The Rise of Casual Gaming Apps


Mobile gaming apps consistently dominate the app market. According to MediaKix, there are 2.2 billion mobile gamers worldwide. As the largest app category, it’s no surprise that it could reach 60% market share of consumer spending by the end of 2019. For this article, we take an in-depth look into casual gaming apps. 

Casual apps are defined as mobile games where users are not required to put in significant effort to play, win, and enjoy. Even though mobile users don’t have to spend much time playing these types of games, casual apps still earn impressive revenue—reaching $8.1 billion in 2018.

Creative Strategies for Casual Apps

The creative strategy plays an important role in capturing user attention. This can be done through a creative approach that uses first party data to precisely optimize the audience list. Aarki offers several creative strategies based on data paired with our proprietary data management platform. 

  • Acquire New Users

An example of a creative strategy in acquiring a high lifetime value (LTV) user is showing what the game is about and its unique features. This could be done through the usage of game footage with in-game characters, if there are any, paired with exciting animation, like booster combinations. It’s a starting point for prospective users to learn what the mobile app is about while also attracting them by displaying colorful footage and characters they might know. 

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  • Reactivating Lapsed Users

For a reactivation campaign, creative strategies are personalized so that lapsed users feel valued. Ad creatives for this could present tips and tricks on how to progress further in-game. Additionally, presenting ways to gain free items through login bonuses or other means can be used to engage users who feel stuck in the game. At Aarki, we leverage advanced personalization strategies like user-level attributes to drive the ad relevance to the next level and make sure that each user feels the personalized approach.

RT Personalization            RT Personalization creative ad

Another strategy to attract lapsed users is showing the benefits of continuous gameplay, like unlocking new levels or having access to special events. Presenting sad characters can make the app user feel missed and needed, prompting them to engage with an app. These approaches, paired with a complementary color palette, can be an important part of a successful reactivation campaign.

Retargeting ad, come back puppy

The Case Study

We looked into the data to better understand the performance of casual apps. The user acquisition campaign for a casual app showed great results with cost per install (CPI) resulting in a 65.16% decrease. Return on investment (ROI) had a phenomenal increase of 1672%. Other metrics show positive increases with the click-through rate (CTR) being greater by 41.20%, the conversion rate (CR) seeing a 24.75% increase, and install rate (IR) doing 76.15% better.

As for the performance of a reactivation campaign for the same category, it produced promising outcomes as well. The CPI displayed a decrease of 65.36%. For the return on ad spend (ROAS), it showed a significant increase of 507.38%. The CTR, IR, and CR presented positive results with increases of 1.3x, 2.5x, and 2x, respectively.

Whether you run a reactivation or acquisition campaign, with the appropriate creative strategy you’ll be able to effectively gain better user engagement and increased install rates. With the aid of Aarki’s machine learning technology and creative optimization, your next ad campaign can be taken to a whole other level!


Topics: Marketplace Insights