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An Insider's Take on Social Media Marketing for Mobile Games

Sandy Smith | Social Media Content Manager at Yodo1 Games

As a social media manager for Yodo1 games, I’m nearly always knee-deep in the often-fascinating-sometimes-infuriating world of mobile game marketing. Navigating this landscape involves understanding the trends, adopting an experimental mindset, and most importantly, digging deep into the niche a game naturally occupies to make impactful marketing decisions. It’s not enough to create a great game; you need to stay ahead of the marketing curve to ensure genuine success and longevity.

Let’s dive in.

Platform trends

We live in a fast-paced digital world where the only constant is change. Embracing this reality means aligning with the trends that the major platforms are pushing.

Let’s use TikTok as an example. The platform has shifted towards favoring video clips that are longer than a minute. If we leverage this trend and start creating longer and more carefully planned content, we can reap big rewards. It’s pretty simple: platforms will favor content that embraces whatever new thing they’re pushing.

How to make storytelling content:

@maggievirtually SAVE THIS for your next content creation day! I know a lot of you guys are confused about storytelling content and what it actually looks like 👀 so I’m back with my greenscreen notes with 7 specific examples of how to create storytelling content! SO many people think that storytelling content is just telling a ‘once upon a time’ full start to finish story- but it doesn’t have to be that way! It’s basically just outlining a process or sharing the journey from problem to resolution. Simple! Make sure to save this video for later so that you can start making storytelling content and connecting with your audience on a deeper level. Follow along for more TikTok Strategy advice (And for part 2 of this video!) #storytellingcontent #storytime #contentcreationtips #contentideasforbusinesses #tiktokforbusiness #tiktokstrategyforbusiness #tiktokstrategist ♬ original sound - Maggie 💖 TIKTOK STRATEGIST

This doesn’t mean putting all your eggs in the TikTok basket. It’s essential to experiment across platforms and with different content types—short, long, trending sounds, original trends, streaming, memes, reels, stagnant pictures, comedic elements, or story-based content—to uncover what resonates with your audience. Try it all!

Case in point: Riot Games. They suffered a backlash from a controversial update to League of Legends. Some quick thinking led them to do a pre-recorded premiere on YouTube (with live chat), candidly explaining the situation authentically. The message resonated with players, who retracted their claws and let Riot live to fight another day. This highlights a key mindset: Think deeply about how and when to share content. Don’t fall into autopilot mode. If Riot had been upfront with their community, preemptively, about what was going on internally, odds are, things may have transpired differently. Riot Games learned the hard way just how influential “Developer Updates” can be, and they now release a video with every update. Remember, at the end of the day it is important to remain authentic and keep your community front and center; they are what makes your game.

To keep up with trends like these, I suggest following platform newsletters and staying abreast of changing winds and the latest features. Understand the advantages of each platform and diversify your content across them, following what works but never losing your experimental mindset. Diversify! That way, if TikTok should ever be restricted, it will feel like a pivot rather than the end of the world.

Creatives and content

The best social media managers are like mad scientists—constantly experimenting and refining their strategies, never settling into one style or format—and certainly never making assumptions about what’s going to work! Recently I’ve been helping the mobile game Idle Slayer grow its newly-created social media channels, as part of Yodo1’s UA and social media service. Given their eye-catching 8-bit aesthetic, I’m trying longer videos with voiceovers to share tips and strategies, making sure to show moments of gameplay that existing players love.

mobile game Idle Slayer grow

That may sound odd coming from a social media manager also handling top games like Rodeo Stampede. But this is the beauty of social media marketing. There’s no ivory tower where all the secrets are kept. Experimentation and iteration are the keys to finding your niche, whatever the size or genre of your game. That’s what it boils down to.

This ties into the next key: in addition to constant experimentation, understanding your game’s core appeal to players is critical. With Idle Slayer, we discovered that tagging posts with ‘#retrogaming’ significantly increased views. Who would have guessed?

@idle_slayer

We love growth #idleslayer #retrogaming #freegame

♬ dźwięk oryginalny - Speed song🎧🥷🏻

If you can gain a deep understanding of your potential players and their interests (again, through experimentation and iteration), you should be able to uncover the unique things that make your game stand out from the crowd. Then amplify them in your social creatives. In the case of Idle Slayer, the key has been an emphasis on the unique retro aesthetic. If you haven’t found your niche yet, get to work.

It’s also worth noting how crucial it is to be consistent. Remember, social media success is a marathon, not a sprint. Tools like Later can help you schedule and plan content to ensure a regular posting schedule.

What about streaming?

Since we’re exploring the diversification of content formats and the need for experimentation, I would be remiss not to mention streaming.

While not necessarily a key top-of-funnel activity (unless you’re working with influencers–a topic for another day), streaming consistently can become a core pillar of your social media presence over the long term, and is a particularly useful way to keep players engaged in your community and coming back for exciting new content.

Let’s get into this a little bit more.

Streaming has matured into a powerful way to connect with your community, share updates, and receive feedback. Consider the impact of spending an hour streaming: it creates an evergreen content piece (as a VOD) that players can revisit for information, tips, and rewards. Also, you can then repurpose that content for other formats and platforms. That’s a lot of value for a one-hour stream.

ARBS and Rodeo Stampede Update Stream

Recent ARBS and Rodeo Stampede Update Stream

But what about getting people to click? The promise of in-game rewards during streams can be a significant draw for your audience. Stagger rewards throughout the stream, with the biggest reward at the end, to keep viewers hooked. Think outside the box with tournaments, anniversary streams, and post-stream replays. It can be an opportunity to show the faces behind the game and get your community excited and involved in upcoming events!

Yodo1 recently organized Rodeo Stampede’s 7th-anniversary stream, as well as an update stream for Animal Revolt: Battle Simulator, both of which were big successes due in large part to their structure. Each stream may only be around an hour, but we put a lot of time into planning the most attractive awards, deciding when to drop them, and how to tease those in the title and thumbnail. 

Rodeo Stampede’s 7th-anniversary stream Game Growth
What’s next? 

Here’s a final thought: The most common issue I see in game development teams, around social media marketing, is analysis paralysis—or posting paralysis. 

While you may want to meticulously plan your next game trailer, the same approach isn’t necessarily the right path for social media. Trends move so quickly that this article is probably already out of date. Don’t be a perfectionist—get your game out into the culture and refine it as you go. That’s how the biggest games do social media. They try a lot of stuff, learn, then try again, and continue learning. It’s the main difference between those who succeed and those who flounder. 

If you’re looking for help with your game’s growth, including your social media, reach out to Yodo1 and learn how we could help take your game to the next level.