Mobile ad spending is estimated to grow another 75 percent in 2014 and probably reach an all-time high. Right now, the global mobile ad market stands at $18 billion, an amount that’s impressive by any measure.

A big portion of those budgets go to promoting mobile games in multiple genres. The mobile game market, in general, offers good ROIs mostly due to the fact that spending money in a game is a pure impulsive purchase.

People don’t rationalize for long and don’t try to validate their decisions in any way. They just want to buy this new upgrade and there’s nothing else that matters in that given moment.

Still, before they can do so, we need to somehow convince them to download our app. Here’s what works market wide for install ads according to Nanigans.

Casino Games and Slots

Two paths you can take here:

  • Theme-centered path. This is where you take the theme of the app and design your ads around it. For example, if the app has an underwater theme then use echo, water, or whatever else feels like it fits. Such a trick should differentiate your ad compared to all the other ones.
  • General good practices. There are some things that always work. In this case, they are: showing winning gameplays, combining loud colors and backgrounds (to mimic the feeling of being in a casino). The idea here is to try to replicate the traditional casino experience with your ad.

Other Types of Games

Just in case you’re promoting other stuff as well, here’s what you can do:

  • Action games. What matters for action games is competition. Show a screen where the player is “defeating the enemy,” or talk about it in your copy.
  • Turn-based games. The thing that drives people to these games is friendly competition with others (at least if the game offers multiplayer). Show two devices side by side with active gameplays.
  • Strategy games. They are best for filling some free time and just jumping in and playing for a couple of minutes at a time. Try to showcase this concept somehow in your ad. Use clear colors that give a good overview of the screen, plus try to summarize the gameplay in one image.

Guidelines to Remember

Here are some other things you should keep in mind when optimizing your campaigns:

  • Show the right device. This is an easy mistake to make. For instance, if you want to use a screenshot of a device running the app, make sure it’s the right device. Confusing your audience like that will surely have impact on clicks.
  • Be careful with humor. What seems funny to you will most often be cheesy for your audience.
  • Try audiences that are not obvious. The main persona you’ve created for your ads may appear like the perfect user, but it’s not always the case. Experiment with the strange and unusual.
  • Use free. “Free” is the most powerful world in the English language. Use it whenever you can.

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