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50k$ budget. What services are worth the money?

Hello,

My name is Mike and I’m responsible for promoting new games in my company. We had a one big hit that managed to bring us quite a significant income. We’ve been able to create a much bigger and complex game with the money we earned and it’s slowly getting close to release date. (Approximately 3-4 months)

Since my efforts brought great success in the past, I’ve been put in charge of creating a marketing plan again. Now I’ve been given a proper budget of up to 50k $. I have a really nice plan that worked well with our previous game, but the issue is that every action I took promoting the previous game was free or close to free.

I believe that the consensus here is that proper budget is important to app success and can bring good return, but I don’t want to spend it on not worthy services. (who wants to, huh?) I also believe that making a concentrated and big campaign in a short amount of time is more important that doing some stuff here, some stuff there a month apart, and I have not found any resources on the forum that deal with this matter.

Let me tell you slightly more about the game we’re working at. It’s a really big Hack and Slash RPG game set in a fantasy world, the graphics are not as beautiful as Infinity Blade II but it holds really really well. As all H&S it has hordes of monsters, dozens of spells, special skills, a proper multiplayer mode with co-op, PvP, PvM. The story is not our main focus, so it may not be very deep but it’s entertaining nevertheless. So I’m not worried about quality of the game. I believe that it will gain interest of the big review sites and I also believe that it will get great scores. Because if freaking awesome. What’s also cool is that it will be almost at the same time available on PCs/Macs/IOs/Android, do we get some synergy from being cross-platform. (User sees game on Android, tells his friend on iPhone etc.)

So after a significant amount of research I’ve came with these options of using our money. I think I should mention that we will sell it for at least 5$ probably more with no IAPs. I tried to push the freemium way but the lead designer is heavily opposed. This is what I got.

- Banner ads – siteskins on major sites (Touch Arcade, App Advice, 148Apps, etc.) That would cost about 20k$ for a week. Not sure how well they do with paid apps.
- PPI networks, technically we could pay 3,5 dollars for every install and still break even so we could dump much more money here, take some loans. Not sure about traffic they can bring though.
- Contests for users with small prizes on Facebook for sharing (Amazon or iTunes gift cards)
- Mobile ads on Facebook/admob/ other ad networks
- Getting initial reviews on sites like promoarrow or fiverr, may not be totally worth it but user will more likely buy an app that costs 5$ and has 50 good reviews than no reviews

This is what I came up with, I don’t write about obvious stuff like creating a webpage, fanpage, asking for reviews, offering exclusive content for biggest sites, writing and distributing press releases because it’s covered in the free stuff marketing plan.

If anyone had some experience on working with bigger budget, with any of the services I mentioned above and could share their insights I would be extremely grateful. Or maybe you know of some other services and ways to promote a game that are worth the dollar spend.

Thank you in advance for your insights! And sorry for the wall of text:)

Replies

  • sacha1996sacha1996 Posts: 494Registered Users @ @
    If it's a paid app, I think PPI will be the best. You can even find installs for $1 + the app's price so if the app is $5 you would have to pay around $6. And obviously if you take huge amount like 1000 US app installs than they will make you a bulk discount. I used FeaturePoints (https://featurepoints.com/portal/) and they did a great job actually.
    Or you can buy top 100 paid promotion packages such as this one: http://appviation.com or http://comboapp.com/services/top_100_campaign_paid_apps

    Banner ads won't bring so much click and sales. And certainly not enough if you look at the price you pay.
    Anyway, with a 50k budget you can do a lot of and combine all your marketing packages in one day or one week to push you in the top paid charts.
  • YoshkowYoshkow Victoria, B.C., CanadaPosts: 164Registered Users @ @
    Please consider Tap for Tap for your CPI needs. I know we have very competitive rates on installs. We also have a Tap Exchange that allows you to leverage traffic you have on your big app in order to get more traffic for your new app. We'd love to talk to you about various possibilities. Please PM me for contact info and check out tapfortap.com.
    Try [url="http://in.tapfortap.com/j"Tap for Tap[/url] - the cross-promotion exchange and monetization platform for mobile app developers.
  • tringiotringio Posts: 26New Users @
    I would advice u to change ur model from paid to freemium model using IAP. That's the only way any game succeeds unless ur game gets featured in the iTunes front page.

    You don't need 50 K , just spend about 8K in freeappaday.com , u will get about 2million downloads and boost ur ranks in the charts, if u r game is good , it's going to hold the rank and u make money if not it's going to drop and u will come to know ur game isn't getting popular among people. This is pretty straight forward way to market ur app , don't waste time and money is any other marketing gimmicks, those are for only who has less than 8K, but i don't think budget is an issue for u .
  • mochibitsmochibits Posts: 361New Users @ @
    If its $5, you should just start putting bits of it up for people to see and hopefully the big blogger sites will pick it up and like it.

    I think any amount of advertising would be almost wasted on a $5 game.

    If its freemium, check out AppGratis or Appoday or FreeAppADay for promotion services.
  • DiceDeviceDiceDevice Posts: 7New Users
    @PromoDispenser: why? (I am also looking at marketing solutions and am curious.)

    Another thing: does anyone have experience with a good app tracking solution? (To actually track your ads etc.)
  • RichardStephenRichardStephen Posts: 67New Users @
    Promo code is a famous marketing technique for all app developers, as 69% of respondents are sending out by using this.

    Create Trailers, previews and sneak-peak videos to make customers excited. Promote your app by using YouTube Videos. You need to get your videos viewed by your demographic.
    Hitch your app to the top with well planned and executed iPhone app marketing strategy - <a href="http://www.dotcominfoway.com/mobile-application-development/mobile-apps-marketing/iphone"> Click here </a> to know more about it!
  • screamingboxscreamingbox Posts: 2New Users
    You might want to look at these solutions for CPI, CPA and App networks:

    www.apptap.com

    Tapjoy.com

    Fiksu.com

    Clicksmob.com

    http://www.millennialmedia.com/

    We can also help you put together a complete marketing program as well.

    ScreamingBox.com
  • ComboAppComboApp Chicago, ILPosts: 333New Users @ @
    $5 is not cheap as for a game, so that be sure it stands out among others in the same pricing category. It is not a designer who should create marketing plan ;) Freemium or free-to-play works fine only if user is really engaged to continue playing and start spending - you cannot just change model since the whole process of the game will be effected.

    CPI bid will be rather high if the price of the app is $5 and $6 bid will not bring a great deal of installs.

    Banner ads is a good idea if you need to create a brand since they do not lead to numerous installs. I would spend less on them.

    Be careful with reviews from Fiverr - you might get into trouble with them.

    @sacha1996, thank you for mentioning us! Yes we can drive enough traffic for the app to get to top positions. At the same time we can support the rankings since App Store users need time to notice the app.

    @MikeMarketing, we would be glad to prepare a proposal for you. If you are interested, please contact me via yblindiuk@comboapp.com
    ComboApp Marketing & PR Agency<br />
    <a href="http://marketing.comboapp.com" target="_blank">iPhone App Marketing</a>
  • ShelShockShelShock Posts: 128Registered Users @ @
    I think that if you are purely looking at getting some attention for your app on the charts, FAAD and the price drop services can be effective. If you are committed to a "paid" business model, they are relatively useless because the charts reset once you go back to paid and the users are mostly freeloaders who don't spend money. If anything for you this would be a method of creating buzz along with your other campaigns.

    In my experience with a paid app it is harder to drive profitable installs with PPI networks. The super-cheap PPI models are ultra incentivized and the users do not engage. The models that have no innocent will end up with an extremely expensive CPI. If I was doing media planning for your app, I would plan for a mix of low-quality higher volume traffic to drive up rank while the app is paid combined with some higher cost acquisition to build up the real active user base. This will help you climb the charts a bit while you are acquiring quality users.

    I do recommend that you consider using a service to drive user feedback before you spend a huge amount of money driving installs. 65%+ of all downloads come from app store search and having solid user feedback not only can help with keyword performance but it also converts more users from your marketing campaigns. (Users are more likely to download apps when there is authentic user feedback). Gnome Escape is extremely effective at driving users who leave feedback and create traction for your app. Many devs here have commented on the service and others have posted positive feedback on Quora. It's worth checking out as well.
    Services and Apps I Recommend

    Reviews and Ratings are critical to the success of your app. They significantly contribute to your ASO and organic growth.

    Gnome Escape is the best way to generate reviews, ratings, iTunes buzz and feedback for your app.
  • iSpreadNewsiSpreadNews Posts: 315Registered Users @ @
    We'd recommend you to localize the app to a lot of languages (at least app description, screenshots and menu items).

    It should not cost more than $5k in total, but it will help the app to reach top of charts in other rich countries (like germany, italy and france). US AppStore brings only about 25% of money.

    Sending review requests to editors of all sites in the world (as opposed to being featured only on sites in English) is another key in worldwide success (see sig - we can help you with that).
    iSpreadNews.com - VERY CHEAP (from $50) way to send your iPhone/iPad app announcement to hundreds of blog & news sites owners over the globe.

    Just remember that there other countries besides US!
  • scottwbscottwb Posts: 778New Users @ @ @
    @iSpreadNews - I'm very close to going down the localisation route but certainly wouldn't pay $5k ?!? Also, I'm going to try out your review submission service on our new version of Gem Collapse. Which languages should we localise for?
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