The number of mobile game users increases exponentially every year. Today, there are 7.26 billion gamers worldwide, and it is predicted that this number will increase to 7.49 by the end of 2025. The industry is expected to hit $102.8 billion by 2023, up from $77.2 billion in 2020. It is a gold rush for developers. But only if you monetize apps properly. Monetization leaves no room for failure – mistakes aren’t forgiven. For instance, in December 2021, Google Play released approximately 66,000 mobile apps. That said, in 80 percent of cases app developers fail to monetize their apps.
2022 is the year of user experience. Your app monetization strategy should focus on providing the best possible user experience. Players hate intrusive or irrelevant ads. And too many promos can harm a user’s experience as well. It’s essential to balance the number and the quality of ads. The easiest way to do that is by using the benefits of rich media ad formats to make it more native. Your game app has only one chance to reach the target audience. And these five most popular in-game advertising formats in 2022 help you to attain the goal:
Even Greater Focus on Rewarded Video Ads
Video ads will become increasingly short in 2022 as more players lose patience with long videos. Rewarded video ads are perfect for heating up user attention and may be the best way to monetize mobile game apps. It’s a clip that allows users to watch the entire video, typically 15-30 seconds long, and offers game points, currency, or other gaming-related benefits. In-game rewarded video ads are growing relatively quickly as a format (6.3 percent of gamers saw them in 2021).
A good example of rewarded video ads implementation is Subway Surf: their smoothly integrated rewarded video ads look like a part of the game experience.
By analyzing thousands of errors, we’ve identified the key features of this type of monetization.
- Stop trying to monetize players as quickly as possible. Most of them are not likely to remain involved with the game for long.
- Let’s make rewarded video ads relevant. It’s important to consider how to insert ads without affecting game flow UX.
- Give users a choice: watch the ad or spend coins. Don’t make the interaction with rewarded video ads necessary for every type of user.
- Give the rewarded video ads a revival option.
- Be polite: allow users to get rid of ads for 24 hours if they watch 5 videos in a row.
Playable Ads: Excellent Engagement Booster to Try?
Playable ads are engaging video ads that trigger users’ desire to download a game. Playable ads scored a 20 percent engagement rate among users, narrowly behind video ads with a 27 percent engagement rate. Users may try the game without downloading the app with this type of advertising. Upon trying the sample, they become curious and download the game. You can track browsing and downloading statistics more effectively with playable video ads.
- Avoid cramming the entire app into the ad. It is a 30-second pitch for your app, not a complete demo.
- Please do not overdo it with video content.
- Don’t bother with AB testing.
- Your playable ads should be a simplified version of your app’s gameplay. Make sure you define and include the essential features that attract users.
- Concentrate on promoting the most valuable aspects.
- If you’re running playable ads, you should track your CTR and your engagement and completion rate.
Push-up Notifications: How to Increase The Ads’ Effectiveness
It’s a classic of the ad genre. A successful push notification strategy can increase app engagement and retention. And the strategy’s overall success relies on three factors: relevance, timeliness, and utility. This golden trinity helps you to communicate with users easily. During gameplay, the user spends, on average, from 1-5 hours per week in mobile video games. As a result, 88 percent of app users engage with push notifications. You can profit by monetizing this time and adjusting all messages wisely.
- An overload of notifications in a short period may overwhelm and irritate users.
- Ask users to enable notifications right after your app launch.
- Request user permission. Push notification should clearly explain what a user will gain from receiving it. Before requesting push notification permission, let users experience your app.
- Personalization. The users should assume that the push notification is only for them.
- Focus on quality instead of quantity, and you’ll see increased user satisfaction.
In-app Ads Offerwall: How You Can Make Your Game Offerwall Friendly
Offerwall is an old-fashioned way of advertising in-game apps. The question is, how are they still effective? The offerwall existed before rewarded video ads. In mobile games, opt-in rewarded advertising was introduced with this ad format. An offerwall resembles a mini-store inside a game. Gamers have the option of engaging with the offerwall, as it is all opt-in. Users don’t have to worry about offerwalls interrupting the app flow because the ad format is user-initiated. Offerwalls sometimes allow users to access premium content without having to pay.
- Suggest downloading or reaching a new level in a game.
- Offer in-app purchases and subscriptions.
- Create mini-games to get rewards.
- Avoid using web quizzes.
- Don’t provide gamers with any surveys, especially survey websites.
This game is without a plot, the player has a life to do tasks in, and the play mechanics are quite simple. Rewards from the offerwall can be used to buy extra lives, new inventory, or to modify the skin of your character. In the case of Subway Surf, the offerwall always appears at the end of the race. It is a perfect placement at the right time.
Interstitial Ads: It’s a Chance to Increase CTRs
Ads that run on a user’s entire screen are called interstitials. After watching the video for a particular time, users can tap the skip button. You should display interstitials during natural pauses to prevent annoying the player. Just imagine – a player has just finished a race or just defeated an enemy – this is the time when they are generally ready for a break and will probably accept an ad.
There is no optimal number of ads you should show your users. Depending on your app’s genre, you should balance the number of ads shown to users so that it doesn’t hurt retention. Casual game players are used to seeing lots of ads, while RPG or strategy players have less tolerance for system-driven ads. Interstitial ads should generally be displayed after the user completes specific actions. Track the right metrics after testing different frequency and placement options. The following are included: retention, session length, ads per player, and click-through rates. If they’re timed right, they offer a better experience for users, and for developers, they offer revenue.
Here’s an interstitial ads example of a hypercasual game that monetizes in this way: Shortcut Run. The developers placed a high priority on this type of monetization in the game. Typically, these ads popped up after two-player actions – tapping, continue, or retry. Thus, ads appeared exactly where they should be. But keep in mind using such a large number of interstitials would be excessive for any other type of game.
- Don’t overcrowd your app with interstitials.
- Avoid interrupting the app flow.
- After an end-level pop-up, you should refrain from annoying users with an interstitial ad.
- It would help if you showed interstitials at the end of games or after users stop engaging with rewarded video ads or IAPs.
- It is preferable to show the interstitial ads before the rewarded video. User experience is usually better with this flow, which minimizes the retention effect.
- Interstitial placement is suitable for hyper-casual games. You can show your ads more often at mid-level because the end of the level can be extended.
The goal of app monetization should not be to display random in-app ads or blast them occasionally. An effective monetization strategy should result in enhanced engagement and increased monetization because ads should be targeted to the most committed users. There are some key benefits that you can also use to monetize your game app:
- Get in-app items.
- Get a free trial.
- Mini-games to get some bonuses.
- Get in-game currency.
Don’t forget to balance it out and don’t lose sight of user retention. Test different strategies, measure, and optimize your in-app ad campaigns.