Powerful Weapons for Mobile Game ASO Managers
With Apple’s recent announcement of new App Store features such as Product Page Optimization and Custom Product Pages, they have sent a clear signal that they want developers to focus on testing to provide the best user experience with their app page. So now is the perfect time to start preparing new icons, screenshots, and app preview videos for your game.
The release of these new features is around the corner, and many mobile game developers have already started preparing new store assets. The question is, how can you keep up with them and even stay one step ahead?
In this article we will highlight several free and premium tools to inspire you to think differently about new store assets for your game, so you are ready when Apple releases its new features.
When used properly, these tools can massively speed up the testing process, and constant testing may in some cases be rewarded by Apple and Google with increased visibility on the store, leading to more organic downloads.
You will also discover tools that will help you better understand your players and brainstorm store assets faster. Each name includes a link to the tool or to a page where you can learn more about how to use it. Let’s start with the free ones…
Player Archetypes — Before conducting creative research, it is important to understand who your target audience is across a number of variables, like age, gender, geography, and more. For that you can use some companies such as 12traits (more on this later), surveys, or your own data. Once you specify your target, the next step is to determine these users’ motivators to play your game, which will help you better understand what to show in screenshots. The outcome of this exercise is what we call Player Archetypes.
The matrix shown below splits players into four categories: Compete, Express, Collaborate, and Explore, representing four different types of players. Each type includes subcategories (build, win, etc.) which can be considered the players’ motivators. Think about each motivator in this matrix and ask if your game offers it. If the answer is yes, then you can start thinking about ways to show it in store assets.
USP Framework — A framework for brainstorming the “unique selling points” of your game, and how each USP will be communicated in store assets. You can grab a copy of this simple framework we created at Tilting Point.
GameUIDatabase — This library of creatives is built mainly for UI/UX designers, but it can be also applied to ASO. For example, checking the loading screens of existing games can give you some ideas for your next feature graphic.
Storeglide — A list of casual games that are popular on Instagram and Tik Tok. This can also serve as an inspiration for new store assets. You can also quickly view Top Charts on both mobile platforms without using an ASO tool.
Facebook Ad Library — This is a free tool to search for ads from any app or game. What works for the UA team can also work for ASO, and it’s always important to stay informed on what competitors’ ads look like. This can spark inspiration for new feature graphics, videos, or screenshots.
Pinterest — A well-known discovery tool that can be used for store assets research. If you type “game design” into the search tab, many different art style suggestions will show up. Then, for example, if you click on “retro” in the suggestions bar, you will find lots of graphics with a retro art style.
If you are thinking in particular about a new app icon, I recommend checking out these Pinterest libraries for some inspiration:
12traits — This is a player survey service that helps you better understand your target audience, so you know what you should avoid or include in store assets. 12traits will prepare all the most relevant questions and then a developer will send those questions to users. After collecting all the responses, their algorithm will put together a deep psychological analysis for your review.
GameRefinery (Player Archetypes) — This tool shows what type of users play competitors’ games. They have a massive database of mobile games which can help teach you about how players think and what features they like, and vice versa.
GameRefinery (Player Motivators) — Here’s a tool that shows what aspects of gameplay being offered drive users to play competitors’ games. Below you can see the biggest motivators for users that play Homescapes, and an aggregated average for Match 3 Puzzle games.
Sensor Tower (Top Creatives) — This is a powerful tool that shows the Top 50 creatives used on an ad network for a game’s category over a period of time, ranked by highest impressions. This information can help provide visibility for the creatives of a sub-genre that has been pushed the most on an ad network in the last month. Sensor Tower also offers a filter where you can choose the art style, theme and many more variables.
Sensor Tower (Creative Gallery) — This is another resource you can use to spy on your competitors’ best performing ads. If you find ads that have been running for a long period of time, it might be worth testing a similar design for your own store assets.
Apptweak (Timeline) — Apptweak provides a list of all ASO changes made by the competition. For the Google Play Store, it also shows when an A/B test was conducted and how long it ran for. From there you can see if the new variant was applied or not, which gives an idea of which version won the test. You might then want to try a similar design, or steer clear of underperforming styles.
Apptweak (Benchmark) — Apptweak also has a feature that benchmarks the amount of testing per category. With this, you’ll be able to see the list of apps or games that are testing the most in a particular category, and what precisely they are testing.
Apptweak (App Page Preview) — Apptweak also allows you to preview store assets in a test environment before uploading them to the store. This helps avoid any issues that you would potentially find after a release, such as inconsistent colors between an icon and screenshots, small headline sizes and more.
Milanote — This is a perfect tool for storing all your asset ideas in one place. There are many templates to choose from, and you can also use it as the backlog of your past experiments. It features a drag-and-drop interface and is a very intuitive space to tinker around in.
Tip: Work closely with your UA team if possible. They can provide great insights about what ads have worked for them in terms of graphics and content. Keep in mind that if the UA team is testing video ads with landscape orientation, you can also use them for testing on the Google Play Store!
In this article we have covered many tools that can help supercharge the creative process when brainstorming store assets. With the right mix of tools, developers of all shapes and sizes can:
- Define target audience and player archetypes
- Define unique selling points and key messages
- Spy on competitors’ UA ads
- Spy on competitors’ A/B tests
- Analyze existing game UIs
By gathering this information, you will never run out of testing options and will remain equipped to improve your store page’s conversion rate. Jump in and get started to stay ahead of Apple’s release of the new Custom Product Pages and Product Page Optimization features.
There is more to come! In the next article, I will show you tools that can be used for keyword optimization. And later this year we will publish an article on which tools to use for evaluating the results from your A/B tests. So stay tuned!
If you are looking for a publishing partner with years of experience in the ASO field, we’re here to help. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org today to get started!
As ASO Manager at Tilting Point, Jiri Chochlik is responsible for the organic growth of dozens of games. He also collaborates with the creative team for the production of store assets and works closely with the UA team to assess the interdependence between paid and organic. Prior to joining Tilting Point, Jiri worked as ASO Manager at AppAgent, where he led ASO from creating proposals and strategies to the actual work for clients. In his daily life, Jiri loves to play his Playstation and sports outdoors, especially volleyball. You can find him on LinkedIn.