I’ve talked a lot about in-app advertising over the last several months, but it’s a topic that is constantly being revised, updated, and more. Not only that, but there is just so much to say about how to use in-app ads appropriately in your mobile games that it’s a topic that dually never gets old. Thus, you need to seriously consider using in-app advertising within your mobile games (and ensure that you use your ads appropriately in your game. This post details the best practices for doing this). The following strategies should be used to ensure you use in-app advertising to your advantage.
But first: ensure you are including quality ads into your mobile game!
This post details the best way to find the interests of your players, thus allowing you to use the best in-game ads that will interest them. Not only will you earn more money via their clicks, but by utilizing ads that will interest your target audience, you won’t annoy them with ads either.
One of the most popular methods of in-app advertising in 2014 is in-app messaging. In-app messaging acts sort of like pop-ups, and they appear whenever a player is engaged with the game at some point. You can define these in-app messages to pop up for users using different dimensions. For instance, one dimension could send an in-app message to a user that has started playing your game multiple times during the day, urging them to review your game its respective app store. They can have the option of opting to never be reminded again, review it, or ask them again later on.
Alternatively, another dimension could be used to alert players that have purchased in-game items in the past of new items available for purchase. Again, they can choose to be reminded later, purchase now, or never be reminded again.
Keep in mind when using this strategy to ensure these messages pop up when the player isn’t actually involved in gameplay. Nothing is going to turn off players faster quite like a pop up asking them to rate your game when they are in the middle of intense combat. Ensure it pops up when they first open the game or when they are in the middle of a transition to another level (such as on a loading screen). Use in-app messages wisely, and you’ll see the benefits of them in due time.
Want to use a mobile ad network? Decide which countries you want to reach
Let’s face it: you can’t reach every country on Earth by using a mobile ad network. Therefore, you need to find out which countries you want to reach and how much you can afford to advertise. Before deciding which advertising you want to buy, you need to discover how many people you want to reach, and the best way to do this is by inquiring to a proper mobile ad network how many users are in particular countries. The trick here is to get the maximum reach for your game’s in-app ads at the lowest price possible. From there, it’s a matter of doing research, discovering which countries are in your game’s target market, the interests of the target audience in each country, and discovering the best countries to reach via in-app ads and which types of ads you need to use.
It’s a mouthful, right? There is a lot of data you need to obtain for yourself, but once you formulate a solid game plan on which countries to reach and which audience your ads need to appeal to, you will be setting your game up for a solid in-app advertising campaign. It sure as heck beats picking the largest countries and pushing generic ads to players (which, sadly, a lot of indie developers actually do this). Knowing your game’s target audience + target countries = quality ads and solid conversions each and every time.
Pay attention to your data
In other words: always keep a close eye on your return on investment (ROI). One of the best things about in-app advertising is that you can track the results of the advertising quite easily. It is certainly simple to discover how successful each ad campaign actually is, the click-through rates (CTRs) of your ads, and a variety of other metrics that will allow you to gauge what type of success your in-app ads are having. By analyzing this data often (and by often, I mean daily), you can see what is working, what isn’t, and make appropriate changes when needed. It’s one of the best ways to make in-app advertising work for you, so analyze data often!
What in-app advertising strategies work for you? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!