February 8, 2023

2023 UA Trends for Mobile Gaming

By Munira Rangwala

It is no secret that UA trends change at lightning fast speed. What was ‘in’ today, might be ‘out’ tomorrow. So how can mobile game developers and advertisers stay on top of their game? One of the smartest ways to ensure that your UA efforts aren’t in vain is by keeping an eye out for the latest UA trends. For instance, the Metaverse was all the rage in 2021 and early 2022, but it seems like the hype around Metaverse has settled at the end of last year and going into 2023.


You see, change is inevitable. But that shouldn’t mean that you give up on your UA efforts altogether. Here are a few trends that might last the hype in 2023. Take a look!


1. Generative AI will rule the roost

ChatGPT and Lensa have exploded and how in the last year and make a strong case for Generative AI. How many posts across social media have you seen that talk about ChatGPT and Lensa? In the last month itself, we’ve seen 2000! But here’s the thing. Generative AI is going to be used mostly in ASO for feature graphics, writing descriptions, and generating icons.


2. Hybrid monetization strategies will thrive

Especially for legacy games, buying subscriptions will become more common. While it is unlikely that off-platform monetization will gain traction in the near future, more studios will look to move monetization into higher-value subscriptions away from one-off IAPs in order to drive ARPPU increases.


3. TikTok is in, Facebook is out

As the social media giant struggles to stay relevant, TikTok is moving quickly and with conviction to attract the fallen users of Meta. TikTok is predicted to be the new Facebook as we will see advertisers moving there and setting camp in 2023.


Now that we’ve established the top trends, the obvious next step is acquiring the users who are propelling these trends. In the context of mobile gaming, user acquisition involves attracting new users and getting them to download the game. This is either done organically or through paid advertising. Let’s deep-dive into the best practices that can help you get the most out of your UA efforts. 


·  Identify your target audience

For your user acquisition strategy to work – organic or paid – you need to identify your target audience. Your existing users are a great tell on the kind of new users you need to pursue. Your target audience depends on varying factors like the age and category of your game. Start by identifying who is interested in your game and build a user persona. The best way to create a user persona is by starting broad and then narrowing it down. You can take a wider geographic location and a larger age group. For instance, instead of just choosing 14 to 18 year olds, you can widen the age group by focusing on 14 to 25 year olds in the beginning. Before launching the main campaign, test this audience on a small budget. Once you are satisfied with the results on a micro level, you can then scale your campaign.


·  Make use of Augmented Reality (AR) ads

Why do AR ads work so well? Because they use immersive technology to superimpose digital visuals and objects on top of the real world. This masterful integration with real-world elements helps bring the in-game experience to life. AR ads not only drive engagement, but they also deliver a memorable experience for your players.


·  The right marketing channels go a long way

Want to maximize your UA efforts? The key is the perfect mix of marketing channels and running the right campaigns. Each channel has its own specifics and it is best to test on smaller budgets. If you’re opting for the paid route, you can take your pick from Google’s UAC, Facebook Ads, ironSource and several more to advertise with the purpose of gathering installs. If you want to choose the organic route, App Store Optimization (ASO) works well. Just as SEO increases the ranking of a website, ASO increases the ranking on app stores. By evaluating and optimizing keywords, you can fundamentally improve the chances of your mobile game being discovered by users on Google Play/App Store.


·  Get into a partnership with a mobile gaming platform

As the competition in the mobile gaming industry deepens, brands are always coming up with new ways to better advertise their casual games. One emerging trend is partnering with a mobile gaming platform. Mobile gaming websites or platforms are designed to help you publish with mobile game publishers in order to better promote your game. By hosting your game on one such platform, you get the chance to reach new audiences that you might not have otherwise. Apple’s App Store, Google play Store, and even Amazon App Store allow advertisers to create different types of campaigns for the sole purpose of UA.


·  Optimize high-quality creative production

One of the quickest ways to reel new users in is by giving them a demo of what it is like to play your game. Well-made video ads are a smart way to portray core gameplay and in-game mechanics in a fun, engaging way. These carefully-crafted ads are often key in influencing the decision to download a game. Use visuals that are an effective representation of your game. Using false visuals often leads to higher player drop-off and app uninstalls.


Unfortunately, when it comes to UA trends, what works today may not work tomorrow as every brand is trying something new on a daily basis and chasing the latest trend. This is especially true for the mobile gaming industry and the hyper casual games genre. However, don’t let this discourage you in your efforts to advertise your game. The key to a successful UA campaign is to target the right audience, be strategic in your approach, and use the most relevant marketing ad types and channels.


Want to know more about the UA trends for hyper casual games? Keep an eye on our blog for new informational articles. 

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