If you are struggling to get your game noticed and downloaded, get in line pal! Kidding – that is definitely not a queue you want to be in. Provided you have a great game, you have every right and every opportunity to get it noticed.
Think about it this way: besides mobile games made from established video games, every hit app right now was once where you are – Angry Birds, Temple Run and Subway Surf all once had 0 downloads.
How did they do it, and more importantly, how can you? Here are 5 mobile gaming growth strategies you should implement to help you get to the top of the download charts.
Nail the first-impression
The best gaming strategy is to actually create a game that stands out amongst the rest. With over 2 million apps to choose from on Google Play and nearly 2 million more terrific choices on the Apple App Store, gamers these days are spoiled with choices and options.
If you don’t give gamers a reason to believe your app is the next best game within seconds, you might lose them for good.
The first-time user experience (FTUE) needs to go off without a hitch. One thing gamers hate is jumping through hoops before they get to play. While getting email addresses, sign-ups and followers on social media are important, they are not selling points. The more that you ask of a visitor, the less likely you are to get them to stick around long enough.
Give the gamers what they want and if they like the experience, they will be willing to do whatever it takes to keep getting more.
Increase your chances of getting positive feedback
Another great gaming strategy is to ensure you almost always get a 5-star review. How? You do this by choosing the best time to request a review
According to a survey by Apptentive, about 59% of people check the reviews before they download a new app. So, getting this strategy right is critical.
The best time to ask for a review/rating is when gamers have reached a high-score or accomplished something exciting. This way, you guarantee they will be happy not just to leave a good review on the App Store, but to also recommend the game to their friends.
Don’t stop creating
A very risky strategy and one you should avoid is putting all your eggs in one basket. Many large mobile gaming companies churn out numerous full-feature and rapid launch games. Why? Because you never know which one will be a hit.
Get out a few games on different platforms, get feedback, and you’ll know which one to dedicate more funding and attention to. Before Flappy Bird got killed off (still heartbroken by that, by the way) Dong Nguyen had other apps to his name.
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Also, think about the different iterations of Angry Birds and Candy Crush. It is a lot easier to build off an already successful game than it is to create a new one.
Leverage growth hacks
There are many ways to build a business and many marketing tactics, but the best one is when it’s free. This is generally one of the fastest ways to find out if you’ve got a winner on your hands. And it’s critical to test and check this out as soon as possible. Before you rush off to investing untold thousands or millions on marketing, try using proven growth hacks.
A few great growth hacks are:
- Develop integration tools – it is a MUST for your game to integrate with social media platforms, especially Facebook. Whether you are competing against friends in real-time, posting high-scores or sharing your progress, Facebook integration makes word of mouth (WOM) better.
- Reward community engagement – a great strategy used by King and other developers is to allow players to get lives or unlock bonus levels by inviting friends. It essentially kills two birds with one stone and it costs you absolutely nothing.
- Get on the radar of influencers – okay, this one is pretty difficult to plan, but once you do it works like a charm! The alternative is to pay the influencer, which can be expensive unless you do so on a commission basis.
Have a great microsite
Finally, and this is very important, you need a website for your app(s). Many game developers don’t think about it, even though a website is a natural starting point for many gamers.
Your microsite will provide more information about the game, give players another avenue with which to interact and will help you get ranked on Google – which will then lead to more downloads. And don’t forget, a lot of users will look to check you out via your site before they decide to do anything. If they can’t find you or your site, they are unlikely to return to your apps.
Put the user first
Not a gaming strategy per se, but you should always prioritize the user experience. If there is anything we’ve learned, it is that players don’t always care how beautiful a game looks; all that matters is the usability. So if you take that as your number one focus, you are a lot more likely to come out ahead and with a game that players will love and refer others to as well.
As long as you can put the player first and create what people love, then these growth strategies will work for you and you’ll find yourself with a winner!