Which advertising method worked for you?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by Grumps, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Grumps

    Grumps Well-Known Member
    Patreon Indie

    Feb 2, 2009
    iOS Game Developer
    There aren't much developer that ask about advertising channels lately but despite having the presence of free social channels like Facebook and Twitter, advertisement placement is probably inevitable.

    You might have the most noteworthy product out there but it aint going no where without exposure. What would you do when not much site/blogs would pick up your story and even if you had success, what would you do to prolong the success? I have been actively advertising on both Touch Arcade and Admob but I was thinking if there are any better alternative that is more cash worthy for product exposure?

    What advertising channel worked for you? Paid ads on iPhone blogs, perhaps ad network like Admob, Adword, iAD? What really worked out for you? Share it with the rest :)
  2. Silver Josh

    Silver Josh Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2008
    - Ok, nothing new as I've read it several times on TA, but translating the app in various languages gave some of our apps a good visibility in foreign countries.
    In some cases this created a surprising effect because our app was not selling in English speaking countries, but in Japan (for example).
    I don't know if you can consider this as an "advertising method".
    Anyway, first time we hired some individual translators, but after several issues and problems with their being inaccurate, we decided to move on with DYS translations; safe, accurate, affordable. Their services are worth the price.

    - FAAD (Free App A Day) used to guarantee us some good "sales" (free downloads) of apps. This site gave our apps a good visibility, sometimes translated in good sales the day after.
    However, recently it didn't work.

    - We tried to buy ad spaces in a few websites (not TA: we can't afford that), but that didn't work at all. :) They sell ad spaces based on clicks and we lost almost 100% of the money invested.

    Obviously there is no service that can guarantee you a huge number of sales.
    Most of it depends on how good your application is.
  3. Moonjump

    Moonjump Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2010
    Game designer
    Lincoln, UK
    iAd doesn't appear to be a good way to advertise apps. The cost per purchase could easily be higher than the sale price, some reports say much higher.

    iAd is more suited to higher price sales per user such as cars, or with repeat business such as banks.

    I believe there are special rates for App Store Developers to advertise, but you would need to weight up the costs. It may increase revenue, but may have little or an adverse effect on profits.
  4. iphoneprogrammer

    iphoneprogrammer Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2009
    Financial Analyst for Baines and Ernst
    London, UK
    How much are TA's Rates?
  5. smuttlegiaco

    smuttlegiaco Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Game Designer
    @silver josh: thank you for the "DYS Translations" link. looks like a good company.
  6. Only two things ever worked for me: being feature by Apple (either Hot New Games, New & Noteworthy, or both) and targeted, niche reviews. In the latter case, I spent no money... I just gave a promo code to the review who requested it.

    I've got some ideas that I plan on trying out with my next game... my suspicion is a more coordinated, all-at-once effort might be the best technique. I've been too haphazard with my promotion strategies!
  7. enuhski

    enuhski Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
    #7 enuhski, Sep 11, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
    based on experience, i believe i've been able to help indie developers even with such a small site through twitter. my site is very small (although i believe i offer good reviews at par with major review sites) so even with offers to advertise, i don't accept them and offer ads on my site for free.

    what i believe is effective so far, is twitter, even compared to facebook. i have no statistics to back me up, but based on my dealings with developers, here's what i do to help them advertise:

    1) i tweet links about the app, including press releases and my review once it's live.
    2) retweets of developers who posted updates, promos, etc.
    3) conversations with other app reviewers and devs also help a lot.
    4) continuous advertising for apps even after review
    5) promo code or iTunes GC giveaways

    i use my site's facebook fan page for some exposure as well.

    i observe that it's faster and easier to spread the word about an app via twitter compared to facebook, leading to better exposure for the developer and the app.
  8. DaveLev

    DaveLev Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2009
    Indie Games Developer for iPhone
    Derby, UK.
    We've released a few games now and each of them with differing success.

    Our latest game (Gravity Runner) is our greatest creation yet, but it hasn't done as well as our game we released before it (WordSearch Rush). Gravity Runner has sold 30% of what WordSearch Rush did.

    Gravity Runner has been featured in the "Hot New Games" section of the App Store and we've had reviews from almost every iPhone based website, some very good and some mediocre. We're a bit disappointed with the sales of it so far. When the good reviews from the bigger websites came through (AppAdvice and TUAW) we saw a massive boost in sales. We've also tried AdMob and it gave bad results for us, no difference in sales at all really.

    WordSearch Rush was featured by Apple in the "New And Noteworthy" of All Apps (front page of the App Store) in the UK and AU, and as a "Hot New Game" in the US and rest of world. Most of our sales came from this massive feature in the UK and AU.

    We hardly had any reviews for WordSearch Rush from websites and didn't promote it through AdMob. We also didn't do much pre-release marketing for Wordsearch Rush like we did for Gravity Runner.

    Our thoughts of how to get App Store success is to be featured by Apple, the bigger the feature the greater the sales figures in our experience. If you get reviews posted all on the same day too (if that is possible) then that would also boost sales dramatically I guess.

    Hope that helps a little, although it's difficult to guess if you'll be featured or not.
  9. I've had a small experiment with admob so far without much luck.

    On paper it didn't seem that bad, the minimum bid of 10 cents / 6p I was thinking I needed 1 sale out of every 20 clicks to break even (at my app selling for £1.79 and coming out with just over a £1)

    Unfortunately it didn't quite work out like this, $100 disappeared within minutes, I apparently got 1000 clicks for that but they hardly converted into any sales.

    I just geo-targeted the UK for the initial campaign also. It would be interesting to see if it would make any difference now our app is reduced from £1.79 to 0.59.

    It's a shame as I've had success with adwords previously for non app store related promotions so was expecting a little more from admob. Ideally I need to throw more money at it and do some more testing of ad text, image ads and so forth but don't feel like throwing too much down the drain!
  10. Stroffolino

    Stroffolino Well-Known Member
    Patreon Silver

    Apr 28, 2009
    Software Engineer
    The goal of any ad campaign should be to get your app ranked on a top list. Ad campaigns provide visibility, but the best visibility is within the AppStore itself, since it's a feedback loop and free.

    If a pay ad campaign doesn't drive enough concentrated downloads to do this, it's probably going to be a waste of money. I'm much more inclined to invest money into new artwork/music for my apps, old and new, than to burn it on pay ads.

    Some powerful things you can do on the cheap:

    1) leverage free apps to drive sales of pay apps. When Pocket Boxing Legends free version was released, it landed near the top of the top free sports list, and sales of the full version more than doubled.

    2) don't just distribute a lite and forget about it. If your lite is sitting in the hands of a lot of users, an update to the lite can easily prompt many folk to decide to finally upgrade, and all at the same time. As an example, any time I update my free version of Card Shark, I get a big burst of downloads of the full version.

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