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How To Maximise ROI With Creative Optimization

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How To Maximise ROI With Creative Optimization

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Linh Le, Kongregate's Senior Marketing Manager speaking at our Developer Series at China Joy 2017 on how best to use creative optimization to supercharge UA efforts for developers.

Linh Le, Kongregate's Senior Marketing Manager speaking at our Developer Series at China Joy 2017 on how best to use creative optimization to supercharge UA efforts for developers.

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How To Maximise ROI With Creative Optimization

  1. 1. 2017 How to Maximize ROI with Creative Optimization
  2. 2. Web Platform 100,000+ Uploaded Games HQ: San Francisco About Kongregate Mobile Publisher 30+ Games 100M+ Downloads Learning focused from every game 2013 - 2017
  3. 3. Why Creative Optimization is Important Better creatives lead to higher eCPMs ✓ Higher scale at same CPI rates ✓ Leads to cheaper installs ✓ Win earlier impressions in most ad networks: (Earlier rewarded video impressions have higher CTRs and CVRs which will lead even better eCPMs and create a self-fulfilling loop) ✓ Can even lead to higher quality installs
  4. 4. Why Creative Optimization is Important Click Install CTR CVR CPC CPI Ad Metrics Advertiser A Advertiser B Advertiser C Target CPI $3 $3 $3 Impressions 1000 1000 1000 CTR 1% 2% 1% Clicks 10 20 10 CVR 10% 20% 20% Installs 1 40 2 Expected CPM $3 $12 $6 CPMAd Impression ● Publishers want to maximize revenue from their ad inventory ● Advertisers gain the most by achieving highest CPMs ● Ad marketplace is based on eCPM maximization ● Advertiser B wins the auction, Advertiser C gets the second place, Advertiser A gets the third place. Winner!
  5. 5. Popular Types of Ads Banner/ Interstitial Native Video PlayableRich Media Least to Most Engaging
  6. 6. Types Advantages Disadvantages Banner/Interstitial Still a popular format. Often at the top or bottom of the screen. Simple and good for awareness. Top funnel and often extremely low conversion Rich Media Banner contains video, image, social media components or any interactive elements. Better than banner, but higher cost Native Don’t really look like ads. Well integrated into app giving better user experience. High cost/Potential Low Scale Video Video ads are highly engaging and most preferred. High cost and complex execution Playable Most engaging, allow users to experience game before download. High cost/Potential Low Scale Popular Creative Types
  7. 7. Mobile Advertising Creatives Source: Adcolony Survey, 2017 Where to allocate your resources? 1. Video: 50% 2. Social/Native: 40% 3. Banner/Other: 10%
  8. 8. Mobile Advertising Creatives Source: Adcolony Survey, 2017 Main Focus Playable is hot right now!
  9. 9. Creative Testing: A Starting Point Understand Your Users 1. Facebook Audience 2. Google Search 3. Research Competitors 4. Competitive Analysis Build User Profiles 1. Identify Top Countries 2. Define Key Audience Demographics 3. List Characteristics & Preferences 4. Gaming Habits Design Creatives for A/B Testing 1. Create 4-6 variations by segment 2. Focus on multiple themes/genres 3. Differentiate ads by style Executing Tests 1. Find the appropriate channels 2. Run creatives at same time 3. Significance test (20 installs /creative) 4. Iterate on best performers 1 3 2 4
  10. 10. Creative Testing: Executing Concept Tests Test Different Art Styles Cute Cartoon Early creative testing allows you to gain insights into how well your game's creative preforms during UA. ● Pick multiple art styles to test for my game ● Test main characters ● Test color palette/backgrounds ● Test 1 element at a time ● Determine CTR & CVR & CPI Sharp Satire Winner!
  11. 11. Creative Testing: Style & Palette What’s most appealing to users? Keep testing. Casual CoreMid core Strong & ManlySoft & Pretty
  12. 12. Iterating Creative Style On Same Genre Animation Throwdown $2.5 CPIs Spellstone $5 CPIs Tyrant Unleashed $7 CPIs
  13. 13. Marketability Across Genres & Themes Casual Low CPIs Mid Core Mid CPIs Core High CPIs
  14. 14. Creative Testing: Continuous Optimization What makes this static ad work? 1. Simple or complex composition 2. Single character or group 3. Animation or no animation 4. CTA in the image 5. Game play background 6. Shiny play button 7. Contrast between background and foreground items/highlighting Keep experimenting with brand & style. Too busy Too dark Better Best Performer
  15. 15. Creative Testing: Video Ads What makes this video ad work? 1. Begin video with a hook 2. Show game play for context 3. Incorporate different lengths 4. Test vertical & landscape formats 5. Test interactive content 6. Test interactive end cards 7. Localize language 8. Catchy thumbnails
  16. 16. Creative Testing: Playable Ads What makes this playable ad work? 1. Keep it simple 2. Mirror game experience 3. Incorporate different lengths 4. Clear call-to-action that show users what to do 5. Test vertical & landscape formats 6. Reduce ad file size for easy download 7. Quality check user experience
  17. 17. Creative Testing: Reporting & Analysis Ad Name CTR CVR Imp-2-Instal CPI LTV ROI FamGuy1 1% 28% .28% $3.6 $3 84% FamGuy2 .8% 27% .23% $4.4 $3 68% FamGuy3 1.3% 28% .37% $2.8 $3 109% FamGuy4 2.0% 33% .66% $1.5 $3 197% ● Find exceptional creative instead of many average to good creatives ● Focus on both CTR and CVR for inverse relationship ● Check for statistical significance ● Choose right testing channels ● Facebook and video networks: Applovin, Unity, Ironsource have scale for easy & proper AB Testing ● Refresh creatives once a week 1 32 4
  18. 18. Creatives for Difference Cultural Preferences US Nordic Asia CTR: 1.5% CTR: 1.6% CTR: 2.3% CVR: 33% CVR: 28% CTR: 34% ● Cultural similarity & localization in ads are crucial in creative performance ● Finding the right creatives for a segment of users may cut costs easily by 40-50%. ● A/B testing each region is critical US Nordic Asia CTR: 0.8% CTR: 3.4% CTR: 1.3% CVR: 36% CVR: 33% CTR: 37%
  19. 19. Tips for Creative Testing & Optimization ● Have a strategy. Set goals and benchmarks before testing creatives. ● Different ad units, channels & sizes have different winning creatives. Track them! ● Dropping CTR with the same volume of installs is a warning sign to change creatives. ● In creative testing the prices will be higher than an optimal campaign ● Emerging markets might have bandwidth problems. Make sure your ads account for this. ● Prepare creatives for seasonality and holidays. ● Remember to optimize your App Store page.
  20. 20. Avoid These Pitfalls ● Lower CPI does not necessarily mean lower cost per engagement (CPE). Remember to check for quality traffic. ● Misleading creatives can lead to lower retention causing higher CPEs. ○ Make sure concepts are differentiated before A/B testing. Especially video. ● Don’t target everyone. ○ Don’t create too many ads to start. ● Don’t run ads everywhere. Test small number of ads first in key channels then expand.
  21. 21. Final Thoughts ✓ Creative Optimization brings greater scale at a cheaper price ✓ Success in creative optimization needs a systematic approach and a constant effort with a strong team. ✓ There are more failures than successes in creative optimization. ✓ Ad Creatives are cultural, contextual and usually a composition of certain elements.
  22. 22. Thank You

Editor's Notes

  • What is Kongregate? Quick intro
  • In today’s digital world, ads are everywhere. For marketers, getting the right creative and optimizing for performance is crucial for running a successful app marketing campaign.
    In fact, creatives can make or break your campaign.
    If they are catchy, relevant and based on the user experience, they will grab the user's attention and drive installs.
  • There are so many ad types these days. Deciding where to put your resources can be hard, but if you’re just starting out I’d recommend focusing on the types that work the best in the market right now.

    For Kong, video both rewarded and non-rewarded and playables have been where we’re getting the best performance for UA.
  • Banner, interstitial, rich media are often low cost and easy to start up, but they’re often less effective for user acquisition.
  • Budgets are going to video. Continuing to flood the top positions for campaign effectiveness, video ads now account for 50% of all app install marketer spend.
    Playables have potential. Considered the 5th most effective app install format, playables are being used by 64% of top app install marketers, and the budgets assigned to them are on the rise.
    We’ve focused much less on other ad types because they’re not performance driven.
  • What are advertisers most excited about? Video & Playables are by far what we’re excited
    Budgets are going to video. Continuing to flood the top positions for campaign effectiveness, video ads now account for 50% of all app install marketer spend.
    Playables have potential. Considered the 5th most effective app install format, playables are being used by 64% of top app install marketers, and the budgets assigned to them are on the rise.
  • Getting started with creative testing. For example, if you have a mobile game that’s about to launch and want to start testing what kind of ads work best for you. Beginning by doing some consumer research on your core audience
  • Here’s an example of a creative test we did while in the concept phase of game ideation. We started out with 2 different styles
  • Here’s an example is our journey with the developer Synapse out of Chicago.

    One of our first mobile titles was Tyrant at far right released in 2013, futuristic, gritty theme and setting. we could find some high value players thru user acquisition but was def more niche

    Spellstone was taking card battler but with a cool Dragon’s Lair, hand-drawn art touch. And game was made more accessible thru FTUE and introduction of systems. That still ended up approaching the $5 in CPIs. which still seems unfair … sustained paid UA again a challenge

    And finally at left working with big IPs in Family Guy, Futurama, Bob’s Burgers etc. in Animation Throwdown to bring down CPIs further in the $2.50 range
  • Here is a visual, where you can see the range of themes, genre and a bit on art style to drive the variance in CPIs.
    Going from right to left … at right you see very core examples from that space / sci fi moving to the middle with a tapper and action-rpg with more approachable, whimisical themes
    and then at left, the ultra-charming AdCap with its tycoon bent and Tinker Island with its beautiful pixelart and desert island setting

    of course you can’t fool the user with creative that clashes with actual game experience, or you’ll kill conversions
  • Creative optimization can be as easy or as complicated as the time and resources you have.
    Low investment – Optimize what you already have. If you can afford to, vary “Call to Action” and/or product descriptions and apply optimization on the banners.
    Medium to high investment – Develop and build a full testing plan. When planning a yearly (or very large) campaign.
    Total image test budget should not exceed x% of the total budget
    ~30 installs per creative is usually enough for a rough evaluation.
    Use the previous test know-how in creating next creatives. (buttons, cta, banners, backgrounds etc.)
    All creatives should run at the same time, for the same duration, either with same budget, or with same impressions
  • Videos are more difficult to test.
  • Works better for casual games. Longer format is better for playable
  • Creative optimization can be as easy or as complicated as the time and resources you have:
    Low investment – Optimize what you already have. If you can afford to, vary “Call to Action” and/or product descriptions and apply optimization on the banners.
    Medium to high investment – Develop and build a full testing plan. When planning a yearly (or very large) campaign.
    Total image test budget should not exceed x% of the total budget
    ~30 installs per creative is usually enough for a rough evaluation.
    Use the previous test know-how in creating next creatives. (buttons, cta, banners, backgrounds etc.)
    All creatives should run at the same time, for the same duration, either with same budget, or with same impressions
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