I’m often asked if display advertising generates game sales. In my experience, it almost always does, but rarely in a cost effective way. Display advertising is expensive and notorious for poor conversion rates. Plastering your game across sites like IGN may look rad, but if you calculate your campaign’s cost per acquisition (i.e., the price you pay per customer acquired, acheived by dividing your advertising spend by the number of people who purchase your game), its “radness” fades fast. Many indies have told me their CPAs were over $100 when their games were just $9.99. That’s basically giving someone $90 to buy your game!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s site takeover on GamesRadar = very expensive display advertising.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not telling you to boycott display advertising, but rather be smart concerning your investments. Before you shell out $10,000 for a site takeover, use the calculator below to understand what kind of CPA you can expect. This will not only inform your decision whether to proceed, but whether you should first negotiate a lower price, more impressions, etc. It will also help you identify display’s pain points just in time for my next blog where I’ll cover all the things you can do to improve your campaign’s conversion rates 🙂
Display Advertising Calculator
|Click-Through Rate (CTR):||(0.001 = recommended)|
|Conversion Rate (CVR):||(0.005 = recommended)|
|Number of Acquisitions:|
|COST PER ACQUISITION:||USD|
- Advertising Spend: the amount you’re paying a publication to display your campaign.
- Impressions: the number of times your ad will be shown. Impressions are how publications sell display advertising and are the only numbers they are contractually obligated to guarantee. Note: impressions CAN be negotiated, so, if the numbers the Display Advertising Calculator are giving you are not adding up in your favor, see if you can get more impressions from your advertising representative to even them out.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): the percentage of impressions that click on your ad. Sadly, display advertising is notorious for having extremely low CTRs. The average being 0.1% (or, 0.001). In my next post, I’ll provide tips and tricks for how to raise this number.
- Conversion Rate (CVR): the percentage of clicks that purchase your game. This varies wildly per game, genre and platform, however, I advise developers to use 0.5% for paid games as a starting point until they get more data.