June 1 2017

Let’s face it, user acquisition is becoming a pressing issue for most gaming apps. Even the best of games get beaten down by what’s trending on social media or a new game on the block that seems attractive to players. But the one strategy that top grossing games use to remain at the top, is turning their power users into advocates.

Who are your power users?

With the focus shifting to user engagement and retention, most games have power users – these are players that are actively engaging with the game on a regular basis, have made an interaction with you, have shared rating and reviews in the app store and more.

Simply put, your power users are those players who are visibly happy with what your game has to offer and that’s an opportunity for you to grow your app!

Turning your power users into brand ambassadors  

1. Create loyalty programs

Your power players need to be kept motivated and the only way to do so it to let them know you appreciate their activity in your game. Loyalty programs give you the opportunity to get in touch with these players, offer them a little incentive for being consistent at gaming and then asking for a recommendation in return.

For example, if a player has been having active app sessions through the week and you notice he’s gone for more than two days, reach out to him with a push notification that offers a premium feature in your game for free or gives him additional coins to purchase that are needed to complete the next level of your game.

It’s always good to let them know you miss them!  

A good example here is from the Simpsons. It encourages its players to play regularly in order to get bigger rewards in the game. 

the simpsons loyalty

2. Incentivise the referrals

One of the best ways to get more referrals from your power players is to incentivise the activity. Even the simplest of incentives can encourage users to invite their friends to your game and create a viral loop of referrals that will boost your app’s growth. This is one of the most popular user acquisition tactic used by top grossing games.

But it’s important to make the incentives relevant to the player. Understand the user’s journey in your game, identify what he is looking for and then offer incentives that will help him get further in the game in lieu of a few invites.

We love how the World of Warcraft has designed their referral program. 

world of warcraft referral

3. Amplify using social

Encouraging your power players to share their achievements or milestones in the game with their friends on social media and popular chat apps, is a great way to grab some eyeballs and even attract some new players to your game. After all, user-generated content is trusted by 85% of the end users – so why not focus on getting experiences shared?

The easier you make it for your users to share their progress on social media, the more likely they are to do so. Remember all those Candy Crush updates?  

candy crush social media

4. Impeccable customer service

There is practically nothing you can do without making sure the user’s in-game experience is good. At the end of the day, it is about which game is able to offer the best gamification experience to players and which game is able to make it better with every app session.

To make this possible, you can incorporate activity feeds in your game or use social media. This enables your players to share their concerns through the game and gives you the opportunity to resolve them before it turns into an overall negative experience.

5. Plan up surprises

Who doesn’t like a good surprise? Be it a new feature you’re about to launch or a secret level that the players haven’t discovered yet, use social media and push notifications to promote it to them as a surprise element.

While using this tactic doesn’t get you instant referrals, it is a great way to engage even your inactive players and bring them back to the game. After all, user engagement is what leads to you becoming a part of their break time and getting more referrals!

6. Gamify their social relationships

Your power players have a social life and that’s exactly what takes them away from your game – but what if you could tap into these very relations? Instead of trying to only gamify the player’s experience in the game, nudge him to also compete with his friends and family or share how well he is playing the game with them over social media or popular chat apps.

This gives your acquisition a boost of word-of-mouth and also lets you understand how players are connected with the GetSocial Social Graph. After all, if you could create a gaming experience that the whole group can enjoy together – what could be better?

dead target zombies - user relationships

Getting started

You can’t possibly think your power players will spare even a few minutes to invite their friends and family to your game. But the scenario changes completely when you make it simple to do so!

Make referrals a part of the user’s journey in the game, ensure inviting friends comes naturally to them and it takes them barely a second to send an invite.

That’s exactly what GetSocial Smart Invites enables developers and marketers to do. It makes integrating a referral marketing strategy into the application possible, without hampering any of its functionalities. This ensures that the user experience in a game is not compromised, while the chances of getting recommended increase.  

It lets players send invites via social media and popular chat apps that are most likely already being used by him. For instance, DoomsDay Clicker got a 19% conversion rate on all the referrals via Smart Invites and also boosted their retention rates by 39% using the SocialGraph.

pikpok smart invites

Read case study.

The tool then also maps the player relationship, irrespective of the channel a referred user is acquired from; enabling marketers to create custom campaigns that instantly boost the engagement levels as well!

Ready to turn your players into brand ambassadors?

getsocial smart invites cta