How to use ad creatives effectively to increase budget efficiency

Developers and publishers usually depend on intuition and instinct when dealing with the creative aspect of ad creatives. Although there is nothing wrong with going on with feelings in any creative process, they can be guided with tangible and scalable data to be more efficient. AppMagic and Mobile Game Doctor shared the ways to extract that data and use it as a guide.
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In an exploration of ad creatives analysis, an often-underestimated aspect of the creative process, this article unveils its importance and how it can impact budgets and outcomes. The insights come from Mike Kanarek, General Manager of Mobile Game Doctor, a consultancy specializing in free-to-play games, offering guidance to developers worldwide.

Ad creatives serve a dual purpose in User Acquisition (UA) efforts: reducing the Cost Per Install (CPI) and increasing the Lifetime Value (LTV) of users. However, they are often crafted with minimal research into the target audience, competition, or market trends, leading to inefficiencies. When harnessed correctly, ad creatives can be invaluable.

Comprehensive research is essential before embarking on ad creative development. While it may not guarantee a perfect fit with the audience, it significantly enhances the chances of success. Business intelligence tools like those offered by Mobile Game Doctor provide in-depth competitor analysis, surpassing the capabilities of platforms like Unity, Iron Source, and Meta. These tools provide a more comprehensive understanding for those willing to invest in improved results.

Beginners should carefully select their tools. Free options like Facebook or Meta offer initial insights, enabling the observation of competitors’ ads to identify successful ones. For deeper insights, consider upgrading to paid tools like the AppMagic platform. It offers a wealth of competitor ad analysis data, including impressions, network data, geographical distribution, and trends.

The critical takeaway is recognizing that consistent investment by competitors in a particular ad type likely indicates its effectiveness in terms of CPI, user install quality, and other KPIs. A top-down approach proves effective. Start by studying successful practices within your genre while considering budget constraints. If, for instance, a specific ad format dominates but is cost-prohibitive, alternative strategies should be explored.

Creating a list of competitors is the next step, focusing on three or four relevant ones for a thorough analysis. Tools like AppMagic’s Similarity Graph can assist in this process. Periodic updates to the competitor list are advised, selecting dominant games in your genre or those with similar value propositions. High-ranking games in AppMagic’s Top Apps provide insights into broader audience preferences.

Explore related genres outside your direct competitors to find creatives that may resonate with your audience. Leveraging unique ad concepts based on ideas from similar games within your niche can help you stand out.

Following the analysis, insights should guide the creation of ad concepts to test hypotheses. Collaborate with artists or creative leads to produce multiple ad versions, each aligned with a specific hypothesis. Testing and adapting based on audience response remain essential.

While emulating successful ads during competitive analysis is valid, quality matching or surpassing the original is crucial. Be prepared for potential bidding wars when targeting the same audience through the same channels.

Ad creation is an iterative process that requires periodic revisitation of each step to stay current. High-performing creatives have a limited lifespan, offering opportunities to learn from competitors’ UA spending. Continuously refine and experiment with successful ads while exploring fresh concepts regularly based on available inspiration.

The full version of the article, Ad creatives analysis with Mobile Game Doctor: why it’s important and how to do it, is also available.

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