Reaching the end of 2023, it’s clear that we’re in an era where no single company dominates gaming. Gone are the days when Call of Duty or Fortnite were top of mind for gamers. Whether you work in a small start-up, medium-sized company, or even for a listed game developer, you’re competing with everyone for the same slice of the pie: your shot at the top of the app charts.
Fortunately, you have some secret weapons at your disposal to beat the competition. Here is our rundown of what you need to beat your rivals in 2024 and beyond.
1. Product Quality In the Spotlight
As a marketer, you can try to master the needs and preferences of different users in whatever geo you work in. But, no matter how precise your insights are or how closely you follow the “golden rules of marketing”, you cannot escape the product itself. In the modern era of mobile gaming, the quality and “fun” of your product determine so much of your marketing performance. As such, you need to start here.
User acquisition (UA) managers must work closely with those involved in the product every day. And everyone in your company, from developers, gameplay planners, and designers to marketers, must work to a high standard and avoid siloing.
It’s important for everyone to continuously learn from mainstream game frameworks, marketing techniques, and new art styles to keep up with the trends. Your competition is huge and will always have increasingly higher requirements for game quality, so maintaining a high standard is tricky. Without cohesion between marketing, product, and design, it is difficult to achieve the goal of growth.
And it’s not just users you need to cater to. Platforms where you promote matter just as much. An out-of-sync ASO strategy can hold back conversions. A mobile ad creative that doesn’t match the in-game user experience won’t entice users. Building a tonally consistent app and ad experience is essential for your app and will bring you higher to the top of the charts.
2. Follow the Rules of the Game
To be successful on any store list, you need to figure out the various store ranking factors to optimize your listing. Here are just a handful of ranking factors for some of the main stores within your control:
Apple App Store
- App name
- Update frequency
Google Play Store
- App title
- App short description
- App long description
- Update frequency
While that covers what you can control, app reviews, engagement both on the page and in the app, and installs all have an effect on your ranking. So, returning to the first point, be aware of how performance contributes to the bigger picture.
3. Keep an Eye on Competitors
Competition in various categories of the gaming market is fierce, and it is difficult for new products to break through. If you want to win, you must not just rely on well-made products and a top ASO strategy. You also need to watch your competitors. Here’s a rundown of four aspects of a typical competitor analysis that give you a framework to understand your competitors better:
- First, you can only begin once you have your direct competitors in mind. In the gaming world, there are so many that it’s best to pick a close group of rival apps.
- Review their optimizations, including changes in app title, icon, subtitle, screenshots, and descriptions. Furthermore, capture their user reviews for additional insights.
- If you work in multiple markets, you will notice competitors will optimize for different aspects to match user interest. As such, if you can, track each target market individually.
- Try to review your competitor’s activity in three to six-month periods, as they will continually update their app as well.
4. Staying on Top
There is a saying in the industry that “the product is 1, and the market determines how many 0s can be added after the 1.” But there’s more to it, and every link in the chain, from R&D and product development, through to marketing promotion, needs to reflect the hard work and strategic planning of a cohesive group to succeed — in other words, everything is a 1.