Halloween, the spookiest time of the year, is just around the corner, and mobile game developers are getting into the spirit by adding some pumpkin spice to their games. As MobileAction‘s marketing team, we understand the importance of capitalizing on seasonal trends to boost app success.

In this blog, we’ll explore how mobile games embrace Halloween-themed updates and strategies to enhance user acquisition, engagement, and retention during this hauntingly fun season.

The Significance of Seasonality

Keeping app users engaged year-round is a compelling challenge, especially if your app is a mobile game. Mobile games are not static creations but living, evolving experiences. Developers have recognized that even if they developed the best game ever made, gamers experience fatigue after they have made some progress, completed some of the achievements, or reached some levels.

Special days and events of Q4, 2023

However, the mobile app industry has realized that the potential of harnessing the changing seasons and holidays inject freshness and excitement into mobile games. Seasonal updates emerge as a powerful solution to combat mobile gamer fatigue and breathe new life into mobile games. Seasonal updates, like the arrival of Halloween, with its captivating blend of spookiness and excitement, are the perfect occasion to dive into this trend.

The major benefit of seasonal updates is the ability to extend the lifespan of a mobile game. As players often seek innovation and variety, introducing themed content around holidays like Halloween can revive their interest. It’s like giving your game a second wind, ensuring that it remains relevant and engaging for both new and returning players.

The Applicability of Seasonality

Now we know that seasonal marketing campaigns can be a powerful tool for driving user engagement and boosting app success. However, it’s important to note that not all apps are equally suited for seasonal marketing efforts. The efficacy of such campaigns depends on the nature of your app, its target audience, and the specific seasonal context.

So, the question you should ask is, “Does your app stand to gain from a seasonal marketing campaign?” Let’s explore this in more detail from the mobile gaming perspective.

Another question to ask: “Does the current season align with your target audience’s interests and celebrations?” More specifically, “Do the gamers of your mobile game celebrate Halloween?”

The best practice to answer this question is to take a look at the geographical origins of your app’s downloads. Various countries have different holiday calendars and fluctuations in app download trends. Utilizing this information can enable you to craft a personalized seasonal app marketing strategy.

Visibility map provided by ASO Intelligence tool developed by MobileAction

Subway Surfers is getting most of its downloads from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. There are also Belgium, Canada, France, and Germany on the list. These are all countries that celebrate Halloween quite heavily.

Therefore, since the visual content of Subway Surfers has many varieties it would be easy to integrate a Halloween-themed in-app event in these countries.

Leveraging Seasonal ASO

Data is the guiding light for the mobile gaming industry. To make the most of your seasonal campaigns and ensure their success, you need to be adept at ASO-related data. Here’s why it’s critical:

ASO-related data allow you to make informed decisions. By tracking the performance of your seasonal campaigns, you can gain valuable ASO insights into what’s working and what’s not. 

What are the best-performing keywords for Halloween? Are users engaging more with your Halloween-themed in-app events? Are certain app icons and descriptions driving better results during this season? The data provided by ASO Intelligence holds the answers.

1) Keyword Trends

Gamers are familiar with the concept of encountering fresh storylines, gaining access to new characters, or exploring novel in-game environments crafted to capture the essence of various holidays.

Games like Subway Surfers and Angry Birds have consistently introduced Halloween-themed levels, challenges, and rewards to align with the season. But is it enough to leverage a successful seasonal ASO campaign? The answer is no. For a successful seasonal campaign, you should not only delight existing players but also attract new ones who are eager to join in the festive fun by targeting some keywords smartly.

Keyword Popularity History as seen on MobileAction dashboard

For example, the keyword “halloween” and some Halloween-related keywords such as “pumpkin” and “spooky” see a drastic increase in search scores. Therefore, instead of competing for a particular keyword whose search score is high but the chance score is low, you can target “pumpkin” and “spooky” to leverage seasonality and rank in the top ten for these seasonal keywords.

2) In-app Events

In-app events can be tailored to seasons for different regions. Consider holding live events, announcing significant changes, presenting new content or storylines, premiering new aspects, or setting up limited-time events as ways to make the most of in-app events. 

Your mobile app can benefit from leveraging in-app events by combining them with targeting specific keywords and running seasonal creative ads to increase conversion rates.

MobileAction enables you to analyze live category events

Roblox and Royal Match have already started their in-app events for Halloween 2023!

3) Metadata Optimization

It’s a prevalent practice for apps and games to customize their features or introduce characters that tie in with particular holidays. Consequently, users browsing app stores tend to be more proactive in their search for themed apps and games during the days or weeks preceding significant holidays.

To make the most out of the Halloween season, mobile games adapt their app icons and app descriptions to the season. For example:

App Update Timeline feature lets you observe the updates in any application

Here you can see the original and Halloween-themed versions of the app icons of Subway Surfers, Angry Birds, and Two Dots. With only minor tweaks, these games are leveraging seasonal ASO trends successfully. 

Furthermore, these apps update their app descriptions according to seasonal events as well. For instance:

You can also analyze the updates in app descriptions in the App Update Timeline feature

The Optimization of Creatives for UA

Seasonal app marketing goes beyond just seasonal ASO. To unlock maximum growth potential, it’s essential to fuse both organic and paid marketing efforts.

Candy Crush Saga’s creative video

Similarly, as with ASO, careful competitor analysis and monitoring of their ad creatives allow you to grasp market demands, enabling the integration of high-performing tactics into your mobile user acquisition strategy.

However, it’s worth noting that if executed poorly, this process can be both time-consuming and highly expensive. Luckily, with the Ad Intelligence tool developed by MobileAction, you can analyze various ad networks and discover the creative sets of your competitors. In this way, you can save valuable time and money!

Advanced filters ease the process of ad creative optimization

With its advanced filters, Ad Intelligence enables you to select your app category, search the name of the season in the media title, and select some other variables such as platform, date range, country, and ad networks. You can also sort these creatives by their impression shares.

Beyond Halloween: The Year-Round Potential

While Halloween offers endless opportunities for your app growth, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Successful games are already tapping into various holidays, events, and cultural moments throughout the year. Whether it’s Christmas, Ramadan, or even pop culture references such as Barbenheimer, the possibilities for seasonal updates are endless, allowing developers to maintain excitement and relevance.

So don’t let mobile game marketing spook you, schedule a demo with our experts to make the most out of Halloween!

Key Takeaways

  • Seasonal updates can combat mobile gamer fatigue and extend the lifespan of a game. 
  • Halloween updates add freshness and excitement to mobile games and enhance user acquisition, engagement, and retention. These updates are a powerful solution for developers to keep their games relevant and engaging for both new and returning players.
  • To ensure the success of seasonal campaigns, it is important to track their performance and gain insights into what is working and what is not, using ASO-related data.
  • The MobileAction platform offers a comprehensive mobile app marketing toolset, encompassing ASO, ad creative optimization, paid user acquisition, and AI-generated tools, providing you with full marketing capabilities.
  • Let’s have a talk with our experts and discover more about boosting your mobile app visibility and conversions!

To discover more about seasonal app marketing, do not forget to check out our earlier blogs: