Does Display Advertising Generate Game Sales [FREE CALCULATOR]

Does Display Advertising Generate Game Sales [FREE CALCULATOR]

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!
 
witcher display advertising

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


Advertising Spend: USD
Impressions:
Click-Through Rate (CTR): (0.001 = recommended)
Conversion Rate (CVR): (0.005 = recommended)
 
Number of Acquisitions:
COST PER ACQUISITION: USD


Terminology

  • 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.

 

Emmy

Emmy Jonassen is a marketing pro who helps indie developers build adoring fanbases. Marketing people who love buzz words call this "lead generation."

4 Comments

Eric

about 2 years ago

Hi Emmy, where do your recommended rate values come from?

Reply

Emmy

about 2 years ago

Hi Eric, both of the recommended values are on the lower end of things to give developers conservative figures. There is A LOT of room for improvement to boost these figures up, but in my experience, boosting these numbers is only really accomplished with things like following best display ad design practices, buying ad space on targeted publications, performing A/B testing, etc., which many indies don't necessarily do/know how to do. (My next post will cover some suggestions on how to do this.) The 0.1% display advertising CTR average is a stat I pulled from HubSpot. The 0.5% stat is based on my own observations in working with indies and research conducted online. I've seen this particular stat go much, much higher, but like I said, I'm a believer in conservative figures, and this one is so influenced by game, genre, platform, price, reviews and more that I think it's important to start low and adjust once more data can be applied on the specific game which is being promoted.

Reply

Ryan

about 2 years ago

Thanks for the calculator! This is super cool! I saw that you're mostly talking about websites, is there any difference when using in game ads or targeted Facebook ads? For mobile what is the best avenue for advertising?

Reply

Emmy

about 2 years ago

Hi Ryan, great question! Yes, in this post I'm specifically speaking to online display advertising. The numbers for in-game ads and targeted Facebook ads are going to different. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "best avenue for advertising" on mobile?

Reply

Leave a Comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that.
Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked