Mobile Marketing: First Five Steps To Stardom

August, 18, 2015
Author: Alesja Serada Category: Mobile Marketing

Developing a game or an app without a mobile marketing strategy is a dangerous business: there's no knowing where you might be swept off to. Of course, some of us like to live dangerously, but if you really care about the outcome and commercial success, it is recommended to start from marketing research, then plan and implement monetization, and, finally, invest in creatives, PR and advertising. 

Step 1. Market Research.

There are many proven and efficient ways to estimate viability and marketability of the product. Competitive research, statistical and analytical data analysis are the fastest and the least expensive of all them. Other methods, like customer surveys, rapid prototyping, minimum viable product development, focus groups, playtests and usability tests, demand a bit more work. It is vital to follow established research frameworks, avoid wild guessing and overgeneralization.

Step 2. Monetization Development.

Monetization is the most difficult and important part of mobile marketing. Start working on it at the research phase, make it a part of development process, test and improve it before and after the launch, till the end of the life cycle of your product. Mobile monetization is usually discussed in the following terms.

DAU: the number of average daily users

MAU: the number of average monthly users

ARPU: average revenue per player, usually monthly

ARPPU: average revenue per paying player, usually monthly

LTV: life time value of one player

At well-known mobile studios and publishing companies, every aspect of success is measured and calculated based on large statistical material. Consider it every time you feel envy about their success. Marketing specialists of these companies know benchmarks for all indicators, like average numbers for the market or minimal requirements for commercial success. For example, to implement virality, you need to properly integrate social networks, understand motivation of players and their friends, select triggers for social activities, create convincing and attractive posts and messages, and prove it by numbers - calculate so-called K-factor, or virality indicator. If it is too low, you'll have to troubleshoot the complete virality system or step back and conduct another research.

viral content from Alphabear gameExamples of viral content from Alphabear game

Step 3. Promo materials.

After you estimated competitiveness, potential demand and profit from your product, it is time to start working on its promo materials. Here is when we start with ASO (App Store Optimization), promo graphics for social network accounts, video app reviews and promo videos, an attractive landing page optimized both for traditional web search and for mobile Apple Search.

Step 4. PR.

All mentioned activities demand significant investments. PR activities are the most budget friendly and the most time-consuming side of marketing. They include press coverage, contacting letsplayers, social media marketing and other forms of community management, participation in professional events. If you are confident and funded well enough, you may afford a rather costly presentation of your game on an international gaming conference.

Step 5. Paid Acquisition.

Finally, we are coming to advertising - so-called paid acquisition, or CPI campaigns. Some think that paid acquisition equals to mobile marketing, but it is not true. Paid acquisition is the last step after all marketing activities described above. Advertising is published via ad networks (iAd, AdMob/AdWords) on dedicated websites, in other apps and in social networks, such as Facebook, etc.

Despite the misleading terminology, in most cases actual advertising space is bought based on the number of impressions, not installs. The major and often troublesome exception is incentivized installs, when the user receives an incentive for installing the app. Quite often, to make things easier, the developer and the advertising agency agree to convert ad impressions into installs after the campaign. The resulting number, or "the cost of install", allows estimating efficiency of advertising creatives, competition and demand on the market, and potential return of investments.

The job of a mobile marketing specialist has many trade secrets that you can only learn working on real projects or talking to colleagues. Every topic we touched here can be a subject for more profound discussion, and we will talk about it in the next articles.


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