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5 Tips for Successful Retargeting Ads in Gaming

By Creative Director, Rani Sebag

“At Bigabid, retargeting entails an exhilarating process of refinement, and with our core value of transparency, we love to include our partners in on our insights, as that helps them refine their own original creatives.”

5 Tips for Successful Retargeting Ads in Gaming

By Creative Director, Rani Sebag

Intro to Successful App Retargeting Ads in Gaming

App Retargeting has grown to be a core activity for gaming companies to stimulate and retain High LTV Users. Creatives are essential in elevating any retargeting campaign. With recent advancements in creative optimization and personalization, along with modern AI-powered retargeting technologies, Bigabid can execute retargeting ads at high resolution and accuracy. 

It’s an exciting time for retargeting and creative personalization. In this article, we will cover some basic strategies and examples for modern retargeting ads with 5 tips for successful retargeting ads in gaming apps.

5 Tips and Examples for Retargeting Ads in Gaming Apps

Tip # 1) A/B Test Your Creatives! 

At Bigabid, we modify and personalize creatives by adjusting the copy, format, and design-driven by the characteristics of our audiences. 

In retargeting ad example A, a certain audience might show trends towards converting on creatives that give direct incentives that help a player reach their goals. Incentivizing, like giving free boosters to incite clicks, is worth testing even if the creative itself becomes more complex or “wordy”. 

In retargeting ad example B, another audience may show trends of converting on simpler ads that ideally remind the user of the universe they played in, even if it’s as simple as a kitty cat game. Here we are also testing an emotional response by making the kitty more endearing as if it misses the player. I mean, how could you refuse coming back to that poor little kitty? I’m in. 

When we A/B test a more complex ad with an incentive versus a simpler, cleaner ad with an emotional play, we learn a lot about our audiences and ads, but we don’t stop there. If there are trends towards both ads but leaning more towards one, we create and A/B test more and more ads that blend both techniques until we are optimized for the most effective ad possible for any given game and any given player. 

It’s fun to watch ads evolve, though it’s necessary to have the resources to create and test a copious number of variations. At Bigabid, we work with our partners to create a winning mixture of their best-performing ads with our methodologies while following their brand guidelines to keep A/B testing. It helps to have a creative team of course, as not everything can be modified by ML. Yet… 

Read more about Bigabid’s approach to Creative Personalization.

Tip # 2) Stay in the Player’s Universe! 

It’s essential to remind the player of what they liked about the game by maintaining the same design, tone, and even voice of the game. It’s strange how often game developers will try to create different, simpler characters or designs for their ads that ultimately fail to convert because there isn’t enough cohesion, and therefore remembrances, with the original game. 

In retargeting ad example A,  the creative not only mimics the exact look and feel of the game but reminds the player of exactly where they left off, and where they could go next. For a mid-core game like this, it’s all about tempting players to start a new quest. 

In retargeting ad example B, we add the motivation of a “limited time offer” to all the other elements that incite great memories of playing the game. And by offering items that increase the player’s status in the game, we encourage more conversions. We understand that these games are all about status.

Finally, just like our kitty game ads, we create more and more ads and test, test, and test some more, to get the best possible ad in front of the best possible player, at the best possible time. 

At Bigabid, retargeting entails an exhilarating process of refinement, and with our core value of transparency, we love to include our partners in on our insights, as that helps them refine their own original creatives. This creates a positive feedback loop of ad evolution that supports long-term success in our partnerships. 

Discover more in Four Pillars for Successful Retargeting

Learn more about Bigabid’s core values in Partnering with Transparency.

Tip # 3) Don’t Stop Creating Variations!

In ad A, we are using a red background with a female character for a $25 free chip. Those three variables best match the characteristics of the audience we are retargeting. 

In ad B,  we personalize those aspects to adjust to a different audience. This time it’s blue, the character is male, and the free chip is $5. Of course, the value of our offers depends on a lot of factors that our ML technologies help define.

Read more about our successful gaming retargeting strategies and technologies in Bigabid is in the Game. 

And again, we create and test more and more variations to ensure we hit the sweet spot that creates the most conversations, as well as converting the players that pay the most. Often, higher value incentives are well worth their weight in gold if they bring in High LTV Users!

Tip # 4) Every Detail Counts! 

For both ads here, something as simple as the font we tested for “start”, including or not including the player control panel, showing locked levels or not, and even in-game landscapes, all affect performance in various ways. This is why we test loads and loads of ads and trust our robust ML to work out the details. 

A creative is not only a product, it’s a process. We would want to label each creative with as many variables as we can, so we can then analyze performance and generate insights for our next set of ads. A creative that cannot produce insights is a waste of money in the world of performance-based creatives.

Tip # 5) Incrementality or Nothing!

A necessary trend that has yet to be adopted by many digital advertising companies is measuring incrementality in retargeting campaigns. The best way to measure “growth” is by understanding the added value it has on top of the organic or natural return of players to your game. Naturally, you want to retarget the players that wouldn’t have been converted otherwise. 

At Bigabid, we carefully measure incrementality at different stages of our retargeting campaigns to ensure incrementality. 

As you can see in the diagram below, after splitting the groups, we sum their income, reduce the scaled control income from the treatment, and then split by the total cost of the retargeting activity.

Okay, it’s neither that complex in terminology nor simple in execution, but you can read all about that in Incremental Value.

In Conclusion – What We Learned About Ad Retargeting

Bigabid creates, produces, tests, and runs a nearly as massive collection of retargeting ads as there are fish in the sea. We integrate different concepts, wording, coloring, web-psychology insights, design patterns, and much, much more. All creatives are labeled and analyzed, so our ML can serve a specific user, in a specific context, in real-time, for the highest conversation probability ad. 

We also learn from each of these served ad variations, whether it produced an action or a non-action, and therefore, learn a little more about both the audience and the specific creative. This allows us to truly personalize the user experience by serving the right ad to the right person in the right mindset at the right time for the right price! Let’s start serving the perfect ads for your retargeting campaign

Results based advertising starts here.

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