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.
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.