Did you know that you can use the Google Play pre-registration feature to promote your game?
That’s right! Google Play’s pre-register option was previously only available to major app studios, but now it’s open to all. That means even if you’re a one-man indie dev studio, you can take advantage of this killer pre-launch strategy to help generate tons of buzz around your awesome game before its official release.
When you use the Google Play pre-registration feature, you get a head start on the competition by raising awareness early and building up a solid fan base. Similar to the pre-order option for iOS apps and games, when you pre-register your game, you must release it within a 90-day timeframe. You also need to have the APK file uploaded and ready to go in your Play Console area.
Benefits of Google Play Pre-Registration For App Launch
There are many benefits to allowing pre-registration for your games on Google Play. Not only is it a great strategy to use to promote your app during the pre-launch phase, but it also improves your odds of discoverability. When you make your app available for pre-registration, anyone who pre-registers will automatically receive a push notification to install your game on its release. That mass notification blast will instantly boost your app downloads.
With pre-registration, you have the opportunity to create your app store page listing ahead of time and optimize for visibility. You’re able to ensure that your page is GPSO (Google Play Store Optimized) and your target keywords are being indexed properly all before launch. The process can also allow you more time for testing and polishing your app. You can make sure it’s perfect with no bugs by the time it’s officially released. There’s also the ability to target specific countries with your pre-register campaign. It’s an excellent way to gain insight while promoting your game. Plus, you can have up to two games available for Google Play pre-registration at the very same time.
Another cool feature that you can utilize to promote your game is pre-registration rewards. Google allows you to create exclusive rewards that function like promotions, but instead of using promo codes they’re received because a user pre-registered. All pre-registration rewards must be a new item created specifically for the campaign. They’re an excellent way to persuade potential players to try out your app. Prizes could be a rare character, extended coins or gems pack, or any item that’s not currently available in the game. Failing to deliver promised items will result in your game being removed from the Play Store. So, if you choose to use rewards in your pre-registration campaign, be sure to set it up before turning on your pre-register option for it to work.
Promoting Your Google Play Pre-Registration
When you’re all set-up and turn your pre-registration feature on it’s up to you to drive as much traffic as you can to your listing. Try to prepare ahead of time so you can hit the ground running. Promote your pre-registration URL across all your social media channels. Let everyone know that your incredible new game is coming soon to Google Play. Create teaser videos, think of creative ways to use screenshots or game characters in your posts, and include a call to action with your link. GIFs are attention-grabbers that works well on social media platforms too.
Indie game development forums are also excellent platforms for launch promotion. You can post your pre-register link, upload screenshots, or gameplay trailers. Get active in the gaming community. Forums allow you to connect with other indie developers and passionate gamers that might be interested in your new mobile app. If you’re not already a member, join our official Buildbox forum, and other sites like Touch Arcade, TigsSource, GameDev.net, and even Reddit to start networking and encouraging people to test out your game.
Creating a website or landing page will help promote your Google Play pre-registration too. If you’re marketing your indie game, it’s essential to have one. A website can help you build up a fan base, connect with potential players, and even press. Always add a contact and opt-in feature to collect page visitors emails. You can offer updates for subscribing and send your entire email list your game’s pre-registration link. If you’re offering rewards with your campaign, you can promote them in your newsletters and post announcements too.
Getting press coverage is also another way to increase your pre-register signups. To get press coverage, you’ll need a press kit. Every press kit should include a press release or document with details about your game or indie studio, a great gameplay trailer, and all the necessary graphics. Your attention-grabbing icons in various sizes, high-resolution screenshots, banners if any and studio logo should all be part of it. It’s important that your press kit is easily accessible. So, be sure to add it to your website and keep the file saved on your computer. Another great tip is to save your game’s press kit file in Dropbox or Google Drive for quick access on the go.
Use it to generate buzz about your pre-launch by finding game reviewers and journalists and pitching to them. Offer your press kit and include a link or free early access for them to try. Social influencers and YouTubers are worth reaching out to as well. You can also check out our full guide on How to Get Press For Your Game for a complete walkthrough of the process from building your press kit to reaching out to journalists.
Remember for a successful pre-launch, you have to promote like crazy. Share and post your Google Play pre-registration link and encourage others to do so too. You can even include it in your email signature. Using the pre-order or pre-register option to promote your game will get you ahead of your competition. It’s an effective marketing strategy to try.
You can find more info and step-by-step instructions on the pre-register process right HERE.