4 Tips To Improve Your Game KPIs and Boost Player Revenue
by Game Marketing Genie, on 06-Oct-2021 12:31:09
The gaming industry is highly competitive. In a market where hundreds of games are launched each day, developers cannot rely solely on game design and quality to attract players. They need to run targeted marketing campaigns aimed at making players discover and play their titles.
Luckily, there are ways to track the performance of your game. Key performance indicators (KPIs) measure specific campaign objectives to determine if a certain strategy is working or not.
To guarantee long-term success, it's essential to measure the right game KPIs apart from the generic ones such as monthly revenue and the total number of subscribers. While these metrics are important, they don't give a clear picture of the game's performance.
In the article, we highlight the key metrics you should focus on and how to improve them to grow your game revenue.
1. Set your expectations on actionable data
To effectively optimize your game performance, you need to make data your friend. But not just any data. You need to rely on actionable data that will help you improve your performance in an instance.
Before you track any data, you need to define the performance attributes that matter to you. If you want to retain more players to your game, you should focus on your retention rate. If you want users to spend more time playing your game, you should actively track the session length.
These metrics are very actionable since they highlight pertinent issues you can act on to improve your performance. If you are not retaining players long after their first few sessions, it could be because the game is very challenging such that players are discouraged from continuing. With this information, you will sit down with the development team to make the game simple to motivate the players.
If the game analytics reveal that the average player session is low, it could mean that your game isn’t interesting enough to keep the players engaged for long. To improve the session length, you could introduce new game features to entice users to play longer.
2. Track the obvious metrics
In today's data-driven world, tracking the right metrics is vital for success. There are a few game metrics that every game dev needs to measure to gain valuable insights into their user behavior. They include:
ARPU stands for average revenue per user. This is the average amount of money generated by one user over a given period of time. It is calculated by dividing the total amount of money earned from all your users by the total number of users in a given time frame.
The main purpose of this metric is to help you understand how to engage individual players to encourage them to spend more on your game by purchasing in-game extras. You can do this by promoting your premium versions and gated features to increase the revenue per user.
The customer lifetime value (LTV) estimates the revenue you will earn from a single user through the entire lifecycle within your game. The metric is a prediction of a player’s monetary value to your game. It informs developers if their efforts to monetize and retain users are paying off.
Find out more about player LTV here: How To Grow Your Player LTV With 6 Unique Game Marketing Strategies.
CAC stands for customer acquisition cost. The metric captures how much it costs to acquire a paying customer. Understanding your CAC will help you make informed budgeting decisions when attracting new customers. Developers can keep their acquisition costs low by using marketing strategies that appeal to the target users, such as working with relevant influencers.
Game marketers dream about going viral, and like other web analytics solutions, your game’s relative virality can be measured and tracked. The standard metric for measuring virality is the K factor, which uses shares, mentions, and referrals multiplied by the channel’s conversion rate percentage.
Figure 1: Calculating virality. Source: Applovin
We have shared more details on calculating the virality of your game on our blog, The Mathematics Behind Any Viral Game Marketing Campaign.
3. Define your set of north star metrics
From all the digital marketing analytics you are tracking, you need to identify your set of north star metrics you will be following closely to understand your game’s performance. These metrics are very specific to your game and not generic in nature. The data is also very actionable, and you will know what to do next by just looking at the analytics.
The high-level metric you can choose in this case will depend on the nature of your game and your desired objectives. If you provide your game for free and earn revenue through advertising, you want more people playing your game to have many people viewing the ads. For this reason, you need to keep an eye on the Daily Active Users (DAU) to ensure the ads on your app get many views, impressions, and clicks.
Another key metric for free-to-play games is the churn rate. Churn is the number of people who downloaded and installed your game but are no longer playing it. A high churn rate signifies something wrong with the gameplay experience to have many people abandon your game shortly after downloading it.
For some, the conversion rate is one of the most important metrics to track. If your game's environment is key to optimizing mobile game revenue, it's important to know the percentage of users who convert. More importantly, you need to know when and where they convert. This information will guide you on how to improve your video game marketing to bring more users on board.
Prioritize your metrics
You can track so many metrics as a game marketer, but you shouldn't focus on all of them. Doing so will spread you thin and make you forget about the vital data you need to pay attention to. To avoid this, you need to prioritize the metrics you will track.
The three crucial metric clusters you should focus on are user and usage, engagement, and business metrics. The user and usage metrics will give you crucial information about your audience, illustrating which users your game appeals to. As a developer, you can use this information to optimize and localize your game for a better user experience. Some examples, in this case, include DAU, MAU, segmentation, device/OS.
Engagement metrics will give you insights into the user behavior and how they interact and engage within the game. Once you understand how users interact with your game, you'll be able to improve functionality, retain a loyal customer base, and optimize your monetization strategy. Example metrics you can use to determine engagement levels include retention, session duration, churn rate, and app rating.
Business metrics will help you track your monetization and user acquisition strategies. They provide granular data that informs business growth. The data will let you know if your game is fit for the market and what you can do to earn more revenue. Some metrics include CAC, ARPU, and LTV.
4. Focus more on the gameplay experience
The biggest factor that influences your gaming KPI is the quality of your game and feature improvements. Players will spend more on your game if the gameplay experience is smooth and exciting. The average gaming session per user will be higher if there are more interesting features for players to explore. As a result, you will have more monthly active users, more in-game purchases, and more revenue.
To know the game features you need to improve to make your game more appealing, engage the players in their online communities. Players usually meet online to discuss the games they play, and you need to find out where your users hang out for community engagement. Listen in to their conversations, and you will learn the features they want to be improved. Talk to them about the modifications you are working on and the changes they can expect with the updated app.
Focusing on the gameplay goes a long way in helping you attract and retain more players than the competition. The return on a good gaming experience goes beyond the standard return on investment by helping you build a loyal fan base that generates revenue and referrals year after year.
Start tracking like a pro
If game marketing wasn’t hard enough, add analytics into the fray! This is a crucial part of your campaign, and something you’ll need to master if you want to get results. But it’s dangerous to go alone! Take this: The Game Dev's Complete Guide to Game Marketing Analytics.
We live in a data-driven world, and measuring the right metrics is vital to your game’s success. Game KPIs provide developers with key insights into player behavior, helping them understand how users interact with their games. With access to business, usage, and engagement metrics, you have the necessary information to improve your game and optimize it accordingly.
Share your thoughts about gaming KPIs in the comment section. Let us know which metrics are essential to you and how you use the data to improve your game.