The Strategy of
Game Advertising
on Facebook

This article will introduces you to new Marketing Cycle Approach and will help to make your ad campaigns more effective in terms of LTV and ROI.
The traditional way of game marketing can be represented by a funnel: awareness, acquisition, engagement. Game marketers used to spend advertising dollars on linear acquisition, hoping that it would lead to revenue from in-app purchases. However, while decreasing user acquisition cost you may not get relevant LTV because you don't affect this metric correctly through engagement campaigns. This article introduces you to new Marketing Cycle Approach and helps to make your ad campaigns more effective in terms of LTV and ROI.

This approach is based on Facebook Blueprint Course "Gaming Best Practices" and describes how you can optimize your campaigns on each stage of the cycle:

For each stage (A/B testing, User Acquisition Scaling and Re-Engagement) you will run a new campaign on Facebook. We recommend to run campaigns one by one for the first time and then run in parallel, forming a cycle. Cycle approach will help you to improve the results at all levels of the user acquisition funnel simultaneously. The core difference from linear user acquisition is that you can constantly re-adjust your use of creative and marketing products for maximum efficiency and highest ROI.

The table below describes goals and optimization strategies on each stage of your game cycle:

We will give you a deep look on each stage of your game cycle and give recommendations about goals, campaign structure, conversion criteria, budgeting and optimization approach.

A/B testing of User Acquisition strategies

Running a campaign for the first time you are likely to reach as many people as possible, in hopes of maximizing the number of game downloads. You need with a minimum budget spent as quickly as possible to estimate CPI and to choose those strategies that give you the best CPI. Also as you learn more about your users, you can focus on reaching out more people like them. Thus you can narrow interests and build more appropriate segments of your potential customers. For each segment you will create the best combinations of images and texts. So we can set up the several goals for your first A/B testing campaign.

Goals:

  1. To define targeting for your scaling ad campaigns

  2. To select creatives that better fit exact audiencies

  3. To estimate your CPI as a KPI for future campaigns

Other things being equal, you have to do it quickly and with a minimum budget. Start by planning your campaign structure at each level - Campaign, Ad Set, Ad - and identify what aspects you want to test. You should consider testing variations in your Targeting, Placement/Ad formats, and Creatives.

  • Targeting: сhoose broad targeting based on demographics, location, device types, behaviors, and interests.

  • Placements/Ad formats: choose main placements/Ad formats you want to test: mobile news feed, audience network, instagram, video/banner.

  • Creatives: be ready to prepare several creatives for each ad set.

Campaign Structure Example:


As a result you will have different ad sets to test, sometimes with the same targeting. To avoid audience overlapping use Facebook Split Testing Tool which takes members of your audience and randomly divides them into non-overlapping groups.

Conversion criteria

Optimize your campaign for "App Installs". Define your conversion attribution windows before running a campaign - it ensures that all conversions are tracked in the same, known way. You can track your results through Facebook SDK or any Mobile Measurement Partner.

Bidding

We recommend to use Auto bids during your first ad campaign.

Budgeting and optimization approach

You need to have enough budget to run A/B test correctly. We recommend to set minimum 20$ per each ad set per day. We also recommend to optimize your costs, with the goal of minimizing CPIs without sacrificing conversion volume with the use of Leadza CPI Budget Allocation Tool. This Facebook campaign optimization tool continuously reallocates campaign budget between active ad sets such that the expected number of future conversions is maximized and the CPI level is minimized.
Results

1. Defining targeting for your scaling ad campaigns. Use Facebook Insights to learn about the audience that is already engaging in your game. You can refine your targeting and create better engagement of your existing and potential players.

2. Selecting creatives that better fit exact audiencies. Once you define with Facebook Insights the audience interacted with your game you are able to prepare new relevant creatives. Being thoughtful about what specific segments of people will find interesting.

3. Estimating your CPI as a KPI for future campaigns. Using Leadza CPI Budget Allocation Tool you minimizes CPI for your first ad campaign and find out your KPIs faster and spending lower budgets.
User Acquisition Scaling

As you learn more about your users, you can focus on reaching out to more people like them. People who share similar characteristics to your current players are a valuable potential audience. Here you already know your CPI from A/B testing campaign and you want to get the maximum number of installs.

Goal: To maximize the number of installs (users acquired) at a certain CPI.

You should choose best performing ad sets from your A/B testing campaign, then adjust targeting using Facebook Insights and select relevant creatives to each new ad set in your scaling campaign.

Campaign structure example:


Conversion criteria

The same recommendations as for A/B testing campaign. Optimize your campaign for "App Installs". Define your conversion attribution windows before running a campaign - it ensures that all conversions are tracked in the same, known way. You can track your results through Facebook SDK or any Mobile Measurement Partner.

Bidding, budgeting and optimization approach

Now we recommend to use manual bids. Bidding on Conversions will most likely bring you the best campaign results, as Facebook will deliver your ads to people who are most interested in your offer. You can tell Facebook how much you're willing to pay for a conversion - use CPIs from your A/B testing campaign as a maximum and minimum bids. To get the maximum number of installs for the best price use Leadza Bid Optimization Tool.

Leadza Bid Optimization Tool continuously changes bids every 24 hours within each active ad set such so that the expected number of future installs is maximized. If CPI in any ad set is higher than maximum goal CPI than Leadza Bid Optimization Tool will lower bid the next day, if CPI is lower than minimum goal CPI than Leadza Bid Optimization Tool will increase bid the next day. The tool makes the forecast of key metrics in each ad set on the next day, and it takes into account when deciding how to change bids.

Example of the bidding strategy:


Re-Engagement (bring back old users to your app)

Once you have experienced successful user acquisition, you will want to keep players engaged. After driving installs, you can direct existing players back into your app right from their News Feed. App Engagement Ads are the perfect way to reach your current players and keep them from lapsing. The main goal here is to maximize revenue from already acquired users.

Goal: To maximize revenue from acquired users

Think about the different segments of players in your game and target them with relevant messages. For example you may have the following segments of players:

- People who play your game at least twice
- Players who are stuck at a certain level
- People who are low on their virtual balance


You also can use Deep Linking to send players to a specific location within your game.

For each segment your goal is to maximize revenue and increase LTV.


Bidding

We recommend to use Auto bids during this campaign.

Budgeting and optimization approach

Set enough budget to reach all users that already downloaded your game. Use Revenue Budget Allocation Tool to get higher ROI from all engagement ad sets. This Facebook campaign optimization tool continuously reallocates campaign budget between active ad sets such that the ROI is maximized.

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