Fake ads rule the UA works for centuries.. well, not that long, but they are here for some time already and they are here to stay!
Running and growing a game is not an easy job. You need to involve a lot of departments into this! It’s not only on the marketing side of things. You need to work very closely with game team, data analytics and ideally live-ops as well.
Scale/budget is always dictated by your game’s LTV as mentioned in the latest UA tips. Marketing = UA + Creatives + ASO can help you by 10-20% here and there. But you won’t be able to scale your game only with marketing tricks & hacks. That’s impossible. But is that really true? CPI vs LTV equation is really important. And if you are unable to drive the LTV up, then you need to do whatever it takes to lower the CPI down – below your LTV. WHATEVER IT TAKES! You hear me?
Jokes aside, think of this strategy as a funnel. You are acquiring a shit ton of new players with low CPI. Way lower CPI than what you were able to get with your game and gameplay related creatives. Why do you see high CPIs? What affects your CPI?
- game genre
- monetisation (ad monetised games have lower CPI)
- visual design / theme
Yep, that’s right. Creatives as well. But mostly depends on the combination of genre and visual design.
Different genres of mobile games have different monetization profiles. Games with the highest monetization profiles are able to spend $50+ per player because of their high LTV.
If we look at Hypercasual genre as an example. It works well because they can decrease the CPI to incredibly low levels. However, the monetisation model relies on users watching and engaging with advertising. Getting the balance between a very low CPI while maximising the Advertising spend is where the profit is.
Getting CPI benchmarks is pretty challenging these days, so I put some general data together as a comparison.
This is something everybody knows, but none shares.
Wait, wait, wait wait.
Why are we talking about CPIs and not the fake ads? Well, that’s the main point. Get the lowest CPI possible no matter what! Let me give you one example: I run a RPG game some time ago with $150 CPI in US with Purchase campaigns on Facebook. Value optimised campaigns showed $300+ CPI. This game was killed after global launch – could have been done earlier!
What can you do in this type of situations, kill a game, right? Or, you might try to run FAKE ADS to save it! Let’s look at some examples of fake ads, but also at the level of perfection of these games.
Creative & ASO/store alignment is a really important part of the whole mobile marketing strategy. You are setting certain expectations for your players when they see your creatives.
In this case, you show them fake ads, you have your icon in the „fake theme“ and first two screenshots. You go extra fake mile and you implement fake tutorial in the game to meet the expectations from your fake flow.
Keep this in mind when creating your ads and preparing Appstore visuals such as icons and screenshots. Create one seamless experience for your players.
That is exactly what is happening in Mighty Party! One seamless, fake AF, experience.
So now we have two totally different games with same fake „save the dog“ theme. How is it even possible? Where do you look for these type of themes or fake concepts? Thanks to Anette Ståløy we know. I usually use youtube most popular videos (videos with millions of views e.g. chest openings) for creative concepts. But Anette showed me, how old I am. Cool kids are now on Tiktok where all the magic happens. Save the dog has 40+ Million views! Do you know where to get inspired now?
Most probably no. But! We were using these creatives in 2017(ish) for Pixelfederation flagship title Trainstation. Worked like a charm. We saw great results, low CPI and high ROAS. As soon as we showcased gameplay in a different creative, the performance dropped a lot. Back in days, it wasn’t called fake ads! It was called survival mode ..