Android smartphones are very popular and hold a great share of the mobile market, so creating games for this operating system is basic to reach a high number of users. And in order to do so, promotion plays an important role, too.
But, before starting coding, we recommend you save the same amount of budget for both production and promotion. Due to the overcrowded game market on Google Play, it’s extremely difficult to stand out without a high budget.
Before promoting the game, do market research
All developers dream about creating the game they always wanted to do. In terms of marketing purposes, that’s a mistake. It’s very important to do exhaustive market research about the kind of game we are developing and its competitors. Find those similar games, look at their number of installs, and try to find sales data, if possible.
Make a list of their principal functionalities and choose which ones will you add to your project to stand out among the rest. Find your niche to rank and picture your competitors before starting, which will also be useful to determine your project’s budget. Bring in analytics and attribution SDKs and think about monetization through ads. Nowadays, it’s very rare to find games for a fee on Google Play Store, which makes us use a freemium model. Develop a good metagame and know your update plan beforehand.
A game with a well-defined audience, better functionalities than the ones your competitors offer and an intelligent market positioning is everything your project needs to stand out.
10 tips to help you promote your Android game in 2019
In this section, you’ll be able to find our 10 tips that will help you plan your promotion strategy for your unrealased Android game. Don’t miss anything!
1. Send your game to several publishers
This advice may seem polemic, as signing with a publisher is no easy task. A game publisher is usually a successful developer that tries to take advantage of the number of players that already has to keep growing. And although a publisher can be responsible for your project’s promotion, s/he will also take half of your income. Moreover, it’s really difficult to make a deal with any of them. However, by showing your project to everyone you can, you’ll be able to make your mind up about the development in terms of business, which is really interesting in order to know what you need to change before releasing it.
2. Beta ready and soft launch
When your beta reaches an advanced point, consider having a beta only for testers, journalists and influencers. Include their changes to your project and you’ll assure good critics once your game is in the market. Look for a cheap market and good metrics in terms of game usage and release your project with just a bit of your budget. Measure and change everything that you can before global release.
3. Work on your ASO
Organic downloads are indispensable. They let you reduce your user acquisition costs and are key to get to the magic number of K>1 Factor, which is the moment when your game gets viral exponentially. A good App Store Optimization will let you rank better than your competitors in the store and will let you optimize your acquisition user budget. Work on the title, description, screenshots, videos, icon and all the elements in your listing meticulously, and do A/B testing. Ask for a specialized agency’s help if you feel overwhelmed.
4. Send your game to several stores
Google Play isn’t your only option. There are other Android stores that shouldn’t be neglected, such as the Amazon store. Here’s a list of some of them:
Nowadays, one of the most cost-effective ways of getting users for your app is investing in ads in social media. On Facebook Business Manager you have Facebook and Instagram. Segmentation’s options are impressive and let you measure actions post download such as in-app purchases.
6. Google Ads Universal App Campaigns (UAC)
Google’s equivalent is UAC (Universal App Campaigns). In this case, Google takes all the data from the app’s listing you have uploaded to the store, including keywords and descriptions. You can also use videos for YouTube and different graphics for your associated display network. Ads also appear on search, associated search network and YouTube.
7. Display Network Ads
There are lots of display networks and some of them are specialized in video games, such as Unity Ads, Chartboost, Ada Colony, Ad Exchange, Live Gamer, Epic Game Ads, etc. However, it shouldn’t be your first choice as user acquisition costs are higher. Nevertheless, it’s good to test them, as it can get you a boost during a specific moment.
8. Cross-promotion with other games
If you have other games on the market, it’s important to use cross-promotion in your new game to impact users that you already have. It’s a free and effective way to promote your game. Alternatively, you can talk to other developers to exchange users; there are several developers’ associations all around the globe.
9. Promotion through reviews
Reviews are a good way to make your game known. It can be a little difficult to get them on your own, though. There are several paid-reviews platforms that can be useful, such as:
Don’t forget to have good social media management and send your game to Reddit’s special section, Android Reddit and also Product Hunt, a “social network” on which users vote for best apps and websites.
Promoting an Android mobile game is a difficult gear to adjust
One of the best strategies for your game promotion is to rank it as fast as possible in the Google Play Top Charts. Focus a good part of the budget on launching and get as many downloads as you can very fast to get to the top of app’s rankings, keywords and related apps. This will boost its virality. Be careful, though: measure your force, as it’s really difficult to surpass apps and games with lots of downloads.
Keep in mind that a game’s (or app’s) promotion strategy starts before its creation. It’s a gear with many pieces that it’s really difficult to adjust. Due to the changing market, it’s indispensable to constantly test new ideas until you find the most efficient actions.
Use your creativity, make some tests and adjust your promotion strategy until you press the right key.