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Background

The gaming industry is continuously on the rise. Latest research shows that hardcore games are the largest media buyer in the category, taking up 42.3% of all creative. Meanwhile, casual and midcore games buy a similar share, at about 30% of all types of creative. Hence, it’s crucial for industry players to boost their app engagement and retain high lifetime value users to ensure their success in this ever-evolving ecosystem. 

Retargeting is the most efficient strategy to do just that. It allows app marketers to maximize existing app users. It helps to reduce churn of active users, and can encourage them to perform a new engagement in the app, ultimately ramping up your return on investment (ROI). The strategy also aims to re-attract lapsed users of your app and encourage them to become loyal users again.

The Challenge 

Inspired by Aarki’s extensive experience in running successful retargeting campaigns, one of the leading global gaming brands teamed up with Aarki to entice back lapsed users and rekindle their love of their Action app. They targeted the US and T1, T2, and Rest of the World (ROW) countries. The campaign had the following key objectives:

  • To get a 10% ROI
  • Register high match and win rates

The Solution

Retargeting Strategies 
As this was a global campaign, we at Aarki needed to ensure that the ads would reach the right audience with the right localized creative. By leveraging audience data, we grouped users by country. We also fed the information from the audience data to our base and segment models, which we optimized and made specifically for this campaign. 

Creative Strategies
The campaign had a global reach, which meant localization had to be the main focus of our creative strategies. Localization goes beyond just translating ad copy; it must also consider each country’s unique culture to be more relatable to the target audience, ultimately increasing the effectiveness of your ad creative. Other creative strategies we leveraged were: 

  • Gameplay Strategy
    • This utilizes simple, but visually appealing ads that catch the audience’s attention by featuring short gameplay. This provides users an idea of what they can experience in the app and sparks excitement and engagement. Be sure to link the creative with current, localized trends to resonate more with your target audience.
  • Topical Strategy
    • When a user is stuck at a certain level in the game, an effective strategy is to show the user updates and tips that can help them progress in the game, as well as the current seasonal themes they can experience in the app.                     

Unbranded (2)
The ad formats used in this campaign were video and display. We found that display had a higher normalized ROI, as the advertiser allocated more spend towards that ad format compared to video.  

For additional creative strategies for midcore/hardcore mobile games, check out our infographic here.

The Results

Profitable Reactivation at ScaleProfitable Reactivation

 

Results-1

 

Highlights

checkboxInstall volume increased by 1.5X compared to the Explore Phase

checkboxCPI dropped below the goal as the model moved towards the Install Optimization Phase

High Win-Match Rates-png

  • Spenders were targeted for each of the targeting groups

  • The high Match Rates per region show that users from the targeting group match our bid stream

  • High Win Rates represent the percent of bids Aarki won for this campaign

 

Aarki is a 100% real-time bidding (RTB) demand-side platform (DSP). We help companies grow and reengage their mobile users, using machine learning, data, and large customer reach. Aarki has run many retargeting campaigns utilizing a variety of ad formats, including native, video, interactive, playable, and interstitial.

Leveraging a rich database of audience and user engagement data, Aarki’s data scientists use robust machine learning algorithms to find audiences who share similar interests and are most likely to engage and spend with the app. This enables Aarki to consistently deliver strong app marketing performance no matter the app marketer’s retargeting goals.