How to make a great video ad for your game?

At AdBuddiz, we have watched MANY videos from our awesome advertisers.

We’d like to share with you the a few tips to ensure the maximum conversion rate for videos:

The Basics

  • Make different lengths from 15 to 30 seconds. From our experience, 15-second videos are the best performers!pexels-photo
  • Make sure to have specific versions for Android and iOS. First, it does improve the conversion rate (because the user can better relate to it). Second, Apple will ban apps that display ads with a Google Playstore logo.
  • Less is more: Don’t add too much texts and details. Keep in mind that a smartphone screen is very small and the user needs to understand easily what the game is about.
  • End your video. This is the key to get a good conversion rate: show the name of the app, and where it is available (which OS, device).

Attract Attention Within The First Few Seconds

Most advertising solutions offer the possibility for the user to exit the video before the end. As a result, we don’t recommend to display the publisher logo at video launch. It is likely that the user will simply click on the exit button to come back to his game!

See the video as a good trailer: show immediately a great scene, then give some information on the app and where the user can find it.

Show The Gameplay

Capture d’écran 2016-01-29 à 17.48.06Show what it will be like to use your app so the user knows what to expect. It should look easy and fun, and use your best graphics in high definition!

Looking for an example? Let’s check out King’s latest video for Jelly Saga.

We can divide the King video into 3 parts:

  1. Catchy video launch: the game’s goal is clearly stated. It lasts less than 2 seconds.
  2. Cool Gameplay description: it’s colourful, you get to the next level in no time, and winning is rewarding.
  3. Closing: OS logos and “free to play” mention. (As this video was posted on Youtube, it makes sense to have the store logos all-together. However, make sure to have one version only with the Appstore logo if you want to promote your game within iOS apps)

3 steps to maximize the ROI of your campaigns

2015 was the year for Mobile Ad Spending growth.
In 2016, it is time to spend every $ wisely ;)

1. Find quality partners

– Test different partners with a small budgetpaper-dolls-14611_960_720
Negotiate all the important terms of the campaign: the goal is to know exactly what you are paying for
– Make sure your partner works with direct publishers: if there are middlemen between your partner and the publishers, it means you can’t for instance know for sure that your traffic is non-incent
– Don’t be afraid to optimize the ad networks by sub sources rather than globally

2. Golden Rule: implement post-install events

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Post-install event optimization is a very powerful tool. It allows you to get only the high quality traffic you are looking for.

 

The way it works is simple:

– Agree on the KPI goal with your ad network: Day 1 retention and in-app purchases are the most common ones
– You create the event postback on your side: most of the tracking solutions on the market propose that functionality
– The ad network will pause automatically all the sources that don’t match your KPI goal (example: 20% of paying users)

3. Go deeper!

– Apply a higher CPI to the highest quality publishers, so you’ll get more traffic from them
– Check out my previous articles to improve the quality of your ads and avoid creatives mistakes
– Don’t forget to make video ads of different lengths and compare the results
Let’s get ready for the 2016 challenges!

The advertiser’s check-list when starting a new campaign

Launching a new campaign is very exciting, but in the heat of the moment you may forget some important steps.

Here is my check-list to help you stay on track:

Tickbox Agree on the campaign’s details with your ad network

You must discuss the following:

– targeting: geos, CPI, OS version, device800px-Teacher-writing-on-blackboard564
– total budget & daily cap (useful for soft launches)
– running dates
– delay to apply pause notifications
– financial details: mainly payment terms

Tickbox Prepare the creatives

At this point it is not essential to make many sets of creatives, however I encourage you to provide localized versions of the same creative. Feel free to ask for advice from your Campaign Manager.

Tickbox Test the tracking links

superhero-296963_960_720It is best to use one of the market’s existing tracking solutions. We are integrated with most of them (Tune, Appsflyer, Adjust, Kochava…). You can also use a Server2Server integration.

Don’t forget to ask your Campaign Manager to make a test install. This is important in order to make sure both sides are receiving the installs correctly, and to avoid any issues at the end of the month.

Tickbox Make sure you receive the sub publisher id

You will be able to see the performance per publisher and push the campaign where it performs best. At AdBuddiz, we are able to send this data easily: we add it to the tracking link.

Tickbox Get the reports

Request a dashboard access from us, so that you can monitor your daily installs and spendings.

Once you have done all this, you are ready to go ;-)

5 factors that influence the conversion rate of your campaign

When  launching a CPI (Cost per Install) campaign, you need to keep in mind that your volume depends on 2 parameters.
The first one is your CPI. The second is the conversion rate from ad impressions into installs.

It means that with the same CPI, you can have more volume if you improve your conversion rate.

Here are 5 factors that can help you maximize your conversion rate:

1) App rating

STARS

If your app rating is lower than 3.5 stars, this might lead to a lower conversion rate. Here is a simple way to improve your App rating:

Ask your users within the app if they like your app or not.
If they click on “yes”, encourage them to leave a rating on the store.
If they click on “no”, redirect them to a form where they can explain why.

By proposing only your happy users to leave a rating, you’ll improve your global rating.

2) Weight of the app

We encourage you to keep your app light (preferably less than 40Mo).
When a user attempts to download a heavy app, he usually gets a warning message. This can be a deal breaker for many users, as only the ones connected to Wifi might want to give it a try.

3) Ad creatives

It is very important to show what the app really is about
(read my article here on the top creatives mistakes).

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From my experience, strategy games campaigns convert much better when showing an action scene on the ad.

Don’t forget the “call-to-action” button (like “Download now” for instance.)

4) App icon/Store screenshots

A user must understand in a glimpse what your app is about through the app icon and the screenshots.

Suggestion: take the best screenshots (an action scene), add a clear sentence and, why not a couple of features?

Need more inspiration? Here are some of the top apps on the Google Play Store:

  1. Clash of Clans: use of video, powerful sentences and highlighted characters
  2. Uber: main features are explained above screenshots

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5) Store description

Did you translate your description into other languages? You might want to find a native speaker to review it!

My top 4 tips to improve the quality of your campaign

Don’t know how to get your campaign to the next level ?
Here are 4 easy steps you can start with.

1. Make sure the traffic is 100% non-incent and direct

You will only get users who want to use your app. Here at AdBuddiz, we guarantee that our traffic serves only non-incentivized ads.

This way, you are sure that the users who install your app have a true interest for it and are not getting rewarded with in-app currency in exchange for the installation.

In addition, the traffic you’ll get is coming only from direct app developers who integrated our SDK:

puzzle-1020413_960_720– You can be sure of the quality of the traffic (if the ad network you are working with is doing media buying, you are probably going to have no visibility on where you are getting your traffic from)

– You can optimize the campaigns according to each publisher’s performance

2. Diversify your geos

One of our best examples is probably a campaign for a War/Strategy game that is now in the top ranks worldwide. At that time, the advertiser was struggling to get more volume.

10012162166_6e611105c5_oWe advised him to try less competitive geos with the possibility to get high volume for a lower CPI. Quickly the campaign was extended to 20+ more geos with a various range of CPIs.

 

Even though the users ARPU in these countries were lower than in the Tier 1 countries, the game still managed to find a lot of ROI positive users.

3. Localize

After running a specific campaign for months with the english creatives produced by the advertiser, we received new creatives in the following languages : French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

Language_learningThe volumes increased by 15% in France and Germany. In Spain, we observed a 20% increase. The highest performance was in Brazil and Russia, where we generated over 30% more installs.

4. Review your creativesandroid

You may consider working on your creatives in order to optimize your campaign. If you haven’t already, check my last article on the top 3 creatives mistakes advertisers make.

Top 3 creatives mistakes advertisers make

Today, I would like to share with you some of the common mistakes I have seen throughout my experience as a Campaign Manager.

1. Not inviting to download

When a user sees the ad, it will take him less than 2 seconds to figure out whether he is going to click or not. Forgetting the Call-to-Action button can be damageable.
Just pick a phrase easy to catch and use it !

These examples go straight to the point :person-woman-apple-iphone-large

« Download now »
« Install for free »
« Play today »

 

Don’t forget to add the Play Store / itunes logo !

2. Forgetting the tagline

People need to understand immediately what your app is about : what category and why they need to download it.

Here are few examples:gray-sale-label-142521329417p

« Best MMORPG game of the year ! »
« Match the candies and get rewards ! »
« Find more than 100+ travel ideas »

3. Poor design and image definition

Here are the most common mistakes I have seen :

– Using a screenshot of the app : usually unappealing, unclear. If a screenshot is relevant (an action scene from a war game), you might need to work a little on it.

– Irrelevant ad format : At AdBuddiz, we focus on interstitials because they generate higher revenues. Therefore, your ad should be able to fit a smartphone / tablet screen.

– Low definition ad : one way to know if your ad quality is ok ? Visualize it in full screen mode on your computer.


My last piece of advice ?
Don’t be afraid to hire a designer to make sure your ad has the highest chance to be clicked on. Choose the ad format with the best performance (interstitials) and make sure your ad is going to look as professional as your company.

Success Story Series : Star developer – Anthony Cardinale

This week, we’re glad to present to you Anthony Cardinale, a French indie developer and Unity specialist. He has released over 30 games on the Play Store and the App Store, many of which have more than a million downloads.

Today he’s releasing his book: « Creating games with Unity from A to Z » (in French), and he’s happy to share his thoughts on mobile development and gaming here. Please welcome Anthony :)

Doll Dismount OriginsCan you tell us a bit more about yourself and how you became a game developer?

I have been passionate about video game development since I was a kid, and I’ve always wanted to create my own games. It’s not always easy to start as a developer, but thanks to my studies and new tools like Unity 3D, I’ve been able to fulfil my dream. This software gave many indie developers a chance to create multiplatform games at lower costs.

You are a Unity expert and enthusiast, how did this game engine become your favourite? 

I discovered Unity in 2008 when they released its 3rd version. This version hurt its competitors because it was delivering a truly powerful and free tool. The new versions brought even more features to the software which is, in my opinion, the best compromise of the market. The community is gigantic, there are many resources, well-written documentation, and handling it comes naturally. Unity is available to all and anyone can start developing quality games without any difficulty. I’ve never found such ease with the other engines.

AB: You’re even releasing a book about Unity game development, can you tell us a bit more about it?

I’ve always loved sharing my passion through video tutorials on miscellaneous platforms such as Youtube. In recent years, people have been training themselves with my videos, I wanted to offer a new way to learn, and writing a book seemed like an excellent alternative to video. Books offer the readers the advantage of being held while coding without having to pause a video every 30 seconds.

This book allows the reader to learn how to create games with Unity and to go even further: monetization, maintaining and updating your game… This book answers all the questions you could have when you start creating a video game with Unity.

What is your most successful game? What do the players love about it? 

I developed several games with various thematics in order to find what the players were looking for. It turns out that my most successful game is the quite violent « Doll Dismount Origins » in which the player pushes a puppet to make him fall down. He gains points relatives to the damages taken by the puppet. The game is available on Android and iOS.

How did you learn about AdBuddiz, and what is your experience with us so far? 

When you’re publishing an app, you can’t help but ask yourself: « How can I monetize my game ? ». I had the chance to discuss with a consultant from Google several times, and he told me the best way to make money with a game is to offer it for free on the stores. Indeed, 95% of the games are free. The usual way of monetizing a free game is to display ads within it, and that’s when AdBuddiz comes in. AdBuddiz is a excellent mobile ad network for several reasons:

  • The SDK is very easy to integrate.
  • The quality of the ads
  • The documentation and example APK
  • Great customer service

Thus, I chose AdBuddiz to display ads in my Android and iOS games. The revenues generated up until now are more than decent and it’s enough to talk about a small success for an indie developer.

How do you monetize your games?

I’m mostly relying on ads. I decided to stop publishing paid games because it is not the best strategy anymore (at least for indie developers or small studios). So, I display ads in my game, between two levels for example. I also tried in-app purchases in order to offer bonuses to players who like the game.

What is the game that started it all for you, and what do you think mobile development and gaming will be like in 5-10 years?

The most successful game was also the one that allowed me to discover the potential of the market: « Doll Dismount ». That game gave me the means to finance several projects afterwards.

The mobile market is evolving very quickly, and I think that in a few years it will be totally different from today. Smart watches are coming to the market, along with virtual reality devices compatible with our smartphones… And virtual reality is growing as well… What is sure is that players will always ask for more, and they need even more sensations, immersion and features.

Would you like to add anything? :) 

I hope that the indie developers community will keep growing and that my book will help people embark on creating video games with Unity. I also wish a prosperous future to AdBuddiz, which helps developers to make a living out of their passion and create even more original new games.

 

Anthony’s book « Creating games with Unity from A to Z » is for now only available in French. You can find it here: http://www.d-booker.fr/unity3d/250-concevez-vos-jeux-de-a-a-z.html

 

Success Story Series: Star developer – DAF

DAF is a team of two indie developers from Málaga, Spain who are having great success in the mobile game industry – doing what they love. David creates the games and Pablo creates the music.

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We are happy to feature DAF in this weeks’ Success Story Series.

1. David, can you tell us briefly about your background? How did you become an indie developer?

Years ago I used to program simple games on my PC, but my only audience was my brother and some friends. I had long been disconnected from the computer world, but then my first smartphone landed in my hands. I decided to start app development to entertain myself and earn extra income on the side (the economic crisis in Spain was at its worst). Although I did expect to eventually make a living out of it, to tell you the truth, I did not expect such success in such a short time. It was a real surprise.

2. What is your most successful game? What is its concept in a nutshell?

It is called Archanoid DEMOLITION. It’s just a clone of the classic arcade game Arkanoid, in which bricks are destroyed by bouncing a ball on a racquet.

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3. Your games have a simple yet addictive gameplay. What are your tips for creating successful mobile games? 

Although it may sound cheesy, I believe that a game can only be successful if you create it with affection. In the case of Archanoid, I had tried many clones in the Play Store, but none of them corresponded to my idea of what Arkanoid should be like, so I decided to create my own game.

How to make a game that is addictive? I guess by creating a desire in the player to surpass himself; to beat his own records or achieve certain levels and have fun while doing it.

4. Creating a game is one thing, but how do you get many people to install it? What are your promotion methods?   

I placed links to my game on a few Facebook pages of Android magazines, but I didn’t really notice an increase in the number of downloads. In my case, what really seems to have worked is word-of-mouth.

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5. Why did you choose AdBuddiz?

One day I received an email from you, inviting me to try the service. I liked how you operated and have been with you ever since.

6. What has your experience been using AdBuddiz? 

Very good. AdBuddiz ads have beautiful graphics and a very elegant design, which makes them very pleasant for the user, not annoying at all. In addition, out of the three advertising companies that I use, AdBuddiz generates the most revenue for me – twice as much as the other two.

7. What would you change about AdBuddiz?

Lately the portal has been greatly improved, we can now visualize the number of clicks and installs. Perhaps adding even more statistics would be nice.

8. Do you use any other monetizing methods apart from advertising? What combination works the best for you? 

Currently I only monetize through advertising.

9. What are your inspirations when creating a game? Where do you get your ideas from? 

The inspiration usually comes from the most unexpected places. An old comic you’re rediscovering, a film… And of course the classics, the wonderful games from arcades. The 80s is an endless source of inspiration.

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10. Do you have enough time to play yourself? What are your favorite games? 

Not much, but of course I play the odd game. I have ‘Hill Climb Racing’ and ‘Final Freeway 2’ installed in my mobile devices. On PC, I sometimes relax doing a virtual flight with Microsoft Flight Simulator X. But since you’re asking for my favorite games, I have to mention a very, very old game that gave me many hours of fun, and made me interested in how video games are made: ‘Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark’ – from the great Atari VCR console.

11. What changes in the mobile ad market do you anticipate from here until 2016? 

It is difficult to predict, but I guess more and more companies of all kinds will be created around mobile applications, not only IT companies. Perhaps in the future there won’t be much difference between the ads on apps and the ones we see on television today.

12. Where do you see DAF in 5 years’ time? 

My dream is to start a business together with some friends, but under a different name. I would like DAF to always keep the indie spirit it has now. In the near future, I would like to enter the world of Apple – at the moment I’m dedicated to Android only.

 

 

What do you need to look at when choosing an ad network?

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Getting a high eCPM is nice but I recommend the developers who are looking for the right ad network for their apps not to forget to ask themselves the following questions:
– is the ad solution easy to integrate?
– is it going to create bugs in my app(s)?
– am I going to get paid on time?
– will I get charged with extra payment fees?
– will I get a good support when I have questions ?

At AdBuddiz, we are obviously working hard to get the highest paying campaigns and bring high eCPMs to our publishers. But we are also paying a lot of attention to these questions. And here is how we answer them:

– the integration of our SDK requires only 2 lines of code. Simplicity is our motto
– we have thousands and thousands of apps running with our SDK and they are running like a charm
– we always pay on time (and even in advance in the case of wire transfers in order to make up with the transfer time)
– we are not charging payment fees (the fees you might get when receiving a payment come from Paypal or the banks involved in the wire transfer)
– we make sure everyone gets a reply from our support team within a day

Your problems are our problems. That’s why we have a poster at the office with a Steve Jobs’ quote that says : “If a user is having a problem, it’s our problem”. Since I am the CEO of AdBuddiz, I am at your service if you have any problems or suggestions. My email is public. Feel free to drop me a line: jonathan at adbuddiz dot com

Success Story Series : Star developer – Kitmaker

This is the third post in our success story series, which spotlights the real heroes of the mobile gaming community. Our guest this week will tell us about his experience with AdBuddiz and with Giftiz, our app that helps promoting games on Google Play. Welcome to…

kitmaker_1024x1024-1

AB : First of all, can you tell us briefly who you are ?

Kitmaker : Well, Kitmaker is a young spanish company that develops mobile games and apps, and that keeps trying to improve day by day. We started in 2007 by developing J2me games. We began doing apps for Android in 2010. We are located in Palma de Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands, and have more than 60 employees.

AB : What is Kitmaker’s most successful mobile game ? What do you think contributed to its success ?

Kitmaker : On android, our most successful games right now are the Final Kombat saga. We believe that the success of these games comes from the fact that we chose the right theme and a great name.

tokyo driftfinal kombatfinal kombat 2

 

 

AB : How did you learn about AdBuddiz ?

Kitmaker : I was contacted by one of your colleagues by email, and then went to do a little bit of research on the internet about it.

AB : Some of your games got featured on Giftiz, our app that features the best games on Google Play. How did the featuring help promoting your games ?

Kitmaker :The release of our games was much better thanks to Giftiz. We benefited from many downloads at launch.

AB : You use AdBuddiz in some of your games. What’s your experience with our network ?

Kitmaker :We tried other ad networks and got better performance with you guys. We are very impressed with AdBuddiz and we are looking forward to building a long term partnership.

AB : What are the most important things you look at when choosing an ad network ?

Kitmaker : The most important thing, of course, is revenue ! Customer support is very important as well. In addition to driving us great revenues, AdBuddiz has an awesome support team that answers all of our questions very fast.

AB : What can you tell us about your team ?

Kitmaker : Currently, we are 20 people working on games. We can be more or less depending on each project. We are always sharing ideas and working side by side!

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AB : Last question, What is the mobile game that you like the most ? that you hate the most ?

Justo : « My favorite game is Infectonator! »
Manu : « I love Zombie Highway 2»

AB : Thanks a lot ! Is there anything you would like to add ?

Kitmaker : Many thanks for that entertaining interview !

You can visit Kitmaker’s blog here.