Promotion of a mobile game using social networks Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte

Published on May 31, 2013

Promotion of a mobile game using social networks Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte

    Sources of low-cost application installs are one of the most discussed topics among developers. Today we want to share with you the experience of promoting our mobile games using social networks Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. This article will be of interest to companies with small marketing budgets for promotion and / or focused on the Russian market. We do not offer to refuse advertising or from reviews and other methods of promotion. We will tell you how to "get" the required number of downloads at an affordable price, and not increase the cost of installation on networks.



    So, when we are faced with the task of constantly promoting or supporting the application in the Russian top, we draw up a plan of the nth number of points. Plan list of promotion channels. But, constantly re-reading this list from a wave of advancement to a wave, you begin to think about what you need to look for new methods, ways to "reach out", "reach out" to your user. After all, not all of them read reviews, not all have a lot of applications in which ad networks display ads. And here it seems quite logical that we need to go where our audience almost always happens, and these are social networks on mobile devices: vk and odnoklassniki.

    Why on mobile?
    Firstly, so that the user can download our application for a minimum number of clicks. And secondly, because of the features of networks when accessing from devices. Both networks have targeted contextual / banner ads. But it is visible only in the desktop browser. But on mobile devices it is not. Whether you go through the application, or through the mobile browser to the mobile version - it is not there. But there are groups and public pages in which these same users sit in breaks, in the evenings, on the way from work to work, and often at work. And the groups have moderators who, with great pleasure and for a fee, will publish your advertising post in their feed.

    But, for starters, let's see what the administration of networks has provided in its rules on this subject.
    Vkontakte: no more than 2 (two) third-party advertisements per week can be placed on the Community wall (with the exception of fixed entries).
    Classmates: nothing.

    That is, in fact, the Vkontakte administration allowed the publication of advertising posts. Our experience shows that where there are 2, there are 3, 4, and 5. Classmates - well, here in general, what is not forbidden is allowed. Russian mentality forever!

    So, let's move on.
    Having decided that we need to try to launch a wave of advertising posts, we came to the conclusion that we need the following things:
    1. Quality groups
    2. Adequate posting costs
    3. Strong, preferably viral, advertising post

    How to choose a group
    Choose a group based on several indicators:
    1. The number of subscribers
    Undoubtedly, we are looking for the largest groups. And we need the members of these groups to be living people, and not the accounts wound by bots. It is worth mentioning that in vk there are a lot of millionaire groups, but in odnoklassnikah you are lucky if you come across a group of more than 200,000 members.

    There are several ways to find such groups:
    - Internal search engines.
    If we talk about Odnoklassniki, then everything is simple: type a keyword in the search line and get a list of groups.
    Vkontakte has a small catch: the internal search engine does not show all groups, but only those that still have not violated VKontakte rules, well, or have violated not so much and clearly. That is, they did not use bots, did not post obscene posts, and did not fall into the ban. In fact, we can say that these are the highest quality groups with the highest quality traffic.
    And here it becomes interesting: very large and popular groups, for example, Borsch and MDK, remain behind.
    Therefore, if you are interested in “seeing” those who are not present in the search, you should go to the stock exchange for advertising on social networks. There are all these groups.

    Note: here you may ask why we just didn’t buy ads through the exchange? Indeed, everything is in one place, easier and simpler.
    Firstly, we did not want to overpay the 15% commission, secondly, the statistics of advertising exchanges do not show the rather important item “Feedback” (more on this below), and, finally, admins respond to requests from the exchange longer than for requests thrown in PM.
    Nevertheless, you can and should use these exchanges to search for groups of interest to you.


    - The second way to find groups: an advanced Yandex search, but here you have to rummage through the issue to find the number of visitors from a particular group.

    2. Subjects and CA
    Of course, it is worth looking for groups that are directly related to the topic of interest to you, near-thematic and those in which your target audience consists. Here again, you can request community statistics directly from community administrators, or “play” in the same advertising networks with a search and see what it offers you.



    3. Statistics
    Statistics should always be requested, well, it’s clear that if the administrator doesn’t provide it to you, you should not agree to cooperation.

    Odnoklassniki statistics is now in beta testing. From it at the moment, only a few sections may be of interest: people (age, gender, distribution geography), user activity in the group. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know exactly how many people saw your ad.

    As for the statistics of Vkontakte, it can show a lot: The
    audience of the group (age and gender). You need to look at this data in the Coverage section, as it is there that you can see who enters the group, who views the feed, and who simply subscribed and forgot.
    The number of visitors , those who go to the group’s page. Do not be surprised if a group with the number of participants equal to 2 million, only 70 thousand people go to the page itself. The rest read the news in the feed. And these others we can see in the Coverage section.
    Coverage will also be several times less than the number of subscribers to the group. A good indicator is considered to be 500 thousand people reaching the same 2 million subscribers. But then you can calculate how much it will cost you to show your advertising post 1 to an active user of the group.
    Bursts of group activity . You can determine what time of day and what day of the week the group’s audience is most active. This is important, as your post is usually placed 1 hour at the top of the group, and then over the next 23 hours it will go down under the influx of new posts.
    Feedback . In other words, how many reposts, likes and comments were made in the group per day. So you can evaluate the activity of the group and how high-quality traffic is.

    4. The number of posts, both advertising and non-advertising.
    Your post is usually fixed for 1 hour at the top of the feed, then another 24 hours it gradually goes down under the new published posts. Therefore, of course, if publications take place every 30 minutes, then 3 hours after publication you will already be in 5th place in the feed, and after 6 - by 11. And if every third new post is advertising, then there’s nothing to say.

    Here is an example of the data that you must have in order to decide whether to advertise in a group or not:
    Beauty School group:
    - the group is present in the first search engine in the first place
    - number of subscribers: 2,700 000 people, per day - 70 000 people.
    - coverage of 500,000 people. / day
    - 82% of women
    - 35 posts / day, 1 advertising post / day
    - 16,000 reposts, 82,000 likes, 6,000 comments


    5. Adequacy of the administrator
    A fairly important factor, since payment takes place without a contract, in electronic currency. Therefore, of course, I would like to reduce the risks of working with social networks.
    Vkontakte large groups are moderated either by agencies or by fairly advanced students / housewives. When accessing the latter you will receive a detailed price list, time of possible publications. Work is usually completed on time. But this applies specifically to large groups. Small communities are often moderated by amateurs or children. Here you must decide for yourself: is the game worth the candle or not.
    Classmates at Odnoklassniki are usually amateur gardeners who have created a “for the soul” page. Therefore, do not be surprised when you receive a denial of publication, or permission to do it for free.

    Adequate posting cost
    1. Issue price vk.com



    The table shows several of the largest social network communities. As you can see, the user cost of the Beauty School group is higher than that of the same Borsch. This is due precisely to the fact that the group
    is located in the search engine,
    - its audience consists mainly of solvent women aged 18 to 35 years
    - the users of the group are very active.

    But the advertising post in the group “In Fun” will cost you only 1725 rubles, since the group fell out of the internal search, its main subscribers are under 18 years old.

    2. Price of the issue (odnoklassniki)
    Unfortunately, we are forced to state the fact that we did not succeed in normal promotion in Odnoklassniki for the following reasons:
    - small groups;
    - unorganized administrators;
    - weak statistics;
    - An unsuccessful structure of forming a news feed, in which most posts from groups do not fall into the user's feed.
    But, if you are interested in this particular social network, you can publish a post for 150-250 rubles a week.

    Your post
    For ourselves, we identified several factors of a “successful” advertising post.
    So, your post should be:
    - brief. The simpler and more concise you are able to state the main idea, the better. (In social networks, long texts are read only when it is sentimental stories about hedgehogs);
    - It is advisable not to be like advertising;
    - must contain a photo / video;
    - Must be sustained in the style of the group;
    - it must contain a download link.

    Our game belongs to the Tamagotchi genre, so we advertised it in groups in which the main audience is women and children.

    Here's what our post looked like:



    What we managed to achieve
    - Estimated installation cost is $ 0.10- $ 0.40. It is very important to choose the time of publication. The most expensive installations were during the holidays. Then we did not take into account the fact that on holidays in good weather people simply will go for a walk instead of sitting on social networks.

    - Approximately 4,000 downloads per 1 wave of promotion. By wave, we mean the nth number of posts in three days, usually 6-10 posts in three days. We promoted the project on only one platform - iOS.

    Social networks Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte, of course, cannot be the main way to promote mobile games, although for poor companies and indie developers they can become one of independent and fairly budgetary ways to promote their own games, or the ability to "get" inexpensive installations.