Establishing a coherent and effective marketing campaign is a tough challenge for any mobile game. Publishers need to strike the right balance between attracting consumers to play their titles, while setting the right expectations for the full experience to prevent churn. Google Play already empowers innovative store asset strategies, and now Apple is set to release new tools for iOS 15 enabling more experimentation at an even more granular level than before. Our new report, Mobile Game Store Asset Optimization Trends 2021, utilizes Sensor Tower’s powerful tools such as App Intelligence, Ad Intelligence, and Game Intelligence to analyze the most innovative strategies publishers are using to convert consumers into players, and ultimately generate more revenue.
One popular strategy deployed by publishers on their app store pages is to make regular app icon changes that highlight the changing of the seasons and international festivities. An example of this in action is Golf Clash from Playdemic, which regularly makes alterations to its app icon, such as Autumn leaves in November 2019, a three leaf clover in March 2021 for St. Patrick’s Day, and a jack-o’-lantern to represent Halloween in October 2021.
Publishers also utilize other strategies for their app icons and store assets, including adapting an app icon to mark a launch anniversary, as seen in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp from Nintendo and Genshin Impact from miHoYo, which can encourage players to access these games to see what’s new and to potentially receive celebratory rewards. Publishers including King, meanwhile, use their logo in app icons across their portfolios to establish brand identity and convert players who may have enjoyed their other titles, such as Candy Crush Saga.
Archero from Habby deploys one of the most innovative app icon strategies on mobile, regularly updating the titie's icon to showcase new updates, events, and game features, typically changing the image at a monthly cadence.
Following an update to the game in October 2021, Habby now also features its company logo on the icons for its breakout hit Archero and other titles in its portfolio, including Pun Ball and Spin Rhythm, in what’s likely an effort to improve brand awareness for its growing roster of titles.
During the second half of 2020, publishers such as Playrix and Nexters began finding success with “Pull the Pin” ads for titles such as Homescapes and Hero Wars, which were unrelated to the core gameplay of the titles being advertised. These campaigns proved to be highly effective for attracting players and standing out from competitors in the same genre. While game design typically informs marketing, in the case of Pull the Pin ads, the opposite was true. The success of these ads led to publishers like Playrix updating store assets, such as screenshots and their app icons, to match these user acquisition campaigns and notify players that such features are now available to play in-game.
This strategy helps improve the performance of marketing campaigns by reducing friction between the store landing page and the effective install, thereby potentially increasing install conversion rates.
For more in-depth analysis on mobile game store optimization strategies and trends for iOS 15 and Google Play, download the complete report in PDF form below: