Growth 5 min read  - October 5, 2021

App Retargeting: Tips for casual vs mid-core Games

...knowing who you’re gonna target isn’t enough to build your mobile marketing strategy. You also need to focus on the why...

Gaming apps running App Retargeting are seeing major uplifts in ARPPU (Average Revenue Per Paying User).

This is a great opportunity for mobile games looking to re-engage inactive users and turn players into payers… but does App Retargeting work for all Gaming apps? How can you build an effective App Retargeting strategy for your mobile game?

In this article, we share key tips on how to make your App Retargeting campaigns work for Casual and Mid-core games.

App Retargeting tips Casual and Mid Core Games Cover

5 best practices for Casual games and Mid-core games running App Retargeting

#1 Understand Users’ Motivations

Advertisers usually go to their growth partners with a clear target in mind: we’re looking to re-engage lapsed users or we want to drive more in-app purchases from active users

But knowing who you’re gonna target isn’t enough to build your mobile marketing strategy. You also need to focus on the why:

  • Why are users playing your game?
  • Why are they spending time and money on your app?
  • And most importantly, what makes your users feel accomplished?
App Retargeting tips Casual and Mid Core Games motivations US

Gamers’ motivations match the kind of experience they look for in a game, and any marketing efforts should leverage those motivating aspects to engage users.

So, before you start planning your strategy, focus on the why. Motivations vary per game and user, but each game category has specific audiences that share similar traits:

App Retargeting tips Casual and Mid Core Games Profile

#2 Test Different Creative Concepts

Once you know what drives users to your game, it’s time to implement your learnings. Create different ad concept variations that you can test and iterate to find which incentive resonates the most with your audience.

Here are a few examples:

Casual Games

Casual gamers aim to complete a puzzle, level, or specific objective. Failing to do so might be discouraging, leading them to churn.

Most Casual games offer boosters that will help users to complete their goals. Others rely on gamers’ need to “escape from everyday life” to take them back to the universe of the game.

App Retargeting tips Casual and Mid Core Games Ad Set 1
Ad creatives from Apptopia

Mid-core Games

Mid-core gamers are always looking to improve their skills and move forward within the game storyline. As a result, the games in this category are constantly introducing new updates, quests, events, and characters.

Using ads to showcase those updates is key to keep users active and playing. 

For players who are likely to turn into payers or have already purchased in the past, advertisers often feature limited-time offers or new items available on the store. Users will be more likely to convert if the promoted items help them rank higher against other players.

App Retargeting tips Casual and Mid Core Games Ad Set 2
Ad creatives from Apptopia

#3 Create Multiple Ad Variations

Test different visual elements: Using different colors, animations, and even characters to convey one message makes it easier to run A/B tests on an apples-to-apples basis. 

App Retargeting tips Casual and Mid Core Games Ad Set 3
Ad creatives from Apptopia

Use a variety of formats: Limited formats and sizes translate to limited reach. The best strategy is to test all available ad formats to find which are the top-performing ads for each creative concept.

Leverage special dates and events: limited-time offers with themed elements and gameplays help games keep their content fresh and their users highly engaged. Both Casual and Mid-core games are seeing success with this strategy, check out some more examples here

App Retargeting tips Casual and Mid Core Games Ad Set 4
Ad creatives from Apptopia

#4 Use Deep Links

Deep links are hyperlinks that lead users to a specific screen or functionality within an app whenever they click on an ad. These links serve as a shortcut that takes users straight to the app section they want to see, saving them the time and effort of having to find that particular page by themselves.

Once a user clicks on an ad, nothing should be getting in the way of that conversion. When using deep links, it’s important to keep the user journey from ad to game as seamless as possible. 

For example, when users click on an ad for a new adventure, the deep link should lead them to the start of that specific quest. If they were taken to the game’s store instead, users would probably feel lost and disappointed. 

#5 Measure Incrementality

Is your App Retargeting campaign generating conversions that wouldn’t have happened otherwise? Running an incrementality test will help you understand the real impact of your marketing efforts. 

While there are different methodologies to track campaign lift, mobile games should rely on partners with an incrementality measurement solution that: 

  • Runs in real-time and on an ongoing basis, without the need to pause any of their marketing efforts to see the results 
  • Uses a cost-efficient approach, such as leveraging ghost bids and synthetic impressions instead of running PSAs 
  • Considers results accurate only when they are statistically significant;

Results are statistically significant only when the difference in conversion rates between the control and treatment groups is not due to random chance.

Wrapping up on App Retargeting

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”, is a phrase attributed to Aristotle. “Knowing your users’ motivations is the beginning of a successful App Retargeting campaign”, we’d like to claim for ourselves.

App Retargeting is driving success for mobile games across the globe, increasing user retention and in-app conversions while maximizing ROAS. Let’s work together to define the what, why, and how behind your next App Retargeting strategy.

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Melisa Fernandez
Content Lead @ Jampp

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