Mobile Game Advertising

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The Scale solution helps alleviate your post-IDFA UA struggles. Everything from campaign strategy creation to reporting is covered with this solution and our experts are on hand every step of the way.

Mobile game advertising

One thing that cannot be doubted about the world of mobile gaming is that even with its recent stagnation, it is a seriously fast-growing industry.

 

Propelled by ever-increasing smartphone ownership and usage, and a pandemic that kept many people away from ‘in-person’ entertainment, mobile games generated more than half of total gaming revenue worldwide in 2020. It has been predicted that by 2023, industry revenue will surpass $100 billion.

 

But it’s one thing to know about the mobile gaming revolution, and another to know how to tap into it. There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy or solution for growing any given mobile game, but a tailored advertising / marketing approach hugely matters.   

What are the best practices for mobile game advertising?

Mobile game advertising is an extremely broad field, encompassing many different ad formats, channels and strategies. Crucially, no single set of advertising solutions will work as well for one game’s growth as it will for another game’s growth.

 

There are, however, still some widely accepted ‘best practices’ in mobile game advertising, including:

 

  • Understanding the remarkable diversity of mobile gaming audiences, and the implications this will have for targeting your advertising
  • Drawing upon both organic and paid channels for marketing your mobile game – each has its benefits and drawbacks
  • Ensuring the optimal allocation of your mobile game advertising budget across not just one, but multiple channels
  • Striking the right balance with various aspects of your advertising channel distribution – for example, allocating some of your budget to both predictable and more experimental channels
  • Using contextual targeting with your mobile game advertising in the absence of user-specific identifiers in a post-IDFA world
  • Trying out different ad formats – such as video ads, playable ads, and / or rewarded video ads – to help determine their effectiveness in driving your user acquisition (UA) and growth efforts for your mobile game

What are the best channels for mobile game advertising?

When we talk about mobile game advertising ‘channels’, we are referring to what is often called ‘ad networks’, or ‘UA networks’ – UA standing for ‘user acquisition’. The more users your mobile game can acquire and retain over time, the more easily it can generate the revenue needed to fuel its growth.

As we touched on above, different mobile games are suited to different advertising approaches and different mobile games are also suited to different ad networks.

 

So, it is important to treat the below list of user acquisition channels (there are more) as merely some of the most proven and renowned networks that exist today, which might or might not be suited to the scaling of your mobile game:

 

  • Facebook, which is well-regarded for its hyper-targeting and broad range of ad formats
  • Google Ads, which offers the staggering reach of the biggest search engine on the planet – including the ability to display ads in mobile apps
  • AppLovin, which, with its machine learning technology, has a great track record of helping to optimize monetization
  • IronSource, which is one of the best-known names in the mobile industry, consisting of a huge network with a formidable publisher client list
  • Tapjoy, which is the industry leader in the offerwall category – this term refers to an app monetization strategy that rewards users for the completion of specific tasks
  • Unity Ads, which is overseen by the well-known game engine company, and natively integrates many different ad formats into games that may or may not have been made on the Unity platform

 

The above is far from the only ‘channels’ that you might conceivably use to spread the word about your mobile game. That’s because there are also many slightly less formal marketing channels available for mobile games, ranging from promoting your game in indie dev forums to posting on relevant Facebook groups and sharing screenshots and short videos on Instagram.

How to create a strategy for mobile game advertising

Narrow down your target audience

Even in the 2020s, many misconceptions persist among brands about the demographics of mobile gamers. These include a tendency to underestimate the sheer number of gamers worldwide – reported in 2020 to be more than 2.6 billion – as well as to presume the average gamer is still a young male. The average age of a gamer today is actually 36.

 

The truth is, there are gamers of almost any and every demographic. So, you should be determining which audiences are already engaging with your mobile game, and considering which ones are likely to do so in the future. That might mean looking back at your previous campaigns if you have historical data.

 

Prioritize the most suitable advertising channels

As we stated earlier, different ad networks suit different mobile games. The exact channels you choose will likely depend on the relevance of their specific strengths and features to your circumstances, goals, and mobile game.

 

You might be influenced by such factors as affordability, conversion rate, and the scope to optimize and measure your advertising campaigns.

 

Experiment with different ad formats

Both traditional and more recently developed ad formats can help drive growth for your mobile game – and it might be difficult to know which ones would work best for your mobile game, unless you try several of them.

 

Some of the more innovative ad formats that are widely used for mobile games today include video ads – which help give the player a more accurate sense of what the gameplay is like than a static image could – as well as rewarded video ads. The latter are often well-received, because the consumer can choose whether to watch, instead of the ad being forced upon them.

 

Possibly the most effective ad format of all for mobile games, however, is the playable ad. This allows the viewer to experience a ‘demo’ version of the game, which enables them to imagine more easily what it would be like to play the full game. In our experience, it is often a lot more engaging than a passively watched image or video and this often shows when looking at the KPIs.

How to spend your mobile game marketing budget with confidence post-IDFA

There are a lot of decisions that you will need to make if you are to use your finite advertising budget in ways that genuinely and sustainably grow your mobile game, including in relation to ad formats, ad networks, the demographics to target, and much more. And in a post-IDFA environment, it might be even more difficult to make these decisions with confidence. 

 

For a 15-minute exploratory call about the difference SuperScale’s all-in-one growth solution could make to your mobile game, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.   

Resources

WEBINAR: How to Scale a Mobile Game Post-IDFA in 2023

Key takeaways from this webinar:

  • See how the iOS platform can significantly outperform the Android platform
  • Understand your UA and ASO’s impact on the growth of a game
  • Find out how to synchronize all of your multi-channel growth activities
  • Learn how to maximize revenue across UA, ASO and creatives
  • Find out the most important techniques for successfully scaling on iOS
Read More

How to develop a mobile game with UA in mind

Many publishers only dedicate a small amount of time to thinking about marketing when developing a game. Focusing purely on playability often costs tens of thousands (and sometimes more) down the line and can make it impossible to get certain visual shots due to the time constraints of having to manually complete a game.

 

This blog will help publishers, big and small, discover what is meant by ‘developing a game with UA in mind’ and give some tips on how to best execute this.

Read More