The Chinese mobile game industry has gained a lot of momentum over the past years and promoting your mobile game has become just as important as designing your levels or enhancing your user interface. Given the enormous size and growing popularity of the gaming world, brands have started spending more money to come up with creative ideas to market their games. And it is a highly competitive market where mobile developers need more than just a quality game to make their games stand out from the crowd. If you’re intimidated by appealing to Chinese users or succeeding in such a competitive market, your best route is creating a solid marketing campaign with the right platforms for gaming. Marketing your mobile game on the right platform will help you lay the foundations of a successful promotional campaign and get your game the attention it deserves.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
Last year, Chinese users spent 3,720 million hours on mobile apps on a daily basis and currently spend about $ 10 billion in non-game apps. Brands can target these users by utilizing some of the alternative Android application stores. Each store has its own special conditions and offers, so it’s worth taking the time to try out a few to get additional perks for your game. The most popular alternatives include Myapp, 360 Mobile Assistant, Baidu Market, Huawei App Market and Oppo Software Store. However, these stores tend to be a lot stricter with regulations. Working with a local partner will be very beneficial for getting a gaming license and localizing your app to fit the Chinese language.
Video & Livestreaming Platforms
China’s Gen-Z is known to spend a great deal of time on video and livestreaming platforms on a regular basis. While most livestreaming platforms in the West are geared towards gaming and entertainment, livestreaming has become the place for Chinese consumers when searching for new products and deciding on what to buy. It is an essential part of the customer journey, unlike for consumers in the U.S. and Europe. Some popular names of these types of platforms include Douyu , Youku, Huya and Bilibili. Users livestream games and upload related videos, making all of these platforms good choices for exposing your mobile game to a wider audience.
Youku is a video hosting service that is often referred to as the Youtube of China. Recently, this platform has started to fall behind its rivals, however, it still has a lot of brand recognition as a top video sharing platform. Youku offers a wide range of services and tools for you to promote your mobile game.
Bilibili is a long-form video hosting platform that is mostly known for anime, games and use-generated content. This platform is often overlooked when it comes to Chinese video sharing, but it’s one of the fastest growing social platforms due to the power of gen-z. Users on this platform livestream their thoughts and tips on any and everything, creating many opportunities for you to leverage the platform.
Niche platforms like these encourage active participation and sharing of valuable content. You can build a solid relationship with your users this way and it allows you to introduce your mobile game in a more detailed and technical way. You can invite remembers from your team, experts or KOLs to answer questions for gamers. You can also encourage users to ask questions and post questions themselves for high quality user-generated content, which will improve your overall influence on social media. Platforms like Douban, Zhihu and Tianya have become powerful tools for reaching out to customers with a more targeted approach. Each of these platforms has millions of users who participate in discussions on a variety of topics while encouraging active participation.
Search Engine Platforms
Search engine marketing can be an essential component for your mobile game exposure. Chinese consumers rely heavily on Baidu and mobile search for gaming information. They might search for services that you provide or a closely connected topic. Whether you want to invest in having a localized Chinese website or not, you need to make sure your mobile game information is visible and clear to increase the trust from your target audience and display a good image for your brand.
Shenma – UC Browser
Shenma only does mobile search and comes with UC browser. At first glance it appears like a utility app, but it’s more of a hybrid search engine & app store. Shenma’s built-in news feed makes the platform a gateway to rich content and it’s great for driving mobile game downloads.
The search engine market has become increasingly competitive, but Baidu is still the most popular search engine in China. It’s worth being visible on Baidu search results, which can be paired with advertising paid links to reinforce your visibility. Baidu tieba is also another popular forum where gaming users tend to share information on gaming related topics.
Platforms with KOLs in Mind
KOLs have become a major part of any brand’s checklist when marketing to China. Given the hyper-competitive landscape, using KOLs is seen as low risk strategy that can result in high returns. They transfer a more genuine feel about brands and products, enabling consumers to make quick purchasing decisions. By cooperating with gaming KOLs on WeChat, Weibo or one of the livestreaming platforms mentioned above, you can expand your fan base and build solid brand credibility. WeChat is important for the branding and reputation of your mobile game. Users will expect you to have an active official account and you can always pair this with a WeChat mini program for even more gaming hype. On the other hand, Weibo is still as relevant and can help your gaming content go viral.
While there are other methods and avenues you can take to promote your mobile game in China, the type of platforms listed above combined with ASO are a must-have if you want to have any chance of competing in the industry. China’s mobile gaming market can also change overnight with new trends and regulations, so staying up-to-date on the news is important for your gaming success. To gain more knowledge on which platform is most suitable to promote your game, please contact us to work with one of our gaming experts.