Improve marketing efficacy for your game with a diversified strategy

To keep players interested in your games, it helps to offer diverse gameplay--whether that’s new characters, exciting level designs, or special events. Diversifying your marketing strategy is just as important. 

That’s what Hyper Hippo discovered when marketing their title AdVenture Capitalist. Historically, the developer leveraged a mixed-model strategy to monetize their AdVenture games. But their reliance on single optimization — across internal tools and Facebook Ads Manager — wasn’t maximizing performance. That’s why they partnered with Facebook Marketing Science and Account teams to explore a diversified marketing strategy, leveraging multiple Facebook products to increase playerbase and user engagement, and improve Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). 

How diversified optimization can help your game’s marketing 

Facebook’s diversified marketing strategy uses a combination of solutions that drive short and long term performance across a suite of metrics. This includes diversifying optimization products, layering diversified target audiences, expanding choice of ad placements or varying types of creatives. Your choice of strategy depends on the game’s status quo versus goals. 

In Hyper Hippo’s case, we worked closely to find the winning combination of optimization products that improved their CPIs by 40%, with a 3x improvement in 14-day ROAS, helping them to meet their business goals.2 The challenge Hyper Hippo faced is one many game developers encounter, but it’s one that can be solved through diversified optimization. Many other mobile gaming advertisers we’ve worked with on this strategy have found this, reporting overall growth in player base and reduced costs which in turn helps improve long-term performance for their games.

The research behind diversified optimization 

We designed 10 global experiments to compare to single optimization strategies used by different game developers.3 These experiments were run through Lift platform to isolate the effect of the 2 strategies and measure causality--the true incremental impact in results due to diversified strategy.

Each study compared a single optimization goal, (Value or App Events), to a diversified optimization strategy (combo of App Installs, App Events and Value Optimization), while holding all other variables (creative, targeting and total budget) constant. In Lift terminology, it was a ‘2 cells’ randomized test and holdout design. 

Our thinking was that a combination of optimizations will outperform a single optimization strategy, to drive better overall KPIs. We found that by executing a diversified optimization strategy, we could drive truly incremental players, helping game developers go well beyond the current realm in player acquisition. The results spoke for themselves. 

Stats are the result of a study conducted with lift experiments from 10 advertisers that chose to participate with us, from October to November 2019
Stats are the result of a study conducted with lift experiments from 10 advertisers that chose to participate with us, from October to November 2019

The Facebook products games marketers can leverage 

We recommend rethinking the status quo of setting a single short-term ROAS as your KPI and optimizing towards it. By choosing performance indicators that focus on game health, for example Daily Active Users (DAU), Monthly Active Users (MAU), installs or payer conversions, along with ROAS, you can harness the power of AI through a mix of mobile app optimization products available within App Installs objective.

Many see these optimization products as mutually exclusive, however when leveraged together they can drive overall performance. These products are organized across 2 key solutions: 

  1. Manual app ads to create manual campaigns
  2. Automated App Ads (AAA) which is built on powerful machine learning, streamlining campaign and creative management 

Both can help you optimize for app installs, app events such as purchases or to acquire highest-value players; while each optimization can drive a specific KPI: 

  • App installs optimization helps to deliver new installs, and can improve DAU and MAU. 
  • App event optimization helps drive installs from players that perform an event like a purchase, or reaching a level, bringing new paying players to the game. This can be used to acquire low-mid value players that drive overall revenue.
  • App Installs and App Events optimization (AAA only) help drive installs and players who are more likely to perform an event within a single campaign.
  • Value optimization helps drive highest-value paying users into the game delivering ROAS. 

It’s important to test different variations to identify the ideal optimization mix for your game. Using a combination of strategies can help you to acquire users with a broad range of value, and drive player growth, DAU, MAU, payer conversions and ROAS. 

Our recommendations to you as games marketers

We recommend diversifying optimization using app installs, app events and value optimization on Facebook to understand the benefits versus running a single optimization strategy. You can evaluate performance holistically, by setting right KPIs, and experimenting to get the right mix in optimization that suits your needs. This strategic shift can empower you to grow your player base and revenue. 

For more information, visit the Diversified Marketing Strategies section of the Facebook Gaming Webinar Hub.

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