Happy New Year!
Here at Kontagent, we’ve helped hundreds of social customers win by helping them gain better insights into their users’ behaviors. And, we have even more exciting product features planned this year. (Sign up for our newsletter for the latest Kontagent news and updates.)
We’re always improving our already-powerful, best-in-class analytics platform. We’ve been leveraging our knowledge and experience to help many of our social customers make a successful transition into the mobile space, too.
Whether you’re in the early stages of developing a mobile application, or you’ve already launched it and have a substantial user base, looking to social app developers for a history lesson on how to do it right can give you a huge head-start, and greater chance at success.
Kontagent Konnect Interview:
Gaia Online CEO Mike Sego
Gaia Online has been able to do this with Monster Galaxy–a hit on both Facebook and iOS. In the first installment of our Kontagent Konnect Executive Interview Series, we spoke with CEO Mike Sego on how the company is applying many of the lessons it learned in social to mobile, including:
- The metrics that are most important to succeeding on mobile
- How to monetize on the F2P model
- How to successfully split-test on iOS (yes, it is possible!)
- Other tactics used to keep players engaged and coming back for more
What are the overarching fundamentals for developers who want to make the social to mobile transition? Do these fundamentals also apply to mobile developers in general?
Applying the knowledge you gained on Facebook to developing for mobile is the most effective way we’ve found to succeed in the mobile space.
When it comes to content, the mechanics are almost identical for what motivates user engagement, retention, and monetization between mobile and social. Appointment mechanics, energy mechanics, leaving players wanting more, designing specific goals that are just out of reach until multiple play sessions, etc.—the user experience is consistent.
When it comes to social and mobile game apps, we have found that free-to-play models are the most successful at attracting users. Beyond that, you should focus on a very tight conversion funnel; once a new user has installed your application, analyze every action she takes through the levels or stages of your app. When you start looking at cohorts of users, if there is a spike in drop-offs, you should start asking yourself, ‘What is it about this particular stage that could be turning off users? Did I make the level too difficult? Was it not difficult enough? What are some other incentives I can bake into this particular point of the app to get them to keep going?’
But, as you continue to develop your application, keep in mind that you should develop and release quickly, and test often. The trick is to test, fine-tune and iterate with user data. These insights will help you to improve conversion. Spending a disproportionate amount of time instrumenting and scrutinizing the new user experience will pay dividends down the line. This is true for both social and mobile games.
What are the metrics you pay most attention to?
Just as it was in social, the two biggest levers in mobile are still minimizing customer acquisition costs (CAC), and maximizing lifetime value (LTV). The question boils down to this: How can we acquire as many users as possible, for as little money as possible? And, how can we generate as much revenue as possible from those users? Everything else is an input into those two major metrics because those two metrics are what will ultimately determine if you have a scalable hit or a game that just won’t pay for itself.
- User retention over a longer period of time
Specifically, look at how many users stick around, and how long they stick around, i.e., Day 1, Day 7 retention. (Day 1 retention alone is too broad for you to fully understand what needs to be improved. That’s the reason for testing the new user experience.)
- Cost to acquire customers
We look at the organic ratio—the number of users who come to us without us having paid for them. This is different from the way we track virality in social since our data for user source isn’t as detailed… continued
About the author: Catherine Mylinh is a member of Kontagent’s storytelling team, where she is head of PR, brand and content marketing. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of kScope. In her former life, Catherine was a news anchor for CBS and NBC. She credits her journalism and computer science roots—she was once a programmer!—for her love of learning and writing about all things high tech. You can contact Catherine at @cat_mylinh.