Gamers were a niche demographic a decade ago. They were mostly young, often male, and willing to spend hundreds of dollars on games, expansion packs, and specialty gear at the time. It was a profitable market, but with a small target audience. The rise of mobile gaming has resulted in the emergence of a new gamer. Today’s market consists of the mom waiting in the school drop-off line, the corporate employee waiting for a meeting to begin, and regular people looking to relax after a long day working. The shift in how we play games, as well as the rise of microtransactions, has significantly increased the size and revenue of the gaming industry.
As the demographics of gamers have shifted, so have the methods by which game developers monetize their creations. People’s attention spans are getting shorter. As a result, if the game is too difficult or not engaging enough, players will move on to the next game. Furthermore, the rise of social media makes it easier for popular games to spread by word-of-mouth — and as a result, more games have come into play. These changes have made it difficult for app developers to generate game app revenue. Nonetheless, they have expanded the market in a way that strategic game developers and publishers now have a massive opportunity.
Go Through These 7 Ways To Boost Your Game App Revenue And Engagement:
1. Include Rewarded Ads
In a world of microtransactions, app developers are discovering that some users, particularly in emerging markets, are unwilling to pay. Rewarded ads, which provide users with a small reward such as coins or an extra life for watching an ad, offer an alternative to IAP payment.
Additionally generating new revenue, rewarded ads boost overall engagement. Furthermore, people who watch an ad during their first session are up to five times more likely to make an in-app purchase later.
For example, Kongregate, one of the largest online video game publishers, implemented rewarded ads and saw an increase in engagement of 40% to 60%.
2. A/B Test Reward Video Ads
What if you could improve the effectiveness of those rewarded ads? Increase the effectiveness of your rewarded ads by segmenting your users and testing ad placement, timing, and length. The popular mobile game, Puzzledom, a collection of logic puzzles, initially used an in-house ad mediation platform. However, it was not performing as well as expected, so the company sought ways to maximize high-value users and increase in-app ad monetization.
To investigate other options, they turned to UPLTV, an AI-powered ad mediation platform. Rather than serving the same ads to every customer, they implemented rewarded video ads, but they also used A/B testing to understand their most valuable users and the likelihood that specific audiences would engage with advertisements.
What were the outcomes? Puzzledom could increase its ad revenue by a whopping 50%.
3. Use Special Events To Attract Users
Do you want to boost sluggish engagement or attract new users? Consider a special event, a one-time offer of free play, extra coins, or one-of-a-kind challenges.
Every few weeks, for example, Harry Potter Wizards Unite offers special challenges players complete specific tasks to earn free coins, items to brew potions, and other bonuses.
Special events, and increasing engagement, can also increase downloads, as Monument Valley discovered during their iOS Free Week in 2015.
The gaming app was downloaded more than 8 million times in a single week because of the special event.
4. Managing Marketing Content With A Headless CMS
As previously stated, special events can be extremely effective in increasing engagement and revenue. They can, however, be taxing on your marketing team and developers to keep your website or app up with all the related content updates. If that’s the case, consider a headless content management system (CMS).
Headless CMS separates content from how it displays, allowing marketers to create content once and then optimize and publish it for different audiences, platforms, and devices. This separation returns the development and publication of game updates and marketing content to the marketing team, allowing game creators to focus on what they do best.
Telltale Games, the creators of Minecraft: Story Mode and The Walking Dead Series, faced the difficult task of managing rapid growth. It was difficult to keep up with actual development tasks while developers were handling constant marketing updates, such as adding new content as new game elements release.
“This was taking our front-end engineers away from everything they were supposed to do,” Tamir Nadav, the company’s director of product management for the online team, explained.
Telltale Games’ engineers could focus more on game code and less on marketing content after switching to a headless CMS.
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5. Make The Game Challenging, But Not Too Difficult
The best games are difficult but not frustrating. They make you think, but they don’t make you feel like you’ll never be able to beat them. So, how do you ensure that your game is challenging but not so difficult that customers abandon it?
Your data contains the answer.
Raj Arora’s game AARCHER, a one-touch archery game based on the popular game Flappy Bird, provided a solution. Because their IAP(In-App Purchase) was near zero at the start, they had to rely on ad spend to generate revenue. They weren’t too concerned about the lack of IAP because the game was designed as a test product.
Then they saw an opportunity. According to Arora’s case study, “a lot of users were unable to clear certain levels in the game.” “They were a little difficult, and the users spent so much time on them.” We decided to take advantage of this by allowing the user to skip the level if they watch a video ad. It would be unobtrusive, simple, and would generate revenue from a new feature.”
This simple change, which took only 30 minutes of coding time, resulted in a 2% increase in monthly revenue for AARCHER.
6. Collaborate With Well-Known Influencers
The wildly popular mobile game “Walking Dead: No Man’s Land” is created by Next Game, a Finnish mobile gaming company. The game, based on the television show The Walking Dead, allows players to fight zombies in a post-apocalyptic world inspired by their favorite show.
Because the game already had a strong pop-culture connection, collaborating with influencers was a natural promotion strategy. Next Games collaborated with one of YouTube’s most popular influencer groups, composed of Anwar Jibawi, Hannah Stocking, Inanna Sarkis, Lele Pons, and Rudy Mancuso. The group has over 18 million followers.
Each influencer produced a sponsored YouTube video promoting the game, which included a particularly amusing skit by Lele Pons. The video depicts a group of friends out for a walk when they come across an abandoned phone that has been left open on the Walking Dead game, and the game then comes to life. Pons’ four-minute advertisement video has received over 13 million views.
7. Launch A Multi-Platform Social Media Campaign
With over one billion active users each month, Instagram has a massive reach. As a result, it is an ideal platform for promoting gaming apps to a large audience. But we’re not talking about your typical boosted post or pay-per-click ads. We’re talking about using influencers to power a multi-platform social media campaign.
Bejeweled, a gem-matching game, collaborated with a number of high-profile Instagrammers and YouTubers to promote their shiny place campaign. The social campaign was created to increase downloads and brand awareness by encouraging users to take a break and play their games. The campaign began with a YouTube video and a flurry of Instagram posts, such as this one from Koya Webb. The campaign’s premise was straightforward: playing Bejeweled is a great way to unwind and enter your “shiny place.”
In order to drive downloads and revenue, video game marketers are developing strategies incorporating rewarded advertising, A/B testing, and special events, while video-game developers need to focus on creating a fresh, challenging, and engaging gaming experience. Above all, create gaming experiences worth revisiting.