It’s not uncommon for beginner app developers to wait until the end of the development process before considering their monetization and marketing strategies. It’s daunting and hard work to acquire new users and make money at the same time. But, as we’ll soon learn, it’s important to keep monetization and marketing in mind from the get-go.
ironSource sat down with Eric Seufert, an app marketing and monetization expert who runs the Mobile Dev Memo blog, and owns the mobile marketing agency Heracles. Eric took us through his top tips and tricks for app monetization and marketing. Here’s what he had to say.
What you can recommend to app developers getting started with mobile ad monetization?
Ad monetization needs to be deeply integrated into your app as part of the core loop -- it’s not something that exists independently of gameplay (an “extra” source of revenue) but rather it’s a fundamental component of your app’s revenue stream that interacts with the IAP catalogue in a systematic way.
If you think of ads as something that players watch randomly and unpredictably, then you risk integrating ads in a way that annoys users.
More and more developers are seeing the benefits of rewarded video ads, like higher eCPMs, retention, and engagement. How can developers best integrate rewarded video ads into their apps?
To the extent that they can be, rewarded ads should be used to precipitate purchases: to give players a sample of the kind of value they can get in purchasing IAPs.
A lot of developers worry about video ad rewards cannibalizing IAPs, and that’s true -- if they’re implemented poorly. When video rewards are designed into the gameplay from the very beginning of the design stage, they can actually increase overall IAP conversion.
What’s the best tip you can give app developers developing a marketing strategy for the first time?
Marketing for a game starts at the concept stage: the type of game that’s made, its aesthetic, the IP associated with it, etc. all affect the end-state marketing strategy for it, and so marketing needs to be involved when those decisions are being made.
Many developers produce a finished product, present it to marketing, and then are dismayed when they hear something like “the CPIs for this game are too high for it to be commercially viable.”
That’s a cop-out statement; CPIs are a function of clicks, and it’s always possible to increase clicks on ads for a game by changing the game -- it’s just a question of opportunity cost when the game is already finished (is it more prudent to tear this game apart and rebuild it in a way that’s more marketable or to simply start a new game?).
What are some mistakes to avoid when marketing your app?
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that everyone on the UA team needs 3+ years of direct mobile marketing experience. Your UA lead needs experience in direct mobile marketing, but if he or she is good, they’ll be able to teach less experienced recruits the basics pretty quickly.
UA isn’t rocket science, and it’s highly process-oriented: get someone experienced to build out the processes and the suite of tools you’ll need, and then hire based on raw intelligence.