One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of gaining users for a new game is through cross-promotional advertising. Used wisely, it’s a fantastic way to transition a large chunk of your user base from one of your games to another. Here are a few things to keep in mind to optimize your campaigns:
1. Be aware of the opportunity cost.
You don’t spend any cash on a cross-promo campaign, but if one of your revenue streams is advertising, there is a hidden cost — the money you could have made with the impressions you spent on cross-promo. Heyzap has made it easy to figure this cost out with our opportunity cost column:
Let’s break this down a bit more. Usually, games being advertised through cross-promotion convert quite well, especially if they are similar to your other titles (spin-offs, sequels, same aesthetics, etc.). Conversion rates on such games might be 10x the rates you see on monetizing ads. Let’s take a look at some hypothetical numbers for such a scenario:
For the same 1,000 impressions, you could either be making $10 through monetizing ads or gaining 100 installs for a cross-promo’d game — this boils down to a cost per install of 10 cents, a great deal, especially because you’re gaining users you know will be engaged. The opportunity cost in this scenario is low.
However, with a lower-converting cross-promo game, the installs you gain could get unexpectedly expensive:
While 50 cents per quality install is still relatively cheap, there could be better uses for that money (an awesome Kickstarter, a Steam game, an OculusRift?). Heyzap calculates the opportunity cost from your cross-promo campaigns automatically so you can easily keep an eye on how much “free” is actually costing you.
2. Control your inventory.
Once you know how much you’re actually spending on cross-promo and what percentage of your advertising revenue stream you’re willing to forgo, the next step is to control the amount of inventory allotted to each channel. Heyzap provides a number of tools for fine-grained control over how your inventory is used.
At a high level, we provide a snazzy slider that sets the max percentage of your inventory to be used for cross-promotion:
Using this slider will ensure you keep whatever chunk of advertising revenue you want to maintain.
We also provide an additional layer of control by allowing you to set the frequency with which each cross-promo game is shown:
Use cross-promo frequency combined with the slider to maximize control. For example, if you want all your users to see one cross-promo ad a day, set your max percentage to 100% and cross-promo frequency to once a day. Or, if you want more cross-promo ads shown but don’t want to jeopardize too much of your revenue stream, set your slider to 30% and set frequency to once every hour. Play around with the settings and you can find the mix that’s just right for you.
3. Maintain user experience
It’s important to maintain a quality experience for the user while running cross-promo campaigns. Heyzap’s goal is to provide you with all you need to make sure that happens.
A good first step is to use the cross-promo frequency settings detailed earlier to ensure users aren’t bombarded with the same ad over and over again. Repetitive same title impressions produce diminishing returns.
Cross-promoted games get skinned in our beautiful ad formats:
Try to upload creatives that are exciting and clear; a good creative can go a long way towards attracting your users and improving conversion. Also, feel free to upload multiple creatives — Heyzap’s algorithm will automatically optimize for the highest-converting one.
If a particular game of yours is showing cross-promo ads but they aren’t converting very well, users in that game probably are not too interested in your new title. Heyzap lets you control which of your publishing games show cross-promo ads:
This makes it easy to cross-promote Happy Panda 2 in Happy Panda while making sure your users in Black Death: Hardcore Rage aren’t bothered.
If you do plan on doing heavy cross-promotion for a period of time, it might be worth turning off monetizing ads altogether during that time. Just go to the bottom left of your Ad Revenue page for a specific game and find this toggle to easily switch off all monetizing ads:
If you’re already a Heyzap developer, try out cross-promo at developers.heyzap.com/dashboard/crosspromo. If you’re new to Heyzap, get started here!