why brands should advertise in mobile games

Why Brands Should Include Mobile Games In Their Marketing Strategy

Very often brands still shy away from advertising in mobile games. One reason may be the assumption that the mobile gamer demographic is comprised entirely of teenage boys. Another may be the overwhelming depth of the mobile advertising economy that prevents brands from finding the right ad inventory.

In this article, we will debunk the mobile gaming demographic stereotypes and give three reasons why brands should start to advertise in mobile games.

3 Reasons Why Brands Should Shift Budgets to Mobile Games

Over 3.5 billion people own a smartphone across the globe, and for at least 70%, mobile gaming has become a part of their everyday lives. We recently shed light on the history of mobile gaming and the development of the number of apps accessible in the app stores. As of Q3 2019, there are more than 262,082 games in the Apple App Store and 349,563 mobile games on Google Play. These numbers keep on growing, and, with this, new gaming genres are created along the way. On the top level, we can categorize these games into casual and core games, which can then be split into several different categories, including hyper-casual. 

Inspired by PubNative Founder & CEO Ionut Ciobotaru’s presentation at Pocket Gamer Connects London in January this year, we’ve outlined the top three reasons why brands should consider advertising in games. We also offer some advice on where to start looking when trying to enter the mobile advertising market.

Reason #1: Expanding Audiences

Brands often strive for creating awareness, telling a story, or gaining reach. Nowadays, over 50% of mobile app users also play games and in times like these, this percentage increases even further.

Therefore, one of the untapped opportunities to expand reach lies in mobile game advertising. As the mobile gaming landscape expands, it also grows its audience. Due to the rise of hyper-casual and various sub-genres, mobile gaming caters to a wide audience, with the range in demographics only growing larger. Player demographics extend from Baby Boomers to Millennials and brands can target specific audiences, catching them right when their attention is peaking and the possibilities to interact with a call to action are high. 

Reason  #2: Brand-Safe Environment With High Engagement

Overall mobile game users hold the highest session lengths across all app categories. In general, session lengths of mobile games average at around 13 minutes, whereas other apps average at 4 minutes and 33 seconds. This gives advertisers the chance to create many touchpoints inside a single session.

Another benefit from advertising in mobile games comes from the players’ harsh punishment of repetitive ad formats. Brands benefit from the industry’s innovative approaches when it comes to mobile creatives. To fight banner blindness, publishers and ad exchanges create and support engaging new ad formats, such as the creative location-based tap to map approach.

Reason  #3: Measurability Across All Channels

By advertising in mobile games, brands reap the benefits from a smart device that is closely linked to intent and action. As many games advertise via in-game ads, part of the inventory is filled via direct performance marketing campaigns. The process of setting up these campaigns can be long and tedious. For an automated and effective advertising approach, advertisers can bid on inventory programmatically. The cost model for programmatic advertising is based on a CPM, cost per mille, or an eCPM, effective cost per mille, basis, guaranteeing transparency and measurability of the ad. 

Especially with the rise of in-app bidding, brands can be guaranteed to receive top inventory for the best price. Especially with the rewarded video ad format, ads resonate well with mobile gamers, as they benefit directly from watching or engaging with the ad. For rewarded videos, KPIs are similar to those of a pre-roll video. The main difference lies in the added value that the user opted in to see the ad.

Where to Start as a Brand?

In the mobile advertising market, the most efficient strategy includes programmatic advertising. If you do not own programmatic resources in-house, the first steps would include contacting a DSP of your choice. With the help of DSPs, marketers can manage bid and target prices, and optimize campaign performance based on Key Performance Indicators such as effective Cost per Click (eCPC), and effective Cost per Action (eCPA). DSPs connect to SSPs and ad exchanges such as PubNative, to access various inventory sources, optimizing performance towards specific audiences and interests.

Mobile Advertising Landscape
Mobile Advertising Landscape 2020

For a look at the top DSPs and SSPs in the market, check out our Mobile Advertising Landscape – 2020 Edition.

If you are working for a brand or brand agency and are intrigued by the concept of advertising in mobile games, feel free to reach out to us

Listen back to “What can Mobile Gaming Learn from Other Verticals?” in the recorded presentation from Pocket Gamer Connects 2020 in London here:

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