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MarTech Advisor: It’s Game Time For Your Gaming App: Best Practices for Publishers

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Publishing applications certainly comes with its challenges, especially in the gaming sector. Sandor JonesProduct Marketing ManagerYouAppi, tells us by pinning down your monetization strategy, determining ad format and testing your product, you can minimize avoidable mistakes and better streamline success 

Whether you are a large or small publisher, there will always be speed bumps along the road to a successful title. In order to minimize avoidable mistakes when publishing a new game, we wanted to provide best practice guidelines even the largest publishers should adhere to.

Choose your monetization strategy

The first obstacle when developing a game is answering the question of whether the user experience should be prioritized over the monetization strategy. Game quality and user retention should be the highest priority, but do not make it the only focus for your developers out of the gate.

Make sure to devote time during the game development process to design the monetization experience. Whether you choose a revenue model that involves serving ads or in-app purchases, make sure the strategy is aligned with the game’s overall experience and layout.

A programmatic approach for serving ads is an effective strategy for driving high viewability rates and preventing users from leaving the game. For example, always serve a high scoring user an ad because they will want to continue playing. In this case, viewability rate from these players will be very high. Users having low scores may choose to leave the game if they have to view an ad since they are less invested. Have constraints on your ads for low scoring users to help retain the player for further engagement. Be mindful of the effectiveness of ad constraints within your game when deciding how you want to structure your ad experience.

Also, determine when you want to start presenting ads to your users. Do not bombard users with ads at the very beginning of the game. You will alienate the player immediately. Set your ads up like a conversion funnel and gradually increase the ads the further into the game they get. Find the sweet spot where the placement looks natural since you do not want users to get frustrated by seeing the ad. Always show ads at exciting moments in the game because the user will want to continue playing after viewing the entire video.

Determine the right ad format

Choosing the correct ad format for your game is a decision that goes hand-in-hand with your game experience. Rewarded videos have high viewability rate and are massively popular right now. It can be argued that it is easier to incentivize someone to watch a rewarded video than to ask them to spend their own money with in-app purchases. In terms of game retention, rewarded videos have the best experience to keep the user engaged in the game. Having a value exchange between the player and game developer is the best way to retain the user and gain high viewability rates from them.

Test and measure everything

Always test, test, and test some more when developing your game. Be sure to perform a data-intensive analysis every time you make decisions affecting the game and monetization experience. Measure post-install events with your attribution provider so you can determine the channels driving your highest quality users. Do not let individual user reviews dictate your decisions. There will always be the customer that does not like the product regardless of the overall reception that the game is receiving in the market.

Few more tips:

  • Analytics are key to improving your game’s user experience and monetization
  • Make sure all partners and SDKs that you work with are compliant with your privacy standards
  • Attribute all ad KPIs to an analytics tool
  • Keep all SDKs up to date
  • Do not roll out a new SDK before a weekend or when changes can’t be made quickly
  • Have a support escalation plan before a weekend or holiday