Big players have the financial resources to fund wide-scale ad campaigns for their game. But what about yours? It’s hard to get your game noticed by your target audience, especially if you’re working within a tight budget and in the nascent stages of your business.
With the mobile and video game marketplace being steadily supplied with more and more games, competition is at an all-time high. In 2018, 811,000 mobile game apps were available for download at the Apple App Store. And on Steam, 7,600 video games were released alone.
With competition rife, the problem presents itself: ‘how do you come up with a game marketing strategy that best reaches the people who are most likely to purchase and play your game?’.
The answer: go and advertise where your target audience spends a good deal of their time - social media. With 2.32 billion active users globally, many of which are on Facebook, you are presented with a huge opportunity to start an ad campaign for your video game.
Facebook Ads have evolved into a one-stop shop where game developers can do everything from building, to launching to monetizing their games. Facebook’s advertising also offers plenty of solutions tailored specifically help mobile, PC and console game marketers meet their goals - as seen in the recent development of three new ad solutions, as shown here:
Playable ads is an interactive format that allows potential players to test out a game for themselves when they encounter the ad in their Facebook newsfeed.
This ‘try-before-you-buy’ approach proved to be effective for Glu Mobile, a mobile game app developer. After trying out the feature, they saw a 16% rise in return on ad spend (ROAS) and a 33% decrease in ad cost per paying user.
This ad’s focus is to optimize player retention by connecting mobile and video game marketers to lookalike audiences who have higher engagement with games in various genres.
The feature is still limited to selected advertisers but its positive outcomes are sure to encourage wider availability in the future. Beijing Fotoable, one of the first companies to try it, saw an increase of 30% ‘return on ad spend’(ROAS).
Small and indie game developers who are on a tight ad budget will find this upcoming feature helpful in making their money go a long way. By allowing game marketers to set minimum ROAS to reach players who are most likely to engage with their game, marketers are able to minimize spending on those who are less likely to.
Generally, Facebook advertisements will look just like regular posts that appear in a user’s newsfeed, except they are marked as a ‘sponsored post’. Alternatively, you can opt for video ads over text or image-based ones, if you want to improve the reach of your game trailer or game ‘sneak peeks’.
To start advertising on Facebook, you will need to create an ad account at Facebook Business first. After that, you’ll be presented with a 7-step process that will help you get started by setting advertising objectives and learning about your target audience through the Audience Insights Tool.
From there, you can set either a daily or a lifetime budget for your campaign. You will also have full control of which ad formats you want to use.
After placing your ad order, you’ll have access to data on how well (or how poorly) your ads are doing through the ‘Ads Manager’ page. This will allow you to make the necessary changes and tailor your game marketing strategy for better results.
Speaking of tailored strategies, there are some tweaks you can do before and after the launch your campaign that will help you to better optimize your ads for the best results.
Your target audience won’t be online 24/7. Choosing to run your ads at certain optimal hours and days will help you reach your audience during the times they are most likely to be active on social media.
The great thing about Facebook Ads is that you can test out various ads with split testing before launching into a full campaign to see which one works the best. You can test different aspects of an ad from design to copy to campaign objectives and see what effect they have on factors like conversion rates.
Take advantage of the power of social media and seriously consider advertising your game on Facebook. The platform offers a variety of features and ad solutions that can help put your game marketing strategies into action and really get your game noticed by potential players.
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