How To Grow Your Player LTV With 6 Unique Game Marketing Strategies

by Game Marketing Genie, on 29-Sep-2021 12:06:44

Lifetime value (LTV) is the one of the most important - if not THE most important - metrics for a game developer. LTV gives the total monetary value of a single user throughout the time they play a video game. The metric informs devs how well a game is performing and determines investment in marketing and player retention.

To stay profitable, you shouldn’t spend more on acquiring a user than you are going to earn from the user. Tracking your customer lifetime value will help you determine how much to spend on your game marketing strategies, and help you predict how much you're going to earn from the game.

Despite being a vital metric, most developers still don’t give it the attention it deserves. While there are many ways to measure LTV, we’re going to share the best practices to help you boost the customer LTV for your game.

Let’s get started!

Strategy 1: Understanding and assigning a monetary value to your users

Choosing the right revenue model for your video game can be a challenge. The choice between the free, freemium, and premium models will depend on your business model, customer type, and the amount you’ve raised to develop and promote your game. Let’s review each model to see if they are the right fit for your gaming studio.

Yellow flowers

Free model

Also known as the "Facebook Model," companies that offer their games for free generate revenue through advertising. With this model, players don't pay anything to play the game. You can choose specific instances to publish the ads, such as when a player opens the game or completes an action on the app.

The free model works well when a game has many active users. This way, you show the ads to many people and earn revenue for ad impressions and clicks. The biggest challenge with this model is attracting the initial large mass of users enough to attract advertisers.

Freemium

Freemium is a two-tiered revenue model that engages players through a free and a paid version. Free users can only access limited features, while paid users have access to all the features of your game.

The main benefit of the freemium model is that it decreases customer acquisition costs while enhancing user engagement. Removing the cost of signing up for your game lowers the entry bar for new users. This helps you avoid overpaying for traditional promotional channels to acquire new users. Once you gain the trust of your players, you can tell them about the game's best features they can access with the premium version.

Paid model

The paid model is a classic way to make revenue where players pay a monthly subscription or a one-off fee to acquire your game. This model works when you have a thriving playerbase willing to pay for a quality gaming experience.

The weakness with the paid model is that it requires a lot of money to build the ecosystem and gather enough data to understand your players and build off that information. The cost of growing with this model is high, but if the customer LTV is higher than the cost per acquisition, then your studio will thrive.

Gold piggy bank

Strategy 2: Identifying the easiest and cheapest acquisition channels and scaling them

Which channels bring the most players at the lowest cost?

From your marketing analysis, you will know which channels are the most effective in helping you attract players. Separate these channels from the rest and focus on scaling them. If most of your game downloads originate from your Facebook Ads, publish more ads to drive more traffic to your app store page.

If you notice that you get more downloads after an influencer plays your game and recommends it to their followers, expand your influencer marketing campaign by finding more niche influencers to promote your game. Learn more about how we can help you make the most of influencer marketing over at Atisfyreach.

Bear in mind that the intention is to choose cheap and effective channels that are easy to scale. If a promotional strategy requires a lot of effort and resources to scale, leave it for now and chase the easy wins.

Big black dice

Strategy 3: Reduce the activation costs

By simplifying the onboarding process, you make it easy for users to understand how to play your game, which helps them stay loyal to you. No matter how attractive your game is, if a user doesn't get to the habit of playing it, then they're likely to churn.

For this reason, you should make the game as user-friendly as possible. Make the onboarding process simple such that users can sign in with just a click by connecting the game with their social media profiles.

Also, make the starting experience very simple. The game shouldn’t take too long to load or require a lot of player interaction to launch. Save a player's progress and resume the game from that point to ensure players don't have to start the game afresh.

Strategy 4: Increasing the retention rate through experiences and network investment

As with most video games, the more users play your game, the more likely they are to spend more on it. For this reason, you need to make sure players are invested enough in the game that they cannot abandon it entirely. This can be done with levels, saved progress, and networking within the gaming community.

Segment your game into levels that users progress through when playing the game. For every completed level, players can earn points or virtual coins they can trade to unlock special characters, skins, or superpowers. This measure will help you with player retention and keep users hooked to the game as they will want to gain enough points to earn the special features. The game should automatically save each player’s progress to ensure they can progress from the last point when they sign back into the game.

You should also encourage networking by letting users communicate their gaming experience with other members. Integrate a share button that allows players to share things on social media when they accomplish something big. Create an exclusive group on social media where players meet to talk about your game and share their experiences. Pop in often to meet the players and respond to their questions and concerns. Features like this could make your game go viral, thus improving your game’s lifetime value.

Sound a bit tricky? Reach out to a gaming marketing agency to learn more!

Aces cards

Strategy 5: Injecting paid elements in a slow and calculated way instead of dumping them right when they start playing the game

If you have any paid elements you want to introduce to players, don't shove them down their throats when signing up for the game. The paid features may be the best thing since sliced bread, but let the players warm up to them instead of dumping them immediately after they start playing the game.  

Be gentle and give players time to experience your game before you tell them about the paid elements. Let them have a feel of the game and experience the thrill of playing it first. When the value your game provides is evident, and you've earned the players' trust, then you can start injecting the paid elements. This slow approach makes the players more receptive to your offers, making it easy for you to convince them to pay for the extra features. Your revenues from in-game purchases will increase as a result, helping you attain profitability much more quickly.

Strategy 6: Re-engagement

Re-engage players to bring them back to your game. If you notice that a player has been away from the game for a long time, use push notifications to let them know that a fantastic gaming experience awaits them when they sign back into the game.

But don’t use generic messaging to re-engage players. Such messages can annoy them to the point where they uninstall the game. That’s why you should personalize the notifications you send. Use the player’s data to deliver a unique experience. If the player has a nickname they used to register for your game, use it to address them.

The same goes with their current level, the last feature they used, and the names of their favorite characters. For example, if you have a city building game and a player hasn’t logged in for a while, you can send them the following message:

Hey {username}, you've abandoned your city for {days since the last play}! The {most used feature} is in flames and {favorite character} went rogue!

This kind of personalization enhances the user experience and doesn’t feel like you are only trying to bring the player back.

Streamer girl

Video games are lucrative, but retaining players on the platform can be tricky. Optimizing your acquisition channels and focusing on community engagement can help improve your lifetime value.

Game Marketing Genie offers a range of services to help you understand your players, provide deep-level user insights, and help build a reliable engagement strategy. It's time to learn how our game marketing agency can help drive long-term growth and customer retention.

Wanna get your players connected? Chat with us today!

Topics:Video Game Marketing StrategyVideo Game MarketingDigital Marketing StrategyData-Driven Marketing

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