In game advertising can be a great source of revenue for indie developers. It can also be a great annoyance to players. That’s because in game advertising is often executed poorly. Stuffing ads into games without regard for game play or audience, is a sure-fire way to lose players. However, if planned correctly, in game advertising can generate revenue without driving players away.
5 In Game Advertising Tips to Keep Players
Minimize Game Play Interruption
No one likes ads in games. But, we tolerate them…until they become annoying. As you plan your in game advertising, keep this in mind. Limit the amount of ads you show, the duration they’re on screen and keep them to natural pauses in game play (loading screens, between levels).
Integrate Ads with UI and Game Play
Accidentally clicking on an ad because it was carelessly placed is frustrating. If you’re showing ads, don’t make them an afterthought. Build ad placement into your UI. Or, take it a step further and build placement into your game play (e.g., use characters to announce video ads, point at banners, etc.). The more integrated your ads are, the less annoying they’ll be. You might even get intentional clicks
Grrrrrr! These ads piss me off every time I play. How am I supposed to beat this level if I can’t see what’s beyond that stupid ad? Curse you Angry Birds!
Target Ads to Your Audience
If you follow my blog, you understand the importance of knowing your audience (demographically and behaviorally). Use this information to select what ads to show. E.g., if you’re audience is comprised of 35-year-old men, don’t show ads for makeup. The more targeted the ads, the more people will pay attention.
Prescreen What You’re Advertising
Showing a bunch of crapy ads is a great way to ruin your game. Pixelated, fuzzy or poorly designed ads destroy a gaming experience. Fortunately, this scenario is avoidable by prescreening potential ads and selecting the best to show in game.
Measure Impact on Players
The ONLY way to maximize income and minimize unengagement is understanding how ads affect your players (positively or negatively) via data. Before starting any advertising, make sure you’re able to track engagement. At a minimum, measure average session time and new versus returning players.
Feature image above was taken by Angela P.