When you’re developing a promotion strategy for a mobile game, mobile advertising should be your number one consideration. There is no way to get closer to your audience than targeting them while on a mobile device.
While it’s important to use PR, have a viral component and a game review strategy, those channels can’t provide consistent and measurable results, like mobile advertising can.
Mobile Advertising Best Practices for Games and Apps Whitepaper
MOBILE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICESFOR GAMES AND APPS WHITEPAPER
When you’re developing a promotionstrategy for a mobile game, mobileadvertising should be your number oneconsideration. There is no way to get closerto your audience than targeting them whileon a mobile device.While it’s important to use PR, have a viralcomponent and a game review strategy,those channels can’t provide consistentand measurable results, like mobileadvertising can.
MOBILE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICESWHITE PAPERStart With the Creative TargetingThe first step is to develop a creative messaging Mobile ad networks offer a number of differentstrategy. It’s no secret that consumers are more targeting methods—so many in fact that theylikely to click on ads from brands they recognize. provide auto-optimization systems that track appIf you have a well-known brand, you should lead downloads and optimize your campaign for you.with that. If you’re launching a new game, try to As the buyer of advertising, it is important toassociate it with a brand consumers will recognize. clearly define your target user by operating systemEA does this well; they always brand their TV and region. If you’re promoting an Android gamecommercials with EA at the end, so consumers in English, then you only want to target Androidknow it’s an EA quality game. inventory in English speaking markets. You don’t want to spend money on inventory where thoseIf you don’t have a well-recognized brand, then users can’t use your game.you’ll need to do a great job presenting users witha superior value proposition. The best way to do Depending on the type of game, some non-Englishthis is to offer the game for free, during the launch markets may still perform. The only way to knowand use advertising to help push the app. While is through testing. Consider localizing your gameyou want the ad to look good, you don’t want to or app only after exhausting all of the Englishdo this at the expense of the messaging. It’s easy language markets globally.to become overly concerned with the imagery andvisual aesthetics. 3 www.inmobi.com
MOBILE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICESWHITE PAPER There are many English speaking markets outside the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. English Speaking MarketsEnglish is used widely in Asia in Singapore, Hong Kong, and India. It’s also spoken in all Scandinaviancountries, and across much of Africa. Targeting high-end devices such as the iPhone4s, Galaxy Nexus,Galaxy SII will increase your chances of reaching an English speaking user. 4 www.inmobi.com
MOBILE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICESWHITE PAPERYour App Store Landing Page of your app. An Apple employee once said, “WhyThe goal of your landing page is to convert in the world would Apple ever feature an app inpotential views into downloads. Once a user lands the store that didn’t look brilliant? Good design ison your app store page, you have less than core to the Apple brand and is something that we3 seconds to captivate them, before they leave. evaluate carefully when selecting featured apps.” Apple will also look for apps that take advantageIt’s important to have a detailed, well-written app of the latest OS version or device hardware. Google,store description. It should articulate the value HTC, Samsung and others want to feature newproposition in the first sentence, so people can apps that showcase their device or OS capabilities.decide right away if they want to download it. Infinity Blade 2 and Real Racing HD are aHigh-resolution screen captures that demonstrate few examples.your app visually are also important. Be sure tocarefully monitor customer feedback, and promptly How Much Do I Spend On My Campaign?address their comments, both positive and negative. Once you have the creative, landing page, and yourMost users scan through the comments to get an advertising strategy in place, you are ready toidea of what others thought of your game. launch the campaign. First, you need to determine exactly how much to spend. There is no simpleFor example, the Words With Friends landing page answer and it varies from app to app and developer(see pg. 6) is clear, concise and easy to read. The top to developer.area is used for special messaging and promotions,a bulleted list explains key features, and links to One method is to optimize your spend to the Lifetheir social media pages are provided along with Time Value (LTV) of your users. This method ishigh-quality screen captures. The app has a high popular for games that have virtual economiesrating and over 55,000 reviews. with in-app purchase systems, because the LTV can be very high. You start by determining whatYour icon and name are also extremely important. is the RPDAU (Revenue Per Daily Active User).The icon needs to be eye-catching to stand out. To do this, divide the total revenue generated inYour name should be short and clever. One of the one week (include all revenue sources such as in-most important criteria for “featured app” selection app purchases, advertising, offers and any otherin iTunes App Store is the overall look and feel monetization sources) by the number of active 5 www.inmobi.com
MOBILE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICESWHITE PAPER The Words With Friends App Store landing page is a great example for developers to follow. Links to Social Media: Specific accounts for each product is important. Users want to use this channel Frequent Updates: to get support, make This helps demon- suggestions and help strate that the app is promote the app. actively maintained. Buyers are wary of apps that are not well supported. Cross Promotion: Promote the free Screen Captures: version in case a High quality screen user is not interested captures are essential. in buying the Words With Friends paid version. created a custom title page to use here. Bulleted Description: Simple bullet points that call out key features are an effective and easy to way to explain the game. 6 www.inmobi.com
MOBILE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICESWHITE PAPER Here are some creative examples of campaigns that have performed well on the InMobi network. Since this ad lacks a well-known brand, it leads with the free message and gives the user the option to access multiple games. This Uno ad leverages a well-known brand and has a clear call to action, plus an offer. The Sega and Sonic brands are well known and the “Tap to Play Video” call to action is compelling. Infinity Blade II is one of the most popular iPad games. The creative is simple and concise. This Evolve Your Dragon ad has a great value proposition and is extremely easy to understand. 7 www.inmobi.com
MOBILE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICESWHITE PAPERusers in the same week. Now divide this number by Mobile Gaming Advertiserseven. This method takes into account weeklyusage patterns. Case StudyTo determine LTV, multiply the RPDAU by the MONSTER GALAXYaverage number of days in one month a user is Objective: For their new app, Monster Galaxy, Gaiaactive in your app. Most apps have a one or two wanted to drive app downloads and increase their appmonth lifespan. The number of days active can ranking in the iOS App Store.vary from app to app. Use a method of unique Results: 72 hours after the start of the campaign, Monstertracking to find this average. This number could be Galaxy ranked in the Top 25 in all targeted categories and subcategories for both Free Apps and Grossing. Twoanywhere from 2 to 10 days, but it can be higher weeks later Monster Galaxy peaked at #3 in Free Apps,for some apps. #3 in Games, and #3 in Top Grossing. “The focus of driving valuable, non-incentivized users via How to Calculate LTV detailed optimization planning is the key to success of Monster Galaxy campaign.”(Advertising + Virtual Item Purchases + Offerwall) Total Weekly Revenue / Gene Juang, Average Number of Weekly Active Users Account Manager, North America 7 “ = RPDA (Revenue Per Daily Active User) InMobi is a thought leader in mobile user acquisition. You can count on InMobi to help RPDAU * (Average Days Active Per User a Month) = LTV you convert an app into a hit game and build a profitable mobile gaming business. John Dionisio, Gaia InteractiveNow that you have a good idea of what your LTV $$$is, you know how much the maximum amount of Cost Per Installmoney you should spend to acquire one new user. SpendMost marketers recommend you optimize your $$spend to this number only. Advertising is a marketdriven economy and you can’t always acquire usersfor the price you want. In fact, many times it will $cost more to acquire new users. Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Burst Campaign 1 Burst Campaign 2 8 www.inmobi.com
MOBILE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICESWHITE PAPERApp developers should consider acquiring users at that individual game. This requires the ability toprices above their LTV in the following scenarios: measure the impact of cross promotion from game to game in your portfolio. You also should consider developing “gateway” games that are intended to A New Game Launch: During the launch of1 funnel users into your app game eco-system. a new game, it’s important to get new usersto try it and build buzz. You will most likely have While there are lots of metrics that help gameto do this at a loss, as consumers are not yet developers optimize their marketing spend, it’sfamiliar with your game. They will need a lot of still ultimately an art, not a science. Strategicallyencouragement to try it. If the game catches on, you monitoring and optimizing on a daily and weeklyshould carefully optimize your spending to acquire basis is the best way to ensure success.users for less. Peak Season: During the holiday season,2 activity is high on mobile and lots of newdevices are being activated. This is a great timeto drive download. Users are interested in tryingnew apps on new devices they might have receivedas gifts. Highly Competitive Environment: 3 If competitors are actively targeting your userbase, you should increase your marketing spend toacquire new users. This helps block a competitorfrom acquiring them because you lock in theadvertising inventory. Ability to Leverage Existing User Base: If you4 can leverage your existing user base to crosspromote multiple games, then you should consideracquiring users at a price higher than the LTV of 9 www.inmobi.com
MOBILE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICESWHITE PAPER Tips for Success Keep your app under 20 MB 1 The iTunes store imposes a 20 MB limit on app installs across a wireless network. In the Android Marketplace the limit is 50 MB. Keeping your app under the 20 MB limit dramatically increases the number of installs from advertising. Advertise on multiple ad networks 2 Spread out your ad buy on multiple ad networks in order to get the most reach. Ad networks have different sites and apps on their systems and you will not reach the total market if you stick to just one ad network. Rotate your creative often 3 You want to update your creative as often as twice a month, as your creative will lose appeal overtime. Also, matching the creative to seasonality and other external events should help increase the relevancy to your customers and improve performance. Prioritize the English language 4 Most smartphone users are in English markets or understand English well enough to be able to use most apps. Culturally neutral apps, such as Angry Birds, are popular around the world since they require limited English skills. Build a portfolio of apps 5 The most successful app developers have a portfolio strategy and develop lots of apps. Having more apps allows you to cross promote games and build upon what you have learned from one app to another. This tends to be a hit driven business. Focus on acquiring users not clicks 6 This is a common trap many marketers fall into. They measure and optimize to clicks when they really need to measure acquiring users. Don’t evaluate campaign performance on your click through rate; evaluate it on how cheaply you can acquire new users. 10 www.inmobi.com
MOBILE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICESWHITE PAPER About the Authors. Gregory Kennedy Harish Thimmappa Director, Global Marketing Director, App Advertising Sales, North America Gregory Kennedy has over 10 years Harish has been leading InMobi app market of experience in digital media, in both strategy and sales since 2009. Previously, advertising and publishing. Prior to InMobi he was a strategy consultant at IBM, where Gregory was Global Creative Director for he helped several multi-national companies LiveJournal, a highly regarded blogging with emerging market entry strategy. He is platform and open source pioneer. Born in extremely passionate about high-tech gadgets New York City, Gregory started his career and all things mobile. with bleeding edge Silicon Alley firm Oven Digital, where he pioneered the use of Flash rich media and was the recipient of two Gold Pencils. 11 www.inmobi.com
MOBILE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICESWHITE PAPER Contact the office in your region. 2 London 4 San Francisco 5 Tokyo 1 Bangalore 3 Nairobi 1 Bangalore, India 4 San Francisco, CA, USA Pebble Beach, Ground Floor 1200 Park Place, Suite 290 Embassy Golf Link Business Park San Mateo, CA 94403 Off Intermediate Ring Road 5 Tokyo, Japan Bangalore - 560 071 Fuji Building 7F 701-B, 2 London, UK 3-2-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku 265 Strand, London Tokyo, Japan 100 0005 WC2R 1BH UK 3 Nairobi, Kenya Contact us: email@example.com Eden Square Building, 7th Floor Block 1 Follow our Twitter: @InMobi Chiromo Road, P.O Box 856-00606 Facebook: facebook.com/inmobi Nairobi, Kenya www.inmobi.com 12 www.inmobi.com