Our ads are often the first contact our future players will have with our games, so we can’t underestimate their importance. They may not be your favorite part of gaming, but ads play a big part in the marketing of Free-to-Play games. Even if they don’t lead to an install right away, they display the gameplay and get players interested in our games and Kolibri Games itself.
In this blog post, we won’t talk about the ads in our games, but about the ones we are placing on channels like Instagram, TikTok and other mobile games. Steven, Marketing Creatives Manager, is talking us through the idea behind our in-house Ad Factory and what makes a successful ad campaign in the mobile games market.
The Ad Factory
At Kolibri Games, we have our own in-house Ad Factory that specializes in creating and designing our ad campaigns. Three talented Kolibris specializing in design, art, and concepts run the Ad Factory. We produce our advertising mainly in-house to combine the experience of the games teams and the marketing managers to foster a long-term strategy.
Our goal is to optimize the quality of our ads and for us, working with in-house assets and creatives fits our agile and dynamic work style best. Especially when it comes to A/B testing quick communication is key. This fast communication style allows for rapid experimentation and iteration of ads. We also get to be even more creative with our animations, for example, and give our designers and artists a free hand.
Trends In Mobile Game Marketing
At the moment, the trend is for ads with a higher quality, more interactive playables and also emotion-focused and story-driven ad designs. Playable ads are a very hot trend, but they also demand more resources and time to create. Sometimes, the playables are so well-made, they look better than the game itself, which can be disappointing for the players.
In our ads, we put the focus on the different types of gameplay you can find in our games, so that a variety of players get interested in trying them out. In one ad, for example, we will focus on the core loop of Idle Miner Tycoon, in another one on the exploration part or the collectible system. We can highlight each of these mechanics in an ad and in this way, target niche types of users, who will all enjoy the game for its different aspects.
How To Measure A Successful Ad
To measure if an ad is successful, it’s important to differentiate between the various channels the ads are placed on. A TikTok ad can be completely different from a Facebook ad, with a uniquely different audience and approach to ad design. On social media, the ads might take a more narrative approach to get users interested in gaming itself, while in-game ads might focus more on the specific gameplay, because the audience is already open to mobile games.
We measure the success of each ad by collecting lots of data. A very important metric is the IPM – Installs per mille/1,000 impressions. The better ad is always the one that is able to scale long-term. Data helps a lot, when you have 50 different versions of a playable ad, try to figure out which one is the best-performing one and then to optimize it.
Some of our ads are so successful that they have been running for months, while still driving users to our games. We have one ad, that’s been performing exceptionally well for three years now. My goal from the beginning is to finally outperform and beat it with a new creative at some point. We collected so much data on it, that this is a hard thing to achieve, though.
Skills Needed For Working In Mobile Marketing
Working with ads, you not only have to be creative, you have to have technical and analytical skills as well. Your analytical abilities will help you to constantly observe the market and other competitors to always be on top of the ad game. You do need the basic technical skills in 2D and 3D art, but for us, it’s more important that you are willing to learn and advance your skill set if you don’t meet all the qualifications yet.
A drive to learn itself is crucial in Marketing, as market trends quickly change, and so do the needed skills. You have to be quick on your feet to follow the industry and learn new skills along the way (and of course, we help with that).
I’m currently looking forward to expanding the team of the Ad factory with more driven and creative people that want to level up our ads.
If you are interested to work with our Marketing team, check out our open positions below: