Best practices for your creative strategy

The right creative strategy can be a game changer for advertisers, and especially for newcomers to the mobile gaming industry. Here are some tips and best practices to help you get the most out of your creatives and grow your user base, faster.

Creative length

Longer videos tend to perform better than shorter videos, for both rewarded video and interstitial. We recommend including at least one 25-30 second video per campaign. You should also keep testing until you find that sweet spot when it comes to video length. Some genres show high performance on short videos, as well.

Creative concepts

One of the biggest questions developers ask themselves is what creative concept should they work with to attract the highest amount of quality users. Creatives displaying actual gameplay should be included in all campaigns and tested first. It’s also recommended that you test new variations and concepts at the same time, so you can see the impact they have on KPIs. 

Once you recognize that a new concept works, test different variations to boost performance. This can also help reduce ad fatigue and lengthen the ad’s lifespan.

You should also try to test meta-game elements from your app, find more reasons that would drive new players to try your game. These can be interesting characters, mini-games or social elements (e.g. multiplayer chat, or chat with an opponent).

Creative orientation

Since some apps have portrait orientation and others use landscape, it’s best to design your creatives in both orientations. Run them simultaneously, using the same end car, to understand which performs better.

Creative types

When running UA campaigns, advertisers usually start with a video and end card since they can be relatively quick to produce. There are different types of end cards, and we recommend pairing your videos with interactive end cards (IEC) to increase user engagement.

It’s also important to run playable ads alongside your videos, since they offer a different user experience, will target and convert a wider variety of users, and bring added value to your UA activity.

Competitive analysis

Research your competitors and look at what they’re doing with their creatives. This can give you a general idea of what creative concepts and creative types might work for you, too. At the same time, don’t limit yourself to what might be working for others, and always test new ideas.

Creative testing

The best approach to effective creative testing is to start by A/B testing at least 4 big creative concepts, and then test small variations within them to see if they steadily improve your KPIs. Start with noticeably different aspects of gameplay featured within an ad and take the time to gather enough data to evaluate their performance over your KPIs. Once you find that a dominant concept is successful, test different elements within it to build on your test.

In addition, it’s important to isolate the creative element you are testing and run it at the same time as competing creatives. This will show you which performs better and allow you to confidently incorporate those elements into all future creatives.

Creative KPIs

Analyzing your creatives’ performance is crucial to understanding how to optimize them. 

These 3 metrics can help you optimize your creative performance:

  • Click through rate (CTR) – The amount of users who click on the ad (to go to the store) from all the users who watched the ad. A high CTR indicates that the creative is highly engaging and sparks viewers’ interest. Low CTR means that the users aren’t interested in downloading the app after watching the creative.
  • Conversion rate (CVR) – The amount of users who download the app from all the users that clicked on the ad. A high CVR could mean that the store layout, images, or text match the content the user just saw in the ad and they’re still intrigued, which leads them to download the app. Low CVR could mean that the user is seeing something they weren’t expecting in the store itself (bad reviews, content that doesn’t relate to the creative, big-sized app), and because of it, decided not to download the app.
  • Installs per million impressions (IPM) – The amount of users who download the app from all the users who watched the ad. The IPM KPI combines both CTR and CVR. The higher it is, the stronger the creative’s performance.
  • Quality metrics (e.g. retention, IAP) – Quality is the trickiest metric to identify. There’s often a tradeoff between quality and IPM. The highest quality users come from creatives which are the most authentic to the gameplay, but this type of creative might generate lower IPM performance. On the other hand, non-authentic creatives result in higher IPMs, but user quality might be lower. The key is to continue testing in order to unlock the full potential of your creative strategy.