Leveraging in-app events to promote your mobile game

Mobile Games

October 13, 2022

Last year, at WWDC2021, Apple introduced in-app events as one of their upcoming ASO tools. Now that they’re here and settled, they’ve been fast-adopted by the ASO community. Google’s very own in-app events feature (LiveOps) is still not out of beta but it should become available to more and more developers in the future. 

About in-app events

In-app events (IAE) are real-time events within apps and mobile games that can be created and showcased in the app stores. They’re simply called in-app events on the App Store and LiveOps on the Play Store (bear in mind that LiveOps are still in beta, meaning they’re not available for everyone just yet).

With IAE you can promote live experiences inside your app (such as competitions or movie premieres) or even any kind of activities users can undertake inside your app.

They appear in several spots on the app stores: on your app or game’s product page, in search results, and in curated selections and personalized recommendations. They offer more visibility to your app and allow you to show how lively your product is. 

They are a great way to reduce churn by not only reaching new users but also keeping your current users informed and reconnecting with previous users. 

Image and video specifications for the App Store’s in-app events

To make the most of your in-app events, you can add several kinds of visual assets: an image or a video. As always, a video can help you better convert users. Take advantage of that additional space to bring into view new sides of your app or game. 

Why are in-app events so good for games?

According to MobileAction, mobile games are already heavily using in-app events. They have been early adopters of the feature to try and boost their game’s visibility. As Iris de Vries said in the 10th episode of the App Marketing Snack: “because the category is so competitive it’s really important to let users know what are your bonuses, what are your offers, and what’s the variety or the frequency in which you upload new games for the users to try and enjoy”. Mobile games are a highly competitive genre of games, a very successful one too (mobile gaming is set to exceed 60% of the overall gaming market in 2022). It’s essential to set yourself apart from your competitors and show users what makes your game so special.

According to Google, even in beta LiveOps bring a 4% higher revenue to developers and sees active users rise by 5%. Gaining users is one thing, but keeping them is another. IAE are a great way to improve your users’ lifetime value and retention rate, to show them what they’re missing out by not playing your game right now and things they may not know about it. 

Some more information about how IAE can help your game grow:

  • You can target specific countries and languages with IAE, helping you grow only certain markets if need be
  • Your visibility across the store is increased, the Play Store has a dedicated tab in the Games section for Games events, they’re also visible on the homepage. For App Store users, they’ll be shared on both the homepage and the Games tab
  • Improved visibility for acquired users: since the IAE will replace your game’s screenshot for users who have already installed the app, to interest them in interacting more with your game and going back to playing
  • A new way to reach former users: it gives you the opportunity to show former users what they’re missing out and maybe convince them to give your game another try
  • An ASO boost: IAE metadata is indexed (in the App Store at least) so you’ll rank on extra keywords thanks to in-app events!

How to leverage in-app events?

Now that you know why it’s interesting to bet on in-app events, where do you start? 

The first step is to ensure your in-app event matches the overall visual identity of your game, your product page, and your UA campaigns if you have them. IAE are a great opportunity for you to show more of your game. 

Thanks to the in-app event’s visual assets (either a static image or a video) you get another platform that helps you showcase specific information. Not to mention that anything you write in the descriptions will be indexed! To see how you can optimize your creative assets for in-app events, check out our post on the topic right here!

You can even send users directly to the event page on the store thanks to deep-linking (in both the App Store and the Play Store) which is a great way to leverage in-app events as a landing page for your UA campaign. Let’s say you have a brand new map or character in your game, you can promote them through UA and send users directly to your event card that stays on theme and sends your users directly to the right place in your game. It also means you don’t have to target only new users, you can also target acquired users and just try and bring them back to your game.

Tailor your event card for a better chance at being featured. With dedicated spots for featuring events in both the Play Store and the App Store, it’s a unique chance at being discovered by new users. Give it a shot and shine a new light on your game.

You can also use other ASO tools at your disposal. On the App Store, if you have an ongoing ASA campaign you can take advantage of the fact that since your screenshots will be shown with your ASA campaign on chosen keywords, having an in-app event shown in organic results will avoid unwanted repetition, especially for users who have already downloaded your game. 

Treat your IAE as a full ASO tool. They aren’t just an extra something, they’re a full-fledged ASO feature that can truly help your KPIs. 

Some ideas for an interesting IAE for your game

Depending on the kind of game you’re promoting, there could be several types of IAE that work for you. We’ve rounded up a couple of ideas to help you get started:

  • New characters available
  • A limited-time event
  • A limited-time promotion
  • New levels available
  • New maps available
  • A seasonal event or seasonal assets in your game (you can even loop that with your seasonal ASO to create seasonal assets that match your listing page) 
  • Promoting a quest 
  • A game update

What did you think? Have you already tried to implement IAE for your game?

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