Keys to Mobile Game Marketing and Mobile App Marketing Success with Pinterest
Pinterest is a household name. Its advertising functionality? Significantly changed the online advertising landscape. The new Ad products, video ads, and other ad types? Positively allow mobile marketers to leverage this growing social media network to their advantage.
Marketers who focus on mobile marketing can no longer create a marketing strategy that excludes Pinterest.
Why, you ask? Firstly because Pinterest has been providing incredible results. Consider this:
50% higher click to purchase rate
2600% increase in website traffic from Pinterest
90% lower CPM
40% higher subscription rate
70% increase in account signups
40% increase in revenue
In this post, allow us to inform mobile game marketing and mobile app marketing professionals. Start by learning how to use Pinterest to get the best of your online marketing strategies. Stay with us till the very end. Let’s get started!
Pinterest for Mobile Marketers
For mobile marketers, Pinterest offers a range of weapons. From one mobile marketer to another, I applaud you and encourage you to learn About Me, reach out, if I can be of service. Can we say, various ad types for different marketing objectives? Let’s take a closer look.
Crossy Road At Home: Hipster Whale Indie Game Marketing
2020. What a year! Just as the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world… Indoors dining, bars, and pubs? Gyms and barbershops too? The same businesses and politicians leading the charge to reopen the world’s economy? Retreating, back-peddling… Most of them, at least. Right back to closures until further determination. This year? We have come to know hibernation. Virality and Pandemic? No longer obscure, esoteric concepts. But rather something touching our lives. As in each and every single day… What’s one to do with all the idle free time, stuck indoors? For many of us, screen time, video games, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, Apple Music, you name it. The enterprising maestros at Hipster Whale? The indie game marketing experts who made Frogger bigger, faster, better… In App Purchase micro-transaction style…
In case anyone questions Crossy Road’s Ubiquitous “Translation: Everywhere” Marketing, and Discoverability, Check It Out on the App Store, Google Play, Amazon Store, Android TV, and More…
Indie Game Marketing – Crossy Road Topical Promotion, Minus Wukong’s AAA Pomp and Awareness
Clearly there are more than one way to do indie game marketing right. As the world stays home, we keep busy with either work or play. In September, we were wooed, wowed, and ahhhed by the indie blockbuster Black Myth Wukong. Like any well-heeled AAA, the Chinese indie future classic teased an awe-inspiring gameplay trailer via IGN.
Other indies? Some opted for a lower-key reveal. The playside of things has seen significant changes. Many encouraged people to stay at home. In other words, play at home, having fun, infection-free, and healthy.
Early on in the pandemic, many developer-publishers banded together. Given hyper-competition – from hyper-casual idle games to eSports – and the state of the video game industry, it was understandably inspiring. Many games offered unlimited playtime, boosters and power-ups…FREE. Again to keep people entertained while isolated.
With everyone doing their part, Crossy Road has adapted to the theme of the pandemic and has released their new At HOME update.
What’s so special anyways? Crossy Road’s At Home update was very inclusive. As in encompassing the environment art and map. Busy city highways and railroad tracks evolved into living rooms with rugs, furniture, and Roombas. The pandemic and shelter in place are here to stay a while? Why not embrace and laugh and celebrate the change.
New At HOME Crossy Road Content
The update has an overhaul on the map that features interiors rather than the colorful exteriors that we are used to seeing on the Crossy Road app. The main focus? Its cast of adorable playable and unlock-able characters. While traditional console gamers may see this as nickeling and diming, for most mobile, Amazon, or Android TV players of Crossy Road? Merely in-app purchases where the individual purchases are already in line. As in in line with what we have already paid in $.99 to $3.99 bundles. Totally consistent with video game pricing that we have already seen and embraced.
Our famed chicken crossing the road is now a chicken who’s crossing across to the other side of his apartment with a coffee mug in its hand. The new playable character roster includes:
Marketing strategies across platforms
Mobile game marketing is a relatively newer field compared to marketing console or computer games. Clearly I’m over-simplifying. Anyone in video game marketing can attest to this. There’s a complete art and science in fields like Instagram marketing, Tiktok marketing, video game market research, app store optimization, and more. In the last decade, we have seen some amazing marketing. For games like Candy Crush, Temple Run, Angry birds, just to name a few. But arguably the best mobile game marketing still comes down to one avenue, one channel. Word of mouth. Whether in-person, from one friend to another. Or aptly disguised as user generated content or UGC.
Just in case anyone questions this… Just look at the clever update post. One that lets us relax and laugh at the technical challenges of working from home. Not to mention a deluge of many many web conferences. Complete with audio issues? Been there, done that.
In the last month, Among Us the game has seen a surge in users after PewDiePie played the game. Now everyone and their uncle is playing among us and sussing everybody.
Crossy Road is an endless version of one of Frogger, which many of us think of as the grand-daddy of the entire genre.
Not to take anything away from other accomplished studios making video games. Clearly we have seen browser games like sheepish come out that mimic the gameplay. Crossy Road? It brings out the same game with a whole LOT more humor and characters. Translation? Engagement and long-term retention. All by keeping the game fresh and interesting.
With new updates every few months, Crossy Road has retained its users by offering more characters and terrains to play in. although the gameplay remains the same, the unlock-able merchandise is the main marketing way.
App Store & Google Play Store
When it comes to App Store Optimization (ASO), there are a handful of things that you can keep in mind to market your app successfully. These include:
Number of Downloads
When we compare how differently the app has been uploaded on App Store and Play Store, it is apparent that the Play Store app page just has the video.
To understand the gameplay and art style of Crossy Road? Plenty good enough to understand both. And for a player to decide whether it’s his or her game. Or Not.
The video also contains different characters. And more importantly how to unlock them via in-game purchases. Or by playing the game and earning coins. Translation into game design terminology? Pay or Grind. One way or the other. You know you want these characters!
The game boasts over 100 Million downloads plus a 4.5 rating, which is good enough for an app to be listed as some of the most games played and is also recommended in similar game searches. So overall, for the Play Store, the app is pretty well handled.
Looking at the App Store for iOS, there is a slight difference in the way it is marketed over there.
The game similar to Android is advertised with a trailer video, but along with that, there is also a description which reads, “Hop till you drop, Crossy-Road is a perfect retro-style romp.”
For a detailed analysis of marketing retro video games? Check out the post about Wreck It Ralph, and how it was done with classic marketing genius.
On the one hand, the App Store has a video – updated with the At HOME video content. By contrast, the Crossy Road page on the Google Play store does not. You know what else? The App Store game page uses the Endless Arcade Hopper line below the title above the rating of the game. This further describes the gameplay on iOS. On the hand, the game page on Google Play Store merely uses the developer’s name.
What does this mean in layman’s terms? A better description converts an app page visitor into a download much more successfully. Although the star ratings being the same on both stores, the listing on the App Store is superior. The more descriptive screenshots – illustrating the game play – makes the App Store likely higher-converting than that on the Play Store.
What does this all mean in terms of the player community? For one, the Crossy Road community has been very active. Translation: on Facebook the community has expressed plenty love for the At HOME updates. Yes, the Hipster Whale team changed the cover photo and profile picture. But they went further. By coming up with a few creative posts, the team has entertained the community. All the while, keeping the community active in asking questions and contributing to the conversation.
A unique artwork and caption highlights how we all have been maintaining a safe distance and have been using online methods to communicate with each other.
Finally, the big reveal, the latest At HOME update on Facebook, is a video that has a caption highlighting some of the main features of the update and what to expect.
The update looks like fun, and the way it is presented to the people who are struggling with the lockdown is a good way to increase more downloads.
Indie Game Marketing: Twitter
With Twitter, the posts related to the At HOME update are the same as Facebook, but with the addition of the hashtags, #CrossyRoad #Quarantine life added to them.
With similar posts across both platforms, the word has gotten out pretty well, and any users who are regular players will be rushing to check out the new update as soon as they can.
Since the update is something that everyone can relate to, creating graphic posts with captions that connect to people through both copy visual and caption is the best way to go. The At HOME update is very well advertised on both platforms, keeping all these points in mind.
Crossy Road on twitch has seen some activity in the form of streamers playing the game with the last Crossy Road Pac-man update. With the new update, streamers will need to be pushed a little to start advertising the game once again.
Since Crossy Road is not much of a competitive game and most twitch channels are running due to highly competitive games, creating content that is humorously appealing will do the trick.
The At Home update has been promoted has a lot to do with how people cope with the pandemic and the drawbacks that come with it, letting us acknowledge and laugh at the limitations and constraints that we ALL deal with.
The whole update is about how we are well acquainted with the things we have inside our homes, and our technological devices are what’s keeping us sane in this house arrest sort of a situation.
The game is light-hearted and fun to play to pass the time, and combining the comfort of your own home with the gameplay is a gentle reminder of how we are lucky enough to be the ones who are still safe, and we need to stay safe. The update is a sort of public service message to everyone to stay put and stay at home a bit more in these trying times.
The developers, along with providing the users with a fun new update, made sure they did their part in flattening the curve as many other forms of media have done. Kudos to the team for doing their part and promoting this update, and let’s hope we all come out of this alive and kicking. Stay Safe.
Ask and You Shall Receive…Video Game Market Research
Ask and you shall receive? What does that even mean? Before writing this off as a religious overture, hear me out here. A video game marketing professional, I find this critical. As in critically important for anyone in video game publishing. And even more important for anyone making video games.
Allow me to explain. Like any quantitative minded marketer, I think of the world as a funnel. As in One. Big. Funnel. Borrowing something that my team had created some couple years ago, check out the following.
More aptly, if you are in the business of making video games, you are already familiar with the game development framework or process. No matter how you slice and dice it, it roughly breaks down into:
I. Concept –> II. Pre-Production –> III. Production –> IV. Launch –> V. Live Service/Maintenance
Needless to say, a marketer isn’t necessarily a ninja in agile product development. Nor a 6-degree black belt in financial planning and forecasting However, allow me to illustrate. HOW CAN video game market research benefit a video game? Literally in each of Concept, Pre-Production, Production, and Live Service/Maintenance stage? And I will use a random video game example to make my point. Disclaimer: I deliberately selected games that I did NOT work on. Translation: no Nondisclosure Agreements signed OR violated here. But if you are in the business of making video games, keep reading.
But regardless, I hope you walk away with a solid understanding of how video game market research helps increase your ODDS of the commercial success of YOUR game.
Let us begin.
I. Video Game Market Research: Concept Validation
Before writing a single line of code, the developer needs to assess market opportunity and the Total Addressable Market. To get at the answer, we may get creative. Assume the developer is thinking about building a card battle game with strategy and RPG.
7 Questions to Ask a Video Game Marketing Agency or Publisher
A video game marketing professional, I get asked these questions. A LOT. When to work with a marketing agency? What about full-service shop – all things video game publishing? Especially by indie game developers. Both by actual paying clients, and by prospects. To someone new to making video games, these topics are easily misunderstood. Esoteric.
To tell the truth, I have lost count. A former brand director with an AAA video game developer-publisher and head of marketing for an early social game developer, I have been pitched a LOT. As in dozens of times each year.
Developing and marketing a video game? AND to have it become a chart-topping hit on the App Store, Steam Store, or Google Play Store?
It is a lot like being in the boxing ring with a Manny Pacquiao, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, or Muhammed Ali…in his prime. The odds are against you. No ifs, ands, and buts about it. Do not forget that for one single second. But if you ask a strapping young lad named Cassius Clay in 1964? At least you are going into the ring with a shot at immortality.
Two possible outcomes really.
Get them right? And your game has the rightful chance at GREATNESS. Be the next Super Mario, Angry Birds, Halo, or Assasins Creed.
Get them wrong? And your game will die on the vine. Like a concept aircraft, that never ever lifts off the runway.
Holy tamale. As a video game marketing professional, I keep tabs on a lot of games. What am I after? The consumer insights and business intelligence. In short, the data. Why? So I can better help my own clients optimize mobile marketing. Literally optimize brand pillars, ASO, advertising strategy, etc. RTS, RPG, FPS, MOBA, Connect-3, or otherwise…
Why Rise of Kingdoms? For starters, the game is well over 2 years old. Its revenue? SensorTower estimates the game racked up 1.2 million downloads and $24 million in revenue in September, across the world.
Put aside what the agencies say for a minute. Mobile Game and App Marketing CAN be understood and mastered – even by first-time mobile game and app founder-entrepreneurs. Allow me to explain. While not a precise science, that averages $2 revenue per same-period install. Very very respectable.
To nail Mobile Game and App Marketing, I break things down to the basic building blocks: the Brand Pillars, the Organic (App Store Optimization or ASO) and the Paid Activation (Ads & Paid Promotions)
Let us explore each one in detail. What are the Brand Pillars, you ask? These are the high-level positioning statements for the mobile game or app. Take Rise of Kingdoms as an example. These are the headers from the Full Description on its Google Play Store.
Seamless World Map
Eleven Unique Civilizations
Exploration & Investigation
Unrestricted Troop Movements
Conquer the Kingdom
Translation? Real-Time Strategy (RTS) Meets Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) Meets Builder
Can we say Clash of Clans meets World of Warcraft mets Age of Empires? As a marketer I typically do not recommend marketing or publishing a mobile game that crosses more than two genres. Why? Think of the gamers and consumers.
And what about the lack of a branded IP? How does this game have a.legitimate chance against huge IPs like Star Wars and Madden? Yes, it’s true this game is lacking a true mass market IP. But keep reading, and you’ll come to appreciate its content genius.
Rise of Kingdoms Played Up Military Legends, National Pride. Be the Gamer Japanese, Chinese, British, Italian, or otherwise.
Think for a minute of the Role Playing Commanders. To men and women familiar with Western civilization? What does the name Julius Caesar convey? Military genius. Golden Age of the Roman Empire.
What about Cao Cao? In Eastern Chinese civilization, Cao Cao was the military genius of his age. A notorious general who required no introductions. Branded? No. Trademarked or trade-named entity? Hardly. Known entity and taps into awareness amongst fans of Chinese military history? ABSOLUTELY.
Again the marketing genius is apparent. At least to THIS video game marketer. If you’re a fan of Strategy games (RTS) like Clash of Clans, you’ll love Rise of Kingdoms. Love Civilization Builder games like Age of Empires? Rise of Kingdoms is a Can Not Miss. Love WOW? Gotta check out Rise of Kingdoms.
Of course Lilith Games, when making video games, did an awesome job of gathering market feedback and consumer insights. And let’s not forget. It’s no easy feat to deliver gameplay invoking Clash of Clans. Nor straightforward to deliver a civilization builder experience like Age of Empires. And few devs have replicated the MMORPG experience that is WOW. To deliver all 3? In one game? Magic.
For ASO Rise of Kingdoms Clearly Set Its Aspirational Targets in its App Store Descriptions and Keywords.
And what about its organic activation? Great question. Let’s take a look. Lilith did a wonderful job of ASO. It knows its Apple and Google Play search algorithms very well. Just take a quick look at its set of target keywords (courtesy AppTweak)
Note Rise of Kingdoms and its use of owned branded keywords. Think “rise of kingdoms juego” “rise of civilization game.” Both in English and foreign languages like Chinese, Spanish, etc.
Now compare that against Clash of Clans. Note COC’s focus almost exclusively on its owned key phrases “Clash of Clans”, “Clan games.” Add to that its use of (presumably) the same key phrases in Arabic and Chinese.
Using AppTweak, You Can Readily See the Game’s Mobile Advertising Creative Strategy Execution, Down to the Individual Creative and Message
Want to know Lilith Games’s paid activation strategy? Mobile analytics tool AppTweak makes it easy to see ad evolution over time, and the current running ad creative. Take a look below and see for yourself.
You can readily see the A/B tests that Lilith is running. Want to drill down on ROK’s ad strategy in France? Note its A/B/C tests between showing one photorealistic image of one military legend Boudica. Now see the one of Boudica presented alongside Joan of Arc and Pelagius of Spain. And how about the spider diagram to appeal to the heavily analytical strategic player? Brilliant!
Want to know even more about Lilith Games’s advertising strategy? In other words, really REALLY know how they’re advertising. Are they using dynamic creative optimization? And what is the split between static Image banners and Videos?
Few Mobile Breakout Hits Are Successful by Accident. With Hard Work and the Right Tools, You Too Can Optimize the Brand Pillars, Organic Activation, and Paid Activation. Without the $$$ Agency.
As you can see, the above is not black magic. First start by creating a short list of your game’s target features and feature sets. By studying the target keywords and App Store descriptions and assets of competitors, you can formulate a solid set of Brand Pillars to fit your ASO strategy and ad strategy.
Stay up to speed on the latest store requirements for the App Store and Google Play Store separately. And of course, A/B test, test, and test some more.
Invest in a powerful mobile analytics tool like an AppTweak. Readily understand how YOUR competitors are targeting THEIR competitors via keywords. Understand how THEY are spending their Ad budgets. And learn from THEIR A/B tests, past and present. How do THEY maximize discoverability?
With hard work, and a bit of luck, you too can publish your own version of a Rise of Kingdoms. New to the industry? Want to learn the ropes? Better yet, just starting to explore video game careers? Check this out. Got more questions? How can I help?
Blurring the Vision: Black Myth Wukong: Indie to Best the AAA’s?
Game Science. Chinese indie game developer. Age-old tale based on the classical 16th century myth of the Monkey King. Sun Wu Kong. Within the video game industry? We are quick to categorize. EA Sports? AAA. Star Wars? AAA. Assasins Creed? Same. Franchises and titles we would say, with our heads held high as the team responsible for making video games or publishing such household titles.
Flappy Bird? Definitely indie game. Translation: low budget, low- to mid production value. Graphics and storyline? Similarly lightweight and sub-AAA. By a mile or more…
For starters. It let the gameplay do the talking. Just look at the stunning gameplay shot. Check out the amazing graphics to ooh and ahhh anyone. Indie game or not, this game is beautiful.
On the r/games subreddit, Reddit user xg4m3CYT said, “The game came out of nowhere, is made by an indie studio, and completely swiped the floor with most of the announced AAA games.”
Black Myth: Wukong – Stunning Graphic. Beautiful Fun Gameplay. And a Familiar Back Story.
In a 13-minute long trailer, what exactly did they show? In short the trailer showed FOUR hard, thunderous punches.
BACK STORY – It Told the Story through a Sage Narrator, not unlike the opening of the Lord of the Rings
CONSOLE GRAPHICS – Stunning graphics made possible through the Unreal Engine. Arguably one of, if not THE video game engine to beat.
ACTION-PACKED COMBAT – Incredible combat and cinematic fight scenes, to rival the best AAA gameplay we’ve seen in recent years.
ROLE-PLAYING VERSATILITY – Shape-shifting abilities. True RPG style, this lets the player transform from the combative monkey king into an unassuming cicadas, to avoid detection by foes.
On the record, I have never marketed or published a game so beautiful, regardless of Indie or AAA, Unreal or otherwise.
If this gameplay trailer is any indication, this indie game is breathtaking. That this is PRE-Alpha gameplay? I can only imagine. As in just how beautiful and stunning the Beta or GA version will be.
Oh, let’s not forget the amazing combat. For a guy who marketed and published titles like Dragon Age and Ultima, this game took my breath away.
Mind you, my games were not shabby. But this game? On another level of breathtaking photo- and video-realistic AAA graphics and real-time action combat altogether.
Since the game doesn’t come out for a while, I have no real-world first-hand experience. While not MY personal video game greatest of all time, this game has definite disruptive potential.
Did the Game Science team do ample consumer insights and market tests in Asia? From the reception that the gameplay trailer had received on IGN and Youtube? This game is well-received, well tested, if it were tested.
Wukong’s gameplay looks to be a single-player Action RPG. But could it be turned into a team-based co-op Action RPG instead?
Or maybe the Game Science guys are even thinking eSports multiplayer combat down the road? If not this game, perhaps another awesome MMO Action RPG waiting in the wing?
This surely begs the question. What defines an AAA game studio? Is it the team size? Is it the size of the budget spent making video games? Or is it the quality of the video game content, UGC or otherwise, that’s presented to the players?
I have no idea what the video game pricing may be, whether it be a $59.99 premium price like we are accustomed to. Or if it were a special collector’s edition premium price game like the NBA2K21 Black Mamba Edition.
One thing is for sure. Whatever its price, I want it. AAA or indie, I want it. What say you?
Did we mention the gameplay narrative is 100% in Chinese with English captions and subtitles? Didn’t seem to stop gamers on Youtube and Reddit, gushing over how much they want to play this…
Per what the IGN reporter mentioned, Black Myth Wukong has approximately 15 hours of gameplay. Given the game is pre-alpha, I imagine there will be much more content and gameplay by the time it launches.
While not exactly a branded IP franchise, the Journey West is a tale familiar to many across Asia. For my $.02. This one has legs. Two thumbs up. All the way.
1000 Dreams Fund for Girl Gamers to Catching Pokemon 6′ Apart
A video game marketing professional, I’ve been following both gaming and eSports. Now, more than ever. Which video game studio is being agile and nimble? How exactly is the video game industry transforming and adapting? Dean Takahashi of Venturebeat just reported what we all suspected. Newzoo had adjusted its 2020 eSports revenue down again. Again. From a forecast of $1.1 billion pre-COVID in February, to $1.059 billion in April, again to $973.9 million in July, and now to $950.3 million.
With the pandemic raging still, the attendance of eSports events notwithstanding, along with sponsorship dollars and merchandise sales. What’s the silver lining?
That the Video Game Industry and eSports Are Positively Resilient
A shining example of agile evolving gameplay to accommodate social distancing? Why, Niantic and Pokemon Go of course. COVID sucks. Social distancing is unnatural. Wearing masks everywhere is bothersome. Not to mention people cannot see facial expressions, a fundamental way we communicate through body language. These suck. Get it.
The Roblox Digital Civility Curriculum And How Children Can Stay Safe And Learn Online.
As the Covid-19 pandemic hit hard, the world went into hibernation. With everything closed down and lockdowns imposed around almost all major countries, people were stuck at home. One question lingers on everyone’s mind. Amongst the parents of young kids, we ask ourselves. What to do? Can all screen time be considered “wasted”? Or can screen time, perhaps with education technology or gamification, actually helpkids learn?
Children who should be in school learning and developing life skills are instead in physical and social isolation. How so? With parents and kids homebound, classes shifted from physical to virtual. This presented a whole new challenge. The challenge centers around balance. Is there something that can be done to protect children on the internet? And helps them learn at the same time?
When it comes to addressing the digital citizenship, safety, and educational well being of its users, Roblox is the pioneer. Roblox, as in the leader in sandbox games for kids 12 and under.
What is Roblox?
Roblox is an online game platform and game creation system. Released in 2006, the platform gives young minds an outlet to try out making video games. Just like consumer insights in video game careers, Roblox lets other online users to test out a creator’s game and provide feedback.
Like Instagram for Millennials, or Tiktok for Generation Z, Roblox enables social creation and sharing with friends and strangers, with arguably better built in monetization for everyday creators.
Founded in 2006, Roblox gained much rocket-propelled popularity after 2010. How exactly? When young gamers realized Roblox’s ease of use, allowing them to start making video games and share them with friends and strangers. Roblox currently hosts about 150 million monthly active users and is growing exponentially. In my humble opinion, Roblox is so much more than a game. It is the user generated content and self expression platform of the future.
Like Other Emerging Easy to Use Game Engines like Manticore, Roblox Does So with Young Gamers and Creators.
Roblox is known for its user-friendly interface. Rather than code-based, the Roblox Studio applications is a simple drag and drop running on the programming language called “Lua.” This language is an equalizer. Lua allows people with great game ideas but little programming skills to bring their games to life. Some have even described the Roblox studio app as a more accessible and friendly version of Unity, the famous game developing software. Think game development for newbies.
Roblox Gives Kids Exposure to Video Game Development in a Digestible Safe Environment
Roblox is a great way to get started if you are someone who is considering pursuing a video game career. It is a stepping stone of realizing what you need to create a good concept and executing it on a platform where people can play and review your games.
Roblox tends to attract users who are very young, mainly kids 9-15. It is a great platform to introduce new ways of learning to a generation who has seen the most pervasive, visible form of human hibernation in recent history. Roblox is an excellent way for kids to play open-ended games and even create them as they learn, opening up a new path for a video game career. Recently Roblox introduced digital civility curriculum, allowing kids anywhere to learn through creation and play.
Roblox Digital Civility Curriculum
Its audience? Positively snowballing. Roblox’s response? It ideated a Digital Civility Curriculum for its users. Its objectives? Two prongs really. First, to foster safe, positive, and productive online experiences for young users. Second, to encourage healthy discussion among students to find an optimal solution to answer the above question. Simply, how precisely can the Internet become a more suitable and safe place for all users and developers?
The curriculum follows a design style that allows students to develop their skills regarding the fields of animation, 3-D modeling, and coding. The course will integrate learning and development with kids and teens who will be going back to online learning this fall.
The course comprises six online lessons spanning from 45-60 minutes, will also include a game created in Roblox studio called Digital Safety Scavenger Hunt. It is mainly used to teach kids the difference between reliable and unreliable information available online these days. This is something a lot of adults of today can also use.
Roblox is becoming an integral part of education technology today, which will not only teach kids to explore their creative side but is a great way to introduce and develop STEM-based learning at an early age.
1. Intro to Roblox
The beginning of the course allows children to learn digital safety tips when online. The next part required every student to create an obstacle course in Roblox Studio, which can be played by other students.
The objectives of this lesson:
Highlight differences between personal and private information.
How to identify unreliable information if presented in a game.
Altering 3-D parts to create an obstacle course (an intro to making video games.)
A 5 minutes introduction to let the students know what they will be learning through the course.
A 10 minutes intro to digital safety guided tutorial introducing concepts like protection of privacy and finding reliable information online.
A 15 minutes play of the obstacle course helping identify unreliable and reliable information online.
A 25 minutes introduction to Roblox studio, teaching the basics, and helping students create a simple one on their own.
A 5 minutes recap of what was learned in the lesson.
2. Being a Digital Citizen
Learn how to contribute to online communities and confront cyberbullying positively. Then, work on the obstacle course and get feedback from peers.
This lesson is something that is very important for all young minds that are on the internet today. For kids who want to make use of education technology and learn from their peers and from observation, the lesson will teach them how they can positively contribute to online communities.
A critical factor of the lesson is also how to confront cyberbullying. The latter part of the lesson will focus on working on the obstacle course and getting feedback from peers.
A 5 minutes introduction of the project and lesson structure.
A 15 minutes discussion on ways to be a positive member of the online community and how to address cyberbullying.
10 minutes to adjust the layout or look of the obstacle course.
10 minutes to play a peers’ obstacle course and give feedback while setting a goal to change things from the feedback received on their own obstacle course.
5 minutes recap of the lesson and concepts learned.
3. Lights and Polish
This lesson is all about personalizing your obstacle course using special effects (Lights) and effectively implementing improvements through feedback(Polish).
5 minutes introduction to project and lesson structure.
15 minutes for implementing changes based on the feedback received.
5 minutes to use post-processing effects to demonstrate the importance of how special effects can drastically change the look of a game.
30 minutes to work on the obstacle course, from changing layouts to further improving previously made changes and applying special effects.
5-minute recap of the lesson.
4. Coding Fundamentals
If you’ve had a child who has shown interest in knowing more about video game jobs, this lesson especially will be something that will boost their confidence in terms of learning how to code and program a simple game.
The lesson will explore the basic fundamentals of coding concepts such as loops, functions, if/or/then statements. It will also include mini-projects that can be added to games such as color-changing consoles/platforms and traps.
5 minutes to introduce what is to be learned in the lesson.
20 minutes to learn how to work with properties and modifying color properties of parts using scripts.
35 minutes to teach how to code a trap using if/or/then statements.
5 minutes for lesson recap.
5. Character Animation
This lesson will teach the students how to animate a 3-D figure into a unique walk animation. This will allow them to personalize the game further by adding a unique touch of their own into the overall look and feel.
5 minutes to introduce the lesson.
5 minutes to brainstorm and plan a simple animation.
25 minutes to learn how to use the animation editor to create a simple animation.
10 minutes to learn how to use scripts to add the new animation walk in the obstacle course.
15 minutes to receive feedback from a peer to improve the animation.
6. Finishing Projects and Share
This is the final lesson where students will be allowed to make final preparations and add touches to the game, which will then be showcased and shared among peers and others to play. For young creators gaming enthusiasts? This is the end goal.
Not only can young creators share their finished or even still in-development games with others, there is another sweetener. Those 13 and over can sell in-game items for Roblox’s virtual currency Robux. Add that to Roblox’s discoverability by over 100 million players? Now you’ve got an user-generated platform that allows expression – and market testing – by kids! Without traditional offline consumer insights and market research.
5 minutes introduction to the project and lesson structure.
45 minutes to make all final changes to the game.
10 minutes to wrap and recap the week and showcase student projects.
A brilliant idea, Roblox’s Digital Civility Curriculum lets young people learn digital citizenship, online safety, data integrity and creating learning opportunities for others.
So what’s the verdict? Two thumbs up. The Digital Civility Curriculum is an excellent way for kids to learn:
Online Safety – What it means to be a digital citizen who knows how to protect themselves against unreliable information
STEM Fundamentals – Basics of programming
Sharing Digital Citizenship – Using the information they gather here to create other learning opportunities, benefit others.
Roblox Is No “Learn Once, Over and Done”
The simple obstacle course design featured here is something that can be molded into different areas of study for young people, and a different obstacle course or a game can be created for various subjects for kids to continue learning and creating.
Roblox Provides Meaningful Learning through Fun: Education + Entertainment
For parents who are always worried about their children not learning much from their constant connection to online games, Roblox can be a massive change in the way online gaming is perceived.
Teachers, with the help of students, can design their own curriculums for classrooms on Roblox
It can be a fun and interactive way for kids to learn new things and new concepts. For kids who want to learn about making video games, Roblox presents a fantastic opportunity to provide a stepping stone that can help them get the essential information they need to enter a world where they can create and share freely. Whether that game environment is a futuristic Sci-Fi world, or a retro throwback reboot of something like ET or Avatar, only the creator’s imagination can decide.
Below are just a few examples of the most popular games on Roblox. Yes, created by gamers and creators on the platform.
Roblox has provided a considerable service in the field of education technology and is going to further improve the way STEM studies are evolving these days. If your child has shown an interest in STEM or making video games, the Digital Civility Curriculum by Roblox is a fantastic way to set them on the right path. Kudos Roblox. And here’s to the future of the video game industry. Bravo.
5 Keys to Mobile Game or App Marketing Success with Instagram
Got a kick-butt mobile game or app? Sweet. Then Instagram is one marketing channel you cannot afford to ignore. Instagram’s potential cannot be underestimated especially when it comes to marketing or promoting products and services. Not just for ordering fast food, or driving foot traffic to a brick-and-mortar store or gym.
A visually-oriented social media platform, Instagram can be leveraged to enhance app store optimization, discoverability and retention marketing for mobile apps and video games as well.
Meaning, you don’t just use Instagram for sharing how you looked this summer. You carve out an Instagram marketing strategy that will help you not only introduce your mobile game or mobile app to your target audience but also drive major traffic to your product website.
However, it won’t be possible if you don’t take some of the most successful Instagram marketing tactics into consideration. Instagram marketing, especially for promoting a mobile game or application, is tricky. So, how do you get over the marketing hurdles and develop a highly converting video game marketing strategy? Stay with us till the very end find out!
5 Keys to Mobile Game or App Marketing Success with Instagram
Here are some of the most important revelations that you will need to introduce to your mobile game or app marketing for Instagram. We will go through each of them in detail to help you figure out the technicalities involved.
Instagram for Mobile Marketers
Instagram is well equipped for marketers that are looking to promote visually appealing products. Well, to be honest, you don’t necessarily require a visually appealing product to run a successful marketing campaign on Instagram. The creatives, however, cannot afford to NOT grab eyeballs and hearts. Native ads and formats that look like legitimate bonafide user-generated content or UGC.
The social media platform has provided enough opportunities for mobile marketers to promote their products. No matter what your products are, it mostly depends on how you portray them in the creatives. The creatives you prepare should be designed appropriately to 1) be a scroll-stopping agent and 2) depict your product’s functionalities to perfection.
You have got to grab your target audience’s attention since you are fighting with other players for a place on the feed. Now, how can you do that? Well, the answer to that question is the content you produce, of course, to leverage the different functionalities Instagram has to offer.
Here the types of content that you can design and publish to promote your mobile gaming application on Instagram:
These ads look exactly like an organic Instagram picture post and give the users options to like, leave a comment, and share the content.
Video Ads give you ample space and time to play with your content and grab attention for at least a minute. Capturing attention and coming up with effective CTA is crucial to make successful video ads on Instagram.
You can give amazing effects using the Instagram carousel ads. Since you are a mobile gaming company, you can use it to showcase different features of your application by weaving a story.
Instagram Stories Ads
The stories ads do what it says – create stories worth sharing. These are vertical ads that appear between stories. You can design your story ads or use Instagram’s creative tools to create high-quality stories for your audience.
But, you will never succeed in using the above content efficiently if you don’t have your Instagram marketing objectives figured out.
Mobile Marketing Objectives
When it comes to setting up mobile marketing objectives for social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook, will have to implement a full-funnel approach. In other words, we will have to map out our target audiences’ journey right from install to re-engagement and then retargeting.
This is an important part of your overall App Store Optimization strategy and will have a huge impact on the strategies you will use for advertising your mobile application on Instagram. Let’s figure out how app installs, re-engagement, and retargeting are different and how they impact different parts of a funnel.
App installs usually forms the upper funnel advertising strategies that are implemented to attract both new and existing mobile app users. You need to find the right users because you are not just looking for people that will download your application but also for the ones that will actually use it.
App re-engagement campaigns on Instagram form mid-funnel advertising strategies. In this, you will be focusing on the audiences that have become inactive on the application. You will also be targeting the users that have uninstalled your application. The idea is to maintain an active user base.
Lower-funnel marketing strategies involve in-app advertising. In this, marketers can use machine learning to understand the real-time behavior of the active users. The information will help them come up with personalized ads to bring the users back once they leave the application.
Targeting New Prospects
Targeting new prospects to drive more app installs on Instagram is not complex at all. However, you will have to consider a few points, especially when it comes to developing an advertising strategy.
Choice of Ads
As we mentioned earlier, you have several Instagram ads that you can run for mobile app advertising. You have got photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, stories ads, and collection ads. The best thing is that you can optimize these ad types for your advertising objective, which in this case, is getting mobile app installs.
Call to Actions
You don’t just want the users to consume your advertisement and scroll away. The users should be encouraged to take action once they are done consuming the content. This can be done using a well-drafted call to actions or CTAs. In this case, you will be using CTA buttons like ‘Install Now’ or ‘Learn More’. There are almost 10 different CTA buttons available on Instagram, so you better select the right one.
The online user is inundated with a barrage of content every single second. How would you make a space for yourself? Well, you do that by being extremely creative and mindful while designing the ad creatives. In other words, you have to figure out what exactly stops people from scrolling and triggers them to click on your ad or perform the desired CTA. This requires many rounds of A/B testing, so create a budget for that as well. You can also run ads on user-generated content that will give you more credibility.
Lastly, you don’t want to show up before the wrong people on Instagram. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, you can easily access the latter’s targeting options and improve the conversion rate of your ads.
Re-engagement campaigns are, as we mentioned earlier, run to bring the user back to your application. The targeted users have stopped using the application (inactive users) and can be brought back by introducing them to new exciting features or updates in your application. How do you do that? Let’s find out.
Start with the right users
Use mobile analytics to figure out the right people to target on Instagram. Spend a good amount of time setting up an audience for re-engagement campaigns because running ads against the wrong audience might result in bad publicity.
Opt-in Push Notifications
Always try to make your application users opt-in for push notifications. This will ensure that they are in contact with the application even if they don’t open it for a long time. This is quite a basic strategy to keep your users actively engaged.
Advertise using Rich Media
Then, you can also attract inactive users on social media applications like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. However, you will have to focus on creating high-quality content and implement a structured App Store Optimization strategy.
Deep linking is a phenomenon that you can leverage to redirect your users to the desired application screen. All you have to do is pick some of the right keywords, select the precise app screen for the link, and then advertise using the same link on various online marketing platforms. This will not only help you improve your conversion rates, but also boost customer retention.
3 Notable Instagram Ads in Mobile Games & Apps
Here are some of the best examples of Instagram ads for mobile games:
Certain mobile games are better with friends! What better way to celebrate a common love for “candy crushing” than a dance challenge? The below Instagram Candy Crush Saga mobile game campaign, positive captured the spirit. The lovely eye candy that the mouth-watering, visually stunning candies… Topped and amplified with a properly laid-down challenge…with friends!
Here are some of the best examples of Instagram ads for general mobile applications:
In case anyone questions the marketers and agency at KFC Italy? Be certain this simple catchphrase “How Dip Is Your Love?” has been tested thoroughly. Extensively tried and tested over and over, via consumer insights and market research. Marketing genius, backed by data!
Instagram, if we go by design, is perfect for branding mobile games or applications. But you are not going to harness its potential if you overlook the above mentioned key aspects of Instagram marketing. The reason is simple. Instagram is evolving every minute and the factors that lay the foundation for evolution have been covered in the post. We highly recommend kickstarting your mobile game or app marketing on Instagram by understanding the ‘What-How-Why’ of it. Are you using Instagram to market your mobile game application? Do share the challenges and obstacles you have faced during the course in the comments section!
Video game marketing, at least retro video games, is a lot like rebooting an old movie. This much I’ve found to be true. How exactly? Segmentation-Targeting-Positioning still matters. In fact, a LOT. Let’s take a close look how. Let us use Wreck It Ralph as an example. The 2012 Disney hit racked up $497 million at the box office worldwide and another $130 million in domestic DVD sales. The budget? All of $165 million per Wikipedia. What does my math say? 3.8X ROI. Even before international DVD sales and rentals! Personally I love this movie. Both for its “life lessons” teaching moments for us parents. And for the healthy nostalgia to bring back fond gaming memories… And not to mention inspiring a new generation of Generation Z and Generation Alphas to the gaming world.
What did Wreck It Ralph Do Right to Reach Its Audience? Let’s Find Out
First and foremost, who is (ARE) Wreck It Ralph’s target audience(s)? First there are the gamer dads and moms.
Demographically Precision Targeted at Dads and Moms 35-55
First, gamers aged 8 to 18 between about 1980 and 1999 would today be as young as 30 and as old as 58. What are those games we loved? This “Golden Age of Video Games” gave us such fan favorites as Qbert, Asteroids, Pac Man, Donkey Dug, Tapper and more in the 80s. As well as early PvP competitive games, whether FPS shooters like Quake, Doom, Duke Nukem (like I love as my personal video game GOAT greatest of all time) as well as 1v1 PvP combat action titles like Streetfighter and Mortal Kombat.
A fan and student of the video game industry? Then you would recognize many instances of crossovers. Retro video games crossing over and being made into a new animated or live action movies. As well as examples of video game reboot of an older movie or TV IP, being reimagined on a game platform.
Understandably the games we played, like the music we listened to, bring us back to simpler days and memories. I’d venture to say the Disney studio team did a thorough job of market research and consumer insights. Wonder why? First, to pinpoint which retro video games had the highest “awareness” and positive “favorability” among the target Dads and Moms. Second to laser focus on the precisemessages and creatives, to best activate our deep-rooted emotions of nostalgia and euphoria. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.
A Healthy Dose of Visual “Memory Lane” Nostalgia for Aging Dads
Even during the “Wreck It Ralph” trailer debuted September 2012, this much was clear. Anyone who grew up with the arcades of the 80s and 90s recognizes the video game icons of the day.
Visual associations of Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Qbert, Streetfighter, and More Stimulate the “Gamer Dad” Brains in under 150 seconds
If you paid close attention to the movie’s launch trainer, you’ll notice it included a barrage of visual associations:
“Hero’s Duty” the title of which reminds us first-person shooter fans of “Call of Duty”
Gameplay of Fix It Felix (from the 2D retro pixelated layout, to the large oversized monster – aka Ralph – wrecking and destroying a red brick building that must be fixed – reminds us of “Donkey Kong”
Visuals of Pac Man and Miss Pac Man
Street Fighter good and bad guys from Bison and Zangief to martial artists Ken and Ryu
Cute and lovable Qbert and simple mindless fun of Tapper
One can defensibly argue the awareness and discovery and emotional appeal to the gamer dads and moms is sufficient to ensure both pent-up demand, viewing intent at the box office. One that translated even after the game was released to DVD and rentals, into significant DVD sales and rental revenue again.
But what about new consumers? What about Millennials or Gen-Z who did NOT grow up with these games from the Golden Era?
Exploring New Worlds and Meeting New Friends? Associations of life stage changes, encouraging Gamer Dads (and Moms) to Introduce the Movie to Their Kids.
Here Disney does something really clever. Needless to say, the Disney brand convinces the aging gamer dads and moms that the movie is safe and appeals to families with kids. More importantly, what do dads and moms want more than anything in the whole wide world?
He’s Got One Chance to Play the Hero. Emotional Appeal to Gamer Dads to Be the Hero to Their Kids
The next message really hits home for parents. Wreck It Ralph was said to be nine feet tall. Vannelope von Schweetz was all of three feet six inches tall. The sheer size difference and the humorous exchanges between them? Something that reminds many dads, gamers or not, of the relationships between ourselves and our kids. This emotional appeal to dads truly pulled at the heartstrings.
In clear large captions, Dads and Moms are reminded this was a Story for Everyone.
When watching this trailer for the first time, a lot of dads felt inspired – that this was a “Must See” with the family and kids. Whatever the nature of that relationship may be, Dads and Moms were seeing themselves in the shoes of Wreck It Ralph, to fill in the blank of how the story directly appeals to them (think personalization and user-generated content.) Of course we had to see how the story ultimately unfolds. Just in case, any doubts remained?
But how would it appeal to the kids? No retro video game or movie reboot would be complete, if it didn’t successfully create appeal to multiple demographics. Right?
What about the “Kid” and “Generation Alpha” appeal? Here the Disney studio team went a completely different direction. Retro and Reboots mean nothing to someone who was never exposed to the intellectual property (IP) the first time.
The kids are instead treated to “Retro Is the New Cool” in the movie. Just as the little girl with glasses was playing with Hero’s Duty and accidentally saw the clearly out-of-place, from-another-bygone-era Wreck It Ralph in the game, the kids of Gamer Dads can expect to see:
Visual 3D Rendered Colors and both Environment and Character Art Popularized by Pixar, with a Speed of Storytelling that Generation Alphas Find Familiar and Expect
Beautiful 3D Models and Animated Characters with fully rendered and vibrant colors.
Unconvinced? Look at the prominent shading in vibrant colors on the face of Sergeant Calhoun. As well as the vivid rendering using millions of colors.
Another Legal Drug that Kids Absolutely Adore – Sugar and Sweets
While Generation Alphas knew little to nothing about retro video games, there’s one thing they CAN and DO love. When asked if he or she loves candy and sweets, the exception are those kids who say NO. The subliminal message here? Do you love candy and sweets? If Yes, you will want to watch the visual eye-candy that IS this movie.
Oh, and the fan art like the Deviantart creation of all of the Wreck It Ralph retro video game chararacters, in one place? User Generated Content and celebration of a Disney reboot of not one, but a combination of beloved video game characters and content in one place. Brave, Disney. Can we say, loved by Gen Z and Generation Alpha?
Like movies, like video games. Like I said, when marketing retro video games? There are a LOT of lessons learned from the movies… and vice versa. Deja vu. Reboot!