How effective is PAID marketing through iAds/FB/Google?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by s0ckman, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. s0ckman

    s0ckman Member

    Dec 4, 2013
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    Game Developer
    Australia
    Hi guys,

    We are about to launch our first game soon on the iOS market for Xmas :eek:

    As well as promoting through twitter, review sites, etc, - We want to spend a little bit on PAID marketing (~$4,000 USD max).

    Does anyone have any results/info (or link) to determine how effective paid marketing is through iAds/Facebook/Google?

    More specifically info on install % for $ spent rather than just visit traffic alone.

    or tips on best way to spend $ on marketing :confused:

    Thanks!
     
  2. Columbo

    Columbo Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2014
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    I have heard that marketing on Facebook can be pretty effective, as you're able to target very specific users, which is valuable if you have a niche premium game like ours.

    We got some pretty promising looking numbers, but we've only just integrated the facebook SDK so we don't have the data yet to work out how many of the clicks are converting into actual installs. Fingers crossed we'll be in the magic position of being able to make money from advertising, but I'm not counting on it.

    I suppose that'd be my advice. Whatever choices you're making, make sure you're measuring the results as well as you possibly can.
     
  3. s0ckman

    s0ckman Member

    Dec 4, 2013
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    Game Developer
    Australia
    Thanks Columbo, I had a good look into Facebook's marketing platform as well. Seems promising from what I read, hope you guys do well.

    I combed through the net and found this link to be pretty useful:
    http://www.mobyaffiliates.com/blog/what-are-the-best-cost-per-install-app-and-mobile-game-marketing-networks/

    Thinking about using: Chartboost, Facebook & iAds to promote our iOS mobile game.

    Hope you guys found this link useful, and anyone with inputs/experience to share using these marketing platforms would be greatly appreciated :)
     
  4. KillerBean

    KillerBean Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2012
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    Lead Developer
    USA
    Hey s0ckman,

    Is your game free or paid? Does it have a currency system where players need to earn currency?

    An idea that we implement in all of our games is to reward players with in-game currency for Facebook likes to our game's Facebook page. That will help your game grow virally in addition to any marketing you do.

    Jeff
     
  5. LatisGlobal

    LatisGlobal Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2014
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    FB install ads

    Hi guys, I'm part of a marketing team here in Korea that works to help Korean indie games enter the global market.

    From my experience, FB ads is great. It's expensive, but because users aren't artificially incentivized to download, you get way better retention. It's important to note the following though when you do Facebook CPI.

    Testing is absolutely crucial. And when I mean testing, I mean you have to create hypotheses about user segments you think will work and then test them at low budgets to see if it actually does work. When we market games, we make all sorts of test groups: users we think will like our game, users we think will hate our game, female only groups, male only groups, etc etc. And then we test test test until we achieve a pretty low CPI; then we start applying the budget.

    Ad exhaustion is real. People get tired real quick if you use the same creatives over and over. Make sure to create a batch of creatives before you even start advertising, some funny, some serious, in all different colors and so forth.

    Fanpages are important. If you have no fanpage and just run CPI ads only, FB won't like you as much -- your game just won't seem as trustworthy. A fanpage allows FB to check whether your game and its users are real, so they're more willing to give you better ad opportunities.

    Email me if you have any more questions, I'm at dan.seo@latisglobal.com

    Good luck indies, it's a hard but challenging road.
     
  6. s0ckman

    s0ckman Member

    Dec 4, 2013
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    Game Developer
    Australia
    Our game will be paid on iOS, Free on Android (with paid option to remove ads), both with no In-App Purchases.
     
  7. s0ckman

    s0ckman Member

    Dec 4, 2013
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    Game Developer
    Australia
    Thanks for the advice LatisGlobal, we'll def take all that on board!
     
  8. would love to know how this pans out
     
  9. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    well chartboost does cpi but i don't know how that would work with a paid game. I get paid a few dollars per install normally which I guess shows you how much it costs.
     
  10. 1stSPIN

    1stSPIN Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2014
    605
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    Own 1stSPIN
    China / Canadian
    Next week I will run a banner ad on this site and let you know the results.

    I built a multi million dollar business using web ads and believe it is a good method to get traffic. Then of course your game is going to have to do the rest. If you can get that critical mass needed to get your game kick started it could climb fast. Good Luck. Thanks for the Face Book Info:)
     
  11. endodoug

    endodoug Well-Known Member

    I love Chartboost. It's pay-per-click for paid games, only PPI on free games.

    You can get some pretty cheap installs (around $1.50) but it will only be 40-50/day. In my opinion, if you got cash to burn, fire it all in one day and get enough downloads to make some noise. It is called Chartboost for a reason, they'll get you installs, but its probably going to avg out closer to $3 per.

    If you've got other games or friends with successful games you can cross promote (free) and do direct deals (cheap or free). That's where the real power is.

    I've seen and heard of big success on FB, but it always involves nailing your target audience and tons of smart testing like LatisGlobal said.
     
  12. OnlyJoe

    OnlyJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2013
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    Auckland
    I have found that whatever advertising network you use you are going to have a cost per install for a free game at between $1 - $16 depending on how fast you want to get downloads. The difference between networks is very little in the overall scheme of things. If you set the lowest settings on facebook ads, you can get CPI of $1 or even a little less, but you might only get 10 - 15 downloads in the day from it. This is for free games, its not worth bothering to advertise paid games, because the conversion is at lest 15 times less. Meaning for a paid game, using the lowest setting on facebook, it will cost you $15 to get 1 install. And you will probably only get one per day.

    To rank in the top 100 free chart on the app store, you need about 15 - 20 thousand downloads in the one day. Although this seems to be calculated hourly, so if you can get say 3,000 downloads in an hour, you can get into the top 100, but you will drop off pretty fast if you can't sustain it.
    So to achieve this kind of download speed, you need a CPI of at least $7+, and needing 20,000 downloads in the day means you need $140,000 in marketing for that one day, probably more like $200,000. So before you risk this kind of money, you really need to know that it can make that back from its model. Games are very high risk, even for the big players.

    As you can see from these sorts of numbers, it is better for the smaller developer to stay out of the advertising path, when it comes to getting downloads. And try others social alternatives, like building a large twitter following. Or trying to be reviewed on youtube by someone with a big following.
     
  13. s0ckman

    s0ckman Member

    Dec 4, 2013
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    Game Developer
    Australia
    Thanks for the detailed insight OnlyJoe, though I have to admit I felt a little overwhelmed reading that. Will def need to rethink that side of our marketing.
     
  14. NewDawnSoft

    NewDawnSoft Member

    Nov 10, 2014
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    Developer
    France
    Interesting numbers and thoughts, thank you :) And that's a huge amount of money needed for a free game...

    Well, I think, from experiences retrieved here and there (not done it myself), that chartboost/revmob/games dedicated advertising networks may be the way to go if you have some cash.
     
  15. Pixelosis

    Pixelosis Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2013
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    Thanks for the story. I have gathered enough data on my side to know that Facebook ads do work, but only if you prepare your ad campaigns intelligently. In other words, don't follow your first impression of FB delivering an efficient system for any noob to use by injecting a few coins into the campaign, for it will actually result in extremely poor conversions.
    That's the trick with FB that's borderline fraudulous, because they do very well let you think it will work well with minimal research, which is simply untrue.
    Minute targeting is of the essence with FB and, indeed, that takes aiming and testing in small quantities, probing FB groups and else, and then if it grabs, increase.

    The real deal, after all, is actually knowing what ad targeting through FB means, and how precisely one is supposed to do that, step by step. ;)
     
  16. Pixelosis

    Pixelosis Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2013
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    I think that regardless of the company's CPI service you use, going above $2 for small devs is really, really overkill, especially if you don't aim for the USA, for which I'd push as far as $5 at best, assuming sufficient funding support. This would actually generate enough downloads to quietly and properly prepare another better product with a stronger ad boost.

    It is most necessary to mention that certain services lure publishers into spending money into their CPI services with nice interactive charts and all that, right until the moment the campaign actually starts and all estimates plummet and suddenly, the bid you have placed turns out to be extremely insufficient.

    In other words, their estimates are way below reality, they're not even conservative. At this point, it's blattant lying, and it's best to consider that whatever is indicated in terms of suitable bid should actually be multiplied twice, most often thrice or more, to actually reach the download rates you thought you'd be getting with the initial forecast.

    They mitigate their numbers under the provision that parameters can change and you're only seeing some kind of extrapolated scenario, but they do actually know all parameters. They simply show you a pinker picture of what you're really going to get.

    I've ran several CPI systems which I won't name and everytime, it's been disapointing, although after each trial, I clearly grew jaded until there wasn't any surprise anymore.

    Building the big Twitter following is an extremely lengthy and time consuming process and you'd really need to crack through thousands upon thousands of loyal followers to make a difference. That's really, totally absurd. They'll come to you after success in the vast majority of cases.
    As for Youtubers, while some studies show most of them being reluctant about being paid, it turns out that those who matter (10K followers and above) are easily tempted to get paid. They turn into full PR very easily.
     
  17. OnlyJoe

    OnlyJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2013
    114
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    Auckland
    I guess I am trying more to point out that it is better to think of alternatives to paid advertising. Lots of people think they will give the advertising a shot, but unless you have some clear goals and know how much it will cost to reach them. Its just throwing money away.

    As for building a following. It is not some kind of simple thing you can do overnight. But to succeed it has to be done. One very big problem with mobile games is how to hold on to customers. A person might love your game, but they will have no idea that you made it, they are unaware that developers even exist. As for cross promotion, most people will often have stopped playing your game by the time you get to release a new game. Meaning that they never see that you released a new one.
    So the best option is in every game released give the ability to follow you on twitter or instagram, and hold onto your players. Give them some kind of in game bonus, or free coins when they follow you. This way you keep a connection with your players, and slowly build a fan base. Much better than just releasing game after game into the darkness of the app store.
     
  18. TheGreatWhiteApe

    TheGreatWhiteApe Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2011
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    Games Designer, animator, writer
    Melbourne, Australia
    Paid vs Free Apps

    We have tried banner campaigns and Facebook ads. Both work O.K. but typically you arn't going to get the same value out that you put in. For every $100 you spend on banner ads you might get 10-20 downloads. Might be worth it for launch week if you want to get your numbers high enough to get in the charts to give you a chance.

    We have found facebook ads are a little bit more worthwhile and target a more engaged audience. If you app is a free game or utility then banner ads work well because they show up for user that don't pay for games anyway, if it's a paid title then probably Facebook.
     
  19. 1stSPIN

    1stSPIN Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2014
    605
    0
    0
    Own 1stSPIN
    China / Canadian

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