Mobile Game Ad Platforms: Why They Should Never Be Left Out of Any Mobile Game Marketing StrategyVenkatesh C.R
In this third part of our series about mobile advertising, we will now be discussing mobile ad networks for games. Mobile games, much like any type of app, can enjoy plenty of mobile ads benefits.
In fact, it’s actually the main monetization method used by plenty of mobile game owners, and a lot can attest to having success in this type of game advertising. We will be expounding further on it with this guide and outline just how integral it is in ensuring a mobile game’s success.
What Is In-Game Advertising?
When it comes to the mobile gaming industry, advertising is only ever done in-game, meaning the game marketing ads show as the player progresses through the content or performs specific actions. This type of app monetization is arguably unique to mobile games, being the sole type of game where active, continuous advertisement can be conducted.
Most mobile games differ in content and nature to other gaming platforms, after all, especially if we are to consider the games that are specifically developed with the free-to-play and freemium models. That being said, mobile game ads can be considered as completely unique because of the myriad formats they come in and due to the entirely different nature of in-app advertising as a whole.
Types of In-game Ad Formats Commonly Used by Mobile Game Ad Networks
Mobile game advertising has evolved so much already to the point that you can never run out of ad formats to choose from to test which one works best in your game category or niche. This fact also underscores the comprehensiveness of mobile advertising as a whole, besides how far it has vastly improved.
- Insterstitial Ads – Ads that encompass the entire screen or interface of the game fall under this category. These have high engagement because they offer plenty of freedom for customization. They can be made with creative videos as well and can be constructed so they do not interrupt the gameplay of the user.
- Playable Ads – What could be better than an ad that allows users to play a mini-game or preview of a game that they can directly install with a single tap? With this kind of ad, you get the best engagement – and there’s no better proof of this than the fact that playable ads boast of the highest eCPM in the mobile game marketing field.
- Rewarded Video Ads – As their name suggests, these are video ads that users often have the option to watch in order to receive a bonus (either an item or a powerup, depending on the type of game you are playing) after they have watched them. This kind of ad readily capitalizes on the innate love of most people to receive rewards, hence, making it easy to convince them to spend money on in-game premium items.
- Offerwall – This usually takes the form of a list you can scroll through of various offers that you can do. Along with the offer is the exact amount of compensation (usually in the form of credits or coins) you can receive. Most of the time, games offer premium credits, encouraging users to watch the ads all the way.
What Are Mobile Ad Networks for Games?
Simply put, these are mobile ad networks that have optimized their platforms to cater best to the advertising needs of mobile game owners. Make no mistake, there are numerous ad networks that also include mobile games in the types of apps they support, but there are simply game ad platforms that readily set themselves apart from the rest when it comes to offering truly effective mobile game advertising tools.
That said, these ad networks definitely concentrate on helping app owners to either get the traffic increase they need or boost their game’s awareness and memorability among their target audience. All of these goals directly translate to more revenue in the long run as long as the ad campaigns are run successfully.
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What Criteria Should You Be Looking at When Considering the Mobile Ad Networks to Work With?
Well, before anything else, it wouldn’t hurt to know beforehand whether the platform is beginner-friendly or not. Assuming your familiarity with mobile advertising services is still pretty basic, it’s only logical to opt for those that let you test the waters with ease, familiarize yourself with the different ad formats they have available, for instance.
These are the other criteria you should look at:
- Your goals. Do you intend to acquire more game installations or just better awareness?
- Your strategy. Will you be using an incentive-oriented approach or one that focuses on engaging video ads instead?
- The network’s ad content. It should be as high-quality as much as possible. Video ads should preferably be in HD and interstitial ads should have high engagement and conversion.
Top Ad Networks Recommended for Mobile Game Publishers
- AdMob – Google-run AdMob is always a go-to option for plenty of game developers because it is very amenable to starters. It’s predominant in mobile advertising, to say the least, which practically applies to any platform the Big G is associated with. However, even though the network has great ease-of-use, its rates are relatively low. This is why it’s often only suggested as a stepping stone for a lot of advertisers. Prominent ad formats include banner, mobile app, and install.
- Chartboost – It’s not hard to recommend this network to game app publishers because it’s one of the few out there that solely focuses on gamers. It knows the ins-and-outs of mobile game advertising – and this says a lot considering the number of ad networks you can choose from. When it comes to stellar interstitial ads and cross-promotion of apps, Chartboost can be every mobile game owner’s best friend. They know how to boost app installations through ads, so if this is your primary goal then you need not look any further for a game ad platform to work with.
- Unity Ads – Unity has always been associated with game development, but they also go the limit in helping their developers in their monetization efforts. Video ads from Unity remain unrivaled in the industry. They let you create ads about the content players will definitely find interesting in a specific game, assuring the best engagement in every ad. Their ad creation process is overall more simplified as well because it forgoes the need for an ad SDK.
Mobile game ad networks do more than offer reasonable rates to their advertisers and publishers. After all, there are standouts that simply set the standard of what tools a platform should be providing its advertisers in order to optimize their mobile game marketing campaigns.
At best, it’s better to work with multiple networks so you can test them all and mitigate the downsides of each one. Generally, great user experience can only be assured by equally superb ad networks.