What are differences between promoting an app and a game?

Learn how to promote your game and increase your product’s downloads

By Anatoli Eidelman

After we have created an awesome app, is time to convince people to download it, but this can be a bit tricky because marketing is not a exact science (Sometimes it even feels like witchcraft) but there’s no need to worry, with a few tips you can start your journey with the right foot and boost the downloads of your apps

The first step seems quite obvious, but is very, very, very…did I already said very? Important, and that step is: knowing what are we going to promote, is it an app or a game? Why we must keep this in mind? Because the marketing for one or the other is different, and having that difference in mind is the best way to really rock the socks of your audience with your marketing campaign

All researches indicate that the category “games” is the most popular on all app stores. But, on plain English, on what aspects does that affect developers? In the first place, If games are the biggest search on all app stores, that means that the potential market expands beyond the eye can see, which offers your game a lot of possibilities to be popular among the users. However, that also means that competition is fierce and in large numbers, so this requires to implement precise marketing strategies.


So after reading all this, it comes the real question

“After we have created an awesome app, is time to convince people to download it, but this can be a bit tricky because marketing is not a exact science (Sometimes it even feels like witchcraft)”

What are the main differences between promoting an app and a game?

  1. When is the right time to begin?

It’s of paramount importance to promote your project since the first stages of development, so you can grow a community of awesome clients, all waiting for the product thanks to the hype. For games, Keep in mind that the first impression of a game is very important, so put some effort making the tutorial and that the overall first impression  of the player when opening the game is well done. Make that clear to your team of developers.

  1. Where we must aim

We all want new users, that’s normal, but retaining a user is 5 times cheaper than acquiring a new one, so it is smart move split efforts between acquisition and retention. Don’t neglect attention to your existing users, keeping always in mind that the most important metric of all free to play games is the retention index.

  1. Segmentation, segmentation, segmentation

Usually, when we are trying to segment our app for an audience, we go for age groups, but when it comes to videogames, we must find new and cleaver ways to segment our audience in order to be able to deliver them our product in a more efficient way, segments such as residence, language, age, gender, mobile device, things that they like, all of this will help us aim our marketing campaign.

  1. Creativity

There is a lot of difference on the Visual elements between an App and a Game,  for games we need to add more fantasy, graphic elements and dynamics, typography  that pops from the screen, visual elements that suggest action, everything that we can think of that show all the spectacular elements of the game.

  1. Where should we promote our game?

The answer is easy, go to the forums to promote your apps, all the game specialized forums are the best places to promote your game, review websites, publishers and display networks are very useful as well. That’s the best window to show your product to your audience. But, never neglect the big marketing channel of this day and age, the social media, Instagram, Twitter, even LinkedIn will be useful for promoting your game.

  1. What to analyze

On this point we can see one of the biggest difference between apps and games, On apps, all the  that are related to the monetization funnel are the ones to follow up, where to focus our attention. On games, its way more complicated than that. Besides retention, channel, conversion, DAU and MAU, etc., we must take a look at the users’ behavior and check levels, tutorial, kind of purchases, virality and other relevant aspects for the game, where our gamers spend more time, spend more money, or on the contrary , where they skip everything or where they don’t spend any kind of money.


A quick recap: App Marketing against Game Marketing:

This market is one of the most competitive ones, so in order to really make your app stand among all the others, there are several paths you can take:

•    Feature on the Stores for apps on Android and iOS, on the App Store or Google Play. Don’t forget IAP, Keep your eye on the experience of the user , and keep that in mind even above monetization, build the best possible visual experience and include all the technologies trends that you think it can help your games mechanics

•    Free to play is the way to go. Lure them, then charge them, Make a game free to play, that can retain gamers and if they wish to, because they love the game so much, spend some money on. Optimize LTV, Focus on gamers retention, monetization and create an awesome marketing campaign, and remember, you don’t spend on marketing, you invest on it.

•    Viral Game: There’s no way to say what makes something viral, but if you don’t aim high, you’ll never reach great things, try to reach huge audiences and make the game so good that it’s quality boost the recommendations among players.


In any case, if you need extra help making your game really stand among all the others games, or if you wish to focus on development instead of marketing, you can always reach us and let us make that happen for you, our team have the know-how to help your game have all the downloads and retention you wish and need!

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