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Audience segmentation based on user behavior is a highly effective strategy in mobile marketing. By analyzing user motivations and preferences, we can create personalized experiences, optimize their campaigns, and enhance both retention and revenue. This method hinges on meticulous data analysis, allowing marketers to fine-tune their strategies for various user groups to maximize impact. 

In a previous article, I discussed different factors for segmenting the target audience, including demographic, geographic, and technical aspects, which apply to both app and mobile game audiences. 

In this article, I will specifically explore how to segment the mobile game audience based on their behavior and motivations for playing. This focus helps in developing targeted marketing strategies that resonate more deeply with different player types, leading to better engagement and loyalty.

Mobile games market 2023 insights

To explore mobile gaming audience ASO segmentation, let’s first look at the mobile gaming niche in 2023.

1.-Mobile-games-market-2023-insights-by-Sensor-Tower

Source – Sensor Tower

Both major app stores experienced a decrease in the overall number of downloads. The App Store saw a 6% decline, while Google Play witnessed an 11% drop. Revenue from games on Google Play decreased by 6%, while it remained steady on the App Store. 

According to the report of Sensor Tower, “the mobile gaming market in 2023 saw a 10% decline in downloads year-over-year, largely due to rising user acquisition costs, highlighting the challenge publishers faced in connecting with target audiences”. 

Diving deeper into the graph of downloads by mobile game type can reveal interesting trends about which game categories are gaining popularity and which ones are declining compared to previous years.

2.-Downloads-by-mobile-game-type-by-Sensor-Tower

Source – Sensor Tower

As seen in the graph, download growth in recent years has occurred during the pandemic. At the same time, the phenomenon of hyper-casual games appeared.

According to the Sensor Tower report, “Hybrid casual games – a mixture of hyper-casual aesthetics, simple gameplay, ad revenue and in-app purchases — are a bright spot despite a slight drop of 2% year-on-year downloads. Titles like “Magic Tiles 3” and “Survivor.io” exemplify this model by resonating with users through their accessible mechanics and dual monetization strategies. Exclusive access to games like those offered by Netflix. Although the subscription is starting to appear, currently, they occupy a small market share”.

3.-Revenue-by-mobile-game-type-by-Sensor-Tower

Source – Sensor Tower

Even though we see a drop in 2023 installs for casual and hyper-casual games, we can see their 2023 revenue increase. 

So, having examined the state of the mobile games market for 2023 and the dynamics of game types in more detail, let’s move on to segmenting mobile game users by their behavior.

Achievement Hunters

Users in this category are motivated by a strong desire to achieve and master the game. They set high standards for themselves and are constantly driven to obtain in-game achievements, climb the leaderboards, and overcome challenging tasks. They spend a lot of time learning game mechanics to optimize their performance, and they are more likely to be interested in games that offer a transparent system of progression and rewards for achievement.

Tips for conversion rate optimization:

  • On screenshots and video previews: draw attention to the leaderboards, achievements, and rewards for completing tasks
  • Use in-app events to showcase exciting time-limited challenges
  • Test highlighting seasonal in-game events on the icon, screenshots, and video preview to get a boost during seasonal events like holidays.  

For example, let’s check how the Fruit Ninja® game encourages users to gain more points by highlighting in videos and screenshots the number of points a user can get. 

Fruit Ninja® video screen

Source – App Store

Also, check out how they involve users by talking about leaderboards and points in in-app events.

Fruit Ninja® in-app event

Source – App Store

Social Players

Let’s talk about the next group of gamers: social players. For these gamers, the most crucial aspect of playing is the opportunity to interact with others. They love to connect with other players, whether through cooperative gameplay, competitive matches, or simply sharing experiences. Social players are often active in gaming communities and prefer games offering social features such as guilds, chat functions, and multiplayer modes.

Let’s take the game Sky: Children of the Light as an example. 

6. Sky screen

Source – App Store

The icon shows two characters instead of one, as it often happens with games with characters.

The subtitle says: Play Together with Compassion.

Preview videos and screenshots show how players can interact. Moreover, at the start of the video and in the first screenshot, the hero seems to invite the user himself to join the game.

The description describes the opportunities to play with other players and encourages users to share their impressions in the player community.

7. 1 Sky screenshots

Source – App Store

Explorers

Explorers have a natural curiosity and a strong desire to discover new things. They find joy in uncovering hidden secrets and experiencing the thrill of the unknown. Open-world games are perfect for these gamers, as they offer an environment that allows them to explore freely and choose their path. These games usually have vast and diverse worlds that are perfect for investigation.

If you want to appeal to this kind of gamer, you must highlight your game’s expansive environments and the freedom it provides. Tease users with hidden secrets and Easter eggs within the in-app purchases to keep them engaged. Highlight the expansion packs or new areas on the screenshots and video previews, and use promotion content for significant updates or time-limited events. 

 

7. Sky screenshotsSource – App Store

Let’s take the game Miners Settlement: Idle RPG as an example. The icon with a traveler already hints at what type of game this game is and what users it is aimed at. Further, the subtitle and the text in the screenshot tell us this is an open-world game and invite you to adventure. They also use the in-app event to talk about the new season.

Collectors

Collectors are driven by the joy of accumulating items and the satisfaction of completing sets. They take pride in acquiring rare objects and building their collections. Games that offer various collectibles, customization options, and trading systems are especially appealing to this group of players.

As an example, consider the game AFK Journey. When looking at the screenshots, we will see that the developers not only invite researchers to discover the world but also invite collectors to collect heroes and also promise a reward.

8. Miners Settlement icon

Source – App Store

Casual Gamers & Time Killers

People who play games casually usually do it just for fun and to kill time. They tend to go for games that are simple to grasp and can be played for short periods. This group prefers games that are relaxing and don’t require much effort. It allows them to take a break or play on the go without getting too worked up.

For example, consider Candy Crush Saga. You can notice how bright the screenshots are. They show moments of candy exploding – critical moments in the game. They also show different levels and candies, which are essential so the user does not get bored and continues playing.

9.1 AFK Journey screenshot

Source – App Store

Some apps feature their ability to kill your time.

11.Bubble Pop! Puzzle Game Legend

App Bubble Pop! Puzzle Game Legend or 

12. Onet 3D - Zen Tile Puzzle

Onet 3D – Zen Tile Puzzle

Stress Relievers

Gaming allows these gamers to relax and escape from daily pressures. They look for games that provide a calming experience or a sense of control. Of course, different types of games will work for different users as stress relief. However, in this paragraph, we will look at those games that call themselves such.

These games may have soothing soundtracks, simple mechanics, or repetitive tasks that offer a meditative escape from stress. They may focus on relaxing visuals and soothing soundtracks told on the app page through text fields and visual creatives. Check out the examples below.

Stress Relief games

Hex: Anxiety Relief Relax Game   – Forest Island  – Antistress – Relaxing games

As we can see, the page visual of such games directly reflects the game process without calls to action or level features. The visual reflects the user’s request for the game — simplicity and relaxation.

Conclusion

If you want your mobile gaming strategy to succeed, you must understand your users’ behavior. That means figuring out what motivates them and what they like so that you can give them personalized experiences, create better advertising campaigns, and keep them coming back for more. Different players have different preferences, so analyzing their behavior is crucial to creating fun and engaging games. Game developers can increase user acquisition, retention, and revenue. Understanding your users is critical to promoting mobile games effectively and keeping your players happy.

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