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Navigating the Post-Holiday Lull: A Guide for Mobile Game Developers

mobile-games-developersThe Platform is an invitation-only guest opportunity that asks technologists and innovators to share big ideas. This week you are getting schooled by Jamie Evans (Advertising Account Manager) and Nate Barker (Publisher Relations Manager) from Chartboost.

The holiday rush is over and as a mobile game developer, you’re left with a crippling eggnog addiction, tons of new users (hopefully), and questions about what to do next. To help, we’ve prepared this guide for developers looking to make the most of the post-holiday lull by analyzing, optimizing, and gearing up for the year to come.

1) App-topsy: If you followed our pre-holiday advice, then you prepared for the worst by buffing up your back-end, support team, promotional assets, etc. Now the question is – what actually worked? Did throwing Santa Hats on your characters increase click through rates on ads? If so, what other yearly events are worthy of customization? Did in-app-purchases work or were your servers crushed by a rush of illegitimate users? If you were brought down by illegitimate players, how can you make sure it doesn’t happen again? These are key to creating your plan for next year.

2) A Very Short Engagement: Holiday users are a special breed – flush with shiny new devices and laden with free time, they’re eager to give your game a shot. This honeymoon won’t last forever, so take this time to run an engagement campaign to keep them interested. If you can send push notifications, keep them returning every day. Otherwise, use external marketing channels (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) to harness the power of your community.

3) Carpe Per Diem: If Santa Claus (or Hanukkah Harry) was generous this year, he left plenty of iTunes cards for family members to try out premium App Store content. Generally, this cash spurs a feeding frenzy of purchases. In our experience, however, the frenzy lasts no longer than around mid-January. Learn which items worked and which didn’t to get a feel for what your users want from updates to your game. Post-mortem learnings and new engagement tactics will help ensure that users spend their money in your game and not someone else’s.

4) С Рождеством! The holidays may be over in the west, but there are more to come in other parts of the world. Read up on international holidays, know the dates and timeframes, and get ahead of localization. Just as some developers failed to capitalize on the opportunities of Thanksgiving, there are plenty of local celebrations to be a part of, which means it’s a great time to localize your game content and the promotions you’re running to bring people in.

5) It’s a small world, after all: Since the competition for new users has calmed down, this is a great time to reach out to your fellow developers. Analyze your advertising traffic to find good fits for Direct Deals to pre-empt next year’s advertising and monetization efforts. Check out which games did well during the holidays (via the top free charts, top grossing charts, reviews, etc.) to learn from other’s successes.

Onwards and upwards!

EditorNavigating the Post-Holiday Lull: A Guide for Mobile Game Developers

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