How to advertise a mobile game in 2019? Apptopia explains the rules of player engagement. 


Key stats

  • Over the past 365 days, 46 titles have continuously stayed in the top 100 U.S. grossing games. Almost all of them have used advertising campaigns consistent with Apptopia’s Advertising Intelligence guidelines.
  • The average price for creating a promotional video is $1,250 (consider placing a bulk order for more than 10 videos). However, if you count in other associated costs (new art, iterations, etc.), the actual price will be about $2,500.
  • Facebook and Google account for 85 percent of all online advertising growth. Developers and publishers use one or both of these platforms for their UA needs. Typically, companies spend from 30 to 60 percent of their monthly UA budget to advertise on Facebook. Another 10 percent is spent on testing new formats and networks.
  • Medium sized gaming companies (about 100 employees) usually hire a team of 8-10 people who generate about 10-20 ads per week. The advertising content is split between videos (85 percent), static ads (10 percent), and playable ads (5%).
  • Large companies like Wargaming can afford to have marketing studios of 150 people. The artists would typically generate 5-10 extra ads to replace, if necessary, the creatives that are showing the signs of ad fatigue.
  • Small gaming companies usually roll out 15 videos and 1 playable ad per month.
  • Important: 95 percent of all new ads will perform worse than the most effective creatives that are already on your portfolio. That is why lot of testing is needed to achieve and keep ROAS.
  • Nowadays, optimization of advertising models is mostly automated via machine learning.

Latest trends

  • App ads are getting smarter, quicker paced and shorter.
  • Absolutely use so called KISS (keep it simple, stupid) videos. They last from 3 to 6 seconds and only communicate one message expressed visually. Users will notice them even if they are scrolling. Two categories of this kind of videos are suitable for games:

Demo in motion (screen capture of a gameplay)

Brand in motion (in case you have an established IP).

  • The other trend is to use videos with emoji headlines instead of text-based headlines. Combine emoji with bright colors to make your headline a real attention grabber.
  • In terms of the video content, you can either show off your gameplay, make a cinematic, or even use live action. In any case, make sure to properly inform users about the kind of game you are advertising. Just dont’t forget that you have several seconds to do so.

You can read the full post here.