It’s all began when Camel Games, a world-famous mobile game developer and publisher requested
Adsup LLC — Mobile Revenue Acquisition agency to introduce and promote the brand new mobile game Age of Z
at the markets of Russia, CIS, and Europe. It will take about 7 minutes to study the case.
During this time we will uncover some of our creative approaches as well as some results of its’ testing:
2 hypotheses, 5 promotional approaches, and a couple of insights,
and most importantly, you will find out how to acquire 5M of installs for mobile games!
Age of Z is the mobile MMO strategy game with the story set
of a zombie apocalypse.
The promotion started in November 2018
in Russia, CIS, and Western Europe.
The main strategic goal was to successfully penetrate the Russian market.
As we should keep up with multiple KPIs during the promotion of Age of Z,
it is useful to separate its’ achievement into a couple of tactical tasks:
Keep up with quantitative KPI — 6 000 daily installs
and keep up with qualitative KPIs: Retention Rate Day 2 > 18%,
and Loyal User rate > 15%.
Except for KPIs of the advertiser, we place our in — house indicators to keep up with
We came up with the following optimal KPI values for social traffic from MyTarget and VKontakte:
CTR — about 1%, CR — from 18 to 20%.
Identifying the target audience profile - is the heart of the issue for any marketing campaign.
Using our expertise and experience, we created the operating profile of the target audience.
Male in the age of 18 — 45, who follows some thematic publics in social networks,
frequently plays mobile games, loves the zombie spots
and movies about post-apocalypse.
Based on the profile we came up with the first hypothesis.
The quality from this banner satisfied the KPIs of advertiser for 2 months.
Meanwhile, CTR exceeded the optimal value against the CR, which was lower than we expected.
The conclusion is — it was not very clear of what kind of game the Age of Z is from the banner we’ve made:
the fans of action games, shooters, and strategies followed the link to the Store, but only the ones who enjoy the strategies actually downloaded it.
Thus, we decided to divide the potential audience into segments
and narrow the targeting to fans of strategy games only.
And it brings us to our second hypothesis: advertising campaign on the narrowed Target Audience — fans of strategy games with a zombie story.
Dividing the audience into segments in compliance with testing of different approaches.
We divided the game process of Age of Z into «component part», which might be interesting for different segments of our target audience:
the growth of hero, construction of the city, tower defense, element of economic strategy.
As a result, we formed several approaches to test within this hypothesis.
«The branches of development» — the point is to show how the hero might be developed throughout the game.
This approach was not very clear for most of users; despite we were able to keep up with advertisers’ KPIs,
the CTR and CR were very low, which means this approach is unscalable, so we decided to move on.
«Action» approach — the key spot for this approach is battle itself as well as epic battles with bosses.
With this approach, we nearly hit the target:
a lot of traffic, but the lack of quality.
What case the scaling is not an option (the quality can not be increased via higher volumes), so we decided to move on.
INSIGHT #1 The conversion of users with kids 1—3 years old was the best.
Age of Z helped get something off the young parent's chest :-)
“City Builder” approach is obviously for ones,
who like city—building simulators with the ability to build some houses, develop infrastructure, improve the defenses and so on.
Moreover, almost every strategy game contains some city-building elements and the Age of Z is not an exception.
And here we finally hit the target: our campaigns performed the qualitative traffic
and we were able to scale it up till the needed daily volume.
«Shooter» approach — ad creatives contains the scenes
in the style of the first-person shooter.
Honestly, this approach is pretty risky.
The Age of Z is a strategy game, and do not have any FPS mechanics. Meanwhile, it was necessary to check if this approach is suitable for our purposes.
Obviously, this approach was the most successful in the matters of acquisition; CTR and CR exceeded the optimal value.
The quality of traffic, however, was the problem; after launching the game the player faced,
let's say, «the effect of deceived expectations», and most of them immediately deleted the game.
Thus, the KPIs of advertiser were not satisfied, and we stopped the campaigns.
We came up with new approach «Tower Defense» by making a lot of research of our target audience behavior.
the whole point of tower defense is to stop the hostile forces of destroying your castle
by building and improving the defense towers on their way.
We came up with this approach by making a lot of research of our target audience behavior.
Curiously, for the moment the Age of Z didn’t have such a mechanic, but the results were very good nevertheless.
This approach was beneficial for 4 months with a daily traffic volume of 6 000 installs.
As a result, Camel Games themselves decided to add the mechanics of tower defense into the Age of Z.
Ir really was a watershed moment. SENSATION!
Bloody creative — killer!
INSIGHT #2. One of the best days to promote games on Android is Sunday;
the number of advertising impressions this day is nearly equal to the rest of the week,
but the number of creatives, launched on Sunday is lower.
During the promotion, Adsup team
tested a lot of traffic sources and we are ready to give some feedback!
MyTarget - consistently qualitative reasonably-priced traffic,
it’s one of our major traffic sources.
VKontakte - good volumes of affordable traffic;
fresh audience is one of the main advantages of this source.
Google - RR & Loyal were unsatisfying, but we were able to catch the audience and get the best from this source.
Applovin - the quality of traffic was pretty low on average,
but it caused huge boost of organic traffic nevertheless.
Snapchat - the audience of this traffic source has very good solvency.
Meanwhile, we identified a pretty low percentage of male audience and low quality of traffic as a result.
The total number of downloads of the Age of Z exceeded 5M,
including paid traffic as well as the boost of organic installs, caused by advertising activities of Adsup.
The figures speak for themselves: more than 5 million installs were acquired, corresponding to the advertiser’s KPI
high solvency of users and “infection” of almost all of Russia,
the CIS countries and Europe - this is the result of our work for a period of 9 months.
We tested lots of hypotheses, traffic sources and various formats of advertising creatives,
that were localized and adapted to the needs of the target audience.
Running an advertising campaign is a complex process, that requires coordinated work of a team of experts,
such as Adsup!