Learnings & comments – 2020


The year 2020 was interesting in many ways. Lots of ups and downs! Lots of changes. IDFA and what not. You will see a lot of predictions of what is going to happen in 2021 these days. You know that you can’t really predict pretty much anything in our industry. Therefore instead of predicting the future I will share some of my learnings from the year 2020 that I thing would be useful for you:

Soft launch is a super important time for your game & your company. Thanks to https://mdm.academy I was fortunate to held a soft launch 2 hours, intense workshop where I discussed the whole soft launch methodology, process and strategy from marketing point of view. I am unlocking this content worth 5000 EUR for first 10 people. Ping me directly. https://lancaric.me/soft-launching-your-mobile-game-workshop1/ 

Sharing also a short discussion about soft launching here

Google UAC outperformed Facebook! Interesting, right? Even though FB introduced Automated App Ads campaign type, tROAS campaigns outperformed FB. I always said in the past you can run only one UA channel up until you spend 500k/month, which is no longer true. You definitely need to explore UA channels outside of Facebook. Thanks Sagi & Rudi for being absolutely amazing. Hats off guys! Love you & your support! 

Introduction of AAA campaigns changed the UA landscape on Facebook. Facebook went full Google. Hah, who would have thought! Anyway, AAA tends to perform really well, but doesn’t mean you have to rely only on AAA campaigns. Mix of regular campaigns with AAA campaigns around is really heathy. Talking regularly with Facundo got my FB UA skills to a different level – Bro, you rock!

Snapchat & TikTok worked surprisingly well for hypercasual games. Same quality as Facebook, but dramatically lower CPIs. Definitely worth a try. Thanks Callum & Tarika

Creatives are the most important part of UA. Full stop. We discussed the creative process with mobileaction here – https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1jB1fdI2XeDqdteE2hWcgKGSjtsoiQUz-EHPnxBA-A-A/ 

Thinking “outside of box” is just not enough nowadays. You have to leverage the hype & memes or anything that is trending to maximise the creative performance. Memes can be work very well, you just need to find those that match to your game. Check out also this https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nJLPDvAXQS8 thanks JK for making this happen. 

Creative automation is bullshit. Splitting creative to XY parts, mix & match those and exporting them at once is not automation. All senior motion designers can do that. Also, you cant automate the concept/idea creation which is the most important part of the creative production. Don’t believe everything you hear. 

Static images – Easy to make, stellar results! Don’t forget to include static images to your creative mix. Even though video format is the king, static images just cant be overlooked. Probably wont work better than videos for most games, but for some games/genres work like a charm. 

First 1-3 seconds of creative are really important. I know you hear this from everywhere, but I saw a huge impact in retention on the creative level. Talking about D1 40% vs D1 60% just setting the expectations in a different way. 

Playables on FB – don’t work that much. Run them on your ad networks to get better results!

MAI optimalisation works only for Ad monetised games. You cant expect IAP ROAS from these campaigns, only Ad ROAS. Using different optimisations depend on your game’s monetisation model. You can run MAI, Purchase and Value optimisations simultaneously, but you need to evaluate them differently. Keep that in mind. 

Testing different events for optimising campaigns proved to be beneficial. Try to analyse proxy events to purchase. For example running campaigns optimised for “Free trial + tutorial completed” or “level 20 achieved” as events will give you different audience. You will probably see lower CPIs when compared to purchase/value campaigns, but similar quality. 

Webinars are not working in this COVID environment. Content is usually very vague without adding any value. Thats why I usually do a background check of organisers and watch previous webinars to evaluate the quality and potentially if its a waste of time to attend. On the other hand, there is a group of peeps that guarantee a quality content every time they speak. (And this line up https://futureofua.splashthat.com/ is exactly that!) Oh god, I miss conferences!

Meetings are a waste of time! Well okay, not all of them. We (Love bros) discussed this really deeply here  – https://youtu.be/tAlxDkdjUhk

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