The mobile gaming industry is constantly evolving and growing, and hyper-casual games are one of the most popular genres right now. Hyper-casual games are simple, easy to learn and play, and require minimal user input. They are designed to be highly addictive and fun, and have been incredibly successful in terms of monetization, user acquisition and engagement.
The key to any successful user acquisition strategy is launching and running ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) positive campaigns. The importance of these campaigns cannot be overstated as they not only ensure that you receive your return on your investment, but that you can invest future budgets using your past profits which will lead to efficient advertising. If you’re looking to tap into the hyper-casual gaming market, this blog post will serve you well with an overview of the most powerful user acquisition channels for attracting an engaged audience.
Effective User Acquisition Strategies
Leveraging OEM & DSP Synergies
OEM inventory represents the pre-installed traffic and recommendation engines offered by Original Equipment Manufacturers like Xiaomi and Samsung. By using this method of acquisition, you are able to bypass your competitors by being featured as either a pre-installed or featured app on OEM smartphone devices. Pre-install campaigns convert once a user opens your game for the first time (since it is already downloaded), and recommendation engine campaigns can either convert via CPI (Cost per Install) or CPA (Cost per Activity) cost models. Additionally, your game gains the added bonus of brand awareness by being featured on high-quality smartphone models such as Samsung and Xiaomi. Click here for more information on AppSamurai’s OEM inventory.
DSPs are demand-side platforms that offer advertisers large quantities of ad placements in apps around the globe. These platforms allow you to target specific users based on their interests and demographics, as well as track the performance of your campaigns. This can help you optimize your campaigns and ensure that you’re reaching the right people. DSPs allow you to tap into a wider audience and, through optimization, improve overall campaign performance.
Both are user acquisition channels that allow advertisers to reach different audiences through different approaches. OEM inventory offers you the unique solution of bypassing your competitors and boosting your brand awareness, DSPs grant you the added benefit of targeted advertising on a massive scale. This makes it important for a hyper-casual game to use both channels for its user acquisition strategy. Read more about DSPs here.
Focus on App Store Optimization (ASO)
App store optimization (ASO) is an essential strategy for any mobile game marketer looking to attract more users. ASO involves optimizing your game’s listing on the app store so that it appears higher up in the search results and is more likely to be discovered by potential users. This includes optimizing your app’s title, description, icons, screenshots, and keywords to ensure that your game stands out from the competition. Games that use misleading phrasing and imagery on their app store page tend to lose consumer confidence and while it can result in a short-term install boost, it will inevitably ruin your game’s chances of success. ASO guidance is offered by AppSamurai as a complimentary service.
Leverage Influencer Marketing and IPM
Influencer marketing is an effective way to reach a large number of potential users and drive downloads. You can identify influencers in your target audience and offer them incentives to promote your game on their social media channels. This could include offering them in-game rewards or commissions for each download they help generate. This method of advertising is very effective in promoting awareness of your game and is only recommended once you have a good user base foundation; influencers will be less likely to promote hyper-casual games that only have users in the 1000s.
Influencer performance marketing, also known as IPM, is similar to influencer marketing in terms of the method of advertising but not in terms of function. IPM is more focused on driving installs that promote app awareness; influencers advertise apps to their communities via a tracking link that leads directly to the app store, making this an analyzable and optimizable channel. It’s in the name, this campaign method is all about performance. It is reported that 30% of users that come from this channel install games directly rather than via the tracking link, making it a ROAS-positive campaign method that boosts your organic traffic. Learn more about IPM here.
Run Social Media Advertising Campaigns
Social media advertising campaigns are another great way to acquire new users for your game. You can run ads on social media platforms like Google or Meta Ads (Instagram and Facebook), which is where the largest hyper-casual target market resides. Their bespoke advertising solutions will allow you to target a specific audience and get your game in front of people who are likely to be interested in it; your targeting can be as deep as behavioral segmentation or interest-based segmentation. For instance, hyper-casual games that are space-themed can target audiences that are into space, spaceships, Star Wars, Star Trek and many more.
Optimize your Game’s Creatives
When running any form of an advertising campaign, it is important to publish engaging ad creatives that showcase your hyper-casual game’s theme, features, and gameplay adequately. This includes your app’s icon (for OEM campaigns), as well as the banners, interstitials, gifs and/or videos you will use to promote your game. A playable ad is a great way to give prospective users a trial of your game and will greatly boost your ads’ CTR (clickthrough rate). If you are including a reward or in-game purchase discount, be sure to mention this in your creatives as it will improve your ad’s conversion rate.
Keeping your Users Hyper Engaged
User acquisition is half the game; once you have brought in a plethora of new players into your hyper-casual game, you have to ensure they are retained, and that is done through user engagement.
A hyper-casual game’s success dangles from the user experience it delivers to its players. This also includes the experience of the game; a game that is not sufficiently challenging or rewarding will not hold players for long. The user journey ought to be fully optimized to allow players to jump into the game immediately upon app launch, else long loading times or confusing menus will be detrimental to your engagement rate.
Consider your monetization placements very carefully so that they do not become game-breaking as that will be counterproductive. hyper-casual games are known for minting revenue through monetization, but an in-game ad that interrupts players will see players delete your application rather than contribute to your conversion rate or CTR.
Referral & Loyalty Programs
By adding a reward-upon-referral program, you can give your players incentives to bring in new users which is a sure-fire way to improve your hyper-casual game’s K-factor. Read here to learn more about what K-factor is along with its importance. This will contribute to your app’s non-paid user base (which is essentially more engaged than the paid user base) as more and more players bring their friends and social circles into the game.
You can also consider adding loyalty programs in your game, for instance, offering users to subscribe to a ‘season pass’ which will give them access to more content that will enrich their gaming experiences. Loyalty programs are great ways to improve your in-app engagement rate.
Running effective user acquisition strategies for hyper-casual games is not an easy feat; if it were, anyone could run them. The key to a successful user acquisition strategy and a hyper-engaged audience is working with the right mobile marketing partner that can adhere to your goals and KPIs. AppSamurai is an award-winning mobile marketing platform that can offer hyper-casual game advertisers the opportunity to run multi-tiered campaigns via OEM inventory, DSPs, influence performance marketing and many more. Run all your campaigns on one platform with the assistance of AppSamurai’s dedicated account management team now. For more information, head to the AppSamurai website or sign up to begin your hyper-growth journey today.