As Senior Marketing Manager handling user acquisition at leading game publisher Kongregate, Linh Tijan has a huge amount of experience in how to optimize UA campaigns. Kongregate is behind hugely popular games such as AdVenture Capitalist, Animation Throwdown and Pocket..
Daniel Herman is the product manager for playable ads at ironSource. This article originally appeared on PocketGamer.
You might think that producing a playable ad is no different than putting together an app trailer. It’s just an interactive version of the same thing, right?
If only it were that easy. It takes a huge amount of analytical effort and technology to build the perfect playable, in addition to the copywriters, animators, and designers who are trained to produce and optimize playable ads that excite users and perform well, all while meeting campaign KPIs. Understandably, it might be overwhelming to tackle all this in-house, especially while you’re busy focusing on other things – like developing and perfecting your game.
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This is why outsourcing the production of your playable ad to a specialized company with a track record of creating high-converting creatives is a smart move. Here are 3 reasons you should consider outsourcing your playable ad.
1. Save time and resources
Today, there are dozens of tools that automate app trailer production – just throw in a pre-recorded video of your gameplay, and you’re good to go. But developing a playable ad is much more complicated.
Second, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to running playable ads on ad networks today. If you want to serve your playable ad across multiple ad networks, you’d need to add special integrations for each one.
2. Leverage experience and best practices
The best part about working with a specialist is leveraging what they’ve already spent months if not years perfecting. They’ve worked with apps and brands across a range of categories – from gaming to shopping.
They’ve done all the dirty work for you, having learned through trial and error what copy, colors, game difficulty, gameplay, and timing work best for particular app categories. In other words, your tech partners have playable ads down to a science.
If you’re afraid a tech partner might not understand your game as deeply as you, I have two things to say. First, you’re right but that’s ok. Often the playable ads that perform best are a simplified version of the app’s gameplay, not exact reproductions of the game. They utilize game assets like characters and theme and then repackage them into a mini-experience that is proven to work well – like a missing letter game for a crossword puzzle app. Second, you always have a say in the process. Of course, trust that your partner knows what they’re doing. But you are encouraged to give suggestions. After all, you know your target audience better than anyone else.
3. Ad networks can optimize playable ads based on their supply
There’s a handful of mobile ad networks today that offer playable ad creation and production services for you. Why is this tempting? Because they know how to optimize the playable ads so that they perform well on their proprietary traffic. They can customize the design, the gameplay, the length, and many other variables based on the preferences and behaviors of the users they have access to.
Instead of shooting in the dark, the ad network would be able to create and optimize a playable ad that is guaranteed to perform well, using historical user conversion data. After all, numbers don’t lie.
This is extremely important. Great playable ads combine a deep understanding of gameplay and an equally deep understanding of campaign performance data. Often, this combination is only something than an outside partner like an ad network would be able to offer, as accessing, analyzing and acting on this kind of information can be overwhelming for a smaller developer with limited resources.
If you do use to an ad network, it’s true that the playable ad would only be running on one traffic source. But you’d be safe in knowing that it’s running to perfection – one highly customized ad is better than several generic, low-performing ones.
There are only benefits to outsourcing production of your playable ad to an outside vendor. By saving time and resources on your end, you can open up your schedule to focus on other more pressing development tasks; and by leveraging others’ expertise and experience, you can be sure that the end result is impressive and high-performing. There are many companies, from ad networks to creative services, who can help produce your playable ad. All you need to do is choose.