Grow Your Mobile Game App With a Winning User Acquisition Strategy

Chiara Patrizi
March 7, 2023
Grow Your Mobile Game App With a Winning User Acquisition Strategy

Mobile gaming continued to run the entertainment industry in 2022, generating billions in revenue. In such a high-competitive field, as well as a good product you will need a killer User Acquisition Strategy to  gain your potential users’ attention. You’ll have to stand out amongst your competitors with a tight UA strategy that can endorse the success of your mobile game app. 

User Acquisition Strategy For Mobile Games

User acquisition is key for an app marketing strategy. Long story short, it is the process of attracting and gaining new valuable users for your mobile game. The main purpose is indeed to get a high number of LTV users, who can boost your revenue. Therefore a well-structured UA strategy will help you understand what users want from your app and how you can increase your ROI. In this article I’ll make a list of key steps you must consider when building your Mobile Game User Acquisition strategy

Identify The Target Audience For Your Mobile Game User Acquisition Strategy

There are billions of mobile gamers world-wide, therefore, the first step for your User Acquisition strategy will be to narrow down your target audience.
Stereotypically, there is a common belief that mobile gamers are young and male, however that’s not entirely true. According to a Statista survey: Distribution of video gamers in the United States in 2022, by age group, video gaming is no longer an activity reserved to youngsters, the average age of gamers has risen (18 years and older). 

Furthermore, female gamers now represent half of the gamers worldwide, however their game motivation and choices are remarkably different from the male ones. Therefore, it is vital to identify your target audience in order to meet your users specific interests and gain their attention. 

Choose The Most Effective Creatives for User Acquisition

Another essential step for your Mobile Game User Acquisition strategy would be to provide your marketing partners with creatives, aka the ads which promote your app. There are several types of ad formats, banners, videos, playable, native ads etc. Choosing the right format allows you to attract a great number of potential new users for your app.

Different creatives serve different purposes. If banners are indeed the cheapest and most popular ones because they can be displayed everywhere and they can help you reach a wide audience, playable ads are rather more effective in attracting users for mobile games, because  they allow users to play a preview of the game

Video ads are the most effective ad format for mobile games, because they exploit your game’s visual appeal to grab the attention of  potential users by showing them what the game will look like. These kinds of ads usually attract high-LTV users, who generate a great number of purchases.

Yet another effective move would be to use motivation-based creatives that can be a gamechanger for your User Acquisition strategy. This advertising procedure, as the name suggests, is based on mobile gamers' motivations. To list some of them, Self-Expression, Social Connection, Power, Relaxation etc.

How can you understand which creative works best for your app? 

By rotating several formats to  run A/B Tests.

This practice is necessary to optimize your App Promotion Campaign, because it allows you to test multiple formats simultaneously with the goal of figuring out which ones perform best and then focus your user acquisition campaign on the best formats (not necessarily one) depending on your goals (increase users, increase revenue, etc.)

Define Your Mobile App KPIs 

To start a User Acquisition campaign is crucial to set  your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), namely metrics that support your UA strategy and help you carry out a deeper analysis of performance. The most commonly tracked KPIs are ROAS(Return On Ad Spend), ROI (Return On Investment), CPI (Cost Per Install), LTV (Lifetime Value), and so on and so forth. 

To give an example, Mobile Games developers often track ROI to assess their user acquisition campaign. In fact, ROI allows advertisers to understand the overall profitability of the game. Mobile Games developers usually track the ROI of newly acquired users, in a specific time frame (Day-0, Day-7, Day-30), in order to understand whether to consider them high-quality users or not. The longer the period of time for which gamers engage with your mobile game, the more their LTV will increase.  

In-app Purchase Optimization

A top quality User Acquisition Strategy is based on gaining users who will generate the most in-app purchases and revenues, to do that you can take advantage of machine learning to target them. Within the monetization strategy for your free mobile game app, it is possible to combine ads and In-App Purchases.

What are In-App purchases?

In-App Purchases are an extra service provided to users, which allows them to buy products inside the app paying with real money.  Depending on the game type, there are different kinds of In-App Purchases, such as:

  • Consumables: bonus health, in-game currency, extra-features. Those items are consumable because once the player has used them, they are no longer disposable. 

  • Non-Consumables: Unlocking levels or characters. Once they buy them, players have unlimited access to those items. 

  • Auto-renewal subscriptions: Regular payments made by users to access premium contents. They can be 1 week long, 1 month long etc. 

  • Non-auto-renewal subscriptions: This subscription type is fixed for a longer period of time, and users have to renew it manually. To give an example, by subscribing to a mobile game users have the possibility to experience the game without being interrupted by invasive ads.

In-App purchases can influence users’ engagement and retention rates. Purchasing an item can indeed improve the players experience, resulting in a greater engagement, which can lead to an increase of revenues.

Cutting To The Chase

In a nutshell, what makes a User Acquisition Strategy for your Mobile Game successful?

  1. Identification of the target audience is crucial to take the right shot for your User Acquisition strategy. Pointing out by whom your audience consists of is an essential first step for your app promotion campaign.

  1. Choosing the most effective creatives for your campaign. The right creative format can help you catch the eyes of your potential users. In the case of mobile games Video and Playable Ads are the most effective formats because they show players what the game will look like and encourage them to play.

  1. Setting the right KPIs can help you to create an analytical foundation to your strategic decision making. KPIs are measures that allow you to  understand how well your Mobile Game User Acquisition campaign is doing over a period of time.

  1. Optimize In-App purchase to improve your users’ game experience and to increase revenues.