Acquiring new users requires a lot of time and budget. However, it doesn’t always equate to revenue for gaming apps. Long-term engagement and retention are what unlock a steady stream of profits. Mobile gaming apps depend upon IAPs (in-app purchases) to meet budget goals. As we learned in Q3 2022, gaming app revenue declined significantly. As a result, gaming mobile app marketers need to shift priority to app retention.
In this article, we’ll look at data, techniques, and strategies you’ll want to review for the year ahead.
Fewer New Games Launch, Reducing the Market Size
In 2022, the mobile game segment had fewer new games launched. It’s been trending down since 2018.
This is of note because it decreases market saturation. It’s likely a response to disruptions still reverberating from the pandemic. Also, some game developers spent more time improving games that captured the most spending. So, what does this mean in terms of retention?
Ideally, you should follow this lead and focus on improving existing mobile app games where IAPs and engagement continue to trend upward. With upgrades, you’ll want to launch CPE (cost per engagement) campaigns that drive users to these with IAP offers aligned with the new features. If the functionality and offer are appealing, you should see gains in the retention of players and revenue.
Matching the Type of Game to the Best App Retention Strategy
Within the ecosystem of gaming, you have subgroups, including RPG (role-play games), casual, hypercasual, and casino. Each has a niche and an audience. A mobile game user profile has many dimensions, so you need to align the type of game with a specific retention strategy:
- RPG: Players enter a new world and spend a lot of time and money building their characters and worlds. It’s the game segment with the highest IAP spending, but it saw downturns, as well. A smart retention strategy for RPGs is offerwalls, which are non-intrusive ad units and a great way to “showcase” what players can buy with incentives.
- Casual and hypercasual: These sub-groups represent games that are easiest to play and often have the greatest number of downloads. However, users can be fickle and bored easily, so you’ll need CPEs that demonstrate value to the player, such as unlocking new themes or puzzles and offering subscriptions to remove ads.
- Casino: Casino games are a smaller niche and one that does a good job of monetization, typically with in-game ads. You can still use these for revenue, but a bigger focus may be how to get players to buy digital coins to continue playing; offerwalls and CPE with incentives can work.
Gaming retention strategies aren’t one size fits all, so lean into personalizing the marketing funnel for each genre.
Understanding Your Audience and Deploying Campaigns that Resonate
How well do you know your audience? It consists of many types of gamers, but they likely have similar attributes. The data you collect, if permissible, can tell you about their demographics and interactions within the app. In response to what you learn, your creative relating to CPEs, or other monetization should echo their traits. If it does, you have a greater chance of keeping them long-term.
Influencer Campaigns Have Value After the Download
In most conversations related to social media influencer app marketing, it’s all about UA (user acquisition). However, they can still be valuable ad units after the download.
Collaborating with an influencer with expertise in your gaming app’s category and followers that are players could be a great spark for my IAPs. The influencer would demonstrate premium features or purchases and how they work in the app, creating anticipation and demand. Instead of a link to download the game, the influencer could share a unique code for a discount in the game’s store.
Retain Users and Revenue for Your Gaming App with Help from AdAction Experts
If retention is a priority for your mobile game app, you’ll need new strategies to push IAPs, subscriptions, and other spending. Players have tightened their wallets, but there is still opportunity when you use smart approaches. If you want to launch a gaming CPE that delivers ROI, check out our e-book on mobile game app advertising!
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