Smartphones continue to drive the gaming market forward and making mobile a major platform for video games. Recent research by a gaming company shows that mobile games brought the industry 60% of all revenue in 2019.
Furthermore, revenue is projected to grow by 2.9% annually and reach $56.6 billion by 2024. Meanwhile, the number of mobile game players hit 1.36 billion in 2019 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 (94% in 2019 compared to 87% in 2018) to achieve greater revenues.
No wonder that such a massive growth of ad spending and active apps 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.
Tips to Make the Most Out of Video Games Advertising
We have picked some insights on how to improve your ad campaigns, streamline strategies, and make the most out of in-game advertisements.
Choosing 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 implies the revenue stream that a user brings beginning with the game installation to the last gameplay. This can be achieved with the Cost Per Action (CPA) model, which deeply monitors the app-use data, delivering trustworthy metrics for long-term ROI measurement.
Keeping a Better Eye on a 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 better sell 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 have to opt in, which allows you to track the authentic user’s information legally. Besides, this option ensures a long-term stream of data as device IDs last for nearly 1.5 years, unlike information provided by cookies.
Finding the Best Format for Video Games 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 exploit each of them and find the best way these formats work for your business.
Dedicate time to video ads in games as they became increasingly popular and beneficial. Take great care to ensure your video ads are effective and viewable.
Using Ads During Natural Transition Points of a Game
It is very important to show advertisements to players exactly when they are ready to watch them. Interstitial ads are perfect in this case, as 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 case the user has to exit the game after clicking on the ad, request their consent first.
Let Your Creative Juices Flowing
The time of classic banners has passed. Nowadays, your ads must be creative and compelling to grab users’ attention. Consider putting eye-catching visuals in your advertising efforts or using a mix of various creative assets that will drive clicks and purchases to the utmost.
Showing 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.
Too much advertising doesn’t always mean more revenues. On the contrary, overdoing can cause a feeling 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 integrating ads inside their video games so that they look like the elements of gameplay. In other words, it is called advergaming – they are efficient and costly. Therefore smaller brands often don’t have a budget for this and have to find other ways to overcome that obstacle.
Still, ad-blocking technology hasn’t matured enough to completely block ads inside games. The solution is to develop such ads that won’t interrupt the gameplay and annoy users.
Testing Your Ads Before Showing Them
When you test a game, do not 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:
- Testing different types of connections ensures that ads load correctly even when there is a slower 3G connection.
- Make sure that alerts from OS, such as incoming calls or messages, do not hinder the ads and lead to accidental clicks.
Increasing User Retention with Mobile Game Ads
Video games advertising is not only 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.
How to Advertise Your Game With Rewarded Videos
Rewarded videos that give access to free game content in exchange for watching an ad appeared to be the most beneficial ad type in 2019, with an almost 20% increase compared to 2018.
Since this type of video ads draws more attention, players are more likely to click on the ads and bring you profits. 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 even more excited to start the game. Though keep in mind that making the reward less important than the items they can purchase can be suspicious and players will distrust you. So, ensure that both in-app purchases (IAP) and prizes are equally valuable.
If you want to boost the performance of the rewarded videos, placing them into your game and releasing some free elements will encourage players to finish the level.
More Rewards to Users
In video games advertising it is vital to reward users regularly. Let’s think of the bonuses you can provide and that will bring in more engagement to your game.
First, you can offer players different bonuses on a daily basis. Knowing that you receive free prizes regularly makes players tied to the game and they are ready to play it every day. It’s a win for both – advertiser gets constant revenues and gamer doubles or triples his winnings.
Alternatively, you can offer bonuses at the end of the 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 particular points of the game and don’t know how to unlock the obstacle, get through the wall, or find the solution in a puzzle. Here is when a rewarded video comes into the play and suggests assistance in return to watching a short advertisement. This helps players to stay motivated and accomplish the game.
In-app Items at Lower Price
The main reason to make a high monetization is to convince the users to buy in-app elements. These elements should be really valuable and give players new capabilities. When offering these critical for the game items at a lower price, you increase revenues and make users satisfied.
The Right Moment in Gameplay
Consider adding rewarded videos into the game when a player loses. Suggesting them a second chance to continue the game for watching a single ad will work for a hundred percent. 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 more and more sympathizers among brands. Online video games offer numerous benefits for companies, be it an interaction between a brand and its public, or getting more money and user engagement.
Of course, it implies limitations that advertisers have to take into account when working with the gaming environment for their promotional efforts. The practices we suggested in the article are aimed to help in-app advertisers to maximize the performance of the ads:
- Analyze your audience to target the right people
- Place an optimal amount of ads to not overdo
- Test your ads before displaying them to users
- Work with interstitial ads and rewarded videos
- Be ready to fight off the ad-blockers
- Increase user retention with ads
- Let your UX be exceptional
In case you look for a trustworthy game development partner, reach out to our Innovecs experts to find the best solution.