Magnus Alm is head of external games at group messenger and community gaming app company Palringo.
Developers and publishers are competing for users.
With user acquisition costs surging, and not likely to come down anytime soon, there is good reason to look beyond paid installs.
At Palringo, we are a firm believers in community, word-of-mouth and custom tailored offerings.
Below we present a few of our methods.
While not all of them may be available to a game developer, they are things a developer should look for when working with a publisher. Or if the developer has the audience to leverage, these methods should help make the most of their community.
- The direct line
Having users is one thing. Having users that stay around and talk about your game is better.
An advanced group function is, of course, ideal, but it could be something as simple as an online forum.
When you are releasing a new title you'll have a direct line to your existing users and you shouldn't be afraid to use it to promote and champion your game.
- The meta game
Palringo users carry out certain activities within the app to gain 'Reputation' (similar to XP), which in turn helps them to level up.
When releasing new titles, incentives that tie into a bigger, overarching game can ensure that users are getting an added benefit for downloading and playing the new game.
How can you make sure that your users get added value by trying out your new games?Magnus Alm
For example, we create special Achievements and challenges that tie into the game, encouraging players to get involved and engaged. In other words, how can you make sure that your users get added value by downloading and trying out your new games?
- The tiered downloads structure
Assuming you have access to a lot of concurrent users, through a cross promotion system such as Chartboost, there are things to consider when promoting to those users.
The mechanics to break into the top of the iOS and Android charts are very different. You need to make sure that you drive just enough installs over the right amount of time for each OS and geographical app store.
We do this by turning on new games in a tiered structure across our cross promotional tools. You need to be careful not to overshoot or undershoot targets, making the most of each new download.
- The tailored offering
Knowing your users means that you can communicate to them in a relevant way. You wouldn't try to push McDonald's meals to a foodie, or a Metallica album to a Rihanna fan.
A lot of gamers utilise Palringo as a companion chat app for other games, so we have good insight into what our audience play and talk about.
We leverage our insights by making titles that have maximum appeal to our audience. Needless to say, a developer needs to know who their game is targeting and why.
The list goes on.
But as a rule of thumb, make downloading your game as attractive as possible to your current user base, and you'll be well on the road to attracting those new users as well.