As if the mobile industry wasn’t dynamic enough, throw marketing and gaming into the mix and you have an entirely new frontier that combines traditional strategies with social media and multimedia. From social discovery to Youtube, here are some of the biggest trends in mobile game marketing right now.
Targeting Specific Audiences
With so much competition in the mobile gaming industry, casting a wide net is no longer an effective marketing strategy. Instead, mobile game makers are increasingly focusing their money on much more targeted efforts. Ideally, you should come up with a profile of your target user from a game’s inception, and keep it in mind as you work your way through its design, development, and marketing.
There is currently a surging trend towards paid social discovery through social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. These sites now offer great platforms for businesses to gain exposure and reach highly targeted audiences based on age, location, keywords, and a variety of other factors.
Getting Creative with In-Game Social Engagement
Keeping with the theme of social media, in-game social engagement is a relatively simple and cost-effective way to help spread the world on your game. Major mobile game makers have been on board with this for a while now. There are several different options and routes to achieve social engagement, but the most popular is to incorporate Facebook Connect into your game. Tie it in with features allowing users to compare their scores or results with friends or even offer incentives for Twitter follows to establish a solid social media following.
Phablets Over Tablets
If there’s been one major shift in the mobile industry over the last year or two, it’s been the trend towards phablets over tablets. Despite a strong initial showing, sales of tablets are actually on the decline. One contributing factor to this is the rise of the phablet (e.g. iPhone, Samsung Galaxy). With screen exceeding 5 inches and speedy processors, phablet users spend 34% more time in applications compared to users with sub 5-inch devices.
As a mobile game developer, look to concentrate more of your marketing effort on the phablet market. If you can, highlight features of your game that will put your on the phablet user radar, such as great graphics and console-like gameplay.
The gaming industry enjoys a huge and influential presence on Youtube, so if you haven’t yet, join the party! Game trailers turn people on to new games and can also be incorporated into a targeted ad campaign. Just like Facebook and Twitter, you have the option of selecting a target audience based on gender, interests, and location. To gain even more value out of your videos, consider linking them to a microsite or blog dedicated to your name. You can use this stand-alone site as another useful platform for publishing press releases, updates, and connecting with influential members of the media.
Reward to Retain
In today’s tech-crazy culture, it can be all too easy to underestimate the power of word of mouth. Your most valuable marketing tools are your users and the longer you can retain them, the more valuable they become. Keep this in mind as you put together your game design. Features such as bonus rounds, exclusive content, and upgrades for long term or frequent players work well as a passive form of marketing.