What are best practices for marketing hypercasual mobile games?

,

There are multiple things you should be thinking about when running User Acquisition campaigns for Hypercasual games:

  • campaign structure
  • targeting
  • creatives 
  • LTV vs CPI (margins)

Campaign Structure

Broad – These ad sets generally target entire countries or regions, and are typically split into female only and male only ad sets due to LTV spread by gender

Precise Interest – Target direct competitor apps and similar apps within the genre. Aim to layer on many interests (5-10) to reach a relatively broad audience

LAL – Utilize a seed audience of high valued users (high % of Ad Click or Ad Impressions, highly engaged users, highly retained users, etc..)

Placements – Serve all placements using placement optimization to maximize your delivery efficiency

Ads – Upload ads to serve all available placements

Most commonly, campaigns are structured by country or region, and by expected LTV.

Within each campaign we use multiple ad sets with varying targeting and optimization methods to drive the most value throughout the gaming lifecycle. Large investments generally go to Broad and Precise Interest Targeting at launch when low CPI and high volume is the main objective, and as we move into later phases of the gaming lifecycle (beginning week 2-4), we occasionally observe investments through LAL rising significantly.

Targeting

Structure mentioned above is something that Facebook recommends for hypercasual games.

But, I’ve tested multiple targeting structures from interests to lookalikes, but eventually broad targeting for specific GEO outperformed everything else. Hypothesis was that lookalikes or interests will have higher CPI, but also higher LTV. But it wasnt true at all. LTV was the same with the CPI higher, so almost zero margins.

So again, I am writing it down because it was heavily tested by me and my clients, but when it comes down to best performing targeting – its always broad targeting without any interests or lookalikes.

EXAMPLE:

1 CAMPAIGN – (GEO = US)
: ADSET no.1 – 13+ MALE ($250 – 500/daily)
___ 4-6 ads
: ADSET no.2 – 13+ FEMALE ($250 – 500/daily)
___ 4-6 ads

Best practices for setting up campaign tiers based on eCPM’s:

  1. Identify the top countries from your worldwide campaign based on your eCPM’s (excluding core markets you’ve already separated out), and create Tier 1
  2. Create a second tier for countries 16-30, and remove all tiered countries from the worldwide campaign
  3. Create separate multi-country lookalikes based on each tier
  4. Track performance daily and adjust budgets accordingly based on LTV

Hyper Casual creatives tends to be:

  • Simple and straightforward
  • Makes audience think, but not too much
  • Competitive
  • Immersive
  • Thumb stopping
  • Short and fast paced
  • Showcases gameplay
  • Visible level finish line

Budget scaling

  • duplicate adsets, leave best performing ads in, add new ones and run with higher budget. (pause the old adsets)
  • or increasing budget by 20% day by day

Things to keep in mind

  • Focus on building a large range of creative assets, so that you can update when performance declines or CPI skyrockets
  • Broad audiences need more creative than smaller audiences. Aim to have >5 ads per adsets when targeting broad audiences
  • Testing the response rate of your ads is almost as important as developing the game! The market decides which hyper casual games will succeed

Latest news

How to stop sexist creatives in User Acquisition

There is no room in User Acquisition for exploiting creatives in a sexist, women attacking and rape suggesting way. Stop with sexist ads now!

The Art of Diversification: Alternative Mobile UA Channels for 2024

Mastering Facebook and Google are table stakes in mobile UA. But when the economy faces a downturn, you have to get creative. It shifts from growth-first to more scrutinized, shorter payback windows. The main benefit is diversification. More channels mean more experimentation and maybe a new and profitable channel. And when one channel suddenly stops […]

Squad Busters Soft launch & Global launch case study

Supercell has announced the global launch date of Squad Busters, the developer’s ambitious new mobile game. Oh boy. I fucking love this game! What is Squad Busters? Imagine a multiverse of all of Supercell’s previously released games. And the characters from these games all converged into one single battle arena. This is Squad Busters. The […]

Is Supercell Super Back? UA Lessons We Can Learn

Back in the day, Supercell ads were crazy. It really made you stop and think “how can a mobile game afford Liam Neeson?” Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, and Brawl Stars are all in the star-studded lineup of one of the most recognizable gaming developers in the world. Their impact is undeniable. It was unthinkable […]

Beginner’s Guide to Mobile User Acquisition: The No-Bullshit Guide

A city-building simulation game set in an ice and snow apocalypse. As the chief of the last town on Earth, you have to gather resources and rebuild society. Collect resources, assign workers, explore the wilderness, conquer tough surroundings, and use various methods in order to survive.

Hybrid casual UA playbook! Channel mix, campaign structure, creative strategy

A city-building simulation game set in an ice and snow apocalypse. As the chief of the last town on Earth, you have to gather resources and rebuild society. Collect resources, assign workers, explore the wilderness, conquer tough surroundings, and use various methods in order to survive.

Contact

User acquisition mobile games consulting

Gentlemen’s s.r.o., Cukrová 2376/6, 811 08 Bratislava, Slovakia
IČO: 47877138, DIČ: 2024137797, IČ DPH: SK2024137797