4 mins read
Nov 4, 2022
5 Marketing Principles to Guide Your Mobile UA Strategy in 2023 from Volkan Ediz, CRO of Super Evil Megacorp
As the mobile gaming landscape continues to evolve, so too must your user acquisition (UA) strategy. What worked in 2021 before the IDFA changes for your mobile game might not be as effective in 2022, let alone 2023.
In order to create an effective UA strategy for mobile games, you must first settle on your marketing principles and let them guide you.
Here are our 5 favorite marketing principles to keep in mind as you develop your user acquisition strategy in 2023:
1. Know your audience: Better understand your audience and cater towards their needs by collecting data about who they are, what they do, and where they spend their time.
2. Create entertainment value: Create thrilling moments in-and-out of your product to celebrate the game and the gamer.
3. Hack growth using marketing tools and referral features: Use marketing tools and Integrate referral features directly in your product to create value in performance and reduce your cost-per-install (CPI).
4. Grow your community: Take your content beyond your gameplay by letting your community interact with it.
5. Focus on creator-based marketing: Assist creators in producing content about your game that’s original, authentic, and transparent.
Let's jump into each principle so you can have a better understanding of how to apply them in your marketing strategy.
#1 - Know your audience:
You can have the best product in the world, but you will never find success if you're not marketing to the right people. That's why it's important to always keep your audience top of mind when developing your marketing strategy. These are great questions to answer:
1. Who is your audience?
2. What are they motivated by?
3. What do they love and value in life?
4. What are their other favorite apps, movies, TV shows, and content-creators?
5. What other games are they playing?
6. What are their interests and hobbies?
7. How is your game tied to your audience?
8. Why should they care about your game?
9. What do you offer in your game that's unique and relevant to your audience (e.g. why should they give up Roblox and play your game instead)?
10. How are they going to hear about your game?
11. How are they going to spread the word?
It’s OK if you don’t have the answers to all of these questions right now. Running paid user ads on Meta / Facebook and Google, using PlaytestCloud or UserTesting, investing in traditional user research, and tapping into Solsten’s psychographic data can give you a deeper understanding of the traits and personalities of your users to better understand them.
#2 - Create entertainment value:
Players are no longer passively consuming content. Instead, they are actively seeking out experiences that are personal, immersive, and interactive.
This means that marketers no longer can work in isolation and expect the product team to deliver a killer game without their input. Similarly, a product team shouldn't expect marketers to come up with an effective ad that will just get a non-entertaining game traction and scale. As a marketer, your job is to challenge your product/design team, give them feedback, and help them create thrilling moments in and out of the product to celebrate the game and the gamer.
#3 - Hack growth using marketing tools and referral features:
As games become more and more social, it's important to have more integrated marketing features that allow players to share their experiences with their friends and followers. This could be something as simple as in-game sharing buttons or gifting features that make it easy for players to show off their progress or accomplishments.
In addition, live marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for mobile games. By harnessing the power of social media, live marketing allows players to share their experiences with a wider audience in real-time. This is an excellent way to build up hype and excitement for your game, as well as create a sense of community around it.
There are a variety of marketing tools available to help with the growth of your game. It's important to choose the right tool for each stage of development and objectives. Some common mobile marketing tools are paid ad platforms like Facebook and Google (UA), deep integration with social media platforms such as Discord and Twitch, push notifications, and in-app messaging.
#4 - Grow your community:
Community, community, community. It's all about the community nowadays. In an ideal world, your game will have one of the strongest and most passionate organic communities out there. In reality, it wouldn't hurt to socially engineer that community. Games like Among Us, Spellbreak, and AFK Arena have done this well. You need to focus on building a strong community around your game if you want to succeed in mobile UA because it leads to long-term engagement and higher LTV, and it’s almost always one of the most critical factors to growth.
There are a few things you can try to build a strong community:
1. Focus on creating quality content and entertainment value that your players will love. Test it early. Try sharing different content on different platforms - each has their own unique attributes. The YouTube gaming audience wants more serious, longform content about how to be better at your game, while the TikTok audience gives you only two seconds to prove yourself entertaining before they swipe.
2. Create a system that encourages and rewards player engagement. Discord bots could be a great way to gamify this. Give experienced players the chance and tools to help onboard new players. These are the users most likely to do it voluntarily, but if they have extra incentives to do so, they’d be even more willing to do more and help you scale.
3. Be active in monitoring and responding to your community's feedback. They don't need you to solve all their needs, but they want to be heard and listened to. Don't ignore qualitative data.
4. Frequently communicate with your community about new features and updates. They are not looking for perfect art or gameplay. They want to be part of the development process, and influence the product and its features. Give them a chance to be part of your journey. This is their journey as well.
If you can do these things well, you'll be on your way to building a strong community that will enable you to succeed in mobile UA in 2023.
#5 - Focus on creator-based marketing:
The creator economy is booming in gaming, as we've witnessed with the growth of live streams and video channels on the hottest social channels like TikTok, Twitch, Youtube, and Instagram. And it's only going to get bigger in the next few years. So your marketing strategies need to help solve the needs of your strongest ambassadors: creators.
Creators need to focus on originality, authenticity, and transparency to succeed - and so do you.
Originality is key in the creator economy because audiences are inundated with content and need something unique to stand out. Does your game create original and interesting moments that creators want to share with their followers? Is your game content creator-friendly in the first place? Can you imagine using a 10-second clip from one of your creators that will likely outperform any in-house-ad that you can ever produce?
Authenticity and transparency are also important because audiences can see through inauthentic content and will quickly lose interest, and they need to know that the content they're consuming is honest and coming from a trustworthy source.
Work with creators and provide them the tools and content, and make them a big part of your journey - maybe even more than your general fanbase. Creators who love your game will become your super fans. Treat them as such.
When it comes to marketing your mobile game, these five principles - knowing your audience, creating entertainment value, hacking growth using marketing tools and referral features, growing your community, and focusing on creators - will be key in 2023. By following these guidelines, you can create an effective UA strategy that will help you stand out from the competition and attract players who are truly engaged.
About Volkan Ediz:
Volkan currently serves as Chief Revenue Officer at Super Evil Megacorp, where he oversees marketing, live ops, and all things data. Previously, Volkan was the director of analytics and data science at Machine Zone. Prior to Machine Zone, Volkan led product, analytics, and ad monetization at GREE.
About Super Evil Megacorp:
Super Evil is an award winning, independent studio behind Vainglory and Catalyst Black, all powered by their proprietary E.V.I.L. engine.
Super Evil believes that gamers on every device deserve to play together in beautiful, responsive and deep experiences, whichever their native platform or control mechanism. Their globally distributed team of game makers are on a quest to make cross-platform games that excite players and push both creative and technical boundaries.