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Aug 11 2021
Launching a new mobile game is an exciting time -- all your hard work has led up to this moment of truth. The work doesn't stop once your game launches, though. After the game goes live, the next step is to get the app in front of players and get them to install it.
One great way to attract users is through App Store Optimization (ASO). By using ASO best practices and taking the time to prepare a good strategy, a mobile game can start off strong and increase its chances of acquiring players. ASO also provides long-term benefits that can help mobile games continue to grow after launch, which can be difficult to maintain with paid marketing alone.
Role-Playing Games (RPG, sometimes also called RPG Games, although it basically means Role-Playing Games Games, but never mind that) to discover how the top apps in this category optimize their iOS Store pages to generate more downloads.
ASO is the process of increasing and optimizing an app or mobile game's visibility and conversion in the App Stores. This can involve several facets, including, but not limited to:
“In which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules.”
There are many different types of RPG games, from tabletop versions like Dungeons and Dragons to Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (known as MMORPGs), like World of Warcraft. But the thing that all RPGs have in common is a well-crafted narrative.
Many of the apps in this category are household names. A few of them have even launched legitimate franchises and become mainstays at the top of the charts. How were they able to achieve such outstanding success? That's what we'll find out through this analysis.
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The mobile game space is a competitive one, with new games released each day. In order to break through the noise of older titles, publishers, and reskinned games, developers should ensure they are optimizing their game's keywords and creatives. This can help it rise through the rankings and get installs.
All aspects of the mobile game you have developed should be taken into account, researched, and optimized for. Start with a simple checklist, including but not limited to:
What is the genre of the game?
What kind of characters, mechanics, or other in-game elements are used?
Who is my target demographic?
These questions can help guide your initial research. For example, games in the Arcade genre will have a different ASO strategy than role playing games. From there, look into apps within your genre that share similar aspects. Is your role playing game mechanic driven by turn-based strategy, or real-time action? These will impact the kinds of keywords and competitors to research as part of the process.
Following this, think about your target demographic and the other games they may be interested in. If your app is a turn-based strategy RPG, you may discover keyword and demographic overlap between card-battle games and your game.
This is just the start of developing your strategy, but may stunt the growth potential for your app if not assessed, researched and executed. Once this has been done at a high level, doing a deeper dive can give your app an advantage at launch.
There are a few things to consider when you're preparing your mobile game for its launch. First is the research. In order to structure your game's ASO strategy, you need to understand its category, the keywords your users are searching for, conversion trends and so much more.
Before launching your app, you need to research what keywords are relevant to your app and have a high volume of searches, then integrate those keywords into the mobile game's metadata.
The algorithms in the App Store and Google Play Store use the targeted keywords to determine what to rank a mobile game for in the search results and how well it ranks. Metadata fields that directly impact organic search and indexation include the Title, Subtitle and Keyword Bank on the Apple App Store, and the Title, Short Description and Long Description on Google Play.
Applying best practices, such as adding title tags and structuring the metadata properly, a mobile game can rank for keywords much faster than if it launched without optimizing.
Keyword targeting can generate more visibility, but increasing conversion on those keywords is vital to success. The App Stores' algorithms look at a mobile game's click-through rate compared to other apps on the same keyword to determine if its ranking should move up or down.
Optimizing creatives can convince users to install the mobile game by highlighting its strengths and relating to their search queries. The first three portrait-mode screenshots or first landscape-mode screenshot or video are displayed first in the store, so they can impact a user's decision to click on the app.
Preparing well thought-out creatives, including the icon, screenshots and preview video ahead of time can help a mobile game stand out from the competition and draw in clicks from users.
Since this is a highly competitive market, RPG publishers need to put a lot of effort into advertising.
No matter how good your mobile RPG is, there's no way of getting to the top charts without a smart advertising campaign.
In the following sections, I go through tips and tricks you can use to effectively market your mobile role-playing game.
Target Audience Research: Understand Who Is Playing Role-Playing Games
In general, gamers who play role-playing games are skilled and experienced. The quality of the game is very important to them and they have high expectations.
Most people that play role-playing games fall into the category of either mid-core or hardcore gamers.
Hardcore gamers are all in when it comes to mobile games. They follow all the latest releases and gaming news, play for many hours a day, and are very serious about the games they play. Put simply, a hardcore gamer is the total opposite of a casual gamer.
Since hardcore gamers are so invested in the mobile games they play, they're willing to spend money to acquire in-game content necessary for faster progress.
Mid-core gamers are also very skilled, but they don't spend as much time playing as hardcore gamers do. However, when they do play, they take it very seriously. Mid-core gamers usually stick to their favorite genre or game.
Many of them are actually former hardcore gamers who don't have a lot of time to play.
When advertising your role-playing game, make sure to keep these characteristics in mind because this is your target audience. It makes no sense to create an ad campaign that caters to casual gamers because they are not the majority of your audience.
When it comes to advertising role-playing mobile games, video ads are the best way to go about it. It is hands down the most effective way to acquire more users for your mobile RPG and get it to the top charts.
However, creating video ads that convert users is an art in and of itself. There's a lot that goes into it.
If you're new to creating attention-grabbing video ads, here are a couple of tips to get you started.
First, take a look at your competitors' video ads -- it's one of the best ways to learn what works and what doesn't. (I analyze video ads from top mobile RPGs later in the article, so make sure you stick around).
The next step is to identify the key features of your game and your USP. Think what will make users download your game -- is it the unique characters and worlds? Perhaps it's the captivating storyline or engaging gameplay?
Whatever it may be, make sure to highlight it in your video ad. The purpose of a video ad is to showcase how incredibly good your game is and what makes it better than all other mobile RPGs.
Finally, you need to create multiple variations of your video ads -- 2 or 3 won't cut it. Then you test them and analyze which ones got you the most users. Once you weed out the video ads that don't convert and create even more variations of the ones that do work, you'll have a tried and true recipe for creating effective video ads.
However, if you're struggling with creating video ads that actually convert users, you might want to think about outsourcing it. You don't need to have a video ad expert in your team -- there are websites where you can order video ads for mobile games online.
Another strategy you can use to advertise your mobile rpg is to advertise in other games. Since many publishers use in-game ads as their monetization method, this is a great opportunity to advertise your game.
The publishers of games you want to advertise in are looking to fill their ad space with relevant ads in order to maximize their ad revenue. You're placing ads for your game inside other similar games, thus reaching an audience that's highly likely to be interested in it.
However, you should know that targeting such a specific audience is not cheap. Once you go very narrow with your target audience, the user acquisition tends to become very pricey. So keep that in mind.
Another strategy is to cross-promote your role-playing game. If you have several titles published, you can advertise your mobile rpg inside your other mobile games.
Once again, you'll be putting your role-playing game in front of users who are already playing your other games and are very likely to be interested in it.
As you probably know, app store optimization is crucial for the success of your role-playing game. The app store is the number one place where users discover new games so it's worth your time to put some effort into aso.
Not only that, but app store optimization is a free way to get your role-playing game in front of new users. It should be an important part of your overall user acquisition strategy.
However, basic aso strategies can only get you so far. you need to take it one step further in order to rise above the competition.
Utilize the available space for the name -- make sure to include relevant keywords and words that describe your game to create excitement e.g. epic role playing game.
However, don't just stuff a bunch of keywords for the sake of it. both google play and apple's app store might reject your submission if you do that. There needs to be a balance between keywords, descriptive words, and branding.
The same goes for the description and keyword fields -- it's all about optimizing keywords, but being smart about it.
When choosing keywords, consider if they relate to your mobile rpg, and are users searching for it? Moreover, notice what other games show up for those keywords, and is the search volume low or high.
When it comes to icons, they're crucial because it's the first glimpse of your game. Stylistic choices are often influenced by current icon trends as well as data acquired by testing icons.
For example, there are tools that tell you what's the best style and color scheme for rpg icons.
If you take a look at these icons from top rp gs, you'll notice that most of them feature the main character. It makes sense considering game characters are the emphasis of role-playing games.
The key is to design the icon in a way that's unique, but still in line with current rpg trends. There's a reason why many icons look similar -- they're based on the complex analysis of the psychology behind the design.
Finally, if you want to take your aso to another level, you should localize your role-playing game. That includes translating the game itself as well as localizing your app store page.
This is a crucial step if you want to reach a global audience and expand your user base.
However, you shouldn't localize just the keywords and description, but the visual aspects of your app store page as well.
Different stylistic and design choices have different effects in different markets. The appeal of certain design elements and color schemes varies across cultures and countries. Visual trends are also different.
For example, game screenshots in japan and korea use much more dramatic and intense design elements than us screenshots.
Now you know how to advertise a mobile rpg, so the next step is to put all of these tips and strategies into action and start acquiring users.
But this is only the beginning of the journey. Once you start building your user base, it's crucial that you consistently track and analyze the performance of your role-playing game.
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