In recent years, the platform for gaming has evolved, adapting to the rise in smartphone use around the world. Whilst games consoles and PCs are still popular, the portable and convenient characteristic of mobile has proved a hit with gamers who can now dive into a different realm anytime, anywhere. In fact, it’s so successful that smartphone gaming is set to generate a whopping $35.3 billion equating to a third of the global market. As a gaming app publisher wanting in on a slice of the action, particularly in emerging markets, incentive marketing using mobile airtime is the innovative, advantageous way to go about user acquisition.
Evaluating the emerging market audience
Whilst mobile gaming apps are well received in developed nations, there is vast potential to flourish in emerging markets. A huge demographic of tech-savvy young people, who will continue to dominate the market, is a significant driving force – along with better accessibility and connectivity – behind the increasing demand for smartphones. To put this into context, within two years, there are due to be 3 billion smartphones in Asia Pacific alone, and an estimated 4.358 billion across emerging markets according to the GSMA.
With such a considerable number of smartphones in emerging markets, it is an ideal stage for gaming apps, both the traditional and the more unconventional. For instance, mobile phones are championing social change in these nations. The most common case? Gamification of education or EdTech. By leveraging upon the most available tool, gaming apps with a fundamental educational purpose are reaching thousands in emerging markets who do not have the ability to go to school and driving societal progression in a manner which is universal, informative yet fun. The gaming app potential is burgeoning in developing nations, but what is the most effective way to tap into it?
Mobile Airtime: The incentive that grows
To strengthen your go-to-market strategy in developing countries, it’s essential to understand the demands of the target audience. We’ve already established that smartphones are the ticket to revolutionise society in emerging markets. But, in contrast to developed nations, smartphone users across these countries widely use prepaid mobile services, meaning they top-up their SMS, call and data credit as and when needed. Using the typical method of promoting your gaming app through mobile advertising may not be the most effective method to engage this audience. However, offering a useful gift like mobile airtime top-ups alongside your gaming app makes the deal more appealing, boosting willingness and, in turn, demand.
Encouraging gamers to download your app is much easier when you provide them with the means necessary – if they need data to download your game, offering mobile airtime credit to do so becomes an attractive incentive. Furthermore, by receiving a tangible, immediate reward, users feel more inclined to divulge information, i.e. to complete their gaming user profile, offering up data which can be collected by app publishers to gain insights for strategic positioning and market research.
However, the cost of user acquisition doesn’t need to be expensive. For app publishers, incentive marketing using mobile airtime is low-cost (as low as USD $0.20!), yet yields significant impact and reach. If you intend to target a large region, mobile airtime incentives are delivered in real-time regardless of geographical location or value, and only a mobile phone number is required to send the reward – making this a simple and convenient tool to introduce. Mobile advertising, on the other hand, is less targeted with no guarantee if users will complete any further actions, and can appear as a blind shot in the dark whilst being more difficult to analyse ROI and cost per acquisition (CPA).
If you want your gaming app to take off in emerging markets, using an inexpensive digital user acquisition tool like Mobile Airtime Incentives is not only effective for the target market, but trouble-free for you as a gaming app publisher.
Learn more about our Incentives solution as a customer acquisition tool here.