Rowan Heasley
Rowan Heasley 11 March 2016
Categories Mobile, Technology

Branded Mobile Games Should Learn From Indies

By now every CMO, Marketer and Brand Director is aware of the stats surrounding mobile usage and growth, it’s big, it’s growing and your audience is on there every day but the Indie developers are getting the audiences and the brands are not!

Trying to reach a mobile audience is tricky. Your website, well promoted, will already be responsive and is crafted to provide optimal viewing and interaction across a wide range of devices. Your close consumers already visit you there, use your site and acknowledge the good that you do.

However it’s a bit of a memory thing and memories fade over time, some fast and some slow, so there needs to be a constant series of brand awareness being pushed out to your audience as a reminder to come and visit your site, explore and buy your products.

When you look at the mobile world as a whole you can see that mobile browser audiences are twice as large as mobile app audiences. In other words users are visiting more websites than apps but the key word here is “visiting”.

It’s quick and easy to visit websites and you can skim through them gaining the relevant information you seek but users are still spending more time overall on mobile games and apps with figures of 80% or higher being touted for mobile apps compared to responsive websites.


Branded mobile games and apps are therefore extremely important for marketing and reaching your target audiences but just creating a mobile game is not enough, as the days of “build it and they will come” have long gone and there is a large amount of apps out there for users to engage with.

Brands therefore need to look at the Indie Developers, and learn from them on how to market a mobile game and reach your target audience.

Indie games have exploded in recent times and become large revenue generating machines for their companies. I still recall just a few years ago seeing my first TV commercial for a mobile game “Clash of Clans” and it really hit home how a “simple” game is now competing for viewing time on expensive prime time TV. These TV commercials have grown with many others such as Candy Crush Saga, Game of War and Mobile Strike starring Arnold Schwarzenegger all competing for uses attention.

Branded games have the advantage of not needing to wheedle cash out of their audiences via the games as the game is there to drive users to other products or services, overall this can make the experience more pleasurable to users as they are not being interrupted by a plethora of random ads.

Mobile branded games therefore don’t need to spend a fortune on TV commercials but they do need to realise that branded mobile games work the same as Indie ad funded and paid for games as they do need to be marketed and promoted.

Building the game is the first step, marketing it then has to be considered. Some brands already have large communities that they can reach via social media and email lists but additional effort has to be put in to get the app reviewed and shared. Expand your Twitter campaigns with the use of gaming hashtags, interacting with your communities before the game is even released, gathering their thoughts and feedback and building your community even further. Boost Facebook with competitions where users can win power-ups and unlock new characters in the mobile game.

Make full use of forums like Reddit, create video trailers for YouTube and get gaming sites to review the game.

You should do it, because it’s the way the Indie developers do it.

All of this will help your branded mobile game stand out from the crowd and generate interest without the huge costs of TV commercials or paid advertising campaigns and best of all your game will be on the app store for a long time with all those social media app reviews and links constantly helping to promote it as you gain users month after month.

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