In early November, DAU-UP hosted a panel at Casual Connect Tel Aviv with social casino key players: Playtika, Murka, and Google.
I was honored to moderate the discussion on innovations in marketing, new trends and bets that pay off big time. We touched on various aspects of marketing strategy and tactics, user acquisition, and ASO.
In this article, I will give a brief overview of the discussion and strongly encourage you to watch the video for a more detailed picture.
INNOVATION: DOES COMPANY SIZE MAKES A DIFFERENCE?
It does. But there’s no “one size fits all” solution for this answer.
When it comes to the environment in which innovation blooms, agility is easier to achieve with smaller sized companies. However, when we are talking about the scale of innovation, resources are usually easier to find within large companies.
Besides the innovation-fostering environment, the super dynamic and constantly changing mobile world requires us to move quickly, to iterate on the product side, to test and sustain a perfect mix on the marketing side, and also to be flexible in the approaches you apply.
EARLY ADOPTION: AUDIENCES, GENERATIONS, GENRES
According to SuperData Research, a typical smartphone Social Casino player in the US is a woman of 36+ with an average personal income of $63K.
I raised the question with our panelists to see if the landscape is the same for them. And it turned out that it’s not. The ratio is different for different genres, and also, even within the same genre, the circumstances are constantly shifting. What’s most important when targeting players is that you must always be on top of the things and try to find out through experimentation what is the most profitable segment for your game.
Murka, for example, was initially more male oriented in their attempt to find their niche in the highly competitive landscape of social casino games. And they found success in it; sharing that their audience currently has an exact 50/50 female/male split. And the audience is pretty young – mostly millennial players. But their product is also different from the standard slots games. By introducing new, innovative mechanics (in Murka’s case it’s RPG elements), they appealed to the younger audience (20-25 years old).
From Google’s perspective, there’s not much of a difference if it’s a male or a female. Rather, they focus on spenders as a segment than targeting a certain sex and/or generation.
The overall recommendation from all the panelists when it comes to audiences is to start as broad as possible and find out through the UA process who is the right player for your game.
EARLY ADOPTION: GOOGLE SOCIAL CASINO BETA
Over the past year and a half, Google has changed their game plan quite a bit – and they did it successfully. Now, many game developers are seeing success with the Google platform if they are accepted to the Google Beta program.
When evaluating the UA channel, Playtika shared that they are looking for 3 things:
- How willing the channel is to work closely with Playtika
And Google definitely meets all 3 criteria.
While Social Casino Beta is still limited only to those companies accepted by Google; as a game developer, you need to meet certain requirements to get endorsed. And these are continually changing. For example, in August, Google introduced a new requirement that you need to have exhibited a strong history of complying with Google’s policy for the past 6 months. And it’s not only in AdWords, AdMob, AdSense, and Google Play that history is also taken into consideration.
No links to real money gaming is another important requirement as well as the absence of any physical reward (e.g. ticket to the cinema, a free flyer to a restaurant, etc.).
The rest of the requirements can be found here.
Now, as Google shared with us, they made the Beta program available for APAC with the addition of 6 countries (Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Thailand) that can now submit their applications.
DAU-UP has been within the Google Social Casino Beta since Day 1. And we’ve been facilitating game developers such as Murka in being acceptedto the program; using our years of experience and close relationship with Google (DAU-UP is a certified Google Partner). And since Murka’s acceptance, they managed to scale their ad spend with Google several times, where DAU-UP is managing the majority of the activity.
2016: TRENDS, PLATFORMS, AD TYPES
We are in an incredibly fast-moving industry. And 2016 has been quite epic for mobile.
Among the most important things our panelists tried and were proved successful include:
- A big shift from static creatives to video (rewarded video, vertical video)
- Playable ads
- Search ads
To learn more about Search Ads on Google Play and Apple App Store, check out the full video below.
- Constant testing and experimenting (on every level) is a key to effective user acquisition.
- Using ad formats (videos, carousel ads, etc.) that allow marketers to tell a story about the product enable you to win valuable users.
- While Tier 1 markets receive the majority of advertiser ad spend, Tier 2 countries have high potential due to lower CPI as well as strong LTV. Creatives need to be localized, culturalized and well-tested.
DAU-UP is an expert in user acquisition for social casino games. With over 5 years’ experience, we enabled the growth of such companies as Playtika, Murka, Product Madness, Zynga, and many others.
With our in-house creative studio we offer all types of ad formats, localization, A/B testing, constant refreshing, and superior quality. This, combined with our proprietary technology and close relationship with all the main media channels, allows us to be among the first to adopt new ad products, get access to beta programs and get insights directly from the media.
Contact me today for further insights about how we can help you level UP your user acquisition in 2017.