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?
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!
Describing the recent uprising of online dating apps as ‘remarkable’ is nothing but an understatement. Experts say that nearly 28 million people are going to use them by 2022.
And this statistic only talks about the United States.
Apps like Bumble, Tinder, Match, Hinge, OkCupid and others are quickly taking over the world. There are SO many lessons marketers can learn from them, especially to improve FTUE, or first-time user experience.
In this post, we are going to list out the top lessons one can learn from the success of online dating apps.
Not just that, we are going to help you understand how exactly you can implement them in your upcoming or existing digital marketing strategy.
So, stay with us till the very end!
8 Lessons Worth Learning From Tinder and Bumble
1. Find and Focus on Your Niche
What’s the golden rule of marketing?
It is: ‘Don’t sell anything if it’s not a solution to the customer’s problem.’
Utilizing this golden rule in the world of online dating apps is very simple.
You have a dating app that people who are single will try to use to develop a meaningful relationship with another person.
The ‘problem’ is that people are single, and that is something they want to change.
To make sure your solution reaches the right people, you will have to THOROUGHLY research your market. This is essential because it will lead you to your target audience.
This will mostly involve LASER targeting. In this, you mostly try to target a narrow market, find a profitable position, and try to compete with other players.
An extensive survey conducted by Hinge shows that the biggest problem customers have regarding online dating is about the superficiality of the apps.
This made Justin McLeod (the founder of Hinge) design an online dating application that focused on helping users create deeper connections.
2. Tap into The Unpredictable Award Phenomenon
Gamification of dating experience has been very well documented over the past five years.
Many users on the app are NOT looking for a date. The whole ‘swiping through the profiles’ thing is quite fun for them.
They use the application only to have entertainment. Gamification of the dating experience can be used to create anticipation among the users.
The best way to understand this is by connecting it to the concept of unpredictable awards.
Here, the users’ level of excitement can be regulated using algorithms that come up with little surprises each day. By doing this, the users are constantly engaged.
Most online dating applications tend to lose customers because of bad FTUE. This happens when users install the app, sign-up, get disappointed, and leave.
Just in case you have a poor FTUE, gamifying the dating interfaces using elements like tap-to-like, shake-to-refresh feed, etc. can help you compensate.
3. Make Marketing More Personal
One of the biggest marketing trends that companies around the world are looking to take advantage of is personalization.
Personalization is a useful strategy that gives marketers an opportunity to collect more personal data from their target audience.
This can go on to affect the way companies promote their products and services. The basic design of their products can be inspired by the concept of personalization.
Coming back to dating apps, one of the most common things you will find is that they will ask for your basic personal information.
It is important for them to know your age and location so that they can shape your user experience to perfection.
If you are looking to use personal data in your content marketing strategy, you must take lessons from these online dating apps.
The application of data analysis and interpretation will also help you improve your application’s FTUE.
4. User-Generated Content – Let Users Speak
The surge of online dating apps and the simplification and gamification of online dating has had a great impact on how millennials approach online dating.
People could say the most important impact of gamification is that they have helped get rid of the shyness around the concept of dating.
This has allowed users to share their online dating experiences on various online platforms. In other words, they are helping marketers with user-generated content and consumer insights.
One of the main reasons why they are so successful with user-generated content is that the marketers go out of their way to hijack a viral story.
Apps like Bumble even have created a form that allows users to share their stories on their experiences.
Talk about taking social listening to the next level!
5. Effective Influencer Marketing
Creating blog posts for video content around your online dating app is one of the BEST ways to generate buzz for your product.
But, that’s an organic way to promote a product online. It works, but it takes time.
This is one of the reasons why influencer marketing has been a go-to marketing strategy for marketers of online dating apps.
Because the content related to online dating is interesting to fans of content creators.
Hinge, an online dating app, makes the best of user-generated content and influencer marketing to create SUPERB social media campaigns. The marketers at Hinge have been working closely with popular meme accounts to create organic posts that bring in definite results.
Influencer marketing is crucial in the marketing of many apps and brands. By creating content that is very much relatable to the general public, it generates a sense of authenticity in the target audience.
This is because your application is going to compete against almost 2 MILLION other applications for visibility.
According to statistics, the average Apple user spends almost 33 minutes per month on the App Store. This data was for the United States back in 2018. Since then, the time spent on the App Store has likely gone up.
Although this is a lot of time for marketers to improve their products’ visibility, they cannot rely on users to find their way to the product through the app store.
TikTok for Mobile Video Games: 7 Keys to Activating Gen Z
So, you have decided to make your mobile video game popular on TikTok. It’s a decision that you just cannot go wrong with. Just take one look at TikTok’s numbers quarter over quarter.
TikTok is unknown territory for most mobile video game developers. Consider the sheer popularity of this social media platform however? Make sure your mobile video game marketing strategies includes TikTok. Period.
The majority of the TikTok population is Generation Z. It is crucial for the mobile video game developers to understand the intricacies of TikTok. Most importantly, how to genuinely capture the attention and activate Generation Z.
This is exactly what we are going to cover in this extensive TikTok guide for mobile video game developers. So, without further ado, let’s dive in. And figure out what it takes to activate Generation Z in 2020.
What is the Generation Z?
Generation Z is often referred to to the generation that was born between 1996 and 2010. In other words, the generation that follows the millennials. Digital natives raised on the internet and social media, Gen Z is a must for any marketer. It is important for the video games industry to understand the characteristics, traits, values, and trends that can help them develop in-depth statistics of Generation Z. About their screen and social media consumption, social behavior, interests, communication style, psychographics, and more.
In the United States, Generation Z is said to be the largest consumer demographic. Finishing college by 2020, they will be entering the workforce starting next year. How can you attract the attention of this generation on TikTok? Well, for that you have to dive deeper into TikTok’s consumer insights to create meaningful marketing strategies. All to activate and influence this soon-to-become largest cohort of consumers.
7 Keys to Successfully Activate Generation Z
Here are some of the best ways for video games developers to come up with a solid TikTok marketing strategy to attract Generation Z. Let’s discuss them in detail.
1. Generation Z’s TikTok Usage Patterns
Why has Tiktok grown so quickly with Generation Z? First because Tiktok was designed to satisfy their constant need for more content. It emphasizes on short-form video content and makes the platform easy to use.
Additionally, Tiktok has successfully fired up Generation Z’s desire for entrepreneurship and becoming an online creator or an influencer. Generation Z experiences little fear or friction before creating content. Content that will help them build an audience of like-minded people.
Generation Z uses social media platforms like Tiktok, YouTube, and Instagram to show the best version of themselves. Contrary to popular belief, this is more related to projecting self-confidence rather than insecurity.
2. Gen Z Vs. Millennials: TikTok Usage Pattern
It is very important to factor in the TikTok usage pattern of millennials and Generation Z. 42% of the 13-16-year-olds use TikTok which shows that the social media platform is gaining momentum among young teens who are very much into mobile video gaming.
Almost 40% of the total TikTok population comprises the Generation Z. Millennials make up the rest of the users. When it comes to content creation, Generation Z is way ahead than millennials. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to “consume” content on the platform.
3. Social Causes/Purposes Gen Z Uses TikTok For
With so much information going around on the internet, Generation Z is very much into showing their concern about different socio-political issues in and around the country.
What does this mean exactly? They are very much against turning a blind eye to issues. Whether about racial injustice, or inequality or about gender bias and more. And their inclination towards speaking out against injustices can be found across Tiktok.
For example, the #blacklivesmatter had over 6 billion views on TikTok. Instead of creating dancing and lip-sync videos, which is what TikTok is made for, Generation Z uses the opportunity to raise voice against injustice.
This behaviour pattern can be used by mobile video game developers to attract the attention of Generation Z. Creating content in support of social causes and purposes can bring you closer to your target audience.
4. Personal and Relatable Communication Style
Millennials and Generation Z are unforgiving when it comes to being manipulated online. They have been on the Internet and social media platforms for a long time. They clearly know exactly when you are hitting them with fake content.
Using Tiktok to attract the attention of Generation Z through insincere content and highly aggressive sales copy? Forget it. Not gonna work. Your entire focus should be about making your content and Advertising more personal and relatable.
Google claims that almost 26% of Generation Z expect retailers to provide a personalized buying experience based on the customers shopping patterns and preferences. Needless to say, authentic voice, genuine ratings and reviews for your mobile app or game is key. This is true whether to attract Gen Z’ers on Tiktok, or as part of your mobile game’s overall app store optimization strategy.
Therefore, make sure the content you publish on Tiktok is what your target audience is looking for. Want to create an impressive brand personality in the minds of your target audience? Start by giving them what they want.
5. Creating Snackable Content in Bulk
To succeed on TikTok, you will have to invest in creating short snackable content with a major focus on video. One of the reasons why we recommend you create search content is because the average attention span for Generation Z is reducing drastically.
While the average attention span for the millennial generation stands at 12 seconds, the same for Generation Z is a mere 8 seconds. Well, this is even less than the attention span of a Goldfish. So, what’s the reason behind this plummeting attention span?
The most common reason that also has been well documented for the significant reduction in the attention span of Generation Z is the growth in the number of digital platforms. Generation Z often finds themselves using many digital platforms simultaneously.
How exactly? Generation Z can be found to be using 5 digital platforms simultaneously- at the same time. The shorter attention span is also the reason why Generation Z hates non-skippable ads and pop-ups.
Targeting Generation Z with video ads? We highly recommend using a shorter format. TikTok, therefore, is a great social media platform for you to share your video content.
However, you must invest in creating more and more content for your target audience. Make it easier for them to remember your brand. But, this should not be an excuse to create low-quality content. Your video should be extremely entertaining and high quality at the same time.
6. Taking Privacy Protection Policies Seriously
Generation Z is quite concerned about privacy protection. Almost 88% of the Gen Z population ranks privacy protection at the top of their list when it comes to consuming content on the web.
Less than one-third of Generation Z claims to be comfortable sharing personal information online. But 61% believe they can do it without any concern with brands they trust.
How do you do that? Want to gain the trust of your target audience on TikTo? First, you have to step up. Be 100% transparent when collecting user information from Generation Z. Be wholeheartedly committed to keeping data safe and secure.
7. Ability of Micro-Influencers to Rule Generation
Need a helping hand? Partnering with micro-influencers who are popular in your niche can play a huge role in making your brand successful on TikTok. Influencer marketing has always been a powerful marketing tactic. And the potential size of the population you can attract when done right? Positively HUGE.
There are many popular Gamers on TikTok. Influencers create highly entertaining sometimes niche content for their audience. Generation Z population is very much inclined towards gaming, especially with the eSports revolution. There exists a great, under-utilized opportunity. One for you to create your OWN highly-targeted audience on this social media platform.
But why are video platforms so successful? One of the reasons why influencer marketing works on video platforms like TikTok on YouTube is because almost 70% of the teenage population easily relate to online creators than traditional celebrities. Online creators are simply more relatable and trustworthy. Aka One of Us.
Therefore, invest in micro-influencers on TikTok. Invest in them to help them help YOU. Influencer marketing is a relatively expensive marketing technique but it can bring you exceptional results in a short amount of time, when done right.
We have shared in-depth information related to the latest TikTok statistics for Generation Z. Always remember to take a more personalized approach in the decision-making process. Video game developers understand what the young generation likes. It is equally important to have a one-on-one discussion with their marketers.
Come up with groundbreaking marketing strategies. Be authentic, be real, personalize communication, and give Generation Z what they want – in short snack-able video format. Respect privacy, and be transparent. When needed, seek help from trusted micro influencers. Help them help YOU.
We hope this piece of content brought great value to you. If it did, feel free to subscribe to our weekly newsletter as we bring all the latest updates from the world of online marketing. Have questions? Put them down in the comments section and we will reply as soon as possible!
ASO: App Store Optimization – Secret Weapon in Mobile Video Game Marketing
Why care, you may be asking? When influencing and marketing to gamers, App Store Optimization or ASO is a key tenet. ASO is key to organic Discoverability in mobile app marketing, video game marketing . To reign supreme in the fiercely competitive application marketplace, it is crucial you refine your approach. Start diving head-first into the advantages of ASO to maximize your chances of succeeding on the app store.
To do that, you will have to first understand the nitty-gritty of App Store Optimization. And that’s exactly what we are going to do here in this post. Let’s cut to the chase and dive right in!
What is App Store Optimization?
App Store Optimization is also known as mobile app SEO. For a video game marketing professional, the entire goal of App Store Optimization is to improve the ranking of mobile applications within app stores like the App Store, Google Play, Windows store, etc. Mobile apps specifically created for iOS, Android, and Windows phones. Not the only key to Discoverability. But critical to organic discoverability that the mobile marketer doesn’t have to PAY for.
What exactly happens when you rank your applications on top of these Online application stores? There are many goals to ASO. ASO increases your brand exposure. ASO also generates more positive app reviews and ratings. Which boost the audience engagement with the app. This in turn creates MORE organic discovery of the app.
Investing in App Store Optimization is a great decision. Given the incessant growth of mobile and Internet technologies, people are going to need mobile solutions in their daily lives. The number of app downloads has only been increasing if you look at the last 10 years. In the last year itself, a total of 204 billion apps were downloaded across the world which is a 6% increase from 2018.
Thus, it makes complete sense to invest your time and resources into App Store Optimization.
Important Factors For App Store Optimization
There are many factors that you will have to consider if you want to perfect your App Store Optimization. Let’s talk about these factors in detail.
The title is what most people use to identify your application in an App Store. Apart from that, it also helps you to improve your rankings because a relevant title (that includes the target keyword) can help you rank at least 10% higher. Make sure the title is unique, descriptive, and keyword-rich.
Let’s compare two possible titles.
VERSION A: ASO: App Store Optimization – Secret Weapon in Mobile Video Game Marketing
VERSION B: ASO in Video Games
Clearly Version A is targeted at a more granular long tail search for keywords like “App Store Optimization” and “Mobile Video Game Marketing.”
Keywords are important to your App Store Optimization quest. Just like in SEO. You will need to put your most important keywords while ensuring that you don’t overdo it. Keyword stuffing can get your app penalised by Google. Make sure you do proper keyword research to ensure your product falls in the right list of applications.
I’ve always had great results benchmarking my top competitors. The above shows a simple keyword profile that shows keyword research, including Apple Search Ads. This informs competitive offensive and defensive strategies. Which in turn helps the video game marketing professional find greenfield and under-addressed keyword opportunities.
The app description is pretty much like the content you put on your site’s landing page. If you are successful in making a user click on your app, that description must be able to close the deal for you. This can be done if the description tells the customer what the app does, the problem it solves, how easier it is to use the app, and why the app is worth the price.
You will never go wrong with high-quality screenshots. It is a crucial factor of your app store page change the screenshot adds to its visual appeal. You should definitely use this part of the page’s real estate to your advantage by taking screenshots of the key benefits and most engaging parts of the app.
App Preview Video
Most app stores will allow you to upload 30 second long videos to showcase your app’s features and benefits. The best way you can use the app review video feature is by uploading recordings of in-app experience and showing what the users can expect from the app’s UX.
Putting the app in the right category will not only help the app store index your app correctly, it will also help the users understand what your app does. The app category should best describe your mobile application. However, if you want it to rank quickly, you must go for a category that is least competitive and put your highly optimized application in it.
App Icon Design
The app icon is one of the most significant parts of your app. It is how your users will recognise you on their phones. So, you must take your time to come up with a great icon design. Most importantly your Icon should be engaging and eye-catching.
Online users are always looking for what other people have to say about your application. It is therefore important that you collect positive app reviews and encourage your existing customers to leave their feedback for the app.
Take a look at the below. This screenshot from AppAnnie, shows the aggregate ratings and reviews, aka Star Ratings for Minecraft, unified across the App Store, Google Play and Microsoft Store. It becomes abundantly clear where the game is loved and highly rated (5-star reviews) vs poorly received (1-star reviews)
App Store Analytics
There are many powerful App Store analytics tools that you can use to design your mobile marketing strategy to perfection. The tools will help you get actionable insights and allow you to make changes that will eventually Boost Your App Store rankings. Some of these App Store analytics tools are Sensor Tower, Appstatics, Appnique, AppAnnie, Appfigures, Applyzer, and more.
See below for a high-level App Store analytics dashboard for Darkness Rises. In one place you can clearly see the top keywords – which directly impact Discoverability – both at the CATEGORICAL level (RPG, MMO, MMORPG) in addition to the COMPETITION targeted by the game (Assasin, Diablo, Skyrim, etc)
Not but not least, in this same single view, you can also get an estimate of the game’s actual download volume and revenue, in one shot.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimisation is the process of optimising your online presence to create better user experience and drive more traffic towards your business website.
It can help your website get quality traffic from search engines. Since you want relevant traffic to your website, it is important that you optimise your site with the relevant keywords. Keywords are essentially the terms and phrases your target audience uses when searching for your products online.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the most important part of any digital marketing strategy because it prepares your site for the incoming traffic. Since all your digital marketing efforts are going to revolve around your business website, it is important that you optimise your site to create a solid foundation for your online marketing campaigns.
Factors Responsible for Search Engine Optimization
Let’s discuss the various factors responsible for search engine optimization.
Page Title + H1 Tags
One of the most crucial On-Page SEO factors is the page title. The page title should be optimized by using your primary keyword in it. Website crawlers are always looking for your title tag to determine the content and intent of your page. Let’s say the page is about hiking. The page title appears on the tab where the website is opened while the heading tag is what appears on the page. Let’s say the blog is on xyz.com’s blog. The page title will read something like ‘10 Best Hikes in Colorado | XYZ Blog’. However, the H1 will just have ‘10 Best Hikes in Colorado’.
The page URL can be optimized by including your primary keyword in it. You should make sure that you don’t use any special characters in the URL. It should be kept short so that it is easier for both the users and search engines to read and remember the URL.
While a keyphrase ‘battle royale’ shows that a user is looking for battle royale games, a keyphrase ‘battle royale monetization’ clearly shows that the intent of the search is to find the monetization opportunities of battle royale games. The page URL for such a query for the former should be ‘www.xyz.com/games/battleroyales’ while for the latter, it should be something like ‘www.xyz.com/games/battleroyales/monetization’. This is perfectly structured and easy to remember.
The use of sub-heading and header tags is important to give your content a definite structure. This will also give you an ample opportunity to place your primary and secondary keywords inside your content.
Keyword placement can be perfected by placing your keywords in the first hundred words of the content. Once you do that keep placing your keywords two to three times every hundred words. The keyword placement should be as natural as possible to ensure a seamless reading experience for your users.
Meta descriptions are an essential part of the On-Page SEO checklist because it allows your content to stand out in this search engine. It also is a crucial role in boosting your click-through rate.
It gives online users an idea of what they can expect in the content. It is important to have a meta description that is around 50 to 160 characters long. The meta description should have a natural and active voice and should resist being spammy.
Like for a company putting puppies for adoption, they can use a description like ‘Find an Australian Shepherd rescue or search your local shelters and rescues for an Australian Shepherd puppy or dog for adoption’. The keyword here is clearly ‘Australian Shepherd Puppy’.
SEO is a process that helps to boost the user experience of your site. You will first have to make your content extremely easy to understand. Make sure there are no broken links in your content. The font type, size, and color should be optimized to boost readability. Not just that, the buttons on your site and the overall site navigation should be optimized to reduce the bounce rate.
LSI latent semantic indexing keywords are essentially the keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword. Optimizing the content using LSI keywords will definitely help your content boost its quality and get higher ranking on search engines.
Keyword cannibalization should be avoided at all times because you don’t want to confuse search engines. If the crawlers find two or more web pages having the same primary keyword, it will make sure neither of the pages are ranked. Each page of your website should have one primary keyword.
The attention span of online users is reducing significantly. This is an alarming situation for site owners that don’t optimize it for loading speed. If you want your visitors to stay on your site for a long time, you will have to consider speeding up the user experience.
All the above On-Page SEO changes will not work if you don’t optimize your website for mobile. Google has been pushing towards creating a mobile-first ecosystem. Therefore, website owners should make sure their site has a responsive design and can adapt to the screen size of any smart device.
Similarities and Differences Between ASO and SEO
There are many differences and similarities between ASO and SEO. The former is even sometimes called SEO for mobile applications. Let’s go through the similarities and dissimilarities between the two.
The objective of ASO Is to make the application ranking higher for or a certain keyword. The ultimate goal of App Store Optimisation is to increase the number of downloads. Keywords help the applications gain better discovery, which brings high traffic to the applications’ page.
Search Engine Optimisation on the other hand is done to bring more qualified traffic to a certain website by making it optimized for search engine rankings. The better the Optimisation, the better will be its ranking on search engines. Higher the traffic on the site, higher will be the number of leads you get and higher will be the conversion rate.
Search intent is very important when it comes to optimising an application or a website. When it comes to App Store Optimisation, the search queries associated with any application is mostly shorter than that of any brand or its products and services.
people searching for an application mostly enter qualities that are related to specific features of the app. On a search engine, however, people tend to enter longer and more specific search queries in order to get answers for the specific question or get information about a certain product or service.
The ranking factors for ASO and SEO are quite different. For App Store Optimisation, developers have to take ASO ranking factors like app title, subtitle, long description, short description, keyword density, keyword field, in-app purchases, publication name, backlinks, crash rate, reviews and ratings, retention and engagement, conversion rate into consideration.
When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation, factors like keyword placement, content quality and relevancy, content structure and length, meta tags, URL, page speed, backlinks, retention rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, and more are responsible to create a highly optimized website.
The KPIs of App Store Optimisation and Search Engine Optimisation are different as well. For ASO, the KPIs can be the number of organic downloads and installs, conversion rate, keyword visibility and rankings, average ratings and reviews score.
For Search Engine Optimisation, the key performance indicators can be organic sessions, conversion rate, bounce rate, pages per session, keyword visibility and rankings, average session duration, page load time, and number of backlinks.
Differences Between App Store and Google Play
When we talk about the differences between App Store and Google Play especially in the terms of App Store Optimisation, there are 5 key differences we should always consider. We will take the example of Call of Duty: Mobile to help you better understand the differences.
The app title is important in both App Store and Google Play. However the main differences in the number of characters allowed in both of them. The former allows for 30 characters while the latter gives 50. If we take Call of Duty: Mobile into consideration, its title takes 21 characters on both the stores.
Subtitle Vs. Short Description
Again, there is a difference in the amount of room for the short description. For App Store, you will get 30 characters and 80 characters on Google Play for the short description. Call of Duty: Mobile has mentioned ‘Battle Royale, PvP, Sniper’ as its short description and the same on App Store.
If you are optimizing your application for App Store, you should not worry about the long description as it is not a ranking factor. For Google Play, however, you can optimize your long description with relevant keywords. You should maintain a keyword density of 2-3%. When optimizing for the App Store, you will want to focus on creating an actionable long description while on the Play Store, you can optimize the description to make it more searchable. And that’s exactly what Call of Duty: Mobile has done on their respective pages.
You can upload a total of 10 screenshots on App Store while you can only upload 8 on Google Play. The screenshots are very much visible on the App Store but on Google Play, users will have to open the app listing. Call of Duty: Mobile has uploaded 7 screenshots on both the platforms.
App Previews Vs. Promo Videos
You can add up to 3 preview videos on App Store while you can only add one promo video on Google Play. The videos play a crucial role in Conversion Rate Optimization for your application listing. Call of Duty: Mobile has uploaded one video on both its platforms.
There you have it. We have shared everything you need to know to optimise your mobile application for the app store. We highly recommend seeking help from ASO experts who can guide you through the process and help your application rank higher. Have questions? Feel free to put them down in the comments section. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter!
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Wondering how to get started with App Store Optimization in 2020? Check out this extensive App Store Optimization guide to take the first step. Read now to know more!