Wondering how to advertise board games?
You have come to the right place!
In this guide, we cover:
- Top 10 board games
- Most successful board game publishers
- Practical tips for advertising board games
- Video ad examples from top board games
- Board game statistics for 2022
Ready to master mobile game marketing?
Top-Grossing Board Games in 2022
- Parchisi Star Online
- Mahjong Jigsaw Puzzle Game
- Backgammon Live
- Mahjong Treasure Quest
- Ludo Star
- Mahjong Journey
- Ludo Club
Data source: AppMagic. Get 3 days of free access to all AppMagic’s features, as well as 10% off, by clicking this link.
How to Advertise Board Games in 2022: 5 Practical Tips
No matter how good your board game is, there’s no way it will reach the top charts if you don’t advertise it. You need to place your mobile game in front of users, the same goes for any other product.
So how do you advertise board games?
Here are some practical tips you can try right now.
1. Perfect Your Video Ads
Since mobile games are very visual by nature, the best way to promote them is by using video ads.
Video ads allow you to show users how fun and exciting it is to play your board game. It’s the easiest way to get more installs.
However, your video ads need to be superb in order for that to work.
The first thing you need to do is to test your creatives during a soft launch. Then you need to identify what works and what doesn’t.
Here’s how that process should go:
- Analyze competitor’s video ads (later in this guide, I analyze video ads from top board games, so make sure you keep reading)
- Identify market trends as well as key features of your board game and its USP
- Create and organize your assets (video files, Photoshop files, music, animations, logos, fonts, layouts, ad copy, etc.)
- Create multiple variations of video ads (different visuals as well as different ad formats)
- A/B test video ad variations during soft launch
- Identify winning elements
- Create more video ads with those elements
- Test again
- Identify winning video ads and use that repeatable formula for future ads
2. Run Ads on Multiple Ad Networks
In order to maximize the results of your marketing campaign, it’s essential to run ads on many different ad networks.
Google and Facebook are definitely the main ad networks you should focus on. On Google, you should go with Universal App Campaigns, and on Facebook, you have mobile app install ads that let you choose between app installs, app engagement, and conversions objectives.
Apart from Facebook, other social media platforms you should advertise on are Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.
To learn more about marketing your board game on TikTok, check out our TikTok Advertising Guide.
But don’t stop there.
There are even more ad networks where you can acquire users for your board game:
- App Lovin
- Unity Ads
- Apple Search Ads
- Ad Colony
- Digital Turbine
3. Optimize Facebook Ad Campaigns for App Events
When creating Facebook app ads, you have three objectives to choose from: app installs, traffic, and conversions.
If you want to get more installs for your board game, you should choose App Installs in Ads Manager as the objective of your Facebook ad campaign.
Well, not quite.
If your campaign objective is app installs, that means the ads will be shown to users who are likely to install your board game.
However, while optimizing ads for app installs will bring you more users, that doesn’t mean you’ll retain those users or that they’ll make an in-app purchase.
As we know, user retention drops significantly after day 1, and even more so after day 28 (only 6% of users keep playing after a month). A lot of users install a game, play it once and uninstall it or forget about it. Some even install it and don’t even play it once.
Not to mention that only a small number of users make an in-app purchase even if they keep playing.
So even though you can get a lot of installs, you might not be able to monetize your game, which is the end goal of every mobile game publisher.
So what’s the solution?
Facebook App Event Optimization
App Event Optimization allows you to optimize mobile game ads so that they’re shown to users who are likely to take a specific action within your game.
For example, you might want users who are likely to make an in-app purchase to install your app. You can do that by choosing “purchases” as the app event.
Other app events you can choose from are achieved level, content view, completed registration, app launched, etc.
4. Localize Your Advertising Campaigns
Just like with your mobile game, you should also localize your ad campaigns.
The mobile gaming market is global. Even though the English language and western culture have spread all over the world, in many places people still like to see ads in their local language.
It’s not just about the language, but also incorporating visuals that relate to other cultures. For example, adding cultural symbols and taking local holidays into consideration.
However, localization doesn’t work for all countries.
Let’s delve deeper into this.
In countries like France, Germany, China, Korea, and Japan, localized mobile game ads do really well.
According to ironSource, a video ad for a popular casual mobile game that was translated into Chinese got 15% more installs and a 40% increase in click-through rate (CTR).
So in these countries, localization is a smart choice.
However, there are some countries where localized ads don’t perform that well, i.e. localization has little or no effect on the number of installs.
For example, in Brazil, English ads perform better than ads in Portuguese, which is pretty surprising.
5. Use App Store Optimization as a Free Way to Promote Your Board Game
What’s great about app store optimization is that it’s a free, but effective way to get more users for your board game.
People are always looking for new games in both Google Play and Apple App Store. The key is to improve the rankings of your game so that users can easily find it and to make it irresistible for them to install it.
Here are the key components of app store optimization:
- Keyword research
- Visuals (screenshots, game trailer, etc.)
- Game title
- Game icon
Even though it might sound simple at first, all of these elements of app store optimization should be carefully considered.
You need to know all about current trends when it comes to game icons and visuals. You also need to study what your competitors are doing – the keywords, game titles they use, etc.
The key to app store optimization is testing. Only by split testing all of these ASO elements can you know for sure what works and what doesn’t.
It’s something that you should optimize all the time.
Learn more by reading our app store optimization guide.
Advertising Board Games: Ad Examples from Top Games
The best way to master how to advertise board games is by learning from your competitors. Let’s take a look at how top publishers advertise their mobile board games.
Monopoly (Marmalade Game Studio)
Monopoly is a classic board game everybody knows and loves – on mobile. Let’s see how Marmalade Game Studio advertises this game.
Times have changed. Old school board games take up too much space and can be clunky and messy. We’re all about that digital life. That’s why famous board games many of us played as kids moved to mobile.
Since mobile devices have become one of the main sources of entertainment, it was the logical next step.
In this ad, Monopoly (re)establishes itself as the ultimate board game for game night. Only this time, you don’t need an actual board – a tablet or a phone is enough.
Since Monopoly has always been a family game, more than anything else, that’s what’s reflected in the ad. A happy family gathered around a tablet, playing this classic board game.
While the first Monopoly ad focused on families playing together during game night, this ad focuses on playing with friends. Unlike traditional Monopoly, the mobile version Monopoly allows users to play against their friends, no matter where they are.
This gives Monopoly a new dimension since it’s now a game users can play anywhere and anytime, even if they’re not in the same room as their friends.
Considering this ad is running during the coronavirus outbreak where social distancing and quarantine are the current way of life, being able to play with friends while being apart is even more significant.
YAHTZEE® With Buddies Dice Game (Scopely)
Yahtzee is hands down one of the most popular board games out there, with more than 10 million installs just in Google Play Store.
Let’s see how Scopely advertises this board game.
Video Ad Breakdown
Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network
There are many different types of ads for Yahtzee, which is a good strategy – diversifying ads is a smart move. This one is quite different from typical mobile game ads and that makes it stand out.
Besides the basic elements of a game ad like gameplay and fun music, it also has some creative elements.
The first thing that you can notice is that there are real people in the ad, which is rare for mobile game ads. In fact, it’s shot like a traditional commercial, which appeals to ‘regular’ people, not hardcore gamers.
As the woman rolls three of a kind, four of a kind or Yahtzee, gifts and people start appearing in her kitchen. It’s quirky and light, and it primarily targets the female audience, which is smart.
This ad focuses on the social and multiplayer aspects of the game. Yahtzee has always been that fun game you play with your friends or family, and the same is true for its mobile counterpart.
Just like the ad copy says, it redefines game night. Plus, the title of the game is Yahtzee with Buddies, which further emphasizes playing against other people.
Just like in the previous ad, there are real people playing so it’s easy to imagine yourself playing with friends.
Yahtzee Ad Copy Analysis
Here are a couple of ad copy examples from Yahtzee:
- 1 roll, 2 roll, Yahtzee!
- Challenge friends to play the all new #1 Dice Game: A Family Game Classic!
- Game night – redefined! Download New Yahtzee and play today!
The first ad copy references the game itself. The goal of the game is to roll five of a kind also known as Yahtzee. Anyone who has played this game on paper will instantly recognize this as a mobile version of the famous board game.
The second ad copy emphasizes that Yahtzee is a mobile game you play with family and friends, just like the traditional version of it. Because this game is a classic, it draws in non-gamers as well.
The third ad copy is in the same vein as the second one. Game night – redefined is a very good slogan that perfectly describes this mobile board game. You get all the fun of a game night, just on mobile. There’s also a very strong CTA that invites users to download this game and play it right now.
Bingo Blitz (Playtika)
Bingo is a classic game you can now play on mobile. Playtika’s version of Bingo is the most successful one and that’s all thanks to smart marketing.
Let’s see how it’s done.
Video Ad Breakdown
Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network
This is a great example of a seasonal game ad.
When you create video ads for your board game, it’s important to customize them according to holidays that are coming up.
That’s exactly what Playtika did with this Easter-themed ad for Bingo Blitz.
The ad itself is very simple and focuses on gameplay. Notice that it’s very colorful and utilizes music and sound effects.
That’s a good way of making your video ad more interesting and fun.
Bingo Blitz Ad Copy Example
Here are some ad copy examples from Bingo Blitz:
- Bingo Blitz, Play Everywhere Anywhere 😎🌠
- The Bingo Blitz Community is Here for YOU❣
- 🐇Hop Hop & Celebrate Easter with Blitzy🌻
In the first ad copy example, the emphasis is on the fact that you play this Bingo game everywhere. Considering this game is a mobile version of a classic board game (like most others are), it’s important to highlight that you can play this game on the go, wherever you are. That’s the main advantage a mobile board game has over traditional, physical board games.
Also, many gamers play mobile games to pass the time while commuting or waiting at the doctor’s office. Board games you can play on your phone are perfect for that.
The second ad copy is all about the community aspect and that’s a smart strategy.
Creating a community around a game is essential for its success. It’s what attracts users not only to install the game but to keep playing it, which improves user retention.
If your board game allows users to play against one another, it is recommended that you use this strategy and emphasize the social and community aspects.
As it was mentioned in the video ad breakdown, seasonal ads always work well. You can see that in the third ad copy.
Board Mobile Game Statistics You Need to Know in 2022
Whether you’re launching a new board game, or want to make your existing game more successful, it’s important to track and analyze key mobile game metrics.
You should also know how well other board games are performing and what the benchmark for this genre is.
That’s why we have put together all the most recent board game statistics.
Data source: GameAnalytics
Board Mobile Game User Retention Statistics
Getting a lot of installs for your card game is one thing, but the tricky part is getting users to keep playing.
That’s what makes user retention so important.
Since user retention is typically measured after days 1, 7, and 28, we’re going to focus on statistics for those days.
Day 1 User Retention Statistics
- Top 25% of games: around 31%
- Median 50% of games: around 22%
- Bottom 25% of games: around 13%
Day 7 User Retention Statistics
- Top 25% of games: around 12%
- Median 50% of games: around 6%
- Bottom 25% of games: around 2%
User Retention Statistics: Day 28
- Top 25% of games: around 6%
- Median 50% of games: around 2%
- Bottom 25% of games: around 0.1%
How to Improve User Retention?
Here are some actionable tips for improving user retention for board games:
- Make a fun, well-designed board game – if your game sucks, there’s not much you can do to improve user retention
- Remind users to come back – that can be done by using push notifications
- Reward loyal users
- Regularly add new game content – it’s what keeps it interesting
- Add daily challenges and leaderboards
- Nurture the community around your board game and encourage user-generated content
- Most importantly, avoid repetitiveness – it kills user retention
- Top 25% of games: around 52 minutes
- Median 50% of games: around 34 minutes
- Bottom 25% of games: around 18 minutes
- Top 25% of games: 10 minutes
- Median 50% of games: 7 minutes
- Bottom 25% of games: 5 minutes
- Top 25% of games: around 6
- Median 50% of games: around 4
- Bottom 25% of games: around 2
- Top 25% of games: around 26%
- Median 50% of games: around 11%
- Bottom 25% of games: around 4%
Final Thoughts on How to Advertise Board Games
Now we want to hear from you!
Do you have any questions about how to advertise board games? Let us know in the comments!
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