-6 months.

In-App Events

Running in-app events is a good app marketing strategy to bring visibility to the game. The new content can be coupled with limited-time offers to convince players into spending their time and money on your project.

In-app events are also an opportunity to utilize new keywords relevant to the events. This may, in turn, boost organic traffic and improve the install rate.  

11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)
Source: Facebook

New in-app events, added regularly, keep the excitement around the mobile game alive for your players. Users who enjoy the events and receive rewards are more likely to leave positive reviews and recommend the game to others. 

Content Marketing

Content marketing builds a relationship with the audience through entertaining content. 

Here are some content marketing ideas you can use to promote your mobile game:

  • Game Development Insights: Share behind-the-scenes stories, concept art, and developer interviews. For example, if you’re developing an RPG, you could write about the lore and characters.
  • Guides: Provide tips and strategies for playing your game. For instance, if you have a branching visual novel, create a guide explaining how certain choices affect the story.
  • Announcements: Keep your audience informed about new features, updates, and in-game events. Regularly update your blog with the latest news to keep players engaged.
  • Trailers and Teasers: Create exciting trailers to showcase your game’s highlights. Use teasers to build anticipation for upcoming releases.
  • Gameplay Videos: Share videos demonstrating gameplay. These can be walkthroughs or let’s play videos.
  • Live Streams: Host live streaming events where developers play the game, answer questions, and interact with the community. Platforms like Twitch and YouTube are great for this.

Each piece of content should aim to engage potential players and convince them to install your game.

Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms are a good place to market your mobile game and connect with your target audience at the same time. And no, we don’t mean paid ads this time.

By creating profiles dedicated to your game on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, you can engage with your audience, share updates, and create buzz around your game, both before the launch and after it. 

11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)
Everbyte builds suspense on Instagram for their new interactive thriller Moonvale

Remember, people love interactive content. Set up polls and contests to increase engagement. And don’t forget about sharing user-generated content.

Do people draw artworks inspired by your game? Share it. Do they create memes? Laugh together with them. In the short term, these actions will bring you tons of likes, comments, and shares. And in the long term, they will build a sense of community among your players. 

Community Management

Your content and social media marketing are a good foundation to build a loyal community. Reddit and Discord are also great places to socialize with your audience.

Hosting in-app events and introducing rewards can also contribute to strengthening your brand and engaging with players.

Interact with gamers as much as possible. Respond to feedback, address concerns, and foster a positive environment where players feel heard and valued. Community management can also involve hosting Q&A sessions, live streams, and creating exclusive content for active members.

Influencer Marketing

By partnering with the right influencers, you can reach and engage a wider audience. This mobile game marketing strategy not only boosts visibility but also builds credibility around your game.

Choosing the right influencers is crucial for the success of your campaign. Consider the following factors:

  • Relevance: Ensure the influencer’s content aligns with your game’s genre and target audience. For example, a strategy game would benefit from collaboration with influencers known for strategic gameplay.
  • Engagement: Look for influencers with high engagement rates. An engaged audience is more likely to trust the influencer’s recommendations.
  • Reach: While follower count is important, prioritize influencers who can genuinely connect with their audience.
  • Budget: Influencer marketing can eat up a lot of your money, so you must be strategic. If you need to save resources, go for micro-influencers to promote your mobile game.

These partnerships can be quite fruitful, if treated with care and your target audience in mind,

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising allows you to reach a wide audience in no time and increase the mobile game’s visibility. 

Developing high-quality ad content is essential for attracting potential players. This includes:

  • Eye-catching visuals (both banners and videos)
  • Compelling ad copy
  • A clear call-to-action 

Utilizing different ad platforms helps maximize your reach. Key channels include:

  • Apple Search Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Instagram Ads
  • TikTok Ads
  • Unity Ads
  • X Ads

You should watch the performance of your chosen channels like a hawk and optimize marketing campaigns regularly to avoid unnecessary spending. 

Public Relations and Media Outreach

Public relations (PR) and media outreach involve building relationships with different publications and journalists. It’s a long game, but the result is totally worth it.

The key components of a good PR strategy include:

  • Crafting a compelling press kit and sending it over to media
  • Engaging with journalists both privately and on social media
  • Hosting launch events or parties celebrating key milestones of your mobile game.

A lot of these activities will depend on your budget. Bethesda held a major press event for the launch of their mobile game “Fallout Shelter” because they can afford it due to their household name and finances.

11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)
Source: Google Play

While having deep pockets can simplify PR, a compelling story and innovative gameplay are even more crucial.

Publishing on Steam

Steam is a leading platform for PC gaming, but it also supports mobile games if they are optimized for PC. Publishing your game here is a smart move. The people visiting Steam are all about gaming, so finding and engaging with dedicated players won;t be a problem here.

11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)
Stardew Valley’s page on Steam

Here’s how to make the most of it:

  • Ensure your game runs smoothly on PC.
  • Optimize controls and UI for PC.
  • Use captivating screenshots and trailers for your page on Steam.
  • Highlight unique aspects and gameplay in the game’s description.
  • List clearly the system requirements.

Steam regularly hosts gaming festivals and offers discounts. Consider following them and using these challenges as an opportunity to drive attention to your game.

Emerging Trends in Mobile Game Marketing

The mobile gaming industry never gets boring. New trends pop up regularly, and your strategy may need a little tweaking if a trend aligns with your game.

Here are some mobile game marketing trends deserving your attention:

  • Rise of New Markets: Countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have shown high consumer spending, and national investments in these regions are boosting the industry further.
  • AAA Gaming on Mobile Devices: Major gaming studios like Ubisoft are focusing on mobile platforms. This trend suggests an even more intense competition on the app stores. Some of them adapt their old established titles for mobile platforms and are featured on all gaming stores.
  • CTV Advertising: As measurement and targeting options improve, more studios are expected to invest in CTV to expand their user base.
  • New Game Stores: The introduction of new game stores (like the highly anticipated Microsoft store) will offer game publishers more options beyond traditional platforms like Google Play and the App Store.
11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)
Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms by Wizards of the Coast is a video game adapted for mobile devices. Source: the Epic Games Store

Don’t want to sink beneath the waves of new trends? Make sure to keep your eye on them.

Mobile Game Marketing Case Studies

Learn from successful mobile game marketing case studies to inspire your own strategies.

Etermax Identifies Target Audience Before Launching a Game

Etermax wanted to identify their target audience for the new game “Trivia Deluxe” before its App Store launch. 

Using SplitMetrics Optimize, Etermax ran A/B tests with two user archetypes pursuing different gaming motivations. Then they created distinct ad campaigns and screenshots for each archetype.

11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)

The tests showed a 32.7% improvement in engagement for the group, who preferred learning and mind-sharpening over competition as their motivation driver. Early insights helped Etermax refine their mobile game marketing strategy and led to a more effective user acquisition with a lower CPI.

Rockbite Games Uses Apple Search Ads to Increase Organic Traffic 

Rockbite Games sought to increase organic installs for “Deep Town: Mining Idle Tycoon“, a sci-fi strategy game. The challenge was to boost organic traffic and installs using Apple Search Ads and ASO. The studio enlisted SplitMetrics Agency’s help to achieve this goal.

The team targeted the US market, running Apple Search Ads discovery campaigns to find relevant keywords. They focused on general and competitive queries with a 95% ROAS target, integrating important ASO keywords into the ad campaigns.

11 Game App Marketing Strategies (2024)

The Apple Search Ads campaigns significantly improved keyword positions. The number of keywords in the top 10 increased from 26 to 112, while those in the top 11-30 rose from 81 to 161. Organic installs increased by about 640 per month, solely through Apple Search Ads.

ZiMAD Gets Conversion Uplift by Localizing App Store Screenshots for Japan

ZiMAD aimed to increase conversion rates for their game “Magic Jigsaw Puzzles” in the Japanese market by localizing app store screenshots. They studied top Japanese apps and incorporated culturally relevant elements, such as small elements, special effects, and emotional captions, into their designs.

Then ZiMAD conducted A/B tests to tailor their app store screenshots for Japanese users and choose the winning combination. As a result, the localized screenshots led to a 36% increase in conversion rates. Continuous testing and cultural adaptation were key to this success.

The Bottom Line

The mobile gaming industry boasts of thousands of games. In such a competitive market, strong marketing can make the difference between success and obscurity.

Mix and match various mobile game marketing strategies to find what works best for you. It may not be easy, but the industry favors innovation and creativity, so you’ll definitely have fun (and XP!) along the way.

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Anastasiya Starovoytova
Anastasiya Starovoytova
Content Manager
Anastasiya is Content Manager at SplitMetrics. She lives and breathes writing and has a real feeling for app marketing and mobile growth.
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