How to Promote a Mobile Game in 7 Simple Steps

How to Promote a Mobile Game in 7 Simple Steps

by Mihovil Grguric

So you’ve developed an awesome mobile game, but have no idea how to reach players. You need a foolproof marketing strategy that’s simple to implement.

Here are our top 7 tips on how to promote a mobile game you can try right now!

1. Do Market Research

We would all like to create our vision of a paradise, but leave the fantasies aside if you are serious about mobile gaming success. While there are exceptions to the rule, we cannot afford to lose our market share because of short-sightedness.

To avoid developing a game for a non-existing audience, it is imperative to do exhaustive market research. Research types of games and find trending niches. If you are doing your research before developing a game, make use of to find trending search queries on Google, the world’s most prominent search engine. Seeing what people search for is usually a good indicator of some interest.

If, on the other hand, you’ve already developed a game, research your competitors. See what functionalities and features they have and which of them they did better than you. Be honest with yourself. This approach will help you determine your points of focus and will save you headaches later on.

2. Learn from Your Competitors

This point draws heavily from the latter. While you can certainly use any of the app competitor analysis tools, I advise you to first dive into app stores as a user. Try to find as many similar mobile games as you can. Look at games within the same genre.

To learn from your app competitors, you should make a list of everything of note while you are browsing. Look at different user reviews. Focus on your competitors’ titles, screenshots, and descriptions. Make note of their video script. See where and how they distribute their keywords across their app listing.

Promoting your mobile game is more than just putting your game up with the rest of the app forest. If you want to succeed, you will have to prepare yourself thoroughly. And preparing means doing your homework before every decision. After all, a game with better functionalities has better chances of fortune and fame.


simple steps for promoting mobile game
Reflect on your game. It is only one in an abundant forest of apps. What makes it stand out?

3. Pitch to Mobile Game Publishers

How hard can it be to sign with a publisher?


While finding a publisher is no easy task, finding the right publisher can seem like an impossible task. A game publisher will indeed take care of your game’s promotion, but they will also take a part of your game’s income.

Even if you don’t want to get published by a third-party, you can often get substantial and concrete feedback from them. A game publisher will focus on the marketability of your product and it is insights like these that could help you the most.

If you’re new to the game, one good way of meeting publishers and trying to find the right one is by attending app conferences. These are events where industry professionals meet to learn from each other and network. While there are conferences focused specifically on connecting developers and publishers, all events have networking opportunities.

4. Work on your Mobile Game ASO

Mobile game promotion is fairly difficult to do without proper app search optimization (ASO). If you’ve done your homework and understand your competitor’s point of view, you will have the minimum experience required to approach your mobile game’s ASO. According to App Radar, 70% of mobile users use app store search to discover new apps.

Without organic traffic from the app stores, your game will be gone from your audience’s radar once you turn off your marketing campaigns. Organic traffic is vital for your mobile game’s life. It is more than clear your game’s rank in the app store is directly related to the number of installs you can expect.

For this reason, you should optimize your listing according to the app stores’ ranking factors. The basic elements of an ASO strategy are:

  • Keyword research
  • Title and description optimization
  • App icon
  • App reviews
  • Localization

Think of a good title and work on it. Try to ask your friends and family for their opinion. You can also survey your audience and see what they would like, but keep in mind that a good ASO title will have the main keyword as a part of the title, sometimes even as the title.

Also, work on the other parts of the listing. Screenshots, description, game icon, and videos, these are all the elements that you will need to focus on. You should A/B test them each to verify your decisions.

After you’ve optimized your app store listing, you will have to track ASO performance by monitoring relevant KPIs. You don’t even have to do it manually. There are a number of ASO tools that can help you with this.

Apply Special Focus to an App Promo Video

Out of all these ASO elements, an app promo video is the most important one, as it drives the most conversions. Here are some tips on how to make a good one.

You should start by writing an app promo video script. This is where you outline the concept for the video. When it comes to length, aim for 15 – 30 seconds, that’s more than enough to explain your game to users.

If you don’t know how to edit videos, you can give your script to a professional on various online services. You can hire a freelancer, someone on Fiverr or Upwork. Of course, you always have to be careful with who you’re hiring, since not everyone can make a good promo video or follow your script the way you want it.

Make sure you give that person a good description of what kind of video you are aiming for. Also, don’t settle for just any kind of video they sent you as their first draft. Be demanding, ask for the exact realization of your vision

Besides all of these factors, have in mind that inspiration is good, but copying is not. Just because one game has a lot of downloads, a great retention rate, and it overall does well on the mobile game market, doesn’t mean that copying their promo concept will do the same for you. Get inspired, follow the trends, but stay unique. 

By now, you are aware that promo videos can be the deciding factor for some users when they’re about to download or buy your game. So, make sure that it looks good and that it is a good representation of your game.

As per Google Play and App Store recommendations, an app promo video should include real gameplay footage. The goal is to be truthful about how your game looks and what it’s about. You may have seen videos for games that consist solely of animations. While that may look cool, it’s ultimately a bad choice. Once people download the game and see that it’s nothing like the app promo video, they will most likely delete it immediately.

The result?

Poor user retention. And when you can’t keep the players you have acquired, you can’t monetize them, and your revenue suffers.

Furthermore, make sure to include a CTA at the end of the promo video.

5. Paid Social Media Campaigns

Run paid campaigns across social media platforms and ad networks. There are various ad networks you can use to advertise your mobile game, but the goal is to find what works best for your game and focus your efforts accordingly.

The main benefits of using paid social media campaigns for your mobile games are:

  • The results will come faster than from organic
  • More impressions for increased awareness
  • Audience targeting is under your control
  • Detailed reporting

To start, you will need stunning creative, gameplay videos, and an appealing message. Think of your audience and what might appeal to their interests. Even though these kinds of creatives require both time and budget, they are worth it.

Speaking from experience, investing in quality video ads is one of the best things you can do for your mobile game. Did you know that in-app video ads have a 7.5 higher CTR than display ads?

Generally, video ads have higher engagement rates than static display ads. For this reason, video ads should be the backbone of your mobile game promotion strategy.

How to Create a Video Ad That Converts?

Here are some quick tips for creating a video ad for your mobile game that will boost conversions.

  • Make sure you understand your target audience and their motivations for playing games.
  • Take notes from your competitors and identify what works for them.
  • Take advantage of current mobile game advertising trends like story-based ads, mini-game ads, fail ads, etc.
  • Before creating the video, write a script for it, detailing different scenes and outlining visual and audio elements.
  • Keep the video ads short and simple – 15 to 30 seconds works on all ad networks.
  • The first couple of seconds of the ad should be the most exciting and dynamic part of the ad – the goal is to get people hooked instantly.
  • Include game features you think will appeal the most to your target audience.
  • Make sure your video ad works on mute, as this is how most ad networks will display it on default.
  • Split testing your ads will prove imperative in taking your piece of the pie on social networks. Make sure to check our guide to mobile ads testing for further explanation.

Experiment with Playable Ads

Besides classic video ads, another ad format that’s quite effective for game promotion is playable ads. This interactive ad format lets users try out your game before installing it.

It works particularly well for games on the casual spectrum because the gameplay in these ads needs to be as simplified as possible. However, it’s possible to create playable ads for mid-core and even hardcore games. The goal is to take one gameplay aspect and create a simple mini-game around it.

To learn more about playable ads click here. 

6. Cross-Promote

Cross-promotion is a free way of mobile game promotionYou can cross-promote a mobile game either in your other games (if you have any) or you can approach other developers in the hopes of reaching an agreement. Try to find developers on associated internet forums and cross-promote your games. This is a case of „You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.“

However, promoting across your own games tends to be the most effective, especially if all of your games have a similar audience. Here are some tips on how to do that.

Promote Across Your Portfolio

The first step is choosing a game you want to promote and a source game, i.e., a game in which you’ll promote a desired game. It’s best to choose a source game according to how many users it has – the more the better.

If none of your games have a significant number of users, cross-promotion might not be the right strategy for you. According to GameAnalytics, the conversion rate for cross-promotion is around 1% and 2% – that’s not a lot. For example, if a source game has 5,000 daily active users, you’ll get around 50 installs for the promoted game, which is not worth your time. Having DAU above 50,000 is a good start and might generate a decent number of new installs.

When cross-promoting across your game portfolio, you need to watch out for losing too many users or revenue in the source game. To avoid that, you can choose to cross-promote only to non-paying users or segment players in a different way.

Furthermore, make sure that both games have the same or similar target audience. For example, promoting a casual match-3 puzzle game with design elements in a battle royale game might not be the best choice – the former attracts a majority older female audience while the latter appeals more to a younger male audience.

To cross-promote your game, you’ll need ad creatives. You can reuse some of your existing ad creatives or create new ones. In any case, you should choose several and test them to learn which one achieves the best results.


Cross-promote your mobile games to get more users.
Cross-promote your mobile games to get more users.

Promote in Other Games

Another way to cross-promote is to advertise in other mobile games and apps. As you might know, in-app advertising is a very popular monetization method where developers show ads in their app or game and earn ad revenue. Those ads can be ads for your mobile game. It’s particularly effective to have ads for your game appear in similar games. However, that’s more costly.

7. Make Use of Alternative Store Markets

You should put your mobile game on alternative app store markets and directories. Google Play isn’t the only place for Android apps. Some other alternative app store markets that you shouldn’t neglect are:

  1. Amazon Apps and Games
  2. Huawei App Gallery
  3. AppBrain
  4. SlideMe

It’s essential to choose the right mix of traffic channels since correctly leveraging all the different marketplaces available is key to improving your mobile game’s discoverability.

Having the right cocktail mix of marketing channels will serve as a firm leverage to improve the discoverability of your mobile game app. Once again, proper market research will save you hours of time and frustration.

Finding What Works For Your Mobile Game

Developing a game used to be a gargantuan task. Today, developing a game is only a part of the full software cycle. If you wish to become successful with your mobile game, you will need to research the market beforehand and work on promotion even before the actual mobile game development has started.

Otherwise, you will face many challenges and obstacles as mobile game developers in your life. For example, persistent bugs, flawed game engines, and hunch-driven decision-making can drive a good game to the ground.

Mobile game promotion is the cherry at the top of the iceberg. The first point of contact a mobile game has with its audience comes from the app store listing. Your title, screenshots, and app description play a big role in the successful advertisement of your mobile game. For this reason, your cherry needs to be a succulent, sweet fruit that appeals to a specific target audience.

Mobile game marketing is a joint effort and a show of collaborative power. Don’t fight your uphill battle alone. Reach out to us and we’ll show you where your users lie.


About Udonis

Udonis is an independent full-service mobile marketing agency that acquired more than 200,000,000 users for mobile games since 2018.

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