In June 2019, miHoYo published a promo video for its new game — Genshin Impact. In September 2020, the game came out and dominated charts right away. Fiona Long of SocialPeta breaks down advertising and promotion strategies that made Genshin Impact an immediate success.
Fiona Long, SocialPeta
Let‘s review the market performance of the game over the past few months.
- Genshin Impact grossed $60 million on App Store and Google Play in the first week of its release.
- Genshin Impact overtook Tencent’s Arena of Valor as the world’s highest-grossing mobile game in the first month of its release.
- Genshin Impact is now reportedly the mobile RPG (role-playing game) making the highest first-month revenue in the US market, which amounts to $45 million.
IGN Review: 9. AMAZING. An incredible open-world and addictive exploration make Genshin Impact an anime-zing adventure
Leveraging its development experience from Honkai Impact 3, miHoYo has ensured the superb quality of Genshin Impact. A successful game, though, should not only rely on high-quality graphics or gameplay. It should also make good use of advertising and promotion strategies.
What kind of marketing and advertising strategy can make a game achieve such a huge success in a short period of time after its release？
In this article, we are going to use ad intelligence tool SocialPeta to make a comprehensive analysis of Genshin Impact‘s marketing strategies from the following three sections:
- Media Buy Trends
- Advertising Channels
- Creatives Analysis
We can see Genshin Impact buying traffic on iOS to place clear, targeted ad creatives.
I. Media Buy Trends: Genshin Impact gains soaring popularity with three waves of advertising
The figure below shows the media buy trend of Genshin Impact in the past half-year. We can see the trends of advertising launched by Genshin Impact at a specified time and the proportion of material type. For example, on November 23, the video materials accounted for 48.96% of the total amount, and the Images was 37.15%
In addition, in SocialPeta’s Advertiser Analysis, you can also view detailed data such as Ad Copy, advertising duration, the number of total ads, etc.
Let’s take a look at Genshin Impact‘s Advertising trends in recent months from SocialPeta. We can see that a significant increase in creative magnitude occurred on Sep. 7, Sep. 25, and Nov. 3, which corresponds to a few key events of the game, according to our online data inquiry.
- September 7 warm-up for PC public beta
Genshin Impact scheduled its PC public beta for September 15, the earliest launch of all versions, and initiated the first wave of advertising on September 7 (a week ahead), to warm up for the official launch. Most of the creatives during this period mainly lead up to registration on mobile.
- September 28 public beta testing on all platforms: The number of ads soared
Genshin Impact started public beta testing on all platforms on September 28, ushering in the second wave of advertising. SocialPeta fetched more than 400 pieces of creatives for the iOS version of Genshin Impact in a single day.
- October 30 new version release: a bit more advertising to keep the game hot
The latest climax of advertising occurred on October 30, when Genshin Impact released the 1.1 version update, enriching the main storyline and characters. During the two weeks after the new version was released, Genshin Impact continued to carry out advertising. Combined with the new main storyline and characters, they can create more video materials that show the gameplay to attract players. So most of the creatives during this period are mainly in the form of video.
II. Advertising Channels: Genshin Impact seeks global exposure through Google Ads & Bilibili
Through SocialPeta’s Advertising Channel Analysis, we can gain insight into the proportion of the game’s placement on various advertising platforms. The simple-looking data chart is supported by the massive database of SocialPeta, which is fetched from 73 top publishing networks across 46 countries. The entire database contains more than 980M creatives.
Genshin Impact employs Google Ads as the primary network of global advertising.
What followed was placement of more creatives on FB networks to ensure long-term, stable exposure.
In China, Genshin Impact chooses Bilibili as its primary network of advertising with more than 50% of its creatives placed there. As China’s biggest ACGN (Anime, Comic and Games) community, Bilibili abounds with young players fond of ACGN culture.
III. Creatives Analysis: Customized creatives based on audience interests in different regions
In SocialPeta’s Ad Creative Analysis, you can find any ad you want filtering them by category, network, ad format, language, date, CTA type, marketing objective, etc. To explore creatives in a designated region, here we will use the region filter. The following search results show the creatives of Genshin Impact in Japan:
From the ad search results, we found the following differences in different regions：
The hottest creative in Western countries features the first playable character Amber, she’s a more mature female character.
Gamers in Asia prefer Lolita. The hottest creative in China is the cute zombie Lolita Qiqi.
In addition to customized ads for the different regions mentioned above, there are also giant boss ads specifically for hardcore players.
As an ARPG, a giant-sized boss is indispensable to Genshin Impact. The super-high tension and seemingly unbeatable enemies in boss battles are what make ARPGs uniquely charming.
Genshin Impact’s global success has awakened more gaming companies to the infinite commercial value of ACGN mobile games. Meanwhile, the superb performance is down to its effective marketing and advertising strategies. Developing and launching a game is only the beginning. It should stand out from the crowd and persuade the users to download.
If you’re thinking of launching a new game, SocialPeta can save you thousands of hours of research. All you need to do is to search for your competitors, find their strategy, explore millions of inspirations to build your own marketing plan.