In-App Events — Why You Should Adopt the New Feature From Apple
by Jevgen Tarasenko
View this blog on the Tilting Point website
Organic visibility is an indispensable benefit when marketing a game on the App Store, not only to show what your game is like, but also what the game is up to right now. My team at Tilting Point always remains on the cutting edge of new developments in App Store Optimization (ASO), so that everything prospective players see is reflective of what a title has to offer them, especially in the midst of exciting new events and seasonal content.
Back in late October, Apple released a new store feature called “In-App Events,” which made timely in-game events discoverable within the iOS App Store. We achieved excellent results with this new feature by adopting it mere days after it went live late October 2021, and Apple also just launched its native Analytics for events to help further explore their effectiveness.
In this blog, you’ll learn the key details about the Apple App Store’s newest feature, and about the true value of both early adoption and effective organic marketing when it comes to featuring opportunities, impressions, installs, and engaging with existing users for your growing game.
Discovery & Assessment
My team and I first learned about the imminent release of In-App Events when it was announced by Apple in June 2021. We were well positioned to catch this announcement because we paid close attention to Apple’s official sources as well as the buzz within the ASO community.
In essence, this new feature consists of new cards showcasing timely events in your app, whether that’s movie premieres, live streamed experiences, or game-specific events such as competitions or limited-time seasonal content. These ‘event cards’ can appear all across the App Store, not just on the app’s description page, and include an event name, a short description, and your chosen image(s) or video.
We quickly assessed that this feature would be a worthwhile new way of reaching potential players, keeping our current players informed, and even reaching out to previous players of our games. We were among the first companies to access the feature, so that we might further assess its value and function. Within just three days of the announcement, we were able to develop In-App Events for nine of our titles.
First Round Execution
Less than a week after their introduction, we launched our first In-App Event, clearing the application and approval process put in place for developers by Apple. We ultimately received approval for all nine of our submissions, which included Halloween event cards for hit games in our portfolio such as SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off and Hidden Hotel: Miami Mystery.
Other submitted event cards showcased different types of limited-time content, such as new campaigns, major solo and alliance competitions, and special IP integrations, such as the limited edition Men In Black Characters introduced in Zombieland: AFK Survival.
Apple’s editorial team can select events to be featured in various places across the App Store. Of the nine events submitted, Apple chose to feature four of Tilting Point’s games!
Some of these event cards remained visible on the App Store for over two weeks, during which these four titles received significant boosts to impressions on days they were featured. By mid-November, we were prepared to begin measuring the exact impact of this unique organic marketing campaign.
The significant App Store featuring was itself a victory for Tilting Point’s portfolio, but the results didn’t stop there. For those four featured games, we achieved an average increase of 12x impressions and 2.4x installs, with one title in particular maxing out at 34x impressions and 8x installs!
Results for non-featured games, while overall more modest, were nonetheless notable as well. These titles averaged only a 16% increase in impressions, but a generous 30% increase in installs.
It’s easy to see, with a significant increase in featuring potential and an almost guaranteed boost to installs, why In-App Events are a vital component for any organic marketing team’s approach to ASO.
To review what we’ve covered in this article, it’s important to understand the following:
- Apple’s In-App Events can vastly improve store visibility and featuring potential.
- Significant improvement to impressions & installs comes from event cards, especially supported by featuring.
- Speed of adoption, along with quality assets, helps achieve great results in a short period of time.
- Working with a publisher will help developers through Apple’s application & approval process.
At Tilting point, we take this approach to every emerging tool in the free-to-play games space, whether it’s for ASO, featuring, ad creative, or multi-platform distribution & engineering. If you are looking for a partner who can raise your game and help achieve results such as those seen above, look no further than Tilting Point!
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As Head of ASO at Tilting Point, Jevgen is responsible for creating and optimizing workflows so the whole Organic Growth team can efficiently handle some of the biggest games in the industry like SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off, Star Trek Timelines, Narcos: Cartel Wars and many others. He is a mobile marketing veteran who’s been in the industry for over 8 years and worked on hundreds of apps from both gaming and non-gaming categories. As a hobby, Jevgen plays drums in the prog/post-metal band Nug.