Play-to-earn apps are mobile or web-based applications that allow users to earn real-world rewards for playing the game. Examples of play-to-earn apps include fantasy sports, online gaming, quizzes and skill-based games; Swagbuck is an app that is especially famous in the UK, the US and Canada. Users answer up to 10 questions and have a chance to share a prize pool of up to $1000 USD with other winners.
Play-to-Earn Apps’ Business Model
The business model behind these apps is based on the idea that users are willing to pay to play and compete for real-world rewards. These rewards can come in the form of cash, gift cards, vouchers, and other prizes. To monetize the app, the developers charge a fee for access to the app and/or a commission on any rewards won or they include offerwalls (granted they have intersecting target markets). Learn more about offerwalls and rewarded engagements here.
How to Market Play-to-Earn Apps?
Some top tips on how to create an effective marketing strategy for a play-to-earn app are as follows:
Social Media Marketing
Gamers are often found on social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube; use these channels to boost your app’s brand awareness and generate interest amongst your potential target market. You can begin by developing a content marketing strategy that includes creating engaging posts that promote what rewards gamers can earn from your app, running playable ads to give them a taste of the games they can experience, hosting free giveaways to cement your position as a source of gain for users and engaging with your followers.
Identify influencers who align with the target audience for your app. Nowadays, the term ‘gamer’ is a very general one; there are many different categories of games in the market like RPG, FPS, puzzles, hyper-casual games and casual games (to name a few). Naturally, influencers have their own narrow focuses and niche followings, you will need to find the right ones for your app. Collaborating with influencers allows you to outsource the marketing to an entity that will help spread the awareness of your app in a promotional way that doesn’t resemble a hard sell (which is what gamers like).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO helps play-to-earn mobile apps to be more visible in search engine results and makes them easier to find for potential gamers. Remember, more visibility means more organic uplift. This technique involves optimizing the app’s website and content for specific keywords related to the app and its features like “earn”, “reward”, “play”, “and game” to name a few. This in turn helps to boost your marketing efforts, making it easier to hit your goals once your target market is more aware of your presence in the market. Additionally, SEO can also help to improve the user experience for visitors, resulting in more downloads, higher conversion rates, and better engagement rates.
Paid Advertising/User Acquisition
There are many forms of paid advertising that you can use to boost your user acquisition. There are walled gardens such as Google Ads or Meta Ads, and then there are 3rd party ad sources that you can use to reach out to your target audience and drive app downloads. DSPs are a great way of scaling up user volume whilst maintaining your user targeting parameters. Rewarded engagements like offerwalls and play-to-earn apps both have users with similar characteristics and behaviors so using offerwalls could lead to an influx of gamers for your app.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
Optimize the app store listing to ensure that it is visible and attractive to potential users. This means checking your title, description and screenshots to ensure that you have displayed the most relevant and aesthetically pleasing content about your play-to-earn app. Grab an attention-capturing title that encapsulates what your app is about, include any reviews or awards your app has received in your description, and display relevant images and videos that give your end users a good idea of what to expect when they install your app.
Creating a referral program to reward users for referring the app to their friends and family is a great way to bring in new users at lower costs. This will in turn build your app’s K-factor as more of your users bring in additional users; most play-to-earn users tend to have communities in Discord where they bring their gamer friends into apps that have more to offer them.
Play-to-earn apps are only as good as the rewards they offer their users. If the rewards themselves lose value, the app will lose its DAU (daily active users) within a frighteningly short period of time. If your play-to-earn app is partnered with monetary reward schemes like Paypal or with partnerships like Starbucks, Amazon, and PlayStation then is sure to market these rewards via multiple channels. Influencers, social media, within your user acquisition campaign creatives and also in your app page descriptions and screenshots.
Measuring Marketing Strategy Success
As the gaming industry has grown, so has the popularity of play-to-earn apps, and it’s important to measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategies to ensure the success of your app. Here are some key metrics to track and tools and techniques to analyze the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
Key Metrics to Track
The most important things to track when measuring marketing strategies for play-to-earn apps are user engagement-based value metrics and user acquisition-based quantity metrics.
This includes tracking user retention, user LTV, and user spending. Additionally, you should also track user reviews and ratings, as well as average user session time, ie. the frequency with which users are playing your game.
In order to ascertain the success rate of your user acquisition methods, you should have a look at your click-to-install conversion rate, the CPM/CPI of your in-app ad placements, bounce rate and the CAC (customer acquisition cost).
Tools and Techniques for Analyzing the Effectiveness of Marketing Campaigns
It’s important to use the right tools and techniques to analyze the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. This includes using analytics tools such as Google Analytics and your chosen attribution tool (Adjust, Appsflyer or Branch.io etc.) to track user engagement. Additionally, A/B testing is a useful tool for testing different versions of your app to see which one performs better. Finally, it’s also important to use social media to track user engagement and measure the success of your campaigns.
Examples of Successful Play-to-Earn Apps
There are many successful play-to-earn apps out there, such as World of Tanks, Clash Royale, and Candy Crush Saga. All of these apps have successfully used marketing campaigns to drive user engagement and monetization. They also use analytics and A/B testing to measure and optimize their user experience.
In conclusion, it’s important to have marketing strategies in place for play-to-earn apps in order to ensure their success given that they are only as strong as the number of users they can acquire and retain. In order to launch a marketing strategy, visit the AppSamurai dashboard and sign up to one of the biggest one-stop shops in the world to gain access to top placements via DSPs, influencer performance marketing, OEM inventory, offerwalls (rewarded engagements) and more.