Intro to mobile app marketing

While a sale event may help, it’s a tactic, not a strategy. I think you guys need to spend a bit of time figuring out your story, where you come from and where you’re going. You’ll need to identify your target market (e.g. casual gamers) and figure out how they like to be communicated with. What blogs do they read, what sites do they visit, how do they find out about games? If there is something that is incidental that you can latch on to, that can open an avenue for communication. To do that, you need numbers, the more analytics you can gather (either from Apple’s reporting mechanism or something like Google Analytics), the better informed you can be about who to talk to and how.
http://code.google.com/mobile/analytics/docs/iphone/ 

A suggestion is to focus on a niche market and figure out what it takes to be the best there. In this case, I suggest the snake game. A way to get attention is to be the recognized authority for all things related to this style of game play. Anything you can think about and writeup will be content you can provide for your website. There are 3 facets to keep people coming back to your site, you need to have content that is Unique, Updated and Useable.

Your story is unique, talk about where you came from, a small amount of your background and how you guys came up with the game. Elaborate, dig into details, it’s a conversation.

The Updated and Useable parts could come in the form of a blog. Think through what the competition is and write that up. Describe their approaches to the snake game and how you improve upon that. Those writeups don’t need to be long, a paragraph or two is all that’s necessary, just do it on a regular basis (every 2 weeks or so). Examining your competition is a great way to get ideas on updating your app as well. These are also opportunities for you to get press. If you can create an story around a post, look for publications that publish relevant things (if you overcame some kind of development challenge, do a nice writeup and send it in to dev sites / publications for consideration).

You will want to consider a “gamification” aspect to the site. Think badges and providing some kind of value. Maybe give out a code for a free game to the person who shares with the most people or update the app to show the highest scores / highest level or something. This should be pretty simple if you tie into Apple’s Game Center API. Make it as easy as possible for people to share their positive experience with your app with other people.
http://www.apple.com/game-center/
https://developers.facebook.com/docs/guides/mobile/

Looking your site, I think it could use an upgrade. You don’t need much, but you do need some additional content for Search Engines to latch on to. I can see 5 sections for your site, be sure to include keywords that you think your target market might be using when looking for fun, simple games to play.

  • About us
    • a chance to brag and talk about everyone involved on the team 
  • How to play
    • a youtube video is all you need, break down the one image on your current site into smaller chunks 
  • History of snake race
  • App links
    • give people the ability to download the game. this should prolly be present all the time so people can click on it when they’re ready to go to your iTunes page 
  • Blog
    • again, doesn’t have to be complicated. setup a free blogger or posterous account and provide small pieces of interesting content. those platforms have the ability to share on social networks and every time you write an interesting post, you create a new opportunity to expose people to game / company. 

I think you guys can improve on one of my favorite game’s site. Keep it simple and focused on the game / brand.
http://criticalthoughtgames.com/geodefense

I really like this long form style that Nike has and think you could use it creatively.
http://www.nikebetterworld.com/

Another very interesting implementation is the Ben the Bodyguard site, this style could suit your app very well (scroll down slowly):
http://benthebodyguard.com/#protectingwhatmatters

For a couple of other ideas, create a facebook page for the game, you want to be able to connect with people socially.
http://atlantajones.com/social-media/make-your-site-more-likable-with-facebook/

Here are a number of additional ideas on marketing your mobile app as well.
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/03/03/how-to-market-your-mobile-app/

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

Randall

On Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 22:16, Sindre wrote:
> Randall,
>
> The game is called SnakeRace, and it’s a really simple take on the good old
> Snake concept.
> Text from the app store:
> http://itunes.apple.com/app/snakerace/id450038167
> AMAZING, ADDICTIVE, ADORABLE and AFFORDABLE! SnakeRace takes the familiar
> concepts of good, old Snake to whole new levels. The game comes with 5
> amazing, diverse worlds, each worth hours upon hours of fun and exiting
> gameplay. Complete all the missions or challenge your friends’ highscores on
> Game Center with separate leaderboards for every world.
> In SnakeRace, you make full use of your viper-like reflexes and super-human
> finger dexterity in order to navigate terrains strewn with obstacles.
> Whether you crawl along at the pace of a freshwater snail, or hurtle through
> hyperspace above the speed of light, you will be challenged to collect gems
> while striving to get ever closer to the elusive finishline.
> *** Notable features ***
> DYNAMIC DIFFICULTY: Most worlds allow the player to adjust the speed in
> order to get the desired difficulty, but don’t go too slow, with great
> speeds come great scores. Most worlds also allow a more experienced player
> to choose higher risk paths with better scoring opportunities.
> SIMPLE AND INTUITIVE CONTROLS: The game uses a single-tap interface, no
> sliding or complex movements required. However, the player may choose to
> activate direction buttons on the bottom of the screen. The direction
> buttons require two fingers to be operated. Without the direction buttons,
> the game can easily be played with one hand.
> ———-
>
> As I said, we know very little about marketing (we’re basically three really
> technical co-fo
unders). So far we’ve done the following:
> – We have a norwegian Facebook event where we encourage people to get us
> into the top paid list in Norway (and we promised to give out 10 free
> t-shirts if we hit the #1 spot). 2000 invited, 164 attending so far, and
> we’ve probably got a 100+ sales through this the first day.
> – Written to a few norwegian papers / game sites asking if they would like
> to do a feature about indie game development in Norway. The two other
> founders dropped out of their physics masters to complete the game, and now
> we’re planning to propel this into a serious business.
> Overall, it is hard to describe our approach to marketing on a high level,
> simply because there isn’t much to say. We’ve been so busy making the actual
> game, that we haven’t really invested enough time in thinking about how to
> get it out there. We do have some ideas that might be worth pursuing though.
> A Mac-version is in the works (will send to apple this week), and we’re
> considering a free flash version of the game, that people can play through
> Facebook etc. I’ve made a flash-game a few years back, that literally got
> hundreds of thousands of visits a week for a few months, so if we could
> achieve similar numbers with a web-version of SnakeRace I think we would get
> noticed.
> Another idea we’re thinking about is to lower the prize to ZERO for 24 or 48
> hours this weekend, to get people playing it. The main problem now is that
> it is actually hard to find in the US App Store, even if you know what
> you’re looking for. We think the game has a real shot at becoming a big hit,
> but without really thinking about marketing we will never find out.
> So, any comments, tips, book recommendations, and help with our marketing
> efforts are deeply appreciated! Thank you so much, it really means a lot!

– Randall Noval

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