Mobile Mania - Discover the Best Game Ad Strategies
MAR 12 2023

It's no secret that games are becoming increasingly popular, especially after lockdowns forced people to communicate and express themselves through new channels. And despite the global economic crisis after the pandemic, the gaming industry remained resilient and even showed modest growth. It was also mobile games that reaped the benefits of this uplift before others, with 13 billion new downloads in 2020 alone. 

To give you a better idea of why mobile gaming is so prosperous, over 80% of smartphone users play mobile games, with nearly 50% playing daily, averaging 1-2 hours of gameplay per day.

Mobile advertising spending was also expected to total 327.1 billion US dollars in 2022 worldwide, and the number could rise to $355.1 billion by the end of 2023. This is great news for publishers who wish to monetize their content through advertising, and for brands trying to better reach today's flooded market.

It has now become clear to marketers and advertisers that mobile games are the future, and that’s why many are on the lookout for the best game ads formula to boost their revenue. However, there are still a lot of misconceptions about brand-gamer relationships, and many struggle to find a happy medium between marketers and gamers. 

The following are some best strategies to create a successful in-game ad campaign and an overview of why they are necessary in the first place.

Mobile Game Market - The Significance of Mobile Game Ads

According to data from 2021, Asia is home to more than 1.29 billion mobile gamers, representing 48% of all mobile gamers worldwide. With 551.7 million mobile gaming users in Europe, the continent ranked second. 

In short: mobile gaming has taken off.

In-game advertising works particularly well in mobile games because they are often played for short periods, making the best in-game ads more likely to be seen by players.

By 2025, the global gaming market is expected to surpass $256.97 billion, and gaming advertisements play a significant role. With great execution, well-written copy, and impressive visuals, some gaming ads are now as popular as the games themselves. 

But do you know how in-game ads have come to be so popular among game developers and marketers? 

Game developers have traditionally monetized their games through various methods such as subscriptions and in-app purchases (IAPs). But in reality, an average mobile app user spends very little on apps in a given month. That’s why many developers found ads to be viable monetization alternatives. 

By using these interactive mobile game advertisements, companies started to reach customers with powerful marketing messages while entertaining them at the same time. Consequently, mobile advertising has become an important revenue stream for many developers.

Market growth for mobile games is rapidly increasing, making it more important than ever to select the right in-game marketing strategy. But first, let's talk about the benefits of creating in-game ads. And then, we’ll move on to the five useful strategies to create the best game ads.

Benefits of Using In-Game Ads

There are many benefits to mobile advertising in gaming. Aside from increasing revenue and in-app transactions, app developers can enhance user involvement by offering rewards for watching videos or displaying interesting content during gameplay.

Game apps are also one of the most effective ways to reach consumers today, with users spending 55 minutes daily on all apps combined.

For those who are still debating or completely ignorant of how game ads can enhance their next campaign, here are some of the benefits of implementing the best game ads marketing strategies.

Reaching Wider Audiences: Since the lockdown began, gaming apps have been receiving more and more impressions. Compared to traditional channels, in-game ads can reach a larger audience and engage players more effectively. Plus, don’t forget how diverse the demographics of gaming audiences are.

Controlled Environment: A game provides the ideal branding-friendly setting for marketers. There will be no inappropriate or childish content displayed alongside their ad, in contrast to social media, which displays ads together with potentially offensive user-generated content. In order to maximize the impact of in-game advertising, advertisers must follow the same standards for quality content as they do for other media formats - making sure they partner with vendors that validate their content.

Raising Brand Awareness: In-game advertising can help you raise brand awareness by helping you achieve a variety of marketing goals. By increasing brand awareness, you can reach a broader audience, drive more traffic to your site, boost brand loyalty, and encourage consumers to make more purchases. 

Advertising Games In Games

Advertising games within existing games is the best way to promote them. The reason for this is that players of one game may also be interested in other games. 

The mobile gaming industry has evolved and developers have been creating incredibly immersive experiences over the past decade. Today's games offer a level of complexity that allows gamers to immerse themselves in a world filled with visuals, sound effects, narratives, and engaging gameplay. Moreover, as the quality of game experiences on mobile devices has improved, so has the number of players.

The main purpose of in-game advertising on mobile is to sell your product by clicking on links or encouraging users to visit a website or download an application. Game ads are also effective for creating brand awareness, especially in mobile versions of PC and console games.

Best Game Ads Types

Mobile video ads can be classified into seven types based on their purpose.

Best Game Ad Strategies 

Advertising companies have long sought innovative ways to connect with their target audiences, and interactive in-game advertising is one such method. The goal of mobile game marketing is to increase awareness and adoption of your programs, business, or products; just like any other marketing method. 

But the best game ad strategies have changed a lot since the early days. It took years of trial and error for several companies (like Massive) to build in-game advertising into a lucrative business at the beginning of the industry's modern renaissance.

Nowadays, in-game advertising allows advertisers to test unique ad formats exclusively available in games and create the best game ads. Moreover, emerging technologies can help marketers expand their audience more than ever.

The best way to get noticed and attract players’ attention is by optimizing your ads for the gaming environment. Your marketing strategy for mobile games should be in line with the content of your advertisement and fit your organization's needs, and these five strategies will help you do just that.

A Timeless Advice: Consider & Find Your Target Audience

It is imperative that you pinpoint and analyze your target audience before developing your marketing strategy, and mobile game marketing is no different.

Mobile gamers are a very mixed group of individuals, so developers can't simply target them all at once. Clearly, one must be more precise when it comes to targeting gamers. Despite their common passion for gaming, gamers come from a wide range of backgrounds, ranging from teenagers, college graduates, and wealthy men whose interests range from celebrity gossip to luxury items, to senior women with high purchasing power across a wide range of income levels. 

Of course, target audiences vary based on game genres, aspects of the game (like POV, matchmaking systems, etc.), and market location. So you can customize the ad experience for different audience types by using a classification system. 

The first step is to narrow down gamers based on their location, their generation, and their sex, otherwise known as player demographics. For example, more than 60% of Fortnite's players are 18-24 years old, which means it’s the right game for youth advertising. 

With tech platforms moving to safeguard users' data, however, marketers are no longer able to use many of the tools they used in the past. That's why contextual marketing is also an option. Its name implies the principle behind the strategy: intentionally selecting the context in which your ad will be displayed. 

Essentially, contextual targeting focuses on appropriate ad placements without knowing anything about the individual viewing the advertisement. The page content that the user is viewing affects keyword targeting as well as topic targeting.

Combined Monetization Model

Aside from providing a free in-app experience, in-game ads provide flexible means of generating revenue in conjunction with other monetization methods, such as IAP. In recent years, a growing number of developers have discovered that IAP and ads can coexist without negatively impacting revenue. 

In addition, developers are discovering that rewarded ads can provide users with a sneak peek of in-app items for purchase, thus converting non-paying users into paying ones.

Indeed, game-based advertising increases purchaser intent by 169% when compared to conventional video ad types. The reward system in games encourages consumers to return by exciting them and encouraging them to play more.

The majority of game developers use a mix of ad formats to generate the most revenue. You can, for instance, make banner ads appear at the bottom of your game along with playable ads just after the pausing screen appears, and offer diamonds or bonus points with offerwall ads at the same time. 

Creative Ad Production

As soon as you have determined whom you are targeting, the next, and most crucial, phase of a marketing campaign is creative campaign development. This is the process of creating original ads that help you market your in-game services or products.

Producing engaging ad creatives is the best way to get people fired up about your brand. Show off the best parts of your business without losing sight of the game's overall experience.  A creative should be tailored to fit within the game’s interactive environment, so the messaging makes sense.

Interactive elements in games also allow advertisers to design more discreet and sophisticated advertisements. By incorporating their campaigns into gameplay rather than bombarding gamers with brand names or taglines, marketers can create an experience that gamers find valuable. 

The ads become a positive feature instead of a nuisance, but only if there’s a creative mind behind them.

Getting The Timing Right

The goal of your ad should be to impress the user, not to annoy them. The placement and timing of your ad can make a significant difference in the user's experience. The most important rule when it comes to ad placement is this: Do not disrupt the user's gaming experience. 

Consider your user's mindset when inserting banners to prevent them from being annoyed. For example, avoid showing Out-stream video ads when the player is focused on tapping, like at the beginning of a level. The display of an unwanted ad at the time when a user wants to play can be aggravating.

Most users are fine with ads that are labeled clearly and notify them before interfering with their game; the issue arises when an ad deceives them into expanding, which may result in them being kicked out of the game.

Use Video Ads on Other Channels 

Today, almost everyone owns multiple devices with access to the internet, social networks, and mobile applications. It is possible to implement video games wherever these elements exist.

It is a wise move to share your mobile video ads on more platforms if your audience is diverse. Furthermore, you should combine a mobile advertising campaign with a multi-platform campaign to maximize results. After all, consumers are most likely to multitask, especially during leisure time.

The most widely used are UA Channels, Twitch, Google Play Store Videos, TikTok, and App Store Videos.

Optimizing your budget across multiple platforms is another integral part of your in-game mobile marketing strategy. Digital advertising accounts for the majority of most marketing budgets (which equates to 13.5%, according to Statista), however, effectively distributing that budget among the various marketing channels currently available is a challenging task.

In-Game Video Ads Done Right

There is no doubt that gamers are a dedicated community; they are loyal to their favorite games and demand excellent in-game experiences from the developers. As a result, marketers are at a disadvantage: To succeed, they must understand the specific needs of this audience and present their marketing pitch without disrupting their experience.

As with games themselves, gaming ads must appeal to the emotions of their viewers in order to build anticipation. Brand awareness and lead generation strategies can be improved through personalized, visually appealing, and well-planned ads. 

Whatever your ad type of choice may be, incorporating them into the game loop will ensure that the users have the best possible experience. This improves engagement and retention rates as the ads become part of the game experience. But as you may have already noticed, it's much harder to do than to say.

At Driver Studios, we know exactly what a video ad needs to increase conversions. We produce live-action episodic videos, toy-related content, and teen-friendly video ads. Through our world's largest COPPA-compliant network, your message can be effectively and responsibly delivered through mobile, tablet, and desktop casual games.

Our advertising services assure brands that their ads will only appear in pertinent and relevant gaming environments, enabling them to be more in control. Advertisers can also measure metrics like engagement, exposure, and conversion rates accurately with in-game ads since they rely on user interaction.

Contact us, and we'll show you how to use mobile video ads to increase your revenue.

Final Word about The Best Game Ads

Did you know that 69% of publishing companies in the US include advertisements in their games?

In-game advertising was one of the most popular mobile game monetization trends in 2022, and it will remain so in 2023. Not only is it a fantastic way for mobile game developers to earn money off their games, but it’s also a great way for marketers to reach new audiences. Mobile game developers can integrate a variety of advertising strategies and formats into their games to increase ad revenue, including rewarded video ads, offerwall ads, and interstitial ads.

Ads that perform best and achieve the highest eCPMs are those that match the in-game ecosystem and are seamlessly incorporated into the flow of the game – that is, ads that are part of the game itself. 

With Driver as your partner, accurate user targeting, ROAS-based campaign improvement, and long-term growth are all at your fingertips. Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve your goals with your mobile game marketing strategy.

With the best game ads on the rise, now is a great time to add them to your marketing efforts arsenal. Try out in-game advertising strategies now to stay ahead of the competition now.