10 Essential Metrics to Track in Digital Game Marketing Campaigns
by Game Marketing Genie, on 07-Feb-2023 10:40:01
Game marketers are obsessed with metrics like CPI, ARPU, and DAU. They are the key to unlocking campaigns that drive downloads, leading to better marketing strategies and exposure for your game.
But not all metrics are equal.
Given the variety of KPIs available, carefully selecting the right ones yield meaningful insights that help you drive essential marketing decisions.
This blog covers ten metrics that game developers must track in their digital game marketing campaigns.
What tracking marketing metrics offers you
Every game developers' end-game is to grow. You want to boost your revenue, get more gamers to stay active, and increase your visibility. This means that your digital marketing return on investment (ROI) must produce positive results month after month. However, you can only know that your strategies are performing well if you plan to monitor campaign results.
Some benefits of tracking game marketing campaigns metrics are:
A competitive advantage
You gain insight into your campaigns' performance and how you are faring compared to the competition. With this information, developers can refine their marketing strategies, making them more effective and giving them a competitive advantage over their rivals.
The allowance for optimization
With the ability to see real-time data, you can make data-driven decisions to adjust your campaigns for better results. This optimization process can lead to higher engagement, increased conversions, and improved ROI.
Continuous real-time data to monitor
Real-time data is the key to making informed decisions in today's modern marketing world. This information helps identify trends and adjust your campaigns in real-time, making marketing more efficient and effective.
Continuous customer engagement
You must understand the behavior of your target audience for better marketing results. Tracking metrics can help tailor campaigns to the needs of the players, improving engagement and building stronger relationships with your audience.
The ten metrics you should be tracking
1. Cost per acquisition/conversion/install/lead (CPA)
Cost per acquisition in game marketing refers to the cost of acquiring a player who completes a desired action, such as making a purchase, downloading a game, or completing a level. This metric helps game developers understand the efficiency of their marketing campaigns and how much they spend to acquire each customer.
To calculate your CPA, divide your campaign spend by the number of customers acquired through that same campaign. The CPA formula is as follows:
CPA = Campaign cost / Acquisitions
Game developers should track their CPA because it helps them make data-driven decisions about their marketing budget. It provides insights into the ROI of each marketing campaign, which is essential for determining which campaigns are the most effective and which should be modified or discontinued.
This metric is best for campaigns focusing on acquiring leads and converting them, such as paid search campaigns, social media ads, and email campaigns.
Overall, tracking CPA is essential for game developers to understand the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and make informed decisions about their marketing budget.
2. Click-through rate (CTR)
The click-through rate in digital campaigns refers to the ratio of clicks to impressions in a marketing campaign. It measures how many people who saw the ad clicked on it to take action, such as visiting the game's website or downloading the game.
The CTR can determine the effectiveness of your keywords, ads, and free listings.
Your CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks on your ad by the number of times it is shown. The formula is as follows:
CTR = Clicks ÷ Impressions
Game developers should track their CTR because it provides insight into the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. A high CTR indicates that the ad is relevant and engaging, while a low CTR suggests that the ad may need to be modified or improved. Your CTR is also a critical factor in determining the cost-effectiveness of a marketing campaign.
Campaign managers commonly track the CTR during pre- and post-campaign stages to measure the success of driving traffic and engagement in campaigns, such as display ads, social media ads, and email campaigns.
Tracking your CTR is vital for game developers to make informed decisions about future campaigns. A high CTR can maximize the impact of a marketing budget and drive more downloads and engagement with the game.
3. Conversion rate (%)
Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action during a game marketing campaign, such as making a purchase, downloading the game, or completing a level. This metric measures the effectiveness of a marketing campaign in achieving its intended goal.
Various factors influence conversion rates, including the quality of your website or landing page, the offer, and the call to action. Testing multiple elements on your web page can help you determine what works best to increase your conversion rate.
A reasonable conversion rate is usually around 2-3%, which means that for every 100 visitors to your website, 2-3 will take some desired action (such as making a purchase).
To calculate your conversion rate, divide the total number of visitors to your website or landing page by the number of goals completed. Note that this formula will vary slightly depending on the type of conversions you need to measure.
For example, if you want to know the conversion rate of players who visit your website and become leads, the formula is
Conversion Rate = Total number of leads collected/Total traffic to site x 100
Similarly, if you want to know how many website visitors become paying customers, the formula changes:
Conversion Rate = Number of sales / Total traffic to site x 100
As game developers, you should track your conversion rate to gain insights into the success of your marketing campaigns. By tracking this metric, you can increase your revenue if the conversion rate is high and reallocate your marketing budget to more effective campaigns if it's low. It's best to track the conversion rate during the post-campaign stage. Track the conversion rate for campaigns that acquire and convert customers, such as paid search, social media ads, and email campaigns.
4. Quality Score
The Google search engine calculates users' Quality Score, a metric used in digital advertising, by combining factors such as keyword relevance, ad relevance, landing page experience, and historical performance to measure a paid search ad's relevance and expected performance.
Game developers should track their Quality Score as it affects the cost and visibility of their ads. A higher Quality Score means lower costs and better ad placement, while a lower score may result in higher prices and reduced visibility.
Figure 1: Google's Quality Score for ad campaigns. Source: Augurian
Your Quality Score is typically tracked throughout the campaign, from the planning stage to the end, to monitor its impact and identify opportunities for improvement. Paid search and display advertising campaigns can benefit from the Quality Score metric.
Want expert tips to improve your Quality Score? Read more: 5 Tips to Help You Improve Your Google Ads Quality Score.
5. Impression share
Without impressions, we can't expect clicks, leads, and conversions.
This is why game developers should track their impression share to understand their ad campaigns' reach and visibility and identify opportunities for improvement.
You can measure the visibility and reach of an ad by calculating its impression share, which represents the percentage of times an ad appears out of the total opportunities it has to display. The formula to calculate this is as follows:
Impression share = Impressions / Total eligible impressions
If your impression share is low, there could be a low ad budget, ineffective ad targeting, or high competition for ad space. Achieving 100% impression share is ideal but not always easy to attain. It depends on various factors, such as your goals, the keywords you use, and whether they are branded or non-branded. If you're getting lower than 60%, it's time to optimize your campaign and focus on maximizing this metric.
Figure 2: An impression share diagrammatic representation. Source: GRM Digital
Game developers should monitor their impression share throughout the campaign to track its impact and identify opportunities for improvement. This metric is commonly tracked in display advertising campaigns but can also be tracked in paid search campaigns.
6. Cost-per-click (CPC)
Your cost-per-click is used to measure the average cost of each click on an ad. It's calculated by dividing the total cost of the ad campaign by the number of clicks received:
CPC = Total cost of clicks / Total clicks = CPC
Game developers should track CPC to understand their ad campaigns' cost-effectiveness and identify optimization opportunities. A higher CPC may indicate that the ad targeting could be more effective, the competition for ad space is too high, or the ad budget needs to be higher.
Advertisers monitor the impact of CPC throughout the campaign to identify areas for improvement. They typically track CPC in paid search and display advertising campaigns, where they pay for every click on their advertising campaigns, where advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their ad.
7. Average session duration
The average session duration measures a user's average time on a website or app during one session and gauges user engagement. A longer duration generally indicates that users find the website or app engaging and want to spend more time using it. Digital marketers use this metric to understand user behavior and identify improvement opportunities.
The average session duration is typically tracked throughout the development and launch of the game and ongoing after launch to monitor user engagement and identify opportunities for improvement. It is most commonly tracked in mobile and web-based games.
8. Bounce rate
Game developers should track their bounce rate to understand user engagement and identify opportunities for improvement. A high bounce rate may indicate that users need help finding the website or app engaging or encountering issues causing them to leave.
Your bounce rate is also an effective tool for evaluating the performance of a page. If you observe a high number, it's essential to ask questions such as the page's purpose, a suitable benchmark, and the quality of the traffic landing on the page. Based on the answers, make necessary changes to your marketing, SEO, or user experience, and monitor your bounce rate closely.
You can track this metric throughout the development and launch of the game and ongoing after launch to monitor the user engagement and persuasiveness of your landing pages.
9. Lifetime value (LTV) and retention
Lifetime value is a metric that measures the total revenue you gain from a single user throughout their lifetime as a customer. The retention metric measures the percentage of users who continue playing or using a game over time. Retention plays a crucial role in a game's success and is one of the three components that impact the lifetime value of a customer.
To calculate LTV of a player, use this formula:
LTV = Number of days of engagement x Average spend per day
Figure 3: Visual representation of the LTV metric. Source: Michael J. Rohde
The mobile game industry evaluates the LTV of its customers by examining the cost per install (CPI) and CPC. This means you assess whether it costs more to acquire a customer than the value they bring through game installations and advertising revenue.
If the customer's LTV exceeds the acquisition cost, it's a success. Developers should track their game's LTV and retention to understand the financial value of their users and the effectiveness of their retention efforts. Your LTV can inform marketing and monetization strategies, while retention can be used to identify areas for improvement in the game design and user experience.
10. Return on ad spend (ROAS)
Return on ad spend measures the profitability of a game marketing campaign. Divide the revenue generated from users during a specific time frame by the money spent on marketing to get the ROAS. For instance, a 50% Day 7 ROAS shows that the player's revenue equaled 50% of the money paid to acquire them.
ROAS = Total marketing spend / User-generated revenue in a given time frame
ROAS is a crucial metric for game marketers, who often must spend large budgets on user acquisition (UA). By continually comparing their revenue to their ROAS, they can assess the effectiveness of their campaigns and the quality of users they acquire. ROAS is typically tracked throughout the campaign, from the planning stage to the end, to monitor its performance and impact.
This metric is best in performance-based advertising campaigns such as paid search and affiliate marketing campaigns, where the primary goal is to generate revenue from the campaign.
Here is more insight on the importance of ROAS for your game monetization: Why Are ROAS Campaigns Important for Player Acquisition in Ad-Based Games?
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.
Measure success the right way with Game Marketing Genie
Metrics tracking enables you to create digital marketing strategies based on proven methods and address weaknesses. However, not all metrics are necessary for every campaign. Evaluate if the data provides valuable information to enhance performance. If it does not contribute to your objective, it may not be worth monitoring.
Though these metrics are beneficial, every game is unique. The metrics you track should be relevant to your model and provide answers to important questions.
This is where our game marketing expertise and digital marketing know-how can help you. Game Marketing Genie offers data-led game marketing strategies relevant to your game. We ask you important questions about your game and create tailored marketing campaigns for your game.