Archive for the ‘Game Marketing’ Category
There are over a million apps in the Google and Apple stores and you’d think that with such choice the evolution of marketing would be complete. However it’s taken more than 4 years for the market to realize a middle ground.
If you take a look at app marketing’s very brief history you will notice that it went through 3 distinct phases, and that we are currently still in the 3rd one. Each stage clearly indicates how technology advanced in a short space of time, and how mobile users stopped seeing their devices as a novelty and started using them as a tool.
In the early days of app marketing Apple dominated, but following android’s explosion into the market and the availability of 3rd party apps, Apple had to reassess its objectives and strategies as the marketing playing field became more of a minefield.
At first the emphasis was largely on volume and how many people could be encouraged to download a specific app, by any means necessary. This then indicated the popularity of an app but did not serve to illustrate how many people actually made use of it.
At around 2011 there was a shift and app marketing not only focused on volume, it turned its attention to performance tracking and quality, and incentivized apps were recalled. Marketing of apps then shifted focus on to how the app could offer the user an enhanced experience and the benefits offered, and rather than just simply racking up statistics, app marketing became more customer centric.
It’s safe to say that recently the focus shifted once again and value and ROI became top priorities. With brands such as MobileCasino.co.nz offering apps that rivalled the online offerings, users have become accustomed to downloading programs that offer longevity.
It seems that these 3 phases were spurred on not only by technological advancements but by mobile marketers realizing that if the app industry was to have staying power it needed to offer users an experience that would keep them engaged , whilst still being monetized in some form or another. Whilst many apps are free to download, users may have to pay for add-ons or additional game features, or be subjected to in-app advertising. For now it seems that the evolution of app marketing has reached a level plane, but whether it stays there remains to be seen.
The most amazing thing that happened in the 21st century is the advent of user friendly interferences for consumer products whether it is for mobile phones, personal computers or other hand-held devices. Steve Jobs brought something amazing to this world by bringing the revolutionary mobile device the iPhone along with the iOS mobile platform. Following the trend, Google brought android mobile platform to meet the needs of everyday mobile computing. Consumers just loved it when iOS hit the market; it meant that users had complete control of their device. They were able to customize their device to any extent they wanted and later android came to the market and became the first popular open source mobile platform developers. Consumers all over the world entered into the next generation of tech. Developers all over the world started to explore the power of these mobile platforms and built hundreds and thousands of apps. University graduates with software degrees got the highest paid jobs all over and why? Because the newly launched mobile platforms have been popular like never before as compared to previous mobile platform namely the Symbian mobile platform.
With the advent of iOS and Android; developers were equally motivated as they now had the power to develop whatever came into their minds ranging from video players to shooting games, from PDF readers to angry birds; literally every vivid idea that came to developers which were not possible before finally came to reality. iOSand Android brought the most amazing features to the hands of a consumer that were never brought before; notably complete customization of mobile phones, apps market, themes and hundreds of other features. Did I just say apps market? Well, the amazing feature of these mobile platforms is the apps market. Imagine you were finally able to explore imaginations of millions of developers out there. You were finally able to use mobile phones for your daily needs with the invention of mobile apps. Developers were able to share their applications with just few simple clicks and you were able to download these applications in a few seconds and in just a couple of minutes you are using yet another mobile application to make a to do list for you. This is the amazingness of mobile platforms I was talking about earlier.
When it comes to mobile apps; one category that is highly popular among consumers are those interactive rich media mobile games.
Angry birds, Temple Run, Fruit Ninja and many other mobile games are bringing smiles to many mobile users. For consumers it’s fun to use such mobile games but for developers its a tough job to make a app and then advertise it to make sure it get overwhelming response from users so that all those sleepless nights put into building these mobile games is worthwhile.
Below is the list of the Top 5 mobile apps/games advertising platforms to get the most out of your game apps:AdMob
Admobscores highest on every list. Google premium advertising network for app developers should be the first platform when you choose to get your game app being heard. AdMob allows you to integrate your ad across iOS,Android as well as the Windows Phone platform making it the first choice of app developers to advertise their apps. Further, you are able to select from a wide range of ad formats available for mobile phones as well as tablets. Since its Google which is managing the platform you get to analyze your campaign from various viewpoints and you get a hold of advanced advertising tools available online.Millennial Media
Millennial Media is our second top choice after Admob. The platform uses intelligent tools to let you advertise your game apps around the word. The best thing from mMedia is that it allows you to grab your campaigns and ads from other advertising platforms too such as AdMob; that means you can utilize the power of the two platforms and make the most of your advertising campaign for your games app. Furthermore, you can target your ads based on location. Experts see it as the best combination for premium apps advertisement needs and monetization of your games apps.Adfonic
Adfonic is another top most choice for game app developers. The platform looks after all your advertisement needs. The amazing thing about Adfonic is the promise that 95% average fill rates on both iOS and Android.Chartboost
While all the other above mentioned platforms are holistically to advertise apps including games app too, Chartboost is our favorite platform because it talks all about gaming apps and promotes similar apps on its platform. If you ask me one which platform you should use to start your gaming app advertising I would suggest you to go for Chartboost. This amazingly powerful platform connects game developers all over the world. You can socialize with other developers and look out for cross-promotions along with direct deals. One great thing in Chartboost is that you only need 5 lines of code to get your gaming app ad online.Tapjoy
Why we brought Tapjoy into the list is because it offers you the power of a new phenomenon which they call incentivized download. You can advertise your gaming app to over 1 billion registered devices and over 77 million monthly active users. The best thing we found about Tapjoy is that you get sure short results i.e. for example if a user is playing a game that requires 10 more coins, to continue the game the user can buy it from the store or get the free coins needed by installing your app or viewing your gaming app advertisement (you can specify what you want users to do in-return to get more coins). This is an excellent platform for gaming apps advertisements.
Above all these, there are a few sure short guidelines for your games to get noticed. But before going into it that there is only one rule you need to remember in order to get heard. All the others are just fillers to your campaign; that is to make sure your content is engaging and for the right audience. Don’t ever use false marketing ways to get heard, good work is always appreciated though it may take more time at the start.Make sure your content is interactive (engaging games) Define your target market and design content accordingly (make sure you get insights on your target market before designing content) Start advertising your game app in your social circle, ask your friends and family to rate your application and write reviews on it. Make sure you have a hybrid marketing plan for your game app i.e. that includes social media as well as other paid advertisements on different popular apps. Make sure you enlist your games on various showcase forums so that other like-minded people can review your apps. Socialize within your developers circle, cross-promote each other games/applications to make the most out of your game apps.
Let’s say that you are creating a game and you want to build anticipation among the gaming hordes. Furthermore, let’s say you’re not one of the giants, and thus your resources are limited. Regardless, you and your partners have designed this awesome game for the iPhone, and you want to generate excitement about it, which in turn will morph into paying customers, thereby allowing you to continue in your dream job of designing games. How do you go about achieving this dream?
First and foremost, creating a blog, especially one told from the point of view of the designer, is essential, as in mandatory. Not only does it get your company/product name out there, it gives people a chance to take a peek behind the curtain, and get excited about what they see. If you do in fact create a blog from the perspective of the game designer, people can follow along and see the progress, and anticipation builds as the release date gets nearer. If you can fit in a few sneak previews, screen shots, advance details, then so much the better.
Hooray! A company I never heard of is coming out with a game I know nothing about!Let’s Be Social
Put together a Facebook page dedicated to the game. This is even easier to do than a blog, and considering the strong gamer community on Facebook, you have an instant audience. Don’t forget Twitter, either. When it comes to financial outlay and time, it doesn’t get any easier than social media.Conventional Thinking
Okay, now we’re getting into a pricier realm here, but as the old adage goes, you have to spend money in order to make money. If you have an advertising budget set aside, then it’s time to start dipping into it. The thing is to not wait until after the game is released; you need to generate advance buzz. Naturally, in order to do so, you must already have a good idea what the game is about and how it’ll turn out. And you don’t even really have to go all out; get some cheap t-shirts printed up, or colorful information handouts, something that stands a good chance of sticking in gamers’ memories. Booth babes may be out of the question, but hey, there’s always a booth sock puppet. When you stop and think about it that would be pretty memorable, right?
No, not one of those that are pulled by your car. Movies generate excitement and interest by showing trailers before the main feature. You know, right before they warn you about smoking, using cell phones during the movie, and where the exits are located. It’s the same with the world of gaming. Put together a good trailer, or even multiple trailers, to show players what all the fuss is about. This idea fits neatly with the idea of blogs, since that’s where the trailers would ultimately reside. See? These things are interrelated.I’ll Alert The Media
It may seem obvious, but let’s be complete here. Fire off e-mails to periodicals, websites, trade journals, any media source that fits the gaming nice you’re going after, and introduce yourself. If you’re not a known quantity, forget targeting the mainstream media, and focus instead on the smaller outlets that specialize. And while you’re at it, generate some good word of mouth by notifying gaming bloggers. Try to cultivate a rapport with them, and let them help spread the word. But again, make sure that the blogs cover the type of game you’re developing. A blog dedicated to paper and dice gaming will be a bad choice to market your new iPhone game that features steel cage death matches between pieces of sentient produce.
If you find yourself in the position of having both an awesome new game release and a shoestring budget, consider gathering together a dedicated group of gamers that you’ve given a preview of your game and they happen to love it. This loyal army may get paid in merchandise, free copies of your game, or any other benefits you can think of, and in return they spread the word on websites, forums, at conventions, whatever. They are your evangelists. Remember that the most effective, the most trusted advertising is word of mouth!Final Thoughts
There are so many independent developers out there that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. You need to stand out, build a rep, and give the people a killer product.
Photo Credit: Photos.com
You have a problem. You create a solution. You want to share it with the world via a mobile app. How the heck do you build one?! No need to fret, your friends at Fueled have compiled a quick reference of some dos and don’ts for the app building process.
DO your research, and have a strategy. Not every app idea has been thought of, but a lot of them have. There is a very good chance that your idea could already exist in some capacity. Search app stores, read tech blogs, find rumor mills; due diligence can save you time that would otherwise be wasted creating something that already exists. If you complete the research and find there is a need for your app, have a strategy for how to proceed. We at Fueled take great pride in our ability to build winning strategies for apps, from concept to launch and beyond. Organizing thoughts, setting deadlines, and paying attention to details will make the app building process flow much more smoothly.
DON’T forget the execution. You have your idea, done the research, and have a strategy; now what? Proper execution. Even the simplest idea can become a great app, as long as the follow-through of the plan is on point. Instead of imitating another app’s layout, enhance the best qualities and make it better. Focus on developing an intuitive UX and responsive UI. Users want apps that work well and serve their needs the instant it is downloaded. This is also where a well-thought-out strategy can come in handy as it will help create checkpoints throughout the dev process, allowing you to evaluate the progress. Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is key.
DO focus on building a product that you will use. If you have no interest in or don’t have a use for your own product, you will likely end up with an inferior result. Having a passion for your design and function will show and be important to investors and consumers. Additionally, constantly test any assumptions you have throughout the design and dev process. Updated layouts, additional functions, anything you think will improve the app overall is worth a test because you can always go back to the way it was. This process will ensure that you are building an end product that makes sense and has value to users.
DON’T rush your launch. Everyone is excited about their product and wants to launch as soon as possible. However, here are many reasons why you shouldn’t do this. For starters, it takes time to build a quality app. No matter how simple it may seem, design, development, and testing all take time. Even when the app is completed, work must be done to properly market the product prior to the launch. You will want to build media relationships if you do not already have them, launch a website, and build a buzz around the product. Weeks are not enough. Months of planning, organizing, and action are needed in order to have a successful launch.
DO take the time to test. Simply having a couple of your friends play with the app does not count as testing. Friends and family are not your target market, they will download your app simply because they love you and want to help out. Seek out agencies or other professionals in order to get useful feedback. Outside testers are potential consumers, they should be using your app. The goal is to gather constructive criticism, opinions, and relevant data that will allow you to make little tweaks based on user feedback during beta before your big app store launch.
DON’T think it’s done just because it’s in the App Store. Being in an app store simply means your app is accessible, not that people will be able to easily find it. An app store optimization strategy will be needed to increase visibility. This should be a big part of the strategy. Additionally, the app will likely have some bugs, need to adjust to user complaints, and have new feature introduced at times. Updating too frequently is not necessary, but no app is ever complete at version 1.0.
DO make sure you work with the right partner. Whether it is a friend, a freelancer, or a shop like Fueled. Depending on your goals, it may make sense to partner with different people. Typically for a prototype, working with a freelancer may make sense so you can demonstrate proof of concept before investing in really polished design and high caliber development which will serve as the foundation of your product after its commercial launch.
Written with love by the editorial team at Fueled, a premier Android app design agency in New York City.Related articles
Windows 8 is gaining momentum at a rate that is making competitors sit up and take notice. The new operating system from the software giant isn’t only great for the PC or the laptop, it’s designed to work wonders on tablets and smartphones as well. And with smartphone computing comes a whole range of apps you can now download onto your Windows phone, and use them on your Windows PC as well.
If you work in marketing, you want to get up to speed with the new Windows 8 OS and maximize the benefits of easier, faster, more organized computing. But what apps are out there? Here are 5 of the top apps for marketing proffesionals who just love to play with their Windows 8.
1. Skydrive – Storing files have come so far from the ancient floppy disk. An important trend to keep an eye on, and employ, is the use of cloud storage. Skydrive is Windows’ answer to Apple’s iCloud and Ubuntu’s “Ubuntu One” cloud. Skydrive lets users store and sync data online so that you can access that data on a different device in any location. And unlike both the iCloud and Ubuntu cloud which allow 5GB of free storage space, the Skydrive app for Windows 8 offers 7GB of storage. And that’s storage that you can access anytime, virtually anywhere you want.
2. Toolbox – Multitasking is the norm not only in marketing, as people are genetically wired to do many things at the same time. And Toolbox is just the perfect Windows 8 app to help you achieve this. What Toolbox does is to subdivide your screen into two, three, and even six sections so you can see your apps all at once. Switching between tabs, which would sometimes lead to accidental tab/window closing, will soon be a thing of the past with the Toolbox app around.
3. News Bento – With the top news networks and broadsheets providing you with news online with websites and apps, keeping yourself up-to-date with the latest news seems like it won’t get any easier. But with the News Bento app, it just did. It displays news headlines and pictures from different sources as multiple boxes on your screen that you can click to view in full without having to switch to a browser app.
4. One Note MX – How do you put down ideas? Do you like writing or typing them up? Or did you say goodbye to your pen and snap shots of what your boss/professor wrote instead? Maybe you record the discussion on your phone. Maybe you like to draw your own pictures. But what if you do a mix of them at the same time? The One Note MX app for Windows 8 is the best tool out there to compile all your writings, pictures, sound, and doodles so you can easily access and organize them. Keep different notebooks for different topics. You can even write your own to-do list and tick them once they’re done! It’s got more than the flexibility of writing on an actual notebook, without having to waste paper because you wanted to share a funny picture you drew of your boss.
5. Wikipedia – Some say that the main reason why people log on to search engines is to get to a Wikipedia page. Now, the ever-so-reliable online encyclopedia has its own app on the Windows 8! If you’re bored of the usual Wikipedia homepage with just the picture of a globe and a search box, entering the app version gives a whole new experience, with featured pictures at the front. And the articles you get are more phone-friendly, so there isn’t a problem with having to zoom and drag around a webpage.
“Everything at Once” is the name of the Lenka song that became the big Windows 8 catchphrase. With apps like those featured above that make planning and execution easier, faster, and more interesting, can we still disagree?