From the keyword research of the Apple Store, it is not difficult to find that recent hotspots focus on strategy games such as "Among Us" and "Clash of Clans". The ASO World team recently studied the development trends of a series of categories in the App Store. Here we focus on "Strategy Games", which is undoubtedly one of the most profitable categories. Through the discovery of the success factors of strategy games, we are looking for reusable resources to help new strategy games succeed quickly.

In addition to studying the algorithms of Apple's App Store and ASO Google Play Store, which games and applications are being used by the app store's customer base, it is also very interesting to do "metadata" analysis and hypothesis testing.

In this way, we can provide a unique analysis of App Store trends, highlight interesting points of discussion and come up with some useful ideas that can be verified one by one when you create your own hypothesis test. Let our ASO promotion and mobile marketing strategy get the first opportunity and be the first to reap success.



The focus and key points of this analysis for the "Strategy Game" category of the app store:


  • App Store Optimization Strategies - Learn about "App Store Optimization" messaging strategies for top apps in the "Strategy Games" category.
  • Refinement and implementation - summarize key information from practice, apply it to the optimization of the app store, and let these ideas play their actual value.


All of the following assumptions based on the strategy behind the app store creatives are based on the expertise, data and experience of the ASO World team.


What is a mobile strategy game?


A mobile strategy game is a game that derives various changes through players' autonomous decision-making (for example, a board game). In this game, decision-making skills are of great significance in determining the outcome. Almost all strategy games require internal decision tree thinking and usually require high situational awareness.

The top 30 strategy games can be divided into several sub-types. One classification can be to separate games based on game experience-casual games, mid-core games and hard-core games.

Casual strategy - a strategy game that allows players to jump into the game quickly, play for a short time (sometimes only a few minutes) and then come back when they want to kill their free time.

Mid-core strategy - a game with certain characteristics of a hard-core strategy game, often with a deep story and narrative, but still allows casual players to enjoy the game without spending a lot of time learning and immersing in the game.

Hard strategy - a strategy game that requires a lot of time investment to learn game mechanics, dive into the game "universe" and allow players to play the game for a long time in each session. These games are usually rich in stories.

These are the top 30 free strategy games in the US App Store as of August 2020. You may recognize some of them, or even experience some of them. Let’s start to decompose its app store marketing information based on its creatives.

Strategy game app icon: the importance of roles


As shown in the figure above, most strategy game icons belong to several icon design strategies:

Game elements - display the objects, artifacts or scenery of the game itself, and quickly convey the user's main elements and gameplay to the user. For players who are looking for a specific type of strategy game, this can work well. For example, a sword can convey to the user that the game will involve combat or that the food will appeal to players who are looking for restaurant strategy games.
 
Characters - Many strategy games use characters in icons. This can hint to users that strategy games will involve character building and deeper learning. If the game uses a known IP (such as SpongeBob SquarePants), the use of characters will have the added benefit of attracting fans familiar with the IP.

Mixing

Game elements + brand - use game elements and brand names in the icon. For games with known brand names, this may be more attractive.

Character + game element - Combining the character and game element in the icon can show the user more clearly what type of game it is, while still maintaining the power of the character.
 
Characters + Brand - Combining characters (usually unknown) with the brand name can make the icon more recognizable. For example, players who are not familiar with PUBG may not know the iconic (no pun intended) PUBG characters in the icon, but they will recognize the PUBG title/label in it.

If you are developing an ASO for a mobile strategy game, try these styles and evaluate the user's reaction to it. What are the more effective functions for your game by using characters, game elements or brand names?

Since the icon is the only element that appears in all user flows, it will affect the click-through rate of the top/category charts (including placements, search results), and even affect the effectiveness of advertising such as channels. As Facebook, include the icon in the creative .

When the user visits the complete App Store or Google Play store page, the icon can be used with other elements to tell a coherent story. For example, the icon indicates that the game is about a certain IP, and users will now prefer to browse the screenshot gallery to understand exactly how the IP is incorporated into the game.

Strategy Games App Store Vedio: The difference between game with video and without vedio

By testing the impact of owning and not owning video, we see that mobile strategy games are in the middle position when using video. 50% of games display game-related videos on the app store.

Our data based on thousands of tests shows that video is a good communication tool to tell users the story of the app. However, unless it is done beautifully and carefully, it will still be detrimental to the conversion rate. If the messaging in the video is not enough to attract users, they will lose interest and exit the page. Or, if there is too much information to absorb, it may overload users. You need a perfect balance. According to our data, the conversion rate of video content may have an impact between -20% and +20%. Therefore, this is a balanced risk/reward ratio, but it can definitely bring returns.

Looking at the video content strategies of games that do work, we see some common threads:

Use gameplay as a story canvas-by showing its gameplay, the game can be conveyed directly to users. However, given that this category is extremely competitive, is the game itself the most unique thing in the game? Simply showing the gameplay may not be enough to motivate potential players to try the game. Think about it, you don't want players to believe that this is "another" strategy game.
In short: not only show the gameplay, but also convey the uniqueness of the game.

Cooperation-Several top apps-like Eve Echoes in the example below, are using video to convey to users that the game will enable them to collaborate with other players and their friends in the team/tribe/tribe/tribe etc.

Competition-other users who attract light competition, other games convey a sense of competition. They will be able to compete competitively and win the favor of other players as they master the game, as shown in the following example.

Rewards and progress-Another option is to convey a sense of progress in the video, the breadth of the level and the rewards they can win. Just like what "Clash of Clans" did here:

Live broadcast-some games, especially those that have been broadcast for many years, are conveying new content in the game. By persuading failed users to lose new content, this messaging can be very effective in attracting failed users.

For some app store videos, an obvious mistake is (in time and money) "spending money" (in time and money) on the video on the initial screen with the initial name or logo. Since users usually watch videos for 6-8 seconds, you have limited time with them. Spending a few seconds on the brand logo is a waste of precious opportunities to tell these users what makes the game unique and why they should download it.


Screenshot from Mobile Strategy Games: A picture depicts thousands of words


App Store’s messaging strategy


After analyzing the messaging strategies in the top mobile strategy games in the app store, we found three main messaging strategies:

1. Progress

About 50% of games use one of the most common messaging strategies, which is to develop around progress. In other words, communicating the game to potential players will allow them to improve over time, and they have many options to grow as a player.

This is especially powerful for audiences looking for games that provide them with enough entertainment time and only need to play for a few hours to continue learning.

2. New game content

Another strategy being used by top strategy games (34% of them) is to portray games with new content that is released regularly. This is important for players who are looking for a game with enough depth to make it entertaining for a long time.

It is also important to re-engage disabled users and show them that there is a new experience in the game.

3. Characters

Finally, for games with strongly role-oriented games, we saw the usage of the role in the screenshot gallery to show:

They will encounter strong and easily recognizable characters in the game. For example, the successful mobile game AFK Arena has a new character in Assassin's Creed, which they showed in the first screenshot. This helps to attract the attention of IP fans and make them interested in the game.

Role establishment and development mechanism. Caters to players who are driven by role-playing and building roles over time.

Screen shot design style


After analyzing the screenshots from a design perspective, we see that although mobile marketers use several common messaging strategies, there are several ways to communicate these messages visually.

The design style itself can help or damage the transferability of marketing information.

In the category of mobile strategy games, we see three main game styles that dominate the top games.

Art (used by 15% of top games)-The use of art to convey the theme of the game is not necessarily limited by the actual gameplay. This style can support information by presenting the gaming experience in the most immersive way.

Games with subtitles (65% of the top games)-a simple design strategy that focuses on the game itself with subtitles to convey additional information.

Game + subtitles hybrid, including a character (20% of the characters used in top games)-this style is a combination of "gameplay with subtitles" and "artistic" style, with the "artistic" style at the top of the screenshot Contains screenshots of the game's characters.


Conclusion: ASO strategy game strategy


After all these game topics, I bet you want to turn on your phone to play one or two levels of your favorite game, don’t you? You can provide us with test ideas within a minute to increase the conversion rate of your own games in the app store.

Try the app icon style test what motivates most users to browse your app store page. Measure and understand the percentage of users who install apps with characters, game elements, or icons of your brand. Imagine that icons might encourage users to browse your page further, so measure the ability of different icons to influence the mix of decisive and exploratory users.

According to our data from app store tests conducted by top developers, the conversion rate improvement potential of icons is 8%-10%.


Try using video effects


Since the category is evenly divided between games that use app store videos and games that do not use app videos, the reality is that videos can increase/decrease conversion rate videos based on audience, GEO, and ad quality.

By testing variations of app store pages that contain videos and variations that do not contain videos, you can understand the audience’s reaction to videos. Then continue to optimize the video content to maximize its effectiveness.


Experiment with screenshot messages


One of the more effective areas that may increase conversion rates is the screen shot gallery. Especially the first 1-2 screenshots, because 100% of the users who land on your page can see them before they decide to give up or browse the page further.

By analyzing competition, test how your audience responds to different messages. If you start your story with a message about progress, are users more likely to browse your page and install it? You can also try to promote through characters and new live game content, and watch users’ reactions to further optimize various details.


The above is the promotion strategy of "strategy game" in the app store shared by ASO World. The detailed experience will make your game get faster results than competitors. Regarding the promotion strategy of mobile applications and games, you can also peruse the following related articles:


1. 7 mobile marketing success stories teach you how to start your app marketing

2. Mobile Game Success Story: “Among Us”, the Viral Game that Made a Comeback

3. What About Google Play Store ASO And Its Keyword Optimization


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