The Game Dev's Complete Guide to Game Marketing Analytics

by Game Marketing Genie, on 21-Feb-2023 13:10:18

As a business, you gain incredible amounts of data everyday from various sources including your marketing campaigns, social media pages, websites, and more. This data contains a wealth of information that if managed and identified correctly can help you create customer-focused experiences that encourage your audience to buy your video games.

With the right tools and expertise, you will be able to discern many important details about your prospects and customers including what their behavior looks like, the platforms they spend the most time on, demographic information, reasons for bouncing, and how to optimize your marketing to encourage conversions.

Simply put, marketing analytics will help not only your business, but your customers too. By having a greater understanding of who your customers are, you’ve got the power to help them make informed decisions about your business in a way that truly connects with them to help them move closer to a purchase.

This page will help you understand why data-driven marketing is so important and give you the information you need to get started on your own measurable and actionable campaigns.

So, why does your business need analytics?

As you can probably already tell, a one-size-fits-all marketing campaign won’t work for your game. Gone are the days when you could shout to anyone that would listen about how great your game is and why they have to play it. 

Why? There are two big reasons. The first is that your players are bombarded with marketing messages every day from other products, services and games that want them to purchase. Unless your message stands out, you’ll fall into the “ignore” category. The second is that generic ads don’t hit the mark anymore. Campaigns that directly reference a prospect’s wants and needs, platform use habits, and more are the ones that succeed. Your customers are unique and you need to show that you understand this. Your technique? Analytics of course!

Learn more about analytics and how it can help your business in Why Do Gaming Businesses Need Analytics for Their Games to Succeed?

Analytics on different platforms

Checking out your return on ad spend (ROAS) for in-game ads

Game developers looking to generate more revenue for their game cannot go past in-game advertising. By fluidly publishing non-intrusive ads in spaces within other games, developers are able to earn more clicks and impressions.

But you need to make sure that your revenue exceeds the cost of the campaign, otherwise you’ll be paying too much to sustainably continue your campaign and maintain your game. 

Fortunately, calculating your ROAS is easy! But we’re not going to give you all the answers here — find out more in Why Are ROAS Campaigns Important for Player Acquisition in Ad Based Games?

Getting started with Google Analytics

Even if you haven’t had a hand in analytics before, you’ve probably heard of Google Analytics. This web analytics platform allows you to track, analyze and optimize website actions and traffic from one centralized location to develop a clear picture of how your site is performing.

Best of all, it is beginner-friendly! The platform gathers a large amount of data in real time, processes it for, displays it in an understandable format, and creates detailed reports that show you what you need to do to improve. This helps you as a business find out more about why your website is performing a certain way, what your visitors’ behavior is like, and how you can improve your flows to help generate conversions.

We recommend this platform to all users - no matter the size of your business. It is an important platform that essentially does it all for you, meaning that you won’t need to waste time and resources trying to manually figure out why your customers are bouncing off your website. But while it IS beginner-friendly, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have to take the time to learn how to use it. We often see businesses struggle to use the platform because they don’t know what they’re looking for, how to find it, or why something isn’t working.

But don’t worry! Get set up for success with Google Analytics: The Beginner's Game Marketing Guide! Or contact us to find out how we can do it all for you…

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10 top metrics for game devs to track

All metrics aren’t created equal. We often see game devs falling down to common traps like vanity metrics (e.g. tracking post likes) instead of focusing on the numbers that not only show real results, but that also give actionable insights and direction for their campaigns.

Sure, we could tell you a series of different metrics that you should be watching, but you’ll probably lose your way trying to track them all at once. Well, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Get our 10 Essential Metrics to Track in Digital Game Marketing Campaigns today, and remember to focus on those that align with your goal!

Managing those tags

Going back to what we said before, if you’ve heard of Google Analytics, then it’s likely that you’ve heard of Google Tag Manager (GTM) too. But why do you need to manage your tags? Easy, because with that ever-growing amount of data your business collects on a daily basis, you need some way to ensure that you can still drive growth.

If you’re new to this technique, let’s look at two pieces of basic information you must know.

  • What are tags? A tag is a piece of JavaScript code that collects data from everyone that visits your online platforms (such as your website).
  • What is tag management? The process of organizing your tags to ensure that they’re collecting the right data.

Now that you’ve got the basics covered, you need to know how it works. And what better way than to jump into creating your own GTM account?

Become a master of tag management with our complete guide here: What is Tag Management and Why Does It Matter?

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The next level of data

Because the amount of data businesses receive is so large, it can be difficult to wade through it all to identify opportunities, areas to optimize and strategies to focus on. This is why big data and big data analytics exist. 

Big data itself refers to large chunks of structured and unstructured data that businesses collect over a period of time. Big data analytics is a field that exists to systematically analyze and extract information from datasets that are too big to be sorted using traditional methods. The importance of big data doesn’t lie in the fact that you’re able to accumulate so much data, but rather your ability to use that data to make your game perform.

As such, if you want to improve your game and its marketing and follow in the footsteps of other big industry leaders such as Netflix and Amazon, then big data is your ticket. So, what can it help you do? Here are a few things big data can help you do:

  • Create a gaming experience that engages the players
  • Develop marketing campaigns that reach the right audience
  • Understand why potential players are dropping off your game or landing pages
  • See how you can personalize your offerings
  • Make your business processes more efficient and effective
  • And more!

The reason big data is able to permeate all facets of your business is because it represents who you are as a business, what your customers want, and how you can do your best to provide it.

Don’t let your data collection go to waste! Make the most of data with Big Data: What It Is and Why It Matters To Your Game.

Using big data to boost your returns

Now that you know about big data, you must be wondering how to get started. There’s an easy answer to this - you’ll need big data analytics. However, it is not that simple. You cannot jump in and get blindly started. You’ll first need to understand what big data analytics means for your business, and the things that you need to look out for.

For instance, what kinds of datasets do you need to monitor? We recommend looking at the “who”, “how” and “value” sets. These examine the people you’re trying to engage, what you’ve done in the past and the results you’ve had, and what kind of returns you’ve received. After all, if you’re not bringing back a good return on investment (ROI), then what was the point of launching your campaign?

Once you’ve identified your datasets, you then need to know what decisions to make, how to respond to prospects’ behavior, what information you need for a clear path forward, where to find opportunities for growth, and how to engage your audience. Of course, the solutions to all of these points are contained within your data. You just need to know how to unlock them.

Unlock your company’s potential for exponential revenue growth today. Read How to Improve Your Game Marketing ROI with Big Data Analytics to learn more.

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Data-driven customer journeys

Your customers don’t just see your game for the first time and decide to buy it immediately. Every one of your customers, from those who aren’t aware of your game yet to those that are loyal fans, are on what is called the “customer journey”.

The customer journey refers to the roadmap of experiences, decisions and interactions your audience goes through in relation to your brand. This starts from them becoming aware of your business and its offerings all the way to the post-purchase experience you offer to keep them engaged.

But keeping your customer engaged along their journey isn’t easy. In fact, the number of potential customers lost along the journey massively exceeds the amount that will actually make it to the end - i.e. buying your game. Most of the time, this is because you’re not using one of your major assets to your advantage. You’ve probably guessed what it is by this point: data.

By collecting insights about what your audience wants to see, where and when they want to see it, and the best ways to give it to them, you can optimize their individual journeys to help them move closer to a purchase. 

But having us tell you this isn’t enough. You need to read our guide to learn about Video Game Data Analytics: Data-Driven Customer Journeys For Gamers too!

Transforming data into engaging stories

Data isn’t just numbers and graphs. When presented well, it can weave an intricate story to your audience, subconsciously making them aware that your business is the one to purchase from.

Because let’s face it, shoving a bunch of business statistics in a video gamer’s direction isn’t the best way to tell them that your game is worth playing. You need to do what you’re good at, and what your game does so well - tell a story. Data storytelling is a technique that builds a narrative around data and presents it in an engaging and understandable fashion to clearly convey its meaning.

After all, humans are naturally curious, inventing new stories and the methods to tell them - including video games. As such, it makes sense that using data in this way will not only mean that you can convey information in a powerful fashion, but that your audience will be able to understand it better.

So, what is the best way to do this? We recommend the combination of a strong narrative and a visual representation - such as an infographic! Make your data matter with Data Storytelling: What It Is and Why Your Game Marketing Needs It.

Player LTV - how to grow it

What is the lifetime value (LTV) of your players? If you can’t answer this question, then you really don’t know how well your game is performing. This metric can help you figure out exactly what you need to invest in your marketing and player retention strategies.

Obviously, you don’t want to spend more on acquiring a new player than you receive from them purchasing the game or in-game items. So, how do you average it all out to find out what you need to be doing? The answer again is (unsurprisingly) your player LTV!

Unfortunately, most devs don’t give this metric the time of day, meaning that they struggle to understand why the money they’re putting in to make their game successful isn’t coming back tenfold.

Don’t be one of those devs! Learn more about your player LTV and boosting it in How To Grow Your Player LTV With 6 Unique Game Marketing Strategies.

Game KPIs and player revenue

What campaign objectives are you measuring to figure out if your game is performing as expected? Sure, you’re measuring how many people bought your game and how much money it’s pulling in each month. But these metrics don’t actually show what you can do to boost your game even higher.

Actionable data is your friend. Want to find out how valuable your players are? Track their LTV using the blog above. Want to get people to play for longer? Track the average session length. These metrics will help you highlight areas that you can act on to improve.

Learn how to get started with 4 Tips To Improve Your Game KPIs and Boost Player Revenue.

YouTube Analytics and you

Don't spend days creating walkthrough videos or epic trailers to find out that they aren't getting the traction you desire. If you want your YouTube channel to be successful, you need to examine your content's performance closely. After all, YouTube is the #1 video platform, which means your competition is only growing, so you must be able to identify areas for growth.

And one of the best ways to do this is through the platform's native analytics tool — YouTube Analytics.

Get on track today with How to Grow Your Gaming YouTube Channel with YouTube Analytics.

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Getting the best out of your data

Analytics is no walk in the park. We’ve provided plenty of tips here to get you started, but remember that without the right tools and techniques, you won’t get the best insight to optimize your performance.

Don’t be one of those brands that focuses on the wrong information. Game Marketing Genie is here to help you track your organic and paid media the right way.

Let’s chat data today!

Topics:Video Game MarketingWeb AnalyticsTag ManagementGoogle Analytics OptimizationDigital MarketingComplete Guide

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