Smartphones continue to drive the gaming market forward and facilitate mobile devices as a major platform for video games. In 2022, mobile gaming accounted for 45% of total video gaming revenue worldwide.
Furthermore, revenue is projected to grow by 12.2% annually and reach 338 billion by 2030. Meanwhile, the number of mobile game players hit 3 billion in 2022 with no evidence of stopping.
Another study shows that more developers have started to use in-game advertising in their free-to-play (F2P) mobile games. According to Statista mobile advertising spending is projected to reach a record of 327.1 billion U.S. dollars worldwide by the end of 2022.
It’s no wonder then that such a massive growth of ad spending and active mobile app users naturally attracts marketers. In-game advertising has now become a key driver for high monetization that provides in-depth targeting, increased engagement, and campaign tracking data.
So, what is the best way to improve your ad campaigns, streamline strategies, and make the most out of in-game advertisements?
Choose the Right Model to Drive High-Quality Traffic
Marketers have plenty of metrics to evaluate the profitability of their video games’ advertising. Today’s marketers choose the life-time value (LTV) as their number one metric. It represents the revenue stream that a single user contributes, beginning with the game installation until the last gameplay. This can be achieved with the Cost Per Action (CPA) model, which closely monitors the app-use data, delivering trustworthy metrics for long-term ROI measurement.
Keep a Better Eye on Your Target Audience
Understanding your TA is crucial, as segmentation of users according to their location, gender and age allows you to better know their needs and as a result, provide desired content. For example, if your audience consists of tech-savvy individuals aged 18-20, it is best to launch the campaign on battle games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite Battle Royale.
One of the reliable methods to advertise your game effectively is to determine users’ geolocation. This way advertisers are sure about reaching the right individuals.
Another way of segmentation is to monitor the users’ mobile IDs right inside the app. When users access most apps, they must opt in, allowing you to track the authentic user’s information legally. Besides, this option ensures a long-term stream of data as device IDs last more than a year, unlike information provided by cookies.
Find the Best Format for Video Game Advertising
In general, advertising in video games for mobile platforms can be classified as the following: banners, interstitial ads, native ads, and rewarded videos. You can employ each of them and find which format works best for your business.
Dedicate time to video ads in games as they are becoming increasingly popular for increasing engagement and user retention. Always test to ensure your video ads are effective and viewable.
Use Ads During Natural Transition Points of a Game
It is particularly important to show advertisements to players exactly when they are ready to watch them. Interstitial ads are perfect for this because they are shown between game levels.
When an ad is placed correctly, it can be a comfortable time-out rather than an annoying interruption. In-game advertising can give a player the opportunity to rest after a desperate battle or a challenging puzzle. Thus, by showing ads in games when people are ready to view them, you can increase engagement and CPM.
Taking Care of UX is Vital
An exceptional UX guarantees that the player will not be logged out of the game after clicking on an ad, either intentionally or accidentally. Exiting players from the game can negatively affect the entire process and cause irritation. Therefore, all advertisements must work in a seamless way for users. In the case that a user must exit the game after clicking on the ad, request their consent first.
Let Your Creative Juices Flow
The time of classic banners has passed. Nowadays, your ads must be creative and compelling to grab users’ attention. Consider adding eye-catching visuals or using a mix of various creative assets that will drive clicks and purchases.
Show the Optimal Amount of Ads
There is a risk of showing too many ads during the game, which is bad for both you and the players. Carefully monitor how much advertising you show. CPM (cost per mille) is affected not only by the frequency of impressions of a single ad format but also by the total number of ads of all formats in the game.
More advertising doesn’t always mean more revenue. On the contrary, overdoing it can cause feelings of irritation in users.
Rise of Ad Blockers as a Big Concern for Marketers
Ad-blocking apps are getting more popular among gamers and have become a big challenge to overcome for both developers and advertisers.
Big companies can afford to integrate ads inside their video games so that they look like the elements of gameplay. In other words, ‘advergaming’ – they are both efficient and costly. Smaller brands often don’t have a budget for this and must find other ways to overcome it.
Still, ad-blocking technology hasn’t matured enough to completely block ads inside games. The solution is to develop ads that won’t interrupt the gameplay and annoy users.
Test Your Ads Before Showing Them
When you test a game, don’t forget to test your promotional materials. It’s important to see ads in context to ensure they work properly. Here are a few aspects to consider when testing in-game ads:
Increase User Retention with Mobile Game Ads
Video game advertising is not just a way to make a profit. With successful integration, various ad formats can also contribute to user retention. Use rewarded videos to help players complete levels to prevent them from leaving the game. Alternatively, use interstitial ads to give players the opportunity to have a break after a fierce battle or solving complex problems.
Rewarded videos that give access to free game content in exchange for watching an ad are the preferred advertising medium for over 80% of users.
On average, users who engage with rewarded ads are 4.5 times more likely to make in-app purchases than those who do not.
Consider some ways to boost the performance of this ad format:
Additional Game Boosters
Giving players extra powers in exchange for watching a short clip will make them more excited to play your game. Keep in mind however, that making the reward less important than the items they can purchase can seem disingenuous. So, ensure that both in-app purchases (IAP) and prizes are equally valuable.
If you want to boost the performance of the rewarded videos, you can offer unexpected prizes, extra lives, or additional tries. These added free elements will encourage players to finish the level.
More Rewards to Users
Consistency matters. Regular rewards can encourage players to tend to the game and return frequently.
For example, you can offer players unique daily bonuses. This can be a win for both – the advertiser receives consistent revenues and the gamer doubles or triples his winnings.
Alternatively, you can offer bonuses at the end of a mission. The players watch a video after completing the level and get a long-awaited reward. This is a great incentive to keep on playing and discovering new levels.
Hints are a Secret to Success
Sometimes players get stuck at specific points of the game and don’t know how to unlock the obstacle, get through the wall, or find the solution in a puzzle. This is when a rewarded video comes into play and suggests assistance in return for watching a short advertisement. This helps players to stay motivated and accomplish the game.
In-app Items at Lower Price
Monetized game elements should be valuable and give players new capabilities. When offering items that are critical for gameplay at a lower price, you increase revenues and satisfy users.
The Right Moment in Gameplay
Consider adding rewarded videos into the game when a player loses. Presenting them a second chance to continue the game in return for watching a single ad will have a high rate of success. There are multiple ways you can add rewarded videos into the game. Test different options and choose the best for your game style.
In-game advertising gains increased supporters of rewarded video among brands. Online video games offer numerous benefits for companies, be it an interaction between a brand and its public or increased revenue and user engagement.
Of course, there are limitations that advertisers must consider when marketing in the mobile gaming sector. The practices we suggested in the article are aimed at helping in-app advertisers maximize the performance of their ads:
When you’re ready for a trustworthy game development partner, reach out to our Innovecs experts to find the best solution.