PocketGamer.biz does not need to express how vital user acquisition is to the mobile games industry. With IAPs driving less than 50 per cent of revenue, and privacy changes from Apple and Google disrupting the ad monetisation landscape, bringing more players onboard is only becoming more vital.
This means thinking creatively, strategically, and sometimes even misleadingly. Claire Rozain, UA team lead at Rovio, casts her expert lens on the latest user acquisition strategies in her new weekly column, UA Eye.
On the journey
It was only a brief eight months ago when I joined Rovio and an incredibly talented marketing team, although I have been following best ad practices for a while, as you can see in the video below! The teams at Rovio craft joy, as is the company tagline, but I believe we also create the best ads and game experiences on the market.
The approach is always responsible, and game- and data-driven oriented. Rovio games are not simply about a game mechanic, but are infused by experiences around a popular IP with marketing and product core synergy. Angry Birds Journey, in my humble opinion, translates how you can get a smart ad mix model that is performance and brand-oriented but also aligned with your game experience to build long term sustainable brand and performance.
1. FTUE linked to the ads seen by the users: Users see an ad that resonates with the first-time user experience (FTUE) you have in your game. A lot of gaming players are doing it on the market with minigames, such as Royal Match and Homescape, as we recently discussed in this very column, but very few fully capitalise on the entertainment attraction of influencers to personalize the FTUE and the splashscreen. Doing this enables us to get product/marketing core loops that are not disruptive for the users.
2. User-generated content: UGC is best practice in brand and performance marketing. Nowadays, the content needs to possess a native look and feel in order to avoid being a disruptive ad experience. This is also an opportunity to put a ‘real’ perspective on your game and bring it into your consumer life. Several players, such as Plarium, often use UGC to help the users to see themselves in the skins they sell.
3. Depictions of user interests: Puzzle games are a bit different that RPG games, the unique selling point is more related to the satisfaction of the player. Here in the ad, we have perfect UGC content linked to meditation and yoga, which are ASMR themes that outperform in ads in both casual and hypercasual games, and is a theme puzzle players also relate to.
4. Social and personalisation: The PVP element brings social vibes, with added emphasis in the ‘VS’ best practice in the puzzle genre; Match Masters is one of the most persistent proponents of this.
Here, this element is used with influencers to give the impression of connection: players won't want to miss an opportunity to team up with them! Each influencer also gets its own representation as a bird – this is a wonderful way to bring some narrative in the game and draw players into the universe as well. Who wouldn’t want to be represented in an Angry Birds game?
5. Strong use of text: Text is not only a MUST as a subtitle but also to express content on the go. It is now something allowed and even recommended on Tiktok, Facebook, and other platforms.
So, I'm bias but I think Rovio is leading by example here to all the gaming industry to get more product marketing core loop In short, go and install Angry Birds Journey, and let me know your thoughts as well, I would be curious to have your take on this :)
You can find every weekly installment of Claire Rozain's UA Eye through this link, and for more from Rozain and provide feedback on her column, check out the Puzzle Society.