obile game developers only have a few critical holidays circled on their calendars. And it’s not a launch day or a planned business meeting, it’s the holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For devs, these days are about much more than family time and gift-giving, they’re about business growth and the bottom line.
At the root of these holiday business opportunities are the mobile devices themselves. According to figures from Kantar Worldpanel, mobile devices have become the global gift of choice during the holidays. Last season, Apple smashed its iPhone sales record, moving over 74 million iPhones in the fourth quarter and accounting for 57 percent of all smartphone gifts during that time. Android devices were hot last holiday, too, selling over 100 million tablets and phones. With Apple and Android’s latest iterations hitting the market (plus some exciting new offerings in the form of TV and virtual reality), 2015 should be another big year for holiday device sales.
For devs, these sales mean jockeying for real estate on screens, as the growth in devices owned invariably increases the number of potential players—and income.
In this edition of the Chartboost Power-Up Report, we’ll arm mobile game devs with the tools to be a go-to download this holiday. We’ll cover user acquisition and monetization techniques that will make the difference between success and failure. We’ll explore the impact of launching a game during the holidays, take an in-depth look at Backflip Studios’ successful holiday strategy, analyze holiday install and game session trends, and more.
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
Before you get to unwrap the big presents, though, here are three quick-and-dirty holiday mobile game marketing and monetization tips that will maximize your success throughout the holiday blitz:
3 Mobile Game Marketing & Monetization Tips for the Holidays
1. Expect the Unexpected
To quote former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Basically, Eisenhower is saying that planning is an essential step to take, but be cognizant that unexpected scenarios will throw your plans out of whack.
For mobile game developers, it’s important to lay the groundwork of your marketing and monetization holiday push as soon as November 1. One way you can prepare for the flurry of holiday users is by testing SDKs from desired user acquisition and monetization partners early and often. After you’ve stress-tested integrations in your games, implement different campaigns to help generate outsized returns when the holidays near.
Testing is key. As is acceptance: Not everything will go according to plan. But preparation will result in improving your ability to make important decisions quickly and effectively.
2. Decorate Your Game
App stores mirror traditional retailers during the holidays: incentivizing customers to shop by stocking shelves with new products and by creating holiday-related feature placements to promote the hottest products.
As such, the app stores give preferential treatment to developers who embrace the holidays with holiday-themed content, stocking its virtual shelves with these titles. For devs, this is a prime opportunity to update your games with seasonal content, including changes to app icons, in-game content and creative assets.
3. Target Top Markets … and Emerging Markets
It goes without saying that devs should allocate a majority of their holiday user acquisition budget to mobile gaming market leaders including the U.S., Canada, Australia, western Europe, Japan and more. But there’s additional countries devs can target that go unnoticed.
Industrialized markets outside the global powerhouses that observe Christmas and New Year’s such as Latin America, the Visegrad Group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), and Southeast Asia, witness sizeable game session surges (see our data section for more) during the holiday rush. And don’t forget: Many new devices are entering the mobile ecosystem in these regions, too. Look no further than China, which moved more iPhones than the U.S. for the first time ever in Q2 2015.
If you skillfully employ these tips in your holiday marketing and monetization strategy, you’ll get the most out of your marketing budget, increase monetization and reach loads of high quality players. Keep scrolling or download the PDF.