Help drive downloads and boost sales this holiday season

After what's been a tumultuous year for games advertisers so far, Facebook Gaming has highlighted some macro trends and tips to help you make the most of the upcoming holiday sales period.

As we enter Q4 and reflect on the year so far, there’s no denying 2021 has been a year like no other. Games advertisers have faced unprecedented challenges and it’s been anything but business as usual. After exceptional growth in 2020, the games industry is forecast to shrink slightly this year¹.

Another development for games advertisers is Apple’s new requirements around mobile advertising, and removal of the Identifier for Advertiser (IDFA) . Because the gaming industry has relied for many years on IDFA, companies are continuing to look for ways to adapt to the new advertising landscape.

But, along with these challenges, 2021 has given us some pretty big feats. For starters, the industry’s popularity has skyrocketed, as more and more people turned to gaming for social connection, to help relieve stress and to relax during the pandemic. With this, there’s been a shift in the audience. While once considered a pastime reserved for young white men, gaming’s appeal has exploded, and is now enjoyed by all ages, ethnicities and genders across the world. 

Additionally, the games industry is still on track to surpass $200 billion by 2023, with mobile gaming expected to be the fastest growing segment in the coming years². 

And this 2021 isn’t over yet; the 4Q holiday season has been an historically strong time frame for gaming downloads, providing a unique moment in time for gaming companies to leverage the 4Q holiday marketing window to capitalize on a confluence of forces. 

Below are macro trends which indicate this year could be the strongest yet for gaming sales.

Trend 1: Consumer sentiment is at historic levels

People are feeling optimistic. As we head into the buying season, consumer sentiment has never been more positive. In fact, according to the Global Consumer Confidence survey, we’re seeing the highest recorded levels of optimism since 2005—currently up an impressive 17 percentage points compared to last year’s rating³. 

Trend 2: Consumer spending intentions have flipped

As the world opens up again after 18+ months of isolation and lockdowns, people are eager to get back to the activities they’re used to, and spend money on enjoying themselves and those around them

Trend 3: Demand for mobile gaming remains strong

Mobile gaming’s popularity continues to grow rapidly. Consumer weekly spend on mobile games saw a 40% increase in the first half of the year compared to pre-pandemic levels, and currently sits at $1.7 billion4.

Ways to grow your holiday game downloads:

  • Plan in advance: Set up advertising campaigns several weeks in advance to turn on as soon as prices drop to avoid any unforeseen ad creation bugs.
  • Help drive sales by scaling up low-cost ad inventory: Stay active and adopt strategies to help maximize profitable user acquisition.
  • Prioritize holiday-themed advertising creative: Adjust your game advertising creative to reflect the holiday season and the spirit of gifting.
  • Explore seasonal in-game events and partnerships: In-game events and promotions help to improve player retention and help drive in-app purchases.
  • Expand to new markets: Reaching international buyers can be as simple as broadening your targeting. 

The holidays provide a window of opportunity for gaming companies to increase revenue with more cost-effective campaigns. Learn more about the best time to advertise your games on Facebook during the holiday season here.

Sources:

  1. Newzoo 2021 Global Games Market Report, July 2021
  2. Newzoo 2021 Global Games Market Report, July 2021
  3. Global Consumer Confidence, The Conference Board,  Member Driven ThinkTank, April 2021; From Q2, 2020 to Q2, 2021
  4. Mobile Gaming Tear Down, App Annie, August 2021

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