Crunching The Numbers: Strategies to Lower Your Mobile Game User Acquisition Costs

Chiara Patrizi
March 27, 2023
Crunching The Numbers: Strategies to Lower Your Mobile Game User Acquisition Costs

In times of economic downturn, mobile game developers are forced to tighten their belts and make tough decisions about where to allocate their resources. With budgets shrinking and competition increasing, companies must carefully consider the costs and best strategies for an effective User Acquisition strategy for their mobile games. In this article, we'll explore which factors have an impact on UA costs and which strategies can be used for optimizing  user acquisition efforts for your mobile game in a tough economic climate.

What is User Acquisition and Why Does it Matter for Mobile Games?

User acquisition for mobile games refers to the process of acquiring new users or players for a mobile game through various marketing and advertising channels. The goal of user acquisition is to drive installs and downloads of the game, and ultimately to convert those users into active players who engage with and spend money on the game. 

Moreover, user acquisition is not a one-time effort but rather an ongoing process as players come and go. In fact, a well-executed UA strategy can help developers maintain a steady stream of new users over time and sustain the growth and success of their mobile game.

User acquisition strategy is crucial for mobile games because the success of a game often depends on the number of active users it can attract and retain. In the mobile gaming industry, competition is fierce, therefore, having an effective user acquisition strategy can help a mobile game stand out from the crowd and attract new players.

Having an effective user acquisition strategy also means to increase the return on investment (ROI) by focusing their efforts and resources on the most effective acquisition channels. By identifying and targeting the most valuable user segments, game developers can optimize their ad spend and ensure they are acquiring users who are most likely to engage with and monetize in the game.

Factors That Impact Mobile Game User Acquisition Costs

To succeed during an economic downturn, mobile game developers must be strategic in their user acquisition efforts and consider a range of factors that can impact their success. In this paragraph, we will explore some of the key factors that businesses should consider when developing user acquisition strategies for your Mobile Game during economic downturns.

  • Identify the target audience: This is a critical factor because it helps businesses focus their marketing efforts on the right people. Identifying the target audience allows companies to tailor their messaging and advertising to appeal to the specific needs and interests of their ideal customers. This, in turn, helps to increase the chances of converting potential users into paying customers, as the messaging resonates with the target audience on a deeper level. By targeting the right audience with the right message, businesses can reduce user acquisition costs and increase the return on investment (ROI).
  • App Store Competition: This factor has a significant impact on the visibility of a mobile game app. With thousands of apps available in the app stores, it can be challenging for new apps to stand out and attract users. Understanding the competition and developing a strategy to differentiate the app from competitors can help increase visibility and drive user acquisition. For example, it can be helpful to select the right keywords and create compelling app descriptions and visuals to increase the mobile game's visibility.
  • Geolocation: The geolocation of the target audience can also impact user acquisition costs. The socioeconomic status of a specific country will have an impact on costs. Usually, customers from wealthier nations (i.e. USA) have greater power to purchase, therefore, in the eyes of advertisers they become more valuable potential users, since they will probably spend more in-app. 
  • Seasonality: Seasonality can impact user acquisition costs for mobile games because consumer behavior and demand for mobile games can fluctuate throughout the year. During peak seasons such as the winter holiday season, summer vacation season, consumer demand for mobile games tends to increase, which can result in higher user acquisition costs as competition for user attention and engagement among game developers also increases.

On the other hand, during off-peak seasons or slower periods of the year, mobile game developers may have to compete less for user attention and engagement, resulting in lower user acquisition costs. Therefore, understanding the seasonality of user behavior and demand can be crucial for mobile game developers to optimize their user acquisition strategies and budget allocation.

Strategies for reducing UA costs for Your Mobile Game

The cost of acquiring new users can be high, and without effective user acquisition strategies, it can be difficult to achieve a positive return on investment. Here are some strategies that mobile game developers can use to optimize user acquisition costs and ultimately improve the growth and profitability of their mobile games.

  • Define Your Target Audience: Identifying the target audience and understanding their demographics, interests, and behaviors can help mobile game developers to optimize user acquisition costs. Targeting specific groups that are morelikely to engage with the game can indeed  increase conversion rates.
  • Choose the Right User Acquisition Platforms: Selecting the right advertising channels can also help optimize user acquisition costs. Developers can experiment with different channels such as social media advertising, mobile ad networks, and programmatic advertising to identify the most cost-effective channels. These platforms offer different ranges of tools and services, therefore, they have different costs. 
  • Optimize Ad Creatives: Creating engaging ad creatives can increase click rates and improve conversion rates. Developers should test different ad formats such as video ads, interactive ads, and playable ads to identify the most effective one. Furthermore, it is crucial to run lots ofA/B testing to identify which one performs better. ImplementingA/B testing can help developers optimize user acquisition costs by identifying the best performing ad.
  • Leverage Influencer Marketing: Partnering with social media influencers orYouTubers who have a large following can help to increase visibility and attract new users. Influencer marketing can be a cost-effective way to acquire new users compared to other forms of advertising. In fact, according to Udonis, influencer marketing can be a great opportunity for developers. Most of the influencers charge $250 or less for a paid post, whereas some micro-influencers are more likely to post for free, especially if they have a smaller community.

To Wrap Up

In conclusion, with the current economic downturn, mobile game developers not only need to take into consideration the factors that can impact UA costs, but they also need to find new strategies to optimize them. Let’s do a brief recap.

  • User acquisition refers to the process of acquiring new users through various marketing and advertising channels to drive installs and downloads of the game, with the ultimate goal of converting them into active players who engage and spend money on the game.
  • There are some crucial factors that impactMobile Game UA costs, such as identifying the target audience, understanding the competition, geolocation, and seasonality.
  • Strategies for optimizing user acquisition costs include defining the target audience,selecting the right UA platforms, optimizing ad creatives, and leveraging influencer marketing. 
  • Implementing these strategies can help developers maintain a steady stream of new users over time and sustain the growth and success of their mobile game.

By taking these steps, mobile game developers can acquire the most valuable users while ensuring an effective return on investment, which can help sustain the growth and success of their mobile games.