As we move into the holiday season, many mobile game developers are looking to capitalize on the increased traffic, ad inventory demand, and higher advertiser budgets.
With users going through their phones in search of the best holiday deals and advertisers working diligently to be the first to capture their attention, there is a lot you, as a game developer, can do to grab a slice of the delicious, proverbial pumpkin pie.
So, to ensure you're prepared for the upcoming holiday season and beyond, here's our ultimate holiday mobile game monetization checklist for 2022.
If your app-ads.txt file has not been updated across your connected demand sources, it's a good idea to do so now. This will help advertisers connect with their audience confidently and ensure that your app complies with the policies of any ad networks or platforms you work with.
All of the ad networks you are working with must be added to your app-ads.txt file, as this will ensure that you remain compliant with their policies and also allow them to identify your app when displaying ads in it properly.
Once you have updated your app-ads.txt file, be sure to check back regularly for any changes or updates that might need to be made. This will ensure that your app-ads.txt file remains up-to-date and accurate.
Your SDKs are the backbones of your monetization system. As such, you should ensure that they are all updated with the latest versions and optimized for peak performance. That includes everything from bug fixes to ad rendering improvements, performance optimization, and the much-discussed privacy compliances.
Some of the ad networks, such as Audience Network by Meta, offer their demand exclusively via bidding. Other networks might be available only via traditional waterfall instances or both bidding and traditional instances.
It is important to try different setups - test available networks as bidders or as traditional instances and see what performs better in each case.
Results might differ depending on the platform, game, and ad format, so don’t assume that results from one test are applicable to all other cases.
CPM floors are an important component of any monetization strategy and can be especially critical when it comes to waterfall deals. As such, during the holiday season, it's essential to ensure that CPM floors are updated regularly to maximize your campaigns' effectiveness.
During peak seasons, such as the holiday shopping season, advertisers will likely be willing to pay more for impressions and clicks, meaning that you can set higher CPM floors during this period.
Finally, you'll want to make sure that you're regularly monitoring your CPM floors and adjusting them as needed. The market can change rapidly, so it's important to stay on top of the latest data in order to maximize your campaign performance. This will help ensure that you remain competitive and keep your app profitable.
Due to the rise of consumer spending over the holidays, brands are extremely active with their marketing. Therefore, advertisers will pay higher CPMs for gamer traffic during this time of year.
Therefore, brand-inclusive networks can effectively monetize app inventory during the holiday season. By activating these networks, you can ensure that your inventory is competing for impressions against some of the highest-paying brands in the market. This can lead to significantly higher revenue streams for your app.
By running A/B tests on your banner refresh rate, you can learn how often players respond to ads and what types of messages work best for them. This will allow you to optimize the experience for both users and advertisers.
Additionally, by testing different refresh rates, you can increase your revenue by improving the effectiveness of your ads.
Furthermore, A/B testing can help you identify any issues with the ad placement or content preventing players from responding.
We’ve talked a lot about offerwalls in our article on this ad format, and we want to reaffirm what we stated there: offerwalls are a great way to monetize your app. They boast the highest eCPM out of all ad formats and are great for player engagement and retention due to their unique mechanics.
Developers can make particularly good use of offerwalls during the holiday season with multi-credit promotions; time-limited offers that provide significantly greater rewards to users.
Since players are on their phones more frequently during the season of cheer, offering them more valuable rewards can help increase user quality, which will, in turn, attract more advertisers and yield higher bids.
We've discussed the latest policy changes from Google at length in our previous posts. Their updated guidelines regarding the placement of interstitial ads have caused quite a stir in the industry. With Google, Apple, and others recently updating their policies, it doesn't hurt to review your apps again and ensure your ads are still compliant.
It's important to note that while there are many places you can place ads within your app, some placements may be in violation of the new policies. To remain compliant with all platforms and ensure the best user experience, make sure you go through your current placements and compare them against our compliance guide for Interstitial ads. Additionally, avoid using excessive or intrusive advertising techniques like elusive close buttons.
Not all ad formats are created equal.
Some are better suited for certain audiences and genres than others, so you have to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each format before implementing them in your monetization strategy.
The key is to find the right balance between monetization and user experience. For example, interstitial ads can be great for making revenue but can easily alienate players if they’re too intrusive or appear too often.
On the other hand, rewarded video ads offer a win-win situation; giving players rewards in exchange for watching an ad is a great way to keep them engaged while also generating revenue.
It’s important to remember that ad formats are constantly evolving, so make sure you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in advertising and adjust your monetization strategy accordingly. Utilizing all of the available ad formats in a strategic way will ensure that your game is as profitable as possible while still providing an enjoyable user experience.
Rewarded videos and offerwalls, for example, can be a great way to boost your monetization strategy while also enhancing user engagement because they offer them the chance to engage with ads without being disruptive. With offerwalls, instead of random videos interrupting their session, users can choose when and which ads they want to watch or interact with in exchange for in-game rewards.
With the right strategies in place, you can make sure that your mobile gaming app remains successful during the holiday season. Keep in mind the tips outlined above, and you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your app's ad revenue.
If you need help setting up your ad monetization strategy for success, reach out to our team of experts! We’ll be happy to help you optimize your ad performance and make sure you’re taking full advantage of your ad inventory.