Programmatic campaign for a casual mobile game

  • Powerful cross-channel campaign drove 3.2 times increase in app installs

Goals

According to Statista forecast, the video game market is expected to grow by 7.24% annually to reach $482.90 billion by 2027. Mobile games have come a long way since the days when everybody played Snake on their phones. Nowadays, users download different games from the app stores or Google market, and although the popularity of mobile games among users grow day by day, for brands it’s become more difficult to win users’ attention and attract quality installs.

Our client applied us to attract users to his casual game who have never downloaded the game before with the use of programmatic advertising. In addition, it was important to increase the number of in-app purchases.

Ad Strategy

Determining the target audience is one of the most important steps of an ad campaign. After conducting research on a target audience of the game, it became clear that most of them are women over the age of 30. They are active social media users as well as various gaming applications within social networks (e.g. puzzle games on Facebook). Another big audience segment includes gamers who like puzzles, quizzes, quick games and so on.

We were keeping a holistic strategy focusing on creating the synergy between ad channels in the media mix. With an eye on the main part of the target audience, our team launched social ads including stories ads and promo posts on Facebook and Instagram, and video ads on TikTok. Additionally, we set up in-app advertising with fullscreen and playable ads. In order to display ads accurately for the audience, we set targeting for users who have games of a particular category (puzzle games, quiz game, word games and so on), who have installed a particular number of games in a certain category for a specific period or deleted them. Keeping this approach, we managed to quickly reach the necessary number of ad impressions and to correct the settings of the campaign.

As part of the campaign, the team developed over 15 unique ad creatives. With an eye on the target audience core, we focused on ad creatives with puzzles and quizzes. It was important to show simple and interesting tasks (e.g. We offered to solve the crossword or find differences) that any user can solve but still not everyone can do it. This message was supported by ad copies. Our team conducted A/B-testing for choosing the most efficient banners. As better results were shown by ad creatives with a simple task such as solving a rebus, we concluded that the clear and easy tasks are better for our audience and focused on them to boost overall campaign results.

Meanwhile, we added look-alike targeting. It helped us to reach users who were similar with others who have purchased items in the game for the last 60 days. Additionally, we constantly expanded a look-alike audience segment to increase app installs. In order to do that, we decreased the similarity between this segment and other segments. Additionally, we set up age targeting for users less than 25 y.o., and excluded users who had already installed the game from displaying ads.

Results

During the campaign, our team was constantly optimizing the ad campaign, managing to decrease CPI, testing different hypotheses for boosting efficiency of the ad campaign. As a result, we managed to reach the client's goal.
3.2 times
increase in app installs
2.7 times
increase in-game purchase
1.2 times
decrease in CPI

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