Gaming is the hottest advertising channel right now. With 3 billion users worldwide, the revenue from the in-game advertising market is projected to reach $94.53 billion in 2023 with no signs of slowing down. With such promising growth, it’s no surprise that advertisers everywhere are looking to incorporate in-game advertising into their marketing plans.
In this blog post, we will break down the best practices for advertising on gaming applications and how it can help you maximize ROI for your business and accelerate your KPIs on an exciting, new advertising channel.
The Growth of Advertising on Gaming Apps
Undoubtedly, the gaming audience is huge, engaged and more diverse than ever - offering a massive opportunity for advertisers. In fact, there is at least one gamer in 75% of American households, every other European plays video games and 53% of Canadians play video games regularly. Now - imagine harnessing the power and impact of this audience for your marketing campaigns.
In 2022, 3.2 billion people around the world played games of one kind or another. Whether we realize it or not, gaming has become a mainstream part of our day: Most of us are playing games on our commute to work, waiting for our kids after school or at the end of the day as a way to relax. Think about it - when was the last time you played a mobile game on your phone?
The Modern Gamer
In the past, we might typically have assumed that gamers are younger and there’s some truth in that. Two-thirds of people in the US under 18 years old play video games online, putting it only behind watching YouTube videos as an activity.
But adults are gamers too -- especially mobile gamers! You might be surprised to learn that the average U.S. adult spends 27 minutes playing games every single day. That’s about 13% of all the time spent within mobile applications. And it doesn’t stop there - 75% of gamers are female and the average gamer is actually 34 years old, owns a house and has children.
What Does Advertising on Mobile Games Mean?
Before we jump into how you can maximize your advertising impact on gaming apps, it's important to understand exactly what we are talking about. In the simplest terms, advertising within a gaming app is a type of digital advertising that displays image, video, and audio ads inside video games. This is termed “in-game advertising.”
Best Practices for Advertising on Gaming Apps
Now that you have the basics of advertising on gaming apps, let’s discuss a few top tips to keep in mind when building your campaigns:
Build a Seamless Ad Experience with Intrinsic In-Game Ads
Intrinsic in-game advertising helps you reach your target user in a non-disruptive, highly-viewable environment. You’re able to connect your brand with a captive audience who is unlikely to be multitasking, which increases the likelihood of brand recall and awareness. Brand awareness can expand your target audience, increase website traffic, increase brand affinity, and drive consumers further down the purchasing funnel.
Engage Mobile Users with Interactive Interstitial Ads
Interstitial ads are easy to implement and do not affect game content layout because they are full screen. They are ideal for mobile games with natural transition points in between game loops, as you can show the ad to users while they’re taking a break from gameplay. Interstitial ads tend to deliver high cost per thousand impressions (CPMs), resulting in significant overall ad revenue.
Incentivize Game Players with Rewarded Video Ads
Rewarded video ads give users control of the ad experience: they decide whether to engage with an ad in exchange for a valuable reward. Rewarded ads have become an increasingly popular format in gaming, since they drive user engagement while delivering a huge boost to revenue for developers. Rewarded ads generally have the highest eCPMs across ad formats as advertisers see increased user engagement and unprecedented performance.
Drive Impression Volume with Banner Ads
Banner ads are super easy to implement. They fit in well with casual and single screen mobile games, as it’s typically easy to reserve a portion of the screen for advertising. Banner ads can help you maximize ad exposure while the user plays the game without interrupting the experience. Banner ad slots refresh automatically at an optimized rate calculated from historical data, providing fresh and engaging ads that complement a user’s gaming experience.
Types of Ads for Gaming
Today’s in-game advertising strategies typically fall into one of three approaches: in-game (the ad is placed in the gaming environment intrinsically, adjacently, interstitially, etc), around the game (the ad is not in the gaming environment, but is still a part of the gaming ecosystem) and away from the game (gaming industry events, eSports, or streamer ad buys).
Following the three approaches to advertising within games, there are four main advertising formats that can be leveraged by advertisers: Intrinsic In-Game ads, Interstitial ads, Adjacent ads and Audio ads.
For more information on the different types of ad formats for in-game, please click here.
Why You Should Advertise on Gaming Apps
Now that we have provided a comprehensive list of reasons as to why you should invest in in-game advertising - here are the top considerations to keep in mind. With in-game, you can:
- Be a First Mover: There may be 3.2 billion gamers in the world, but advertisers spend just 5% of their budget on in-game advertising.
- Expand Your Reach: Already vast, the global gaming audience is expected to grow.
- Be in Brand Safe Environment: Most gaming networks today curate a list of mobile games that are relevant and safe for brands to advertise in.
The Power of In-Game Ads to Drive Reach
In-game ads work best for clients looking to grow brand awareness and reach.
There is always a chance that consumers will go further down the purchase journey and concert, but In-Game’s true power lies at the top of the funnel.
How You Can Develop a Successful In-Game Campaign with GumGum
Hershey’s looked to GumGum and Frameplay to help drive reach and purchase intent of their iconic Oh Henry! candy bar through Frameplay’s intrinsic in-game advertising.
GumGum served the Oh Henry! Bar’s creative within premium sports, simulation, racing, and casual games. GumGum and Frameplay utilized Comscore to measure overcall campaign performance through a brand lift study.
- Oh Henry! saw a 15.9 point lift in Mobile Ad Recall
- 18.0 point lift with respondents who “like Oh Henry! Sponsorship of games”
- 6.9 point lift in “likely to purchase Oh Henry!”