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Gamesight, an ad tech firm specializing in PC and console games, conducted a research study to definitively answer which marketing channel is most effective for marketing these games. While each game is unique, this study can help game marketers understand their campaign performance against industry benchmarks.

The full report offers additional data for that can help companies optimize ad campaign results to spend ad budgets efficiently.

Gamesight’s ad platform comparisons

Google Ads — wide reach and high volume

Google Ads is the most widely used ad platform for advertising PC and console gaming. After all, the network includes Google Search Network, Google Display Network and of course, YouTube. The video platform is especially important for gaming. Unlike other industries where search has the highest conversion rate, video ads drive the most conversions for gaming.

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On top of this, the average conversion rate rose for Google Ads. On average, gaming ads had an average conversion rate of 3.8%, up nearly 35% from 2021.

Twitch — high retention and high volume

Given Twitch’s niche and segmented audience, the platform is a natural fit for advertising games. Of all the platforms measured, Twitch had the second highest conversion and by far the highest player retention rates. In the last year, 7-day retention grew from 17.7% all the way to 44.4%, a 2.5-times increase.

This year, Twitch enacted a new ad policy that incentivized streamers to run more ads during their streams. While this shift got mixed reviews from streamers and fans, it benefitted Twitch’s volume of ads seen.

Facebook — wide reach and high volume

Facebook has the second highest conversion volume (number of conversions vs. the rate) and reach of the ad platforms used by Gamesight. Compared to last year, 7-day retention grew 12% to 32.5%. Similarly, average conversion rate grew 2.5-times from 1.4% to 3.5%

The firm points to Facebook’s sophisticated targeting abilities. Advertisers can target players that are likely to spend in-game boosting return on ad spend. Meanwhile, companies can share first-party data with Facebook to further optimize their campaigns.

Twitter — high conversion

Twitter might not give publishers the widest reach or highest volume of ads, but it does give them a strong option to covert consumers into players. At an average of 7.1%, this places Twitter at the top of the list.

The microblogging platform is on uncertain footing due to Elon Musk’s acquisition. However, Twitter is responding with an ad incentive campaign through the holidays, matching up to $500,000 spent.

TikTok — highest visibility

Given TikTok’s meteoric rise and the platform’s format, it’s not too surprising that the short form video app is succeeding at putting ads in front of fans. According to Gamesight, TikTok had the highest click volume of these platforms. However, TikTok’s conversion rate has dropped from 2.7% to 1.0% in the last year showing the platform struggles to drive downloads.

Alongside their investments into game livestreaming, TikTok has also invested in new ad tools including their own conversion API. In the last year this has translated into major gains in retention, up 56% to 26.2%.

Methodology and Limitations

The study looked at several metrics to gauge each marketing channel. These included measuring prevalence (frequency, reach, and volume), performance (click-through, conversion, and game fit for players) and retention metrics.

It is important to note, Gamesight used data from their own platform. This means the data set only included Gamesight partners. The firm also normalized the data in several ways to ensure that no game disproportionately influenced the results.

Definitions, the full methodology and additional data on mobile vs. desktop can be found in the report.

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