We are living in a world surrounded by apps and games. For a developer, it’s very hard to make a difference with his game and convince his potential users to download it. Unless you are John Hanke (creator of Pokemon Go, for those of you that lost connection with the world for the past couple of months), you need a plan and you need to follow some major steps to make your dream a reality.
Make Your ASO Perfect
App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of a mobile app’s optimization in order to increase its search rankings in app stores. ASO is not that easy, it takes a lot of time, effort and creativity. But, it will pay off in the end because it is the main method for app discovery.
- Start with Keyword, Category and Competitive Analysis
Keywords are very important. You can use tools like SearchMan to find the right keywords. The key is to always know your target audience.
- Optimize App Title and App Description
Think about what keywords you would use if you would look for a game like yours. You can put those in the title and in the description too. Make sure that you decide to a strong app title in the first place because it will be difficult to change it after a while when people will spread the word about it.
- Optimize Visuals (Screenshots, App Icon, Preview Video)
If you show a game with blurred screenshots and unclear video, nobody will want to download your app. The assets in app stores are the first impression you are making to your users. This first impression always matters. Choose an amazing app icon because that is what they will see on their device screen all the time.
- Localize Your App If Needed
It is highly important to give every user the chance to use your app in the best possible way. Study your analytics and choose the main countries to localize your game. Here is an article to decide if you need localization and how to conduct it.
- Conduct A/B test and Update Your App Regularly
Besides the methods available to make your app visible, a big step for your success is to test your app and always try to improve it. An interesting case study where A/B testing increased in-app purchase conversion by 124% is Spot the Difference With Friends!.
The second point here is considering your users’ reviews and feedbacks and update your app regularly. It is important for both user acquisition and user retention.
These are just what you need to consider within the compass of ASO. No wonder that you need to know more than that. Here is an infographic for the ones who want to find out more details about App Store Optimization.
Build A Social Community
In the past we were used to live in a community, now the community is online. Nowadays, the word of mouth is replaced by shared media between social networks. As a game developer if you are not active in the communities of game players you don’t exist, but on the other hand it’s a good opportunity to promote your apps.
- Use Social Media Install Ads
For the marketers with an adequate budget, Social Media Install Ads is a good solution for fast results. There are some popular models for ads like CPM (cost-per-mile), CPC (cost-per-click), CPI (cost-per-install) and CPA (cost-per-action).
Facebook and Instagram provide you an amazing targeting dashboard to create your mobile game app install ad.
Here are some pillars of a successful Facebook mobile app install ad:
1- Pick the Right Audience by Creating Your Segment
2- Give the Benefit You Provide Not Your App’s Features
3- Use the power of numbers and stats
4- Choose the Best CTA for Your Add
5- Use images that include a mobile device
Find this article to learn about all 9 pillars of a successful Facebook ad and best practices of each.
You can also get benefit from Instagram and Twitter install ads to increase your downloads.
- Post on Related Facebook & LinkedIn Groups
Social media channels are a great way to promote your game, especially if you have a low budget. Facebook is the biggest social network in the world and the advantage is that you have a single platform for all categories of users. LinkedIn is a professional network where all important persons in your domain can have access to your work.
Find the most related Facebook and Linkedin groups and post in these groups regularly. But be careful about the frequency. Don’t bother people with overdoing. And engage with them via their own posts to increase the chance of visibility of your posts.
- Offer Incentives
Giving small rewards for your social friends is an easy method to make them promote your app, but keep in mind the fact that the most important thing is the quality of your game. Otherwise, it will be useless for a long term.
You can give them credits and other in-app rewards to draw attention.
- Post Regularly
Getting into a social community is easy. But you can’t just create an account and come back to it when you have a good game to show. You have to create yourself a good presence on those groups in order to get the results that you hoped to have. Try to be active when other users have something interesting to say and promote their apps if you find them useful and amazing. In the end, they will notice that and they will do the same thing for you.
Managing social media accounts is kind of hard thing. You need to be careful about what you share when you share, and who you are targeting. What you need to remember is you cannot only share things about yourself/your app. You should post useful information that solves a problem of your potential user. You also should post contents arousing feelings like fun, thrill, and sentiment.
Even if we don’t like to admit, we all follow the word of mouth. It’s in our nature. That’s why you have to pay attention to your reviews.
- Use a Review Plugin
A good solution for getting a fast review is to use a review plugin. Be careful, though not to use it too soon, because users will be annoyed if you ask them to rate your app just after they downloaded it. First, show them how awesome is your game.
- Incentivize Users to Review
A good idea to grow your reviews is to give your users bonuses inside the game to rate your app.
- Use Review Platforms
You can send emails to websites or Youtube channels that do app reviews. If you can’t find their email address you can contact them through social media, but be sure that you send them an interesting message in order to pay attention to it.
There are also platforms like Touch Arcade Forum to have a contest to get reviews.
Use Content Marketing
A cheap method to spread the word about your new great game is to take advantage of the online area. Some of the choices are listed below.
- Post on forums and social content platforms
It takes time but it is a good way to involve all the community into your actions made to increase your Android game’s popularity. The condition is to post quality content and to make them feel that they are part of something important. The main goal is to interact with your community. Post on such forums as Product Hunt, Quora, and Reddit regularly because if you just come in and promote your game you will be disqualified.
- Start a Blog and Post Regularly
It’s easy to start a blog but you have to do SEO for your website. Make a great article about your game and give some insights of it for your readers. But don’t post on that blog only when you have a new game to show. Try to post regularly and to have interesting topics all the time.
Use Native Advertising to Let Your Posts Reach Target Audience
Native ads are paid ads that are so relevant to the content that they make the impression that they belong there. This is another way to bring your game in front of your users. You can find tools for native advertising to promote your app and your amazing content.
Track Important Metrics
Performance metric is a parameter that provides information about actions of users regarding a mobile application. Tracking these metrics is crucial for the success of your game. The most important metrics for you to follow are as follows.
- Retention Rate
Retention rate represents the percentage of users that play your game after the first installation. If the user doesn’t come back the next time try to change a little your app’s interface and find the bugs that decrease your retention rate.
- Level Achievement
A great idea in your development is to implement achievements to your game to increase your user’s engagement. An entire tutorial for that is provided by Google Play Games Services.
Life Time Value is the revenue metric which represents the financial value of your app in relation to how much each user is worth in his or her lifetime. Below you can find how it is calculated.
Life Time Value (LTV) = ARPU x (1/CHURN), where Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) = (total revenue generated by the app)/ (total active users of the app)
while CHURN is the number of users who stopped using the app after a particular time.
Create User Acquisition Campaigns
User acquisition campaigns are common ways among mobile game developers. There are many types of ads that you can use like native ads, social media ads, burst campaigns, and so on. You need to consider the right UA campaign(s) for your app and start getting benefit from it.
The key to the success is to follow your users’ needs and to have your eyes opened to their desires. Customer acquisition cost (CAC) means the price you pay to acquire a new customer. Thanks to this metric, you can also understand if your marketing campaign is profitable. More on that in a previous article on AppSamurai.
The main goal of developers when they upload an app on app stores is to have a huge number of downloads. That can be accomplished with sufficient time and effort for perfect ASO and tracking the most important metrics, but also involving yourselves in communities and forums that will increase their game’s popularity. With some budget available, you can raise the number of reviews and use ads to make their app to glow in front of users.
If you follow the above steps and you pay attention to the quality of the app, your app won’t be lost in the huge sea of app markets.