Word Game Marketing: User Acquisition Tips and Ad Examples for 2022

Word Game Marketing: User Acquisition Tips and Ad Examples for 2022

by Andrea Knezovic

Have a word game? Want to acquire more users and get your game to the top charts?

The first step is to learn effective word game marketing techniques.

To make your life easier, we have put together a guide that includes:

  • Top word games and publishers
  • Practical tips for word game marketing and user acquisition
  • Analysis of video ads from top word games
  • Word game statistics (user retention, ASL, ARPPU, ARPDAU, etc.)

Ready to master mobile game advertising?

Top 10 Word Games

Google Play

Here are the top-grossing free word games on Google Play in the US. (SensorTower, free data)

  1. Wordscapes (PeopleFun)
  2. Words With Friends 2 (Zynga)
  3. Word Trip (PlaySimple Games)
  4. Wheel of Fortune: TV Game (Scopely)
  5. Word Cookies (BitMango)
  6. Crossword Jam (PlaySimple Games)
  7.  Immortal Taoist (Entrepreneur Game)
  8. Scrabble GO (Scopely)
  9. Word Collect (Super Lucky Games)
  10. Daily Themed Crossword (PlaySimple Games)

Apple App Store

These are the top-grossing free word games on the Apple App Store in the US. (SensorTower, free data)

  1. Words With Friends 2 (Zynga)
  2. Wordscapes (PeopleFun)
  3. Word Connect (ZenLife Games)
  4. The New York Times Crossword (The New York Times Company)
  5. Wheel of Fortune: TV Game (Scopely)
  6. Word Cookies (BitMango)
  7. Word Collect (Super Lucky Games)
  8. Scrabble GO (Scopely)
  9. Daily Themed Crossword (PlaySimple Games)
  10. Word Crush (Yew)

Word Game Marketing Tips for 2022

If you’re a developer, I’m guessing your goal is to have a high-earning word game that’s played by millions of users.

However, achieving it is not an easy feat.

There’s a lot that goes into getting your word game to the top charts. Obviously, creating a superb game people want to play is the first step, but don’t forget about the power of marketing.

If you learn how to market a word game, you’ll be able to acquire many users. And as you know, a large and loyal user base equals more revenue and success for your game.

To help you, I have covered the most important tips for word game marketing.

Understand What Your Audience Likes

As with any marketing campaign, the first step is to have a clear idea of who you want to target. That means identifying the age, location, behavior, and preferences of your target audience.

When you understand who your audience is, what they want, and what they like, coming up with an advertising strategy becomes easier instantly.

Take into consideration that not all mobile gamers are the same – there is diversity in this group. However, most gamers will fall into one of these three categories: casual gamers, mid-core gamers, and hardcore gamers.

Most players who are into word games fall into the category of casual gamers. This group is characterized by playing to pass the time i.e. playing while commuting or while waiting at the doctor’s office.

Casual players like simple games that are easy to learn but hard to master. Word games are a perfect example of that – the rules of the game are usually pretty simple, but the game becomes increasingly challenging.

Produce Top-Notch Video Ads

Once you know who your target audience is, the next step in word game marketing is creating video ads.

Why video ads?

Unlike regular ads, video ads offer a dynamic and immersive experience for consumers. Even a short video ad is enough to showcase what your game is all about and to get users to download it. In it, you’re able to show the gameplay, game mechanics, characters, stories, worlds, etc.

For that reason, mobile game video ads have a better conversion rate than regular ads. That’s why video ads are an essential part of all user acquisition strategies for mobile game publishers.

But how do you create a good mobile game video ad that converts?

Here are some practical tips.

mobile game video ads explainer video

 

Tips for Creating Video Ads

The first thing you need to decide on is what type of video ad you want to make.

There are two main types of video ads.

A basic video ad is perfect for “simple” games – those that don’t require a lot of instructions for playing.

A complex video ad, known as an explainer video, is for more complicated games. In an explainer video, you would add information and instructions on how to play the game. This type of video ad often requires a script.

Both types of video ads should include recorded gameplay, features, and benefits of the game, as well as a call to action.

You can also include branding, captions, and effects to make your video ads more appealing.

mobile game video ad dimensions

Another thing you should think about are dimensions – different ad placements require different video dimensions and ratios. It’s necessary to follow the guidelines of each ad network in order to ensure your video ad looks good and that it’s using up the maximum available space.

That’s why it’s often necessary to have the same video in 1:1, 2:3, 4:5, 9:16, 16:9 aspect ratios.

Video length is also important. Perhaps you’ll make two different video ad variations – one that’s 15 seconds and another that’s 30 seconds.

Making multiple video ad variations is not only important for different ad network guidelines but for testing as well.

When you split test your video ads, you know for sure which ad works and why. Perhaps you’ll discover that 15-second ads work better than 30-second ads. Or that video ads with a red CTA button work better than those with a blue one.

Whatever the case may be, split testing is a scientific method of identifying what types of video ads work best for your word game.

top ad networks for word games

Run Google and Facebook Ads to Acquire More Users

Once your videos are ready, it’s time to go all-in on Google and Facebook ads. Both ad networks allow you to reach a large global audience of gamers.

When Google launched Universal App Campaigns, advertising mobile apps and games became so much easier.

Why?

Well, with Universal App Campaigns, you can simply upload your assets, and Google will test different variations of the ad. Ads that perform better are shown more often.

Simple, right?

There’s a similar feature on Facebook – it’s called dynamic creative ads.

Both Google and Facebook make it easy to advertise your word game and acquire more users.

mobile game facebook ads structure

Tips for Optimizing Google and Facebook Ad Campaigns

  • You don’t need thousands of ad sets – reduce the numbers and make it simple
  • Create assets for different placements (images, text, video, HTML5)
  • Optimize for the right event – installs, in-app purchases, etc.
  • Use Campaign Budget Optimization
  • Choose the right bid strategy

If you’re struggling with setting up your ad campaigns, feel free to reach out – Google and Facebook user acquisition campaigns are what we do best!

tik tok ads for mobile games

PRO TIP: TikTok Ads Are Becoming Essential for Mobile Game Advertising

As you probably know, Google and Facebook are the top two ad networks for acquiring mobile game users.

However, you might not know that TikTok Ads have emerged as a big player as well. TikTok allows advertisers to reach new audiences across multiple global markets, and it is the fastest-growing media source in mobile advertising.

tik tok ad network advertising

According to AppsFlyer Performance Index, TikTok is now among the top 10 ad networks for acquiring gamers and number 1 when it comes to global growth.

Similarly, Mintegral is another top performer, coming in 7th place in the AppsFlyer’s power and volume ranking and 6th place in universal power rankings.

That’s why you should consider TikTok and other platforms when developing your advertising strategy.

video ad examples for word games

Word Game Marketing: Ad Examples from Top Word Games

Creating effective video ads is not easy, especially if you have never done it before.

One thing that might help you is to learn what techniques your competitors are using. That’s why I have analyzed video ads from top word games.

Ready to find out what makes these video ads so great?

Wordscapes (PeopleFun)

Video Ad Duration: 00:29

Ad Networks: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Audience Network

Ad Copy: “Don’t miss out. Download Wordscapes, the FREE word search meets crossword puzzle app that actually stimulates your brain and helps improve your vocabulary. You’ll feel sharper, more relaxed, and accomplished after just 10 minutes.”

Video Ad Analysis

What’s instantly obvious is that this Wordscapes video ad is very simple and to the point. There are no flashy images or crazy effects.

The video ad starts with direct communication with the audience – “The average IQ is 85-115. What’s yours?”

That also serves as a challenge and grabs the attention of the users.

Then the video ad moves on to the gameplay, which is fairly simple – the goal is to find words and complete the crossword puzzle. That stimulates your mind and expands your vocabulary.

Since this word game is pretty relaxing, that is reflected in the video ad – the music and sound effects are calming but stimulating.

Once the level is completed, the IQ bar goes up and gets closer to the Einstein level, which is another incentive to download the game.

The outro screen consists of the Wordscapes logo (this is important for branding), a question (“What’s your IQ?”), and a pink call to action button (“Find out”).

Scrabble GO (Scopely)

Video Ad Duration: 00:29

Ad Networks: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Audience Network

Ad Copy: “Play for fun. Play to win. Play to connect with your friends and family. However you play, the NEW Scrabble GO has it for you!”

Video Ad Analysis

This Scrabble GO video ad emphasizes the ability to play with friends – just like you would traditional Scrabble. However, in the mobile version on scrabble, you can connect with Facebook friends or other users who have similar skills.

The video ad starts with a challenge – “Are you smarter than your friends?” As you might have noticed, challenging the audience is a great technique for word game marketing. It instantly grabs the attention of the users.

Next, we’re shown what a head-to-head duel looks like in Scrabble GO. We’re introduced to Eric and Marry who start playing against each other. What’s unique here is that there are real people in the video, not illustrations.

What makes this video ad dynamic are the interchangeable scenes of the gameplay and two people who are playing. We get sort of a behind-the-scenes look at these Scrabble players. Then the match is over, with Marry as the winner.

The end screen includes the Scrabble Go logo and a “download now” call to action button made out of Scrabble tiles. Both are animated which makes the end of the video more dynamic.

This is a good example of identifying the most important game feature and creating a video around it. You can do the same with your word game.

Think about what makes it special, what are some of the main features and benefits you would like to emphasize. Then simply create a video ad that showcases that.

Words with Friends (Zynga)

Video Ad Duration: 00:18

Ad Networks: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Audience Network

Ad Copy: “Left standing at the bus stop holding the bag? Play the #1 word game in the world. We’re not going anywhere.”

Video Ad Analysis

As you have probably noticed from the previous two examples, video ads for word games are very simple. Words with Friends ads are no different.

If you take a look at the video above, you’ll notice it’s a straight-to-the-point gameplay video.

There’s a caption at the top “Can you spot all of the words?”, once again, it’s a challenge for the audience. Then, the video shows a timer and an animated hand finding the words. That’s pretty much it.

While this video ad might benefit from slightly more dynamic scenes, it still does its job well. It’s clear what the game is all about and how to play it.

The outro consists of Words with Friends logo (make sure to always include your branding in videos) and a call to action button (CTA’s are most commonly placed at the end of the ad).

Another interesting thing about this video ad is the ad copy. As I mentioned before, people who play word games fall into the category of casual gamers – those who usually play to pass the time while waiting around.

Words with Friends ad copy speaks directly to those gamers – “Left standing at the bus stop holding the bag? Play the #1 word game in the world. We’re not going anywhere.”

Word Game Marketing Statistics You Need in 2020

The final piece of the puzzle is mobile game metrics. Every developer should track metrics like user retention, average session length, stickiness, ARPPU, and ARPDAU.

Those help you optimize towards better performance. Tracking game metrics is what separates newbie developers from successful game companies.

To help you benchmark your mobile game, I have put together the most important word mobile game statistics. All the data is fresh and comes from GameAnalytics.

Let’s start with user retention – a crucial metric for mobile game developers.

Word Mobile Game User Retention Statistics

User retention tells you how many users return after playing your word game. It is typically measured after days 1, 7, and 28.

Of course, the goal is to have a large percentage of users who keep playing the game after a day, a week, and a month. Loyal players = more revenue and more success for your word game.

day 1 retention statistics for word games in 2021

Day 1 User Retention Statistics for Word Games

Day 1 user retention is crucial for any developer. If approximately a third of users don’t come back after just one day of playing, it’s bad news for your game.

Some game studios even decide to pull the plug on their game if day 1 user retention is not high enough.

However, if user retention after day 1 is good compared to other games in your genre – that means your game has potential and you should keep working on it!

For most genres, having more than 35% day 1 retention is considered good. If it’s below 30%, that means the game needs some improvement.

Day 1 retention for word games that were in the top 2% was better in the second half of 2020, reaching its peak in October at 57.58%. 

Dissimilarly, user retention for the top 25% of games was constantly going up and down throughout the year and it was the highest in April at 35.99%. 

The median 50% of word games retained between 25.90% and 26.90% on day 1 in 2020. 

The bottom 25% of games in the word genre were not as successful. The highest day 1 retention for these games was 16.97% in January.

day 7 retention statistics for word games in 2021

Day 7 User Retention Statistics for Word Games

This metric looks at players who come back after one week of playing. Naturally, it’s slightly lower than day 1 retention.

The key to retaining users after one week is to avoid repetitiveness. If players feel that core game loops are repeating, they’ll lose interest very quickly.

When it comes to the top 2% of word games, between 32.47% and 36.39% of players came back after a week. 

The top 25% of word games had the highest day 7 retention at the beginning of 2020 – 15.16% in January. 

Day 7 retention for the median 50% of word games was between 7.94% and 8.77%. 

For the bottom 25% of games, day 7 retention was between 3.12% and 3.58%.

day 28 retention statistics for word games in 2021

Day 28 User Retention Statistics for Word Games

Considering there are thousands of games in the app store, retaining users after one month is not an easy feat.

So be prepared that your day 28 retention rate will be lower than day 1 or day 7 user retention.

Day 28 retention for the top 2% of games was the highest in the second half of 2020, reaching 26.13% in July. 

The same can’t be said for the top 25% of games in the word genre. Day 28 retention for these games was the highest at the beginning of the year.

Day 28 user retention for the median 50% of games was between 2.95% and 3.45%. 

For the bottom 25% of games, it was quite lower – between 0.21% and 0.50%.

average session length statistics for word games in 2021

Average Session Length Statistics for Word Mobile Games

This metric shows you how long users play your word game. It is measured from the time the user opens the app until the app is closed.

Session length for the top 2% of word games was the highest in the second half of 2020. It peaked in July at 57 min. 

We noticed a similar situation with the top 25% of word games whose session length was the highest in October at 7 minutes and 24 seconds.

The median 50% of games had their peak in approximately the same period, i.e., at 5 minutes and 36 seconds in November. 

If we look at the bottom 25% of games in the word genre, the average session length was between 3 minutes and 29 seconds and 3 minutes and 56 seconds. 

arppu statistics for word games in 2021

ARPPU Statistics for Word Mobile Games

This metric shows you the average revenue per paying user.

As you might expect, the top 2% of word games had the best ARPPU out of all the word games. In 2020, it was between $33.05 and $52.53. 

In January, the top 25% of word games earned $6.20. That number grew as the year went on, peaking at $7.46 in June. 

The median 50% of games earned the least in January, with $3.79, and the most in June, with $4.47.

In 2020, the bottom 25% of word games earned between $1.82 and $2.26. 

arpdau statistics for word games in 2021

ARPDAU Statistics for Word Mobile Games

ARPDAU is short for average revenue per daily active user. This metric tells you how much money you earn from a user in a single day.

Just like ARPPU, ARPDAU for word games is very low – only $0.04 for top-performing games.

Role-playing and strategy games get the highest ARPDAU by far when compared to other genres (up to $0.30).

ARPDAU, or average revenue per daily active user, gives us an average revenue generated by an average user, including both paying and non-paying users.

The top 2% of word games earned between $0.21 and $0.35 per daily active user.

The top 25% of games in the word genre earned between $0.02 and $0.03 per daily active user.

ARPDAU was quite low for both the median 50% and the bottom 25% of word games – between $0.008 and $0.011 for the former and between $0.001 and $0.002 for the latter. 

conversion statistics for word games in 2021

Conversion Statistics for Word Mobile Games

If you’re wondering what percentage of users make a purchase, conversion statistics will reveal that.

Finally, we’ll look at conversion rate, i.e., the percentage of users who made a purchase in a day.

For the top 2% of word games, the conversion rate was between 2.02% and 2.76%. 

The conversion rate for the top 25% of word games ranged from 0.55% to 0.71%.

In 2020, the median 50% of word games converted between 0.22% and 0.28% of players. For these games, conversion rates were higher in the second half of 2020. 

The bottom 25% of word games converted but a handful of players. Conversion rate for these games was between 0.08% and 0.12%. 

Final Thoughts on Word Game Marketing

What is your experience with marketing a word game? What did you find the most challenging?

If you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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About Udonis

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

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