Blog Unlock Q5 to level up your gaming app

Unlock Q5 to level up your gaming app

Many brands invest a significant portion of their marketing budgets into Q4, and yet Q5—a novel, often underutilized “quarter”, is one mobile gaming app marketers should leverage. We’ve analyzed the last two years of Adjust data and have uncovered that Q5 is one of the key moments where mobile gaming app activity thrives. Therefore, we predict Q5 2022-2023 to follow a similar global trend. Below you can dive into these trends and get insights into how mobile gaming apps can take advantage of Q5 to drive installs and revenue.

Gaming app installs peak in December, followed by January

First and foremost, if “Q5” is a new term for you, we recommend checking out a recent guest post of ours from DCMN, which explains what it is and why Q5 is a golden opportunity for apps of multiple verticals.

Second, let’s look at the latest data on Q5 for mobile gaming. Globally, gaming app installs enjoyed their highest numbers in the month of December—both in 2020 and 2021. January 2021 and January 2022 came in as the second-highest months for installs in their respective years.

Many users are home for the holidays, off from work. Presented with free time, they download and use apps, including games, on their mobile devices. As an example, let’s look at the subvertical puzzle games during Q5. In December 2020, puzzle games saw the most installs, and then January 2021 came in second.  A potential driver of this is cross-promotion, where users see ads for other similar games while they’re playing, encouraging them to  jump  once tire of the game they were currently playing. Also widely employed by hyper casual games, cross-promotion is used to keep users hooked in the same publishing suite. This marketing strategy in tandem with users’ time off of work in the first week of January, are likely the key reasons we’ve seen installs peak in December, followed by January.

January, then December reign for gaming in-app revenue

Interestingly, global in-app revenue for gaming apps follows the inverse trend of installs, with January coming out on top in 2021 and 2022 as the month bringing in the highest in-app revenue, followed by December 2020 and 2021. Presumably, users download a gaming app in December and then feel more committed to it to invest and make in-app purchases in January. It’s also important to note that some games have paywalls at a certain point in the user journey, in which users must spend money to continue gameplay in the app. This can also contribute to the January spike in revenue.

For the past two years, the most downloads for in-app gaming occurred in December and the greatest in-app revenue has taken place in January. We, therefore, predict Q5 2022-2023 will be another lucrative period for mobile gaming apps, particularly for those with Q5-oriented campaigns.

How mobile gaming apps can harness Q5

Q5 has just kicked off. There’s still time for app marketers to put together a strategy that can take advantage of user behaviors in this small but mighty quarter. Check out the four ideas below upon which you can develop your Q5 app marketing strategy.

Offer seasonal subscriptions

Subscriptions have long been popular in the mobile gaming community. Consider introducing your users to a new subscription plan with a discount or trial aligned with the holidays.

Depending on the subvertical of your app, you can implement a subscription for:

  • Ad-free play
  • Battle passes
  • Exclusive content
  • Additional features (in-game currency, rewards, etc.)

Entice users with a free or discounted subscription in Q5. Then, once they experience the value of the subscription, they will be more likely to continue subscribing.

Invest in CTV ads

Many gaming apps are hopping on board as CTV growth continues as Connected TV viewership increases. What should also perk up advertisers' ears is that 64% of CTV viewers say they would rather watch CTV with ads than pay more for a subscription, revealing the majority of viewers will watch CTV with advertisements. An additional plus for mobile game advertisers is the second-screen experience that CTV ads provide by allowing users to download and play a gaming app without turning off what they were watching, maximizing campaign reach.

CTV is a fantastic way to target households with ads that are data-driven and, therefore, more relevant to your target audience. In the article CTV’s evolution brings new possibilities for app marketers, we dive into an example of a two-week CTV ad campaign. Our client was able to measure performance across multiple networks with our comprehensive CTV solution, CTV AdVision, to see CTV impressions and CTV assists to other campaigns. The client generated 33.2K users directly via CTV.

With the right CTV measurement tool, you can quickly optimize ad spend for effective targeting. CTV AdVision stands out from the rest because it supports gaming apps to succeed in this, but it also allows them to see how CTV campaigns impact their campaigns on other channels for a holistic view of all marketing campaigns.

Engage players with in-app activities

Retention should also be a key focus for Q5, and one way to keep players coming back to your app is to create in-game activities. Your events could have a holiday angle or perhaps a New Year’s angle for January.

Ideas for in-app activities:

  • Weekly prizes
  • Tips
  • Competition/Challenges
  • Limited-time offers (new adventure, extra lives or rewards, etc.)
  • Releasing new feature(s) or content
  • Series with a streamer for tutorials

You can utilize push notifications to alert users about in-app activities and include deep links to take users to the specific event in your app.

Accurately measure campaign performance

With Q5 being shorter than other quarters, marketers are more in need of being able to quickly understand their campaign performance to pivot and optimize ad spend. Partnering with a mobile analytics platform like Adjust allows you to automate campaigns and audience management as well as view all your marketing data in one place for maximum efficiency.

We’ll help you accurately measure performance across channels to fully understand the user journey and identify where your most valuable users are coming from to make smarter decisions, faster. Book your demo now if you want to see how Adjust can powerfully enhance your mobile gaming campaigns for Q5 and year-round.

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