Exploring mobile game user acquisition with TikTok ads

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Olivia Doboaca
Exploring mobile game user acquisition with TikTok ads

Table of Content:

  1. Why advertise mobile games on TikTok?
  2. TikTok audiences
  3. Creating mobile game ads on TikTok
    • TikTok ad solutions
  4. How to create an effective TikTok ad for your mobile game
  5. Afterword
  6. FAQ
    • Why should I advertise my mobile game on TikTok?
    • What makes TikTok's audience unique for mobile game advertising?
    • How do TikTok's ad tools benefit mobile game marketing?

TikTok's got gamers hooked. Forget Discord and Twitch, TikTok's the new hotspot. Its interface grabs you, and the real-deal communities keep you there. Turns out, TikTok ads are top-notch for mobile games compared to other apps.

Why advertise mobile games on TikTok?

TikTok's on fire with 1.5 billion monthly users, topping download charts three years straight.

"TikTok made me play it" trend is blowing up. Like the viral #tiktokmademebuyit, this hashtag brought in millions of views. TikTok's the go-to for brands getting noticed. 75% of TikTok gamers find fresh gaming stuff there.

Here's why you should be advertising there:

  • Massive audience. TikTok's user base is huge, meaning your ads get tons of eyes on them. Do the creative part right, and you'll reel in loads of new players.
  • Cost-effective. TikTok ads won't break the bank. They're way cheaper than most other ads.
  • Target well. TikTok lets you zero in on the exact crowd you want. Your ad hits the right users, not just randoms. The algorithm is scary because it’s really precise.
  • Easy to do. Making TikTok ads is simple. No special skills needed. Use TikTok's tools to create ads that blend in with the TikTok vibe. Just be creative and let their system handle the rest.

Plus, you can hit up influencers directly, and TikTok's even got a Creator Marketplace for easy matchmaking.

Mobile games are a cultural glue. Different ages bond over them—kids rib parents for their Candy Crush addiction, and parents nag teens glued to Roblox. Remember Olivia Rodrigo's Grammy-winning rise and Lil Nas X's smash hits? Thanks to TikTok.

It even shoots books to bestseller status, prompting bookstores to showcase 'BookTok' picks. So, why not games? Wordle, for instance—a viral hit, a cultural craze. TikTok can do that for your game too.

No need to just stick to Meta and Google; TikTok's a great playground for your ad dollars. It's unique, packed with users, and growing fast. Again, TikTok's algorithm is spooky accurate—just ask users who say it figured out their identity quirks before they did. With tracking getting trickier, that precision's a big plus.

TikTok audiences

TikTok's not just for kids anymore. Sure, Millennials and Gen Z are big on it, but users under 30 are just 40% of the crowd. You want to reach someone? Bet they're scrolling TikTok.

Games blow up or bust on social media. Take 'High Heels!' - went nuclear on TikTok, topping download charts for weeks. Thanks to a mega ad push on the app. Mobile game devs are all over this, chasing that magic. In January 2022, 80% of TikTok's top Android advertisers were mobile games.

And here's the kicker: TikTok gamers don't just play; they're hype machines. Newzoo says they're chatty, recommending games and buzzing about them online. They download 50% more games and play longer than non-TikTokers.

Half the mobile game ads are on TikTok. Want to keep up with the competition? You've got to play where they play.


Creating mobile game ads on TikTok

TikTok's toolkit caters to every phase of your mobile game's journey: pre-launch, launch, expansion, and retain & monetize. Each phase is a unique beast, offering its own set of wins and hurdles.

Pre-launch. Get to know your future players, tweak your content, and make sure your game's a market fit.

Launch. Time to get downloads and players. Grow your player base, pump up in-game revenue, and see who's biting at in-app purchases.

Expansion. Keep your audiences glued, get creative, and pull in fresh faces. Here, brands can turn into cultural icons.

Retain & monetize. Now, keep your players hooked and the cash flowing. Roll out seasonal events, fresh releases, and promos to keep your regulars engaged.

TikTok ad solutions

TikTok's tools are tailored for your game's entire growth journey. They're built to help you conquer the ever-changing mobile gaming scene and hit your targets.

TikTok Playable Ads

TikTok Playable Ads let users test drive a game before downloading. Here's why they're a game-changer:

  • Gamer-heavy user base. Over 60% of TikTokers are mobile gamers.
  • High conversion rates. These ads are about five times more effective at driving game downloads than standard mobile ads.
  • Versatile. Promote any game, from simple puzzles to complex action adventures.
  • Cost-effective. You pay only when someone installs your game, thanks to the "pay-per-install" model.

Easy to create, as shown in the TikTok support docs.

TikTok Pulse

This is where your gaming brand gets noticed. TikTok Pulse puts your ads right next to the top 4% of trending gaming content. Your ad lands on the For You Page, grabbing the attention of users already into gaming. Pulse is your go-to for engagement.

Spark Ads

Think of it as giving steroids to your organic TikTok content. It turns what you've already got—say, a viral clip of someone freaking out over your game—into a wider-reaching ad. That’s how you can hook in users with content they already like.

Spark ads as shown in the TikTok help docs

TikTok Instant Page

These are landing pages hosted on TikTok itself. Why does it matter for gaming ads? Because they load insanely fast—up to 11 times quicker than your average landing page.

Gamers hate waiting, and with Instant Pages, they don't have to. They're mobile-friendly and keep users on TikTok, boosting g the journey from ad to game download or purchase. Fast, efficient, mobile-optimized—it's what gamers expect.

App Event Optimization

App Event Optimization (AEO) is all about showing the right ads to users primed to download, play, and pay. Here’s how AEO turns TikTok into a potent strategy:

  • Target the big spenders ready to splash cash in your game.
  • Find players who crave beating levels, keeping them hooked.
  • Involve newbies eager to sign up.

Using AEO is simple. Choose an in-app action, and TikTok’s AI does the heavy lifting, pinpointing users who are itching to take that action. Advertise to them, and watch your game soar on TikTok’s viral waves.

Campaign Budget Optimization

Now, let's talk about stretching that ad dollar with Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO). You set your spend, and TikTok pushes dollars to where they work hardest. Here’s why it’s worthwhile:

  • Say goodbye to micromanaging every ad dollar. CBO automates the grunt work.
  • CBO focuses on ROI, funding the top-performing ads.
  • Adjust and adapt without sweating the small stuff, automatically.
  • signup_boosting

How to create an effective TikTok ad for your mobile game

TikTok's motto: “Don’t make an ad, make a TikTok”. It's all about fitting in with what users like - humor, trends, you name it. Want to crush it on TikTok with your game ad, now that you know the formats? Here's the playbook:

  • TikTok's a fast-scroll world. Your ad needs to grab attention fast. Keep it short, sharp, and shiny.
  • Your words gotta persuade. Pump up your game's cool features and perks. Make 'em wanna hit download.
  • TikTok's all about visuals. Show off your game with killer footage or anything else that pops.
  • Be clear. Tell users to "download now" or "play now".
  • The best TikTok ads don’t scream “ad”. They look and feel like the stuff users post. The more your ad feels like TikTok, the more love it gets.
  • Half of Gen Z's ditching Google for TikTok searches. Use trending hashtags to get found.
  • Before you blast out ads, figure out who's likely to try your game. Target them.
  • Find TikTok influencers who talk to your ideal gamers. Watch their style, see what works. Then, get them on your side to push your game.
  • Keep tabs on your ad's performance. If it's flopping, don't just sit there. Change things up—audience settings, creatives, whatever it takes.
  • Trends are your friends. Spot one? Jump on it, but only if it gels with your game. And move fast.
  • No crossposting. If your ad's cool, users will share it elsewhere. But don’t slap a TikTok watermark on Instagram—it doesn’t play well.
  • Storytelling is key. Hook your audience with a solid tale. Drama doesn't hurt.
  • Sound is everything. Unlike other platforms, TikTok's all about audio. Make sure your sound game is strong.

TikTok’s a whirlwind—trends and sounds change fast. Stay on your toes. Use it not just for ads, but to build your brand and community. Give it a go, see where it takes your game.


TikTok wants brands to step up their game with content that pops. If your usual stuff isn't cutting it, switch it up. Keep an eye on what works and what doesn't. That's how you make smarter moves. Once your ads start to work and you get users flowing in, they will start to leave reviews, and that’s when you’ll need AppFollow to ensure that your app maintains the best rating possible.



Why should I advertise my mobile game on TikTok?

TikTok, with its 1.5 billion monthly users and a trend-driven community, offers a vast audience for mobile game ads. Its ad creation tools make it a prime choice for reaching any gaming audience.

What makes TikTok's audience unique for mobile game advertising?

TikTok has a diverse user base, including Millennials and Gen Z, making up only 40% of users. This diversity, coupled with a gamer-heavy community that's highly engaged with new games, makes TikTok an ideal platform for mobile game advertising.

How do TikTok's ad tools benefit mobile game marketing?

TikTok offers ad tools like Playable Ads, TikTok Pulse, and Instant Pages, designed to cater to the mobile gaming market. With these tools, you can get interactive ad experiences, high visibility alongside trending content, and fast-loading landing pages.

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