With the costs of user acquisition hitting an all-time high, game publishers find themselves struggling with how to profit, and profit big, from their gaming apps. With only 2 percent to 7 percent of freemium gamers actually converting to paying users, publishers are in desperate need of alternative monetization solutions to increase revenue without compromising the quality their gameplay. This article offers useful tips and tangible tools on how to achieve better gameplay monetization.
Standard payment-based methods are about as relevant as cassette players have become, with over 90 percent of iOS App Store and 98 percent of Google Play game revenue currently attributed to freemium-based apps But with only 2 percent to 7 percent of freemium gamers actually converting to paying users, publishers today find themselves desperately seeking out alternative monetization solutions to increase revenue and profit from those non-paying users.
Value exchange in-game advertising
To solve the problem, we turn to value exchange in-game advertising. Value exchange ads are sponsored or incentive-based in-game advertisements, presented in varying formats, that offer players rewards to enable immediate advancement within the game, in exchange for engaging with the presented ad. When implemented correctly, in-game ads can enhance your pocket and keep your players coming back.
Here are some common game advertising issues that often arise and steadfast tips that effectively utilize in-game ads to address them:
7 tips for success
Offer walls: The ‘pull’ approach
Does your game have an offer wall? Great! Offer walls are the veterans of in-game advertising, as they provide marketers with a valid, non-intrusive monetization method. But is your offer wall only integrated in the shop? If so, you are missing out! Your non-paying players will most likely never even enter your game’s storefront so you‘re really only monetizing a rather small percentage of your users.
Tip 1: Try implementing offer walls both in and out of shop. Bringing in-game offers directly to your user will result in optimized conversion rates all around. This can result in increased monetization and revenue and higher player engagement rates.
Quit shoving: Try a soft-push instead
Game monetization solutions appeared to generate publisher income on free-to-play games. But when implemented at the expense of the user’s gaming experience, they inevitably lead to game failure – because who wants to play a game filled with irritating popups and irrelevant ads, even if it’s free?
Tip 2: Try the soft push approach. Instead of shoving irrelevant content at your users, softly push relevant content towards them, only when you are positive they are interested in receiving such.
To carry this method out properly, you’ll need to take into account three factors – timing, content, and mindset.
Timing is everything
When I say “everything,” I also mean in-game ads. When in-game ads “attack” users while they’re playing, not only won’t they engage, but they are less likely to come back and play again in the future.
Tip 3: Study the playing patterns of your users, their likes and dislikes in terms of when they are willing to benefit from an ad engagement, and then – give them a choice. Providing users with the choice if and when to engage with ads allows user game flow to be preserved and creates a positive user experience with both the game and the ad.
Diapers? But I don’t even have a baby!
The Value of Content
Serving the right content up to the right user is crucial. Did you ever get presented with a baby ad but don’t have a little one? Or get calls for mortgage insurance but don’t own a house? Irrelevant ads are annoying. Period.
Tip 4: Make sure that the ad serving platform integrated within your game enables deep targeting (player demographics, interest levels, behavioral patterns and more), ensuring your users won’t be annoyed by irrelevant content..
You know those horrible intrusive popup ads that appear midgame, the kind that show up from nowhere, and you wish would go away?
Tip 5: Customize your in-game ads to have the exact look and feel of your game. They’ll feel less intrusive to gamers, provide for a flawless gaming experience and ensure optimum conversion rates.
Does your game have a consistent following of high paying users? You know, those blubbery mammalian friends we kindly refer to as whales? Great, to avoiding possibly harming your already paying users, here’s another piece of advice:
Tip 6: Filter out paying, or even your once-paid users, from receiving ads. By monetizing non-paying (never-will-pay) users only, you can avoid the risk of compromising any in-app purchase revenue.
Lock onto the perfect user mindset
Have you ever received an offer for help in the middle of a highly competitive game? Did you slap the offer away? Have you ever received the same offer for help in the middle of a leisurely game? Did you gladly take it, happy for the free boost?
Tip 7: Make sure to offer ads at the moment when users are most receptive to receiving them. Innovative in-game advertising technologies enable advertisers to present gamers with ads at the optimum moment for engagement, by analyzing a player’s current gaming patterns and understanding their current mindset. The result? Optimum user engagement, and a satisfied network of users.
If your in-app purchases are generating you hundreds of millions of dollars, we hope you had an interesting read. But if you aren’t quite there yet – don’t shy away from ad-based value exchange options. Ads, especially app-install ads, momentarily divert users from your game. But research clearly demonstrates that players tend to use in-game rewards within their current gaming session. Therefore, not only will your players immediately return to game-play after watching the displayed ads, but their user lifetime value and engagement levels are proven to increase thanks to the personalized interaction they just experienced, and the reward they just received.
Alberto Scioscia serves as a Business Development Manager at Woobi, a cross-platform in-game advertising company specializing in creating dynamic engagement experiences.