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March 29, 2023

Mobile Game Ad Tips: 10 Strategies to Improve Monetization

With over 477,000 mobile games on the app store, having an ad that stands out is more important than ever.

We’ve put together ten tips to help your app advertising shine above the rest.

1. Go With The Flow

Unsurprisingly, games that are fun to play would have the most users engaging with ads. However, a mobile gamer’s ad experience should be as important as the gameplay.

A great way to make ads as seamless as possible by considering them during the design phase. Designing the game with ads in mind allows you to make ads fit naturally within the core gameplay loop.

Use natural gameplay pauses as opportunities to reward players for watching an ad. Be sure to test your ad formats and placement, then get feedback for adjustments from your players.

2. Daily Active Users (DAU) are King

It’s simple, the more DAU your game has, the more users will see your ads. While having a lot of downloads is nice, if those players don’t continuously play your game, they won't help with your ad revenue.

Optimizing your game for retention is the best way to improve your DAU. Players who play your game regularly are more likely to engage with ads and generate revenue.

3. Consider Player Mindset

Play ads when players are in a good mood. For example, play an advertisement after the player beats a level or as a rewarded ad for a good bonus. Another good strategy is allowing players to watch an ad in exchange for double their login bonus reward.

You can also play ads close to when a player is about to lose to help them beat the level. Another option is to give the player a do-over after they die in exchange for watching an ad.

Advertisements should never surprise the player or disrupt their gameplay. Avoid having them show up when the player is focused on playing your game.

4. Hyper-Casual Games Rely on Ads

While some Hyper-Casual (HC) games have in-app purchases, most of their revenue comes from running ads. Since advertising is vital for these games to make a profit, you should make sure to A/B test the ad networks to see which will give you the best return on investment (ROI).

HC games typically have a high turnover rate, so it’s crucial to A/B test ads for user acquisition. One of the strategies for accomplishing this is sending out emails using Mailchimp with two different hyper-casual ads and tracking which gives the best engagement. 

Image of a hand in front of a street, the hand is holding a phone with the Bencin Studios mobile game Zoltec's Revenge on the screen
Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay

Are you interested in making money with Hyper-Casual games? Click here to learn how to take a chance on your Hyper-Casual hit!

5. Turn Ads Into Games

Demos have a long honored history in gaming, and interactive advertisements are following in those footsteps.

Playable ads are great for engagement and are most successful when the gameplay is clear in under 4 seconds. Keep actions for the ads to 1 interaction and show off the best part of the game. Ensure that you are showcasing the most satisfying part.

These ads are also great for Hyper-Casual Games since they’re easy to learn and free to download.

6. Finding The Balance

Playing ads too frequently will cause players to leave, but play them too sparsely, and you’ll see a decrease in revenue.

Start with a lower frequency of ads and slowly increase the amount until you find a balance that works for your game. Beta testing is the perfect time to determine which frequency would be best for your game. 

Use tools like Unity Analytics to collect data and make informed decisions about your ad frequency.

A scale weighing an analog clock and piles of coins
Image by Mona Tootoonchinia from Pixabay 

7. Players Love Rewarded Ads

In a survey taken by Unity, nearly 80% of players responded, stating they were open to engaging with ads in exchange for in-game rewards. 

Since players are given the opportunity of getting something in return for watching the ad, they are more likely to engage. This has resulted in rewarded ads having some of the highest clickthrough rates.

As good as rewarded video ads are, they will only deliver great results if the rewards are valuable to the player. Letting the player choose their reward increases engagement and satisfaction.

8. Choose Ad Networks Wisely

With so many options, deciding on the best ad network for your game can be difficult. Finding the best network often takes a lot of experimenting to determine which will give you the best effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM). 

Here are our favorites:

  • Google’s AdMob - Most popular network with various platforms and ads. It can also integrate with Google Analytics.
  • Unity Ads - An excellent option for developers using the Unity Engine. The Unity Ad network lets app developers easily integrate all ad types natively.
  • Facebook Ads - The best way to access the billions of users on their platform. This option is great for generating awareness and building new DAUs.

9. Give Native Ads a Try

If you already have a successful game, you might want to consider utilizing Native Ads. 

Native ads match the style and look of your game and can be a great way to use ads without being intrusive to the gameplay. 

The main difficulty with native ads is selling them. You will need to have a great game and develop relationships with advertisers before you can integrate these ads natively into your game.

10. App Store Optimization (ASO) is Vital

When promoting your game, you must focus on all the parts that give your new users a good experience.

While a great ad can drive many users to your game, an underwhelming Apple App Store or Google Play page can have them leaving quicker than it took to get them there. If the goal of your ad is to get players to download your game, then ASO should be just as important as the ads themselves.

Another benefit of ASO is an increase in organic traffic. Organic traffic and downloads allow users to find you on the App Store and install your game at no cost. While it’s much slower than running ad campaigns, with bad ASO, you could be missing out on a great opportunity.

A image of several people casually spending time on their phones while outdoors.
Image by natureaddict from Pixabay 

It’s All About The User

If you take anything away from these tips, understand that the user's experience comes first. You will see a much more positive reaction and better revenue if you make watching ads a pleasurable experience for your users. 

Are you interested in making money with mobile games? Click here to discuss how we can get you started with Hyper-Casual games!

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