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Need help with my $25K marketing plan

01-25-2013, 05:49 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 13
Send a message via Skype™ to markleung
Need help with my $25K marketing plan

Hi all! Mark from Uglysoft here. Been lurking on this forum for a week and figured I should start an account and invite everyone to evaluate my plans to blow $25,000 on marketing. To return your favor, Iíd be glad to share the aftermath here. Hereís my app:

Sacred Guns - Trailer | iOS | Play Store

My game currently costs $0.99 with IAP. It is a simple 3D shooter that comes with voiced cut-scenes presented in comic style and can be completed within 6 hours without IAP. Itís intentionally made to be a short-and-sweet title that doesn't drag the player on forever. In other words, you can play through the entire game with very little pressure to pay a single cent. However, as you can tell from the humor, the game itself doesn't have a mainstream appeal.

We've so far made 800 downloads and $1,000 in revenue with some marketing with Promoted Videos (which I set an unprofitable bid to get some traffic).

I then came to the realization that there is much more room to maneuver with marketing a free app, so I've decided to set it free forever and try my luck at scoring the top charts on the App Store. Hopefully itís good enough to stick around the charts for a while! As a side benefit with giving this game exposure, Iím also hoping to build up Uglysoftís reputation as a developer that comes up with bizarre games.

This forumís consensus is that it is better to spend your budget within a small window than to drag it out over a longer period of time. Yet, correct me if Iím wrong, certain methods yield much less effective results if done in a short period of time. For instance, a 24-hour burst of incentivized installs burns significantly more money than spreading the campaign to a 5-day window for the same amount of installs.

Advantage of YouTube Promoted Videos: When I design games, I always think of what kind of epic trailer we can come up with. So far, we were able to maintain a profitable campaign that drives reasonable traffic at a cost-per-view bid - a good amount of targeted viewers do click on our ads, view the trailer and purchase the game. Moreover, this campaign drives sales to both iOS and Android platforms. At a bid of $0.04 CPV itís $6 per purchase. When I set it to free, I expect 20 times more viewers to download the app, which lowers the cost to $0.3 per install. If I crank up my bid a little I should get around 2,000 installations a day at $1,000. Itís all guesswork, though, as I have no idea how bad the diminishing returns is for raising the bid. Lastly, I do have 10,000 subscribers from silly videos I made in the past. Coupled with the fact that the video is at 150k views, itís already getting a healthy amount of organic traffic. Boosting the trailerís total views can further increase organic traffic in the long run. TL;DR: The gameís strength is its trailer, and Iím inclined to exploit it.

Below are my plans for the Ďburst campaigní.

FreeAppaDay - $8,500 (featured within "Today's Free App" section of FAAD apps for 48 hours
then under "Featured Free Apps" for 5 additional days)
Gnome Escape - $1,250 (to show up on the 4th position of their Free Hits list for one week, which would put us on the 1st page out of their 3 pages)
FreeAppParty - $500 (3-day campaign)
YouTube - $3,000 (to get around 200K views within a week)
Fiverr Gigs - $200 to bump up our ratings, should we receive harsher ratings upon going free (let me know if Apple deems this as illegal)
TapJoy - $2,000 (2-day campaign to buy 4K users)
App-o-Day - $?,000 (in discussion, and we signed an NDA)
Chartboost - $?,000 (in discussion)


Given my situation, what would you do otherwise? Would you for example further squeeze the window to within 24 to 48 hours instead of spanning 48 hours to a week?

Can you confirm that money spent on banner ads are better spent elsewhere?

I donít need to spend all of my 25K. For a game like this, can you estimate the amount that I should invest to yield the maximum profit?

For CPI services, is it better to go with different networks to reduce risk, or is it more effective to pick one service and concentrate my funds there?

With CPI services and YouTube, it doesnít seem to be cost-effective to do simply raise the bid and do a one-day burst campaign. With Tapjoyís CPI service, thereís no guarantee that I can yield 3,000 installations within 48 hours with a bid lower than $2. Should I even bother?

What do ad agencies like Fiksu do that I canít do with some research and educated guesses? Are they for example, more likely to convince reviewers to give us better reviews?

If you are so kind as to have tried out Sacred Guns, what quick changes would you make to the game before you launch the campaign? For example, would you decrease the difficulty at the first chapter?

Any additional tips to choose between different similar marketing services other than consulting the forums here?

How important and reliable are Alexa rankings? The Global Ranking at Freeappwin.com is 4,176,126 and Gnomeescape.com is 1,244,504, which donít seem to make sense.

Director at Uglysoft
Sacred Guns - Trailer | iOS | Google Play
01-27-2013, 10:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 115

Well, first of all I would say that AppoDay would clear out all of your budget, but it should be worth it (people say they have much better user quality then FAAD and make your game more standing out in their app - since there is just one a day).

Second - I wouldn't use FAAD now, considering how their app actually sucks, and results are unpredictable.

Third - you could easily invest around 20K (two days of 10K worth of downloads) in Chartboost and get decent results guaranteed.

Youtube - no, don't like it. Look for ways to show your app to users that are already browsing from iphone/ipad. I would give a try to new Facebook Mobile Ads (that show up in Facebook App in News feed) - might be worth a try. But start with small budget to estimate ROI.

Bottom line - pick one solution (AppODay or Chatboost would be my choice) and invest heavily in it.

P.S. Alexa rankings are irrelevant for FAAD or AppoDay or such - their traffic comes from their apps.

01-28-2013, 09:05 AM
Check the App-o-day contract... they had a clause in ours saying we couldn't be featured in another similar service for some time before and after their feature (60 days? I don't remember exactly.)

I'd drop FAAD anyway. The results from our last two campaigns were average at best and abysmal at worst.

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01-28-2013, 10:47 AM
If you have money to burn, why not advertise in relevant forums like TA or those top-tier app review sites? App Advice, 148 Apps, etc.

Get your Android game reviewed on Games Reviewer.
01-29-2013, 12:29 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 33
You can go for popular press release site like prmac.com which will bring limelight towards your app and hence increases your leads and makes the user attractive

Last edited by Stephen Richard; 01-29-2013 at 12:32 AM.
01-29-2013, 05:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 115
Originally Posted by Stephen Richard View Post
You can go for popular press release site like prmac.com which will bring limelight towards your app and hence increases your leads and makes the user attractive
Doesn't work well. It costs very modest money (around 100 usd), so you could do that, but it's not really a plan.
01-29-2013, 12:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 13
Send a message via Skype™ to markleung
Originally Posted by pat3ck View Post
If you have money to burn, why not advertise in relevant forums like TA or those top-tier app review sites? App Advice, 148 Apps, etc.
That would mean banner-advertising. Am I right?

Director at Uglysoft
Sacred Guns - Trailer | iOS | Google Play
02-08-2013, 04:36 PM
Look into my signature
Don't pay anybody ever who wants you to change your app's price to free!
You can get the same results for free on your own.

Banner advertisement for an app is useless in my experience.

Last edited by Therealtrebitsch; 02-08-2013 at 04:38 PM.