When you are looking for the best ways to promote your casual mobile game, you might as well begin with what Neil Patel said, commenting at the end of one his posts, says “20% time towards content creation and 80% towards content promotion”.
It may sound a little upsetting that promotions take away 80% of your time, but that’s the truth. Promotion of mobile games, no matter how superior the gameplay or how awesome the game mechanics, is extremely important and it needs more than a little bit of planning.
Whether you are a leading gaming company or an indie game developer, the rules of promoting mobile games apply to all, no matter what.
Below are the top ways you can promote your casual mobile game.
1 Get YouTubers pick up your game
YouTube is one of the most important tools you’ll ever use for promotion. Its appeal is unique: It has the widest reach among the visual platform providers and it has almost every kind of influencer.
There are hundreds of Good channels for Mobile Gaming. Get YouTubers play and test your mobile game. Have them talk about it on their channels. That way, you leverage their subscriber base to build excitement about your game.
You may not find it easy to get PewDiePie (aka Felix Kjellberg) or JackSepticEye, to play and review your game, but there are so many mid-sized, and numerous small-sized YouTube channels you can pitch to. Here’s how you pitch to them:
- Research and find the channels that you wish would promote your game. Don’t just go by the number of subscribers, also see the number of views to understand engagement. You know how we’ve subscribed to like 40+ channels but watch only 4 or 5 at best.
- Prepare some stunning videos with the gameplay. You know your game best, so it makes sense that you prepare the video and present it the way you want. Don’t cut corners here.
- Shoot a short but well-written email to the channel. Try the semi-exclusive way, where you share certain videos with only a few channels. Explain how they would benefit by carrying your video. Unless you’re Supercell or Rovio, don’t expect all channels to carry the promotion.
2 Soft launch your game
Softlaunch, the launching of your game to a limited number of gamers, has several advantages.
Mainly, a soft launch allows you to understand what the limited number of people have to say about your game. This will give you some indication on what are the features people like. In other words, soft launch lets you gauge the acceptance of the game.
Once they really like the game, these gamers will spread the game and can be your off-site promotion team.
Many companies try the hyper-local route. They invite the local gaming community over and let them play the game in the company premises and record their reactions.
Here is a step-by-step guide to soft-launch your mobile game:
- Conduct market research. Market research helps you better prepare for the challenges ahead and plan your resources accordingly. It can also help you better understand your target audience.
- Test the theme. When promoting it over various digital platforms, test using at least titles or names. Analyse how your target users responded to each of the titles.
- Refine your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Define what you are actually trying to achieve. Seek expert advice. Study the market and then zero in on your goals.
- Learn. Apply. Repeat. Have a dynamic strategy. Make sure you learn from you applied and feed it back to the loop. Measure outcomes and make changes. Keep improvising.
3 Press Release
Writing a press release for a mobile game is something that falls between extreme self-promotion and dry descriptions. Either of the two can put off readers.
Here are the five most important things you would want to keep in mind while writing a press release.
- Structure the press release properly. Use a great headline, provide the right details, include quotes from experts, target customers and your CEO and then end with contact details for someone who’d like to know more..
- Open very well. Think of the first 2 statements as your elevator pitch. It’s important to hook the readers from the start, else your efforts might be wasted.
- Get your CTA right. After all, a press release is a part of your promotional efforts. Ensure your CTA is right and clearly defined.
- Avoid jargons. Unless you’re sure the phrase is widely used and understood, don’t use jargons. Keep your language simple and easy to understand.
- Don’t overstuff the press release with self-praise. Press releases are formal statements, and phrases like “mind-blowing”, “awesome”, “terrific” or “game-changer” should be kept to the minimum.
4 Social media
There are at least three different ways in which you can use social media to promote your casual mobile game using social media.
You can announce the game from your company’s accounts. Make sure you phase it out well. Begin with teasers and gradually unfold more details. Stick to the efforts consistently - don’t let it be a one-off event. Besides, you can also consider asking the team members to share the news from their personal accounts.
Get in touch with influencers. Share your game with them and ask if they’d like to review your game. Influencers have a large following and even a couple good reviews can tremendously expand the reach of your game.
Finally, consider paid promotions. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter offer some really good value-for-money options. You get to choose the target audience to whom your promotional material will be served.
5 Create a website and forum for discussions
Promoting a mobile game is a lot of about creating buzz. So it makes a great deal of sense to have a space that’s dedicated to generate, conduct and further the buzz.
A website built around the game can do a lot. Firstly, it allows your own company website to remain detached and free from too much clutter. Secondly, the game’s website can keep tracking a lot of metrics specific to the game, rather than your company in general. Finally, it helps converge efforts.
Next, you can consider developing a discussion forum for the game. A forum can provide a single place where gmers will share their experiences with the game, brag about their achievements, provide valuable insights and possibly report bugs. Basically, the idea is to build the forum like a city’s central square!
6 Create kick-ass trailer
Supercell’s Clash of Clans trailer is one awesome example of how you can pack action, special effects, visual appeal, humour everything, in a video that runs for less than 2 minutes.
Obviously there can’t be a simple formula to create a trailer that’s really kick-ass. Nevertheless, here’s a few things you’ll want to have in your trailer.
- Tell the story. Show what is your game all about and why it’d be exciting to play your game.
- Use the right music. It’s self-explanatory: if the game is all action, mourning music simply won’t do.
- Have a cliffhanger. Reveal a little of something and let gamers play your game to find out more. And no, this can’t work for Candy Crush games.
- Include a CTA. Remind viewers to play. Keep the Call To Action clear and easy to find.
7 Get a good publisher
Sorry to break this bad news, but the gaming industry is a crowded place today. Unless you market your game well, you’re unlikely to get good sales. (Unless there are some other virality factors in your game)
And that’s one of the key functions of game publishers: they offer tremendous marketing capabilities. As distribution and promotion specialists, they have the right set of skills to help you successfully navigate the marketplace.
Apart from marketing, publishers understand markets very well. That means they can steer your game, right from development, such that it turns out much better. If you’re looking forward to a lot of success, you’ll also need a of help.
Finally - and perhaps this is a critical element - publishers are connected to a large customer base. That means your game, from the word go, has the attention of a large number of gamers. You couldn’t ask for more, could you?
It’s always beneficial to get publisher publish your game, but as an indie studio if you wanna self publish your game, that is fine as well.
8 Build an email list
Joe Pulizzi, founder Content Marketing Institute, says he should have built an email list earlier. As he rightly observes, in the digital space, your real assets are built on your own site, not on Facebook or elsewhere. And an email list helps you build a loyal base of people who expressly agreed to receive communications from you.
Of course, there are some simple things you’ll need to keep in mind while building a list. Here’s a few of them.
- Keep the signing up simple. Anybody who’s willing to receive emails from you should be able to sign up easy and fast. Make sure the sign-up prompt is visible on your site.
- Share valuable content. Don’t bombard subscribers with self-promoting emails. Promotions is fine, but also make sure your emails carry value so that your subscribers see value in it.
- Don’t purchase email lists. Sending unsolicited emails makes you a spammer. And in a number of countries, there’s a fine on sending unsolicited bulk emails.
- Use ESPs once the list grows. Email Service Providers (ESPs) have servers tuned to send out huge number of emails. Your free Gmail or Yahoo account can’t do that.
So this is our list of how to promote your casual mobile game. What do you think we missed out? Don’t forget to leave your comments below.
We, TheAppGuruz, are one of the leading Mobile Game Development Companies of India. We have applied several marketing tactic to our game to increase our game downloads.
Bonus Way to Promote your Mobile Games:
If you have already a successful or popular game which has decent amount of downloads then you can cross-promote your game. That way your new game will get decent amount of traction.
We have tried this method and it works well. Easiest way to get some downloads.