Is your in-game advertising strategy ready for the future?
With the emergence of free-to-play mobile games, in-game advertising turned out to be an attractive avenue for mobile game developers and can be effectively leveraged to boost their game’s revenue, increase in-app purchases, enhance the user experience, and boost game engagement and retention.
Seamless integration of adverts into the gameplay to complement the in-game economy
When it comes to gaming it is true that the audiences are highly engaging and will easily notice any half-hearted attempt made to superficially place an ad within the game environment. It won't do to simply stick a logo anywhere or reuse an advertisement. The onus is on developers as how they are integrating the ads in the game environment. To keep the gaming experience intact for gamers, developers need to seamlessly blend the non-disruptive ads formats directly into the game loop that works as game’s component and complement the in-game economy. Also, segmenting the diverse audience-mix to provide tailored ad experience is crucial to maintain the right balance and relevance to the different user segments.
Despite popular belief that in-game advertising interferes with the gaming experience, mobile gamers are highly responsive to it due to the value exchange it offers. Offering the right value exchange to gamers could be the key to developers unlocking enormous potential in the mobile environment. As per a survey conducted by Anzu for UK gamers from 18-64 age group, 7 in 10 gamers are positive or neutral towards in-game advertising. To maintain these levels of acceptance and engagement, mobile game developers must constantly think about the user experience, create minimally invasive ads, and endeavor to sustain a "player-first" approach.
Measurement is key to persuade more media buyers to try in-game advertising
The perceived lack of success measurability in in-game advertising, which might have been the case few years ago, is not anymore relevant. Now game developers can provide an option to advertisers to incorporate an open or third-party measurement tools, such as software development kits (SDKs) that allow performance data to be sent to major measurement and analytics tools. This integration of SDK can help brands to track the effectiveness and ROI of in-game advertising by capturing real time data which can be measured at every level and across parameters including impression, finished views, clicks, and engagement rates. Additionally, as in-game advertising is contextually linked into the gameplay they provide high viewability and compared to other channels they are less likely to get blocked by ad blockers. In June 2022, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) also released updated measurement guidelines for in-game advertising. The new standardized guidelines will strengthen brands' and media buyers' confidence in the in-game advertising market, leading to increased expenditure as well as the arrival of other ad tech operators. Implementing reliable measurement capabilities for in-game advertising is crucial for monitoring invalid traffic and measuring success to avoid wasting ad spend on non-human traffic.
Collaborate and spread awareness about the benefits of in-game advertising and encourage brands to enter this space
As people discover new methods to consume content, it is a challenge for all the stakeholders in advertising value chain to remain relevant in a transforming media world. Common misconceptions about in-game advertising is a result of a lack of industry awareness of what the media channel may provide. Developers and agencies need to collaborate and play a key role in educating brands about the opportunity, integrating gaming into buyer campaigns, and creating new tools and metrics to measure the offerings and lead the brands through the maze of distinct gaming environment to scale in-game advertising.