Gaming is a highly competitive industry, and keeping players engaged with your game is a constant battle. In-game promotions are one of the most effective tools you have for increasing player engagement and retention and maximizing lifetime value. According to Google, developers who offer promotional content have 5% more active users at the 28-day mark and 4% higher revenue than those who do not.
Including promotions in your games has multiple benefits for you and your players.
No matter how much there is to do in your game, eventually players will grow tired of it. You can use promotions to introduce or promote new features and other content that can increase player retention by ensuring players always have something new and exciting to do. Additionally, you can use promotions to test out new features and tweak them before you release them into the game.
Promotions help you keep players informed about the events, offers, and updates available to them. Analyzing how players react to your promotions helps you better target your marketing campaigns and adjust your offerings. Promotions also boost the visibility of your game in stores, which can help you acquire new customers.
In-game promotions are an opportunity to communicate with players in a targeted way. This fosters stronger relationships by keeping your game fresh in players’ minds and making your interactions with players feel more personalized.
Offering different types of promotions helps keep your content from becoming stale.
Pre-registration announcements keep players interested while they are waiting for new content to come out or get them excited about something about to happen. Examples include updates for pre-registered users, teaser trailers, demos, global release announcements, and milestone rewards progress.
Offers provide players with incentives to log into the game or make a purchase. Examples of offers include discounts, value-adds, giveaways, and bundles.
Limited-time event in-game promotions are a popular way to provide players with fresh content in a format that creates a sense of urgency to join in before time runs out. Popular limited-time events include holiday-themed events, tournaments, leaderboards, challenges, and special competitions.
Major updates represent substantial changes to the game, such as adding new features, levels, modes, episodes, or quests. Major updates can also include larger in-game purchases, such as a battle or season pass. These types of promotions can revitalize interest in a game that is starting to see rising churn rates.
Crossover promotions include collaborations that crossover multiple games or other intellectual property, such as a television show. These types of promotions can expose your game to a new audience that is already primed to consume similar content.
The best ways to run your promotions depend on your game and the people who play it. However, most games utilize similar techniques.
Holiday events are so common that players have come to expect them. You will probably want to run multiple types of promotions around major holidays, such as a holiday sale and a limited-time holiday event. It can also be effective to plan promotions around anniversaries, such as the one-year anniversary of your game.
Most gamers love to compete with each other to show off all the hard work they have put into the games they play. Community-wide tournaments or limited-time challenges provide players with the chance to strut their stuff and can encourage players who have not played recently to get back into the game.
It is important to ensure that players who stick with your game long-term feel valued. One way to do this is to offer loyalty rewards, such as special badges, giveaways, or discounts for players who have been active for a specific amount of time.
You can improve the effectiveness of your promotions by following these best practices.
Modeling your promotions on what works for your competitors or what you have had success with in the past is a good approach. However, avoid copying yourself or the competition too closely. Players who feel like they are seeing the same promotions repeatedly may begin to ignore them.
Trying to make up promotions as you go can lead to mistakes that could cost you money or drive players away from your game. You should plan and schedule most of your promotions well in advance of when they will happen.
If you want to be able to do spontaneous promotions to take advantage of pop-culture moments or in-game events, it is best to plan out the framework for how you will implement these types of promotions before you need to release them into your game. Make sure you choose the right timing for events.
For example, holiday-themed in-game promotions are usually most successful when they happen around holidays instead of on holidays. While some people might log into your game on Christmas day, a lot of your players are going to be busy doing other things and may feel left out if that is when you decide to schedule your big event.
Every time you run an in-game promotion, you should be soliciting player feedback and reviewing your analytics to determine how well the promotion performed and what you can do better next time. Use that data to set up A/B testing for your next events and tweak your offerings based on what you find out.
The need to constantly provide new content to keep players in a highly competitive market interested in your game can become overwhelming. Assess your resources and outsource promotions when you do not have the internal resources to keep up.
The experienced live-ops team at Sonamine can help you effectively design, plan and advertise your in-game promotions to maximize player engagement, retention, and monetization. We also provide ongoing tweaks to ensure that your offerings never get stale. Contact us online to get started.
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