How to Advertise a Racing Game? User Acquisition Tips & Ad Examples
(This article was originally published on Udonis’ blog.)
So you have just developed a mobile racing game. It’s amazing, and you want the world to see it.
However, you’re probably wondering, “What now? How can I get more users for my racing game?”
The answer is mobile game advertising. By coming up with a bulletproof advertising strategy and employing different user acquisition techniques, you can get millions of users and launch your racing game to the top charts.
To make your life easier, we have put together an extensive guide that will teach you everything you need to know about how to advertise a racing game.
You’ll learn about:
- The top racing games and publishers
- Practical user acquisition tips for racing games
- Video ad examples from top racing game publishers
- Racing mobile game statistics for 2021
Top 10 Racing Games
Here’s a list of currently top-grossing racing games:
- CSR Racing (NaturalMotionGames)
- Need for Speed No Limits (Electronic Arts)
- Top Drives (Hutch Games)
- Asphalt 9: Legends (Gameloft SE)
- Hill Climb Racing 2 (Fingersoft)
- Nitro Nation Drag & Drift Car Racing (Creative Mobile Games)
- Offroad Outlaws (Battle Creek Games)
- Real Racing 3 (Electronic Arts)
- Rebel Racing (Hutch Games)
- F1 Manager (Hutch Games)
How to Advertise a Racing Game: Practical User Acquisition Tips
Don’t know where to start when it comes to advertising a racing game?
We have put together a list of the most effective advertising tips that will help you get more users.
App Store Optimization is Key for Organic User Acquisition
In order to acquire a large number of users for a racing game, it’s best to combine organic and paid advertising strategies.
When it comes to organic user acquisition, app store optimization is your best bet. Apple’s App Store and Google Play are where users go to discover and download new games so it’s worth your time to optimize your app store page.
Here are some great ASO tips you can try right now:
- Come up with a catchy and descriptive name.
The game title is not just about branding — it’s also an opportunity to add a couple of descriptive keywords that will make it easier for users to find your game — e.g. “CSR Racing 2 — #1 in Car Racing Games”.
- Write a compelling game description that:
- Explains the main features and benefits of the game, and
- Includes relevant keywords.
- Put some effort into the design of your game icon.
Study current trends in the racing genre as well as your competitors and make sure the icon grabs the attention of the users immediately — it’s one of the first things they see.
- Create a great app store video and choose screenshots carefully.
Screenshots and game trailers are equally important for app store optimization — visuals give users a taste of the game. If you’re looking for a great app store video optimized for user acquisition, reach out to GameVidz.
Video Ads Are the Most Effective for Paid User Acquisition
While app store optimization is a great tool for organic user acquisition, video ads are the most effective for paid advertising.
Here are a couple of things you should know about video ads for mobile games.
When it comes to duration, short videos tend to be the most effective (usually 15 to 30 seconds). However, in some cases, they’re up to 90 seconds (these are mostly explainer videos for more complex games). Furthermore, video ads can be in multiple different dimensions and aspect ratios, depending on the rules and requirements of each particular ad network.
What’s important to remember is that the first couple of seconds of the video ad are crucial — the goal is to instantly capture users’ attention. Otherwise, they’ll keep scrolling and won’t finish watching your ad. So try out different techniques to hook your potential users right away and get them interested in your racing game.
Since racing games are packed full of action and excitement, the video ad should reflect that. It is recommended that you use actual gameplay in the video. However, you can always make it even more thrilling by adding different visual and sound effects.
Lastly, make sure you include a call to action button at the end of your video (for example, “Download Now”).
Run Ads on Multiple Ad Networks
As you might know, Google and Facebook are the top 2 ad networks for acquiring mobile game users. However, there are many other ad networks you should consider, like ironSource and Unity Ads.
Running ads for your racing game on multiple networks allows you to reach a broader audience and acquire more users.
According to AppsFlyer Performance Index, the top 10 ad networks in the gaming category for Android and iOS are:
- Search Ads
- TikTok Ads
Start Advertising on TikTok
TikTok is an interesting platform — it experienced a rapid growth in 2020 which made it even more attractive to advertisers.
It’s a good idea to start advertising your racing game on TikTok Ads since it allows you to reach a very diverse global audience.
Even though TikTok was primarily used by a young Gen Z audience, that is starting to change. More and more millennials and even Gen X users are starting to use TikTok.
That presents even more opportunities for developers who advertise their game on this fast-growing platform.
To learn how to start advertising on TikTok, check out our TikTok Guide.
Here’s a bonus tip from Kaspar Tiri. Named to Forbes 30 Under 30, Kaspar Tiri is a co-founder of a company called Wolf3D. Wolf3D’s goal is to provide a persistent identity for games and virtual worlds.
“Large publishers have traditionally spent millions of dollars marketing games in online ads, billboards, and TV commercials.
There’s a shift happening in mobile games advertising and UA space where most of the traffic is driven by user-generated content and personalization. From the user-generated content side, early users on Reddit or Discord and influencers on social platforms like Twitch are driving the game discovery. Most major games today like Fortnite, PUBG, or Apex Legends were primarily marketed via Twitch streamers in the early days.
Personalization in e-commerce has been a standard practice to drive traffic for years.
Today, we see more and more gaming companies adapting personalization. The latest achievements in AI and computer vision have unlocked the potential to create personalized game characters based on a selfie.
If we combine the personalization and UGC, developers can create small experiences inside or outside of the game itself, allowing the users to generate short videos of themselves as their favorite game character based on a selfie.
Those videos are shared online which in return drives traffic by other people who want to have the same experience. Marketers and UA experts are constantly looking for thumbstoppers — imagine opening a Facebook or Twitter and seeing a video of your friend as a game character of the recently announced role-playing game.
Put your customers in the ad.
The same concept has been successfully used by many products outside the gaming industry. LinkedIn is using your profile pictures as a targeted ad (“Picture yourself with this new job”), Facebook using your friends’ names promote a variety of goods and services to you and your network of common friends, or Disney superimposing the consumer’s face on a Disney figurine’s body to convert the user.”
How To Advertise a Racing Game: Video Ad Examples from Top Racing Games
We have learned that video ads are the best ad format for racing game user acquisition. However, creating a stellar video ad that will entice users to download your racing game can be challenging.
That’s why I have gone through ads from top racing games like CSR Racing and analyzed their videos.
Below, you’ll learn what techniques top racing game publishers use to acquire users. You can use this knowledge to create superb videos for your racing game.
Video Ad Duration: 00:22
Ad Networks: Facebook, Messenger, Audience Network, Instagram
Ad Copy: Go head to head, tailpipe to tailpipe, and nose to nose with the fastest cars on the street. Play for FREE!
Video Ad Analysis
CSR Racing is a hyper-real mobile drag racing game full of excitement. This video ad emphasizes those features and is equally fun.
In the first couple of seconds of the video, we meet different game characters and their cars. Then we get to the most exciting part — racing. We see two badass sports cars going head to head in a drag race, which is the main focal point of both the game and the video ad.
The race is over with you, the viewer, as the winner. There’s CSR Racing branding and a call to action button (play now) in the outro.
This video ad is actually very simple — only the most important game features are included — the characters, the cars, and the racing. This type of video is basically a trailer for the game.
Another technique you can use is to focus on one feature/benefit/USP at the time. For example, this CSR Racing video ad focuses solely on the car customization feature.
Think about what is the unique selling point of your racing game i.e., what makes it stand out and what are the features and benefits users will love the most. Then create video ads around it.
Hill Climb Racing
Video Ad Duration: 00:15
Ad Networks: Facebook, Messenger, Audience Network, Instagram
Ad Copy: Play the Top Free Time Killer Racing Game! 💪
Video Ad Analysis
The video ad for this addictive racing game is very short and simple — which is what is recommended for mobile game video ads.
The whole video consists of gameplay — we get a taste of different racing tracks and vehicles available in the game. We also meet Bill — the main character.
To make Hill Climb Racing more enticing for the users, an overview of different boosts available in the game is included in the bottom right corner. This, along with the gameplay, explains the most important game mechanics. For example, users can get a flip boost if they manage to pull off a successful flip, and they can get a fuel boost if they collect it during the race.
It’s important to include things like that in a video ad because it explains to the users how the game works to the users, which makes them more likely to download it.
Another interesting thing about Hill Climb Racing ad is the copy — “Play the Top Free Time Killer Racing Game! 💪”
It shows you that the creators of this ad know their target audience as well as their USP.
Notice the ad copy says “top free time killer racing game”. This tells you Hill Climb Racing is a mobile game that targets casual gamers, i.e., those who play to pass the time.
Nitro Nation Drag and Drift
Video Ad Duration: 00:15
Ad Networks: Facebook
Video Ad Analysis
What makes Nitro Nation Drag and Drift unique is the ability to mod, upgrade, and tune dozens of real licensed cars.
That is the focal point of most of their video ads, including this one.
The video goes through different car modification abilities like “swap engines”, “customize suspension”, “install a spoiler”, and finally “smoke the tires.”
This is basically highlighting some of the main features and benefits of the game. You should do the same in your video ad. Explain the unique features your racing game has to users and give them a taste of what’s possible in the game.
As you can see, this video ad is very short (15 seconds), which is more than enough. However, if your game is complex, you might want to create an explainer video. Those are usually longer and can last up to 90 seconds.
Mobile Racing Game Statistics You Need to Know in 2021
Now that we went through different ways of how to acquire more users and through tips for creating racing game video ads , it’s time for some numbers.
In order to be a successful publisher of racing games, it’s crucial that you track mobile game metrics like user retention, average session length, and average revenue per daily active user.
It’s what separates newbie developers from successful mobile game studios.
To help you with that, I have compiled a list of the most important racing game statistics that you can use as a baseline against which you can measure the success of your racing game.
Data Source: Game Analytics
Racing Game User Retention Statistics
User retention tells you how many users keep playing after a certain time period and it’s crucial for mobile games. If users play your racing game just once and then forget about it — or even worse, delete it — it means that there are some serious issues with your game.
On the other hand, if a large percentage of users keep playing your racing game, you’re doing something good and have a chance to successfully monetize your game.
Day 1 User Retention Statistics for Racing Games
In racing games, day 1 retention for the top 2% of games was stable and high — over 40%. It was between 40.02% in November and 42.86% in February.
In the top 25% of racing games, retention rates didn’t vary much either. They ranged from 28% in July to 26.92% in February.
The median 50% of racing games were not that far behind in terms of retention — going from 19.85% in November to 21.25% in March.
The bottom 25% of games also had decent day 1 retention — from 12.56% in August to 14.22% in March.
Day 7 User Retention Statistics for Racing Games
After a week’s time, the best racing games managed to keep from 12.83% players in May to 14.97% in January.
Meanwhile, the top quarter of racing games had stable day 7 retention throughout 2020, between 5.44% in April and 6.56% in January.
Day 7 retention in average performing games varied between 2.96% in April and 3.62% in January.
The bottom 25% of racing games didn’t vary much either, as their day 7 retention was lowest in May at 1.21%, and highest in November at 1.61%.
Day 28 User Retention Statistics for Racing Games
After 28 days, the best racing games were able to keep between 5.23% of players in September and 6.76% in February.
When it comes to the top 25% of racing games, day 28 retention rate varied slightly with the highest value of 1.98% in March and the lowest value of 1.59% in September.
The median 50% of racing games didn’t vary much, with day 28 retention rate between 0.60% in May and 0.80% in February.
Bottom games, expectedly, had a low day 28 retention. It stood at zero for most months, ‘peaking’ at 0.08% in February, March, and June.
Tips for Improving User Retention
“The thing that matters the most for the retention of users is the need for an effective retention strategy. You need to do thorough research on your own comparing yourself with your competitors and analyze their offerings with yours and take out the best one and copy. That’s how you can easily tailor your users’ needs and can effectively retain them.
That’s not just the case in the gaming industry but applies worldwide to every product and service in the tech niche.
The most important factor is the UX of the game and application that stands out above all and should be addressed properly to retain your customers/users.
Secondly, there should be customized notifications that should be sent to your users. A personalized message with the user’s name and content that is relevant to the user will help in retaining them. Also, give users the full privilege to decide what type of notifications they want to see and whatnot.
Don’t make your users bored and keep on delivering them new experiences and challenges so that they remain entertained and never lose interest in your game.
Lastly but the most important is that every user needs to be rewarded, so offer them rewards for their achievements and the progress they made.” — Syed Usman Hashmi, a digital marketing executive.
Average Session Length Statistics for Racing Games
For the top 2% performing games in this genre, the sessions peaked at 38 minutes in February and March. They were generally higher in the first four months of the year, and player engagement was lower throughout the rest of the year. The lowest point was in August, when the average session length was 27 minutes.
The top 25% of games had significantly shorter sessions, averaging at 6 minutes throughout the year.
Sessions for the median 50% of games were slightly shorter, with an average of 4 minutes.
Finally, the bottom 25% of games were only one minute away from the average ones, with an average 3-minute session length.
ARPPU Statistics for Racing Games
ARPPU gives us an estimate of how much revenue a single paying user generates during a certain period.
In racing games, the average revenue per paying user was fairly diverse.
For the top-performing games, it ranged from $72.15 in April to $122.68 when it peaked in June, with another significant increase in November.
The top 25% of racing games had a very similar graph — only with smaller numbers. They also peaked in June with $25.27, while the lowest point for them was in March, at $14.92.
In the median 50% of racing games, the numbers were between $5.73 in January to $10 in June.
Finally, the bottom quarter of racing games varied between $1.77 in January to $3.22 in May.
ARPDAU Statistics for Racing Games
ARPDAU gives us the average revenue generated from an average active user — not only paying ones, like ARPPU does.
The top 2% of games in this genre had the greatest variations throughout the year. They reached the highest point in June at $0.99, and the lowest one in January at $0.27.
In games that fall into the top 25% category, ARPDAU varied from $0.04 to $0.09.
In the median 50% of games, the ARPDAU was between $0.10 and $0.20.
The bottom 25% of performing racing games had above zero numbers only in June when ARPDAU reached $0.01.
Conversion Statistics for Racing Games
There were major differences in conversion rates over the year for the top 2% of racing games.
In-game conversions were much more common during the first half of 2020, with a peak in April when 10.9% of players converted. In May and after, the numbers significantly declined, with the lowest value of 1.78% found in September.
For the top 25% of racing games, the second half of the year was better. They reached 0.61% in September, while it was lowest in January, 0.38%.
The numbers for the median 50% of racing games varied from 0.20% in January to 0.29% in October.
Finally, the bottom 25% of racing games converted from 0.08% to 0.14% players.
Final Thoughts on How to Advertise a Racing Game
Did you find this guide helpful? Have any questions about how to advertise a racing game?
Hit me up with questions or comments below!
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Since 2018 until today, Udonis Inc. has acquired over 150 million users for mobile apps & games. We’re recognized as a leading mobile marketing agency by 5 major marketing review firms. We helped over 20 mobile apps & games reach the top charts. Want to know how we make it look so effortless? Meet us to find out!