Marketing "risk"

Hello everyone,

I am looking for some input on the risks involved with paid marketing (e.g. paid installs).
Obviously it would depend on the app being marketed, but a general overview or opinion would be welcomed.

I am planning to release my first game soon so my Google Play profile is empty. I have spent a month or two on my application and I think it looks acceptable. However, I really get intimidated when looking at the games released by the big studios. How are we supposed to compare to that!?

Anyway, getting back to the topic, is it worthwhile investing money into paid marketing when there is no assurance that you will get a return on that investment? I am hesitant to invest the money just to lose it all. I have a small marketing budget ($100-$1000) too.

Looking forward to your responses.

It depends on the game or app. What kind of app is it? Would you download it yourself if you weren’t the one that made it? Ask other people that are not that close to you and dont mind hurting your feelings to tell you their opinion about the app. If all is ok then the risk is very small

You will never be able to compete with the big players, but don’t let that intimidate you. The big players are earning millions of dollars each day but are also spending a lot.

Obviously, it’s very difficult to create apps/games that have more success than the ones created by the big players and even if you get to a point where your app is better, it won’t last long because you don’t have the budget to maintain it.

You should do your best in creating a great app and market it as well as you can. After that, it all comes down to being lucky that your app will be featured by google and become very popular.

It depends on the app, but if you have a good one with long user sessions then you should be able to get the money you invest back in about 2-3 months.

Well, it is an arcade game meant for killing time. It doesn’t really have a more specific genre. The aim was that people would play the game for 5-10 minutes while waiting for the bus etc.
From what I’ve seen, people say the app looks cool and fun. I did show it to a few people that are not close.

Guess it does all come down to luck in the end. Thanks for the input, it really put the whole “us vs. the big players” into perspective.

You know the saying “make your own luck”! :slight_smile:

The idea is to not stopping. Create apps that are high quality and are unique, apps that will be received by people very well and that will be engaging. If you do that, there is no way you can’t succeed.

If the first app doesn’t rise to expectations, learn from mistakes and make your next app even better. And so on. Eventually someone will spot your app, create buzz around it and your downloads and earnings will hit new levels!

Good luck!

What you should do is pick a country thats smaller and try to chart there. Try to reach top 100,50, or 25. If you get to the top 50 you should be also placed in top new free for that category and then you will get organic downloads. Don’t pick action or casual game categories because those are extremely tough to compete in. Even if you lose your rank over time as long as the players that got your game are playing then you should be ok.

Well, I guess that would make it easier to get to the top charts. But wouldn’t that also lower my revenue from ads?
I have heard that ad networks pay much less for 2nd and 3rd world countries.

Smaller country doesn’t mean 2nd or 3rd world countries: Belgium, New Zealand, Netherlands, Ireland: these are smaller countries that pay good and are easier to climb in.

Thank you!.

I now need a way to climb the charts, but I am pretty noob at marketing. I was thinking about buying a set amount of downloads. Is this the standard way to do this?
And how would that work? Do they basically advertise your app until you reach the agreed upon number of downloads?

Anyway, sorry for all the questions. Hope I made sense.

There are a lot of ways to promote your app. You can google “promote android game methods” and read through what you find.

Based on my experience, the thing that gives the best results (by far) is buying downloads. It works like this: you use a service like appbrain, chartboost, heysap, facebook, tapjoy (or any from the many others) and advertise your app. Some services use cost per click (CPC) model, others use cost per install (CPI) model. It’s up to you to decide what is better. You should use a CPC model if you are confident most of the clicks on the ads will convert into installs and a CPI model if you think the clicks won’t convert into too many installs. I’d go for the CPI model if I were you, that’s what usually works.

With the CPI model, you set a maximum price you are willing to pay for each install. That is your bid. The system then looks at other bids and decides what ads to show. The higher the price you set, the higher the chance your app will be shown to people (the more impressions you will get).

You will have to use and play with different networks and see which one works best for you. You can buy the cheapest installs from appbrain: $0.2 is the minimum price. But for top countries you won’t get a lot of installs because the bids in these countries are pretty high. If you want to buy installs from India, I recommend you use facebook, you can buy installs for around $0.1.

Apps are different, target audiences are different from an app to another so what works well for one app might not work well for another. It’s all about experimenting and gaining experience.

Good luck!

Can you pay per download on Facebook?

Thank you for this really informative response. I understand much better now :smiley:

Yes Appbrain is awesome because you don’t have to intergrate an SDK. I used also and you don’t need to intergrate SDK. With tapjoy and others you need to intergrate an SDK which depending on how your game or app runs might effect performance. I don’t know which AD network you use but you can talk to your AM about which countries your AD network has solid inventory in. Then after you know which country has solid inventory , pick which one you would like to target.

Actually I used the “optimize to get more installs” version of the facebook campaign and spent around $150 on it resulting in an average price of $0.09 per install.

But how did you track the installs? Did you have to install facebook´s SDK?

In how many days did you spend those $150? I suppose it would be more expensive if you would spend them in a shorter time frame

Yes, I am using the SDK to track installs.

I set a budget of $15 per day for India, so in about 10 days.

Could you share you experiences with ayeT-Studios? I am looking at using them for my campaign.

Ok ayeT is $10 for 100 tokens. If you choose world wide than its 1 token per install. If you target a country then its 1.15 tokens per install which basically is $10 for 86 installs. Before you make a campaign talk to AyeT 1st to make sure he has inventory in that country so you can get a lot of installs.

I saw the 1 token per world-wide, but thank you for the 1.15 token info. I am guessing that it would fluctuate depending on country though?
What was the quality of the users that you received from them? I read that they are incentivized users.

Yes the installs are incentivized so uninstalls are higher than non-incentivized. No its a set rate from what I have seen 1 token worldwide and 1.15 token if you target any country.
I have seen a lot of posts reguarding uninstalls and people saying incentivized installs are low quality. Honestly it comes down to if your game or app is good enough. If its good people will keep it on their device, if its bad it will get deleted quickly. Most developers would rather blame something else than themselves for lack of success. The game that I made was just average and I knew that going in so I didn’t get upset when it didnt blow up. So when I reached top 50 I knew over time it would go down in rankings but still get enough downloads so I can make my money back. I paid for 800 installs and now my installs are 1,775.

= 975 organic installs so far