Promotion of games on Google Play
My games have quite a few downloads on Google Play (more than 20 million), which is probably why they often ask me about promotion. If one of the developers writes to me in a personal email or mail, I’m ready to bet everything will come down to the question: “How do you promote your games, man?” Everyone thinks I have some kind of secret (no). Okay, let me try to formulate what I know and hope that this will be useful to someone. At least I can give a link to this post.
Just want to say, I do not support the point of view that the success of the game depends on the amount of money invested in marketing. Well, like, you can spin any garbage, if there was money! No, of course, if you are Nintendo and you can directly bring Apple - then yes, you can even promote such an craft as Super Mario Run. But for mere mortals, trying to promote a bad game is the way to the bottom of the app store. The game should have a “twist”, I can’t give useful tips if you make match-3, for example. Here you need to analyze ARPU (and generally do analytics closely), look for profitable channels for buying installations, and the like. I am an ordinary developer who just wants to make games for his own pleasure, and not deal with all this boring stuff.
In general, the first and most important point of promotion is a high-quality, original game with some kind of chip: visual, gameplay, genre - that is not the point.
Do I need to say obvious things about the icon? The icon can drag in even a not very strong game. Experiment! Change the icon and see the conversion in the Developer Console, now you can do A / B tests - great thing.
Write a sheet of text in the description. We need to give the search as much material as possible for indexing. List the features of the game, tell the background, just some game moments. In general, Google is quite loyal to search spam in the description. For example, “Roll the Ball” - this game could illustrate a bunch of violations of the Metadata rules clause . And this is “Editors' Choice”! But to bend, of course, is not worth it. Do not forget, “What is permitted to Jupiter is not permitted to the bull.”
And more ... Stand out!Use markup in the description, text selection, Unicode characters. Did you know that Emoji can be used everywhere in metadata? Just go to the Console from your phone and voila! I do not have accurate performance data, but I believe that any way to make the page of my game unlike the others will be beneficial.
Search engine optimization aka SEO. The most important thing is the keywords in the title . If you are tempted to give your game on Google Play a short, catchy, perfect name - try to overcome it. The name should be long with a couple (at least!) Of keywords. Right now, as many as 50 characters are available to us, so there is always the opportunity to add a few keywords while maintaining a decent sound.
I don’t know how to use professional SEO tools, so I can offer a simple way, affordable and understandable to everyone. Open the TOP of your category and carefully read the descriptions of those games that are at the top. At the same time, write out the words that are popular and suitable for your game on a piece of paper. Well, then, it remains only to create your own description using the list.
I want to note that Google indexes user reviews. Accordingly, you can wind them up for certain keywords and go to the first positions in the search (note, I am not a supporter of such methods). They have been struggling with this recently, but I have seen a successful case of such a wrapping. Legal alternative: buy AdWords installations by keywords. True, I was not able to achieve any visible results in this direction.
By the way, about the reviews. Be sure to encourage players to leave them on Google Play. Add buttons, dialogs in the game, the main thing is not to offer rewards for recalling - this is a violation of the rules. The number of reviews affects the position of the game in the TOP, and the quantity is much more important than quality. Therefore, do not particularly bathe if the average rating is not high enough.
When I see games from Russian developers with English text in the description, they bomb me, as it is fashionable to say today. People, you don’t need freebies at all ?!
Localizing a page on Google Play is the most effective way to promote a price / result ratio.
I understand that to completely localize the game, often there are not enough resources, neither temporary nor financial. I myself am like that. But translating the description + screenshots into the main languages is not at all costly. There are many services you can choose for your taste / wallet, I personally use OneSky .
In my last game, I tried to involve the players themselves in the translation. I wrote on the application page something like: “If you want to help me translate the game into your native language, write to ...”. Well, in general, it works! True, basically, I had translations into such languages as Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish ... But for free.
Flirt with your players! What I mean? Firstly, don’t be serious, humor is our everything. Again, I am slipping into platitudes, but never use the momentum “we, our company, presents to you”, etc. Write all the texts on your own, as if you were telling something to an old friend. If a player initially calls you “you”, do not hesitate to say “thank you, bro!” To him. Secondly, do not write formal update texts. Beat them, given the setting of the game. For example, it’s bad to write “Added 5 new tanks”, it is better - “Fighters! In our factory, in the bowels of the Siberian forests, 5 incredible combat vehicles were developed and they arrive at the front with this update! ”
This is all trades: off. applications of banks, "Borodachi" all sorts, I myself. A successful impromptu somewhere in the text of the update or in response to a review is a great option for a “viral” promotion. Here is a good example:
And this is my review of one of the comments on Google Play. Of course, everything is on the verge of a foul - the developer is formally bound by the rules of the hands and feet in response. But on the other hand, I have not yet heard about the application of sanctions for this.
This screenshot then went well on entertainment sites. At YaP, only discussion turned completely wrong. Someone immediately posted a link flash-version of the "Tower of Hanoi" and everyone began to measure who, how much smarter than a monkey. But there's nothing you can do ...
Okay, you are probably already mentally asking yourself, “And where is the list of sites where you need to post the game to get so many downloads ?!” I have to disappoint you, I do not have such a list. Everything is very, very individual. It depends on the game, on the material that you want to share, on the presentation method. What I get may not work for you and vice versa. I suggest treating this philosophically: your task is to build link mass. If you managed to accommodate somewhere, even if a couple of downloads (conditionally) came from the resource, it’s already good.
The idea is that this is a constant search.Read, google, invent options, texts, pictures, gifs, try it! It is important to try to concentrate as much marketing efforts as possible on a short period of time. I would say from a week to a month.
That it was not "water", here are the main areas for drawing up a marketing plan:
- Entertainment sites (Picabu, YaP, 9gag, d3 and others like them)
- Geek resources (here Habr, of course, is beyond competition. But we need suitable material)
- Indie sites (itch.io, SlideDB, GameJolt - here you can leave a link to Store everywhere)
- Forums (the largest: w3bsit3-dns.com, XDA, TouchArcade, TIGSource, etc.)
- Social the network
- Cross-promo (would be traffic)
- Gamedev community
- YouTube reviewers (posted a couple of times on small channels, it makes sense as one of the points of integrated promotion)
- Places where CA games can hang out (for example, for a puzzle - this is a community of puzzle lovers)
Of course, in 2k17 you can’t promote the game using only free methods. The good news is that with a modest marketing budget, this is also possible. I set a limit of $ 1000 for myself. If this amount is not enough, then the problem is in the game itself, you need to put up with losses and move on.
What exactly to spend the budget on, I suggest looking at the situation. I repeat, all individually. I tried to buy ads in AdWords, News on w3bsit3-dns.com, motivated traffic in Tapjoy, a fixed post on Picaba, ads on Reddit, inclusion in reviews on YouTube, but you just won’t remember! With a completely zero result, I, perhaps, ordered a press release mailing list. Here you need to look for an approach, the right channel for communication, and not fill out forms on sites semi-automatically. But then again, this is my IMHO, maybe you will have a different result.
Instead of a conclusion
I have simple games, without multiplayer, with exclusively advertising monetization, with little replayability. The last two, generally essentially one-time quests. The cost of attracting a user for me is obviously higher than income. Therefore, the last point is luck . To all that I wrote above, you need to add a little luck. To make the game “hit” the players, then there will be organic settings and everything will work out!
Here's what I can say about the promotion. I personally have no magic way to start the game in TOP. You need to look for your niche, experiment and just make good games, no matter how hackneyed it sounds. Thanks for reading, share your opinion in the comments!