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Automated App Ads: Seek new pools of players with a powerful automated solution from Facebook

Krystel Bitar, Global Gaming Product Manager at Facebook, guides games developers on how to use the company's new ad solution

When it comes to user acquisition (UA), broadening your media strategy is a valuable way to avoid exhausting people's interest in your campaigns. By seeking new audiences, you can continuously grow your gamer base, buffer your risk and improve performance long term, as you are no longer restricted within certain demographics or interest profiles.

You need to keep in mind that the definition of players is quite diverse: almost everyone is a gamer, even those who don't strictly admit it will still enjoy a game on their phone. Gamers exist across demographics and engage in a gaming activity more than once a week.

As good as this sounds, it can be tricky to know where to begin. And as the advertising landscape continues to evolve, reduced data and a lack of signals from players can create barriers and render your acquisition strategy less effective. To support you on this journey, Facebook has created Automated App Ads (AAA), a powerful machine-learning solution that has been proven to drive better performance, greater scale, and higher efficiency for advertisers across all metrics. When used in tandem with smart motivation-led creative, it can boost your campaigns, and help you expand your existing and potential player base.

How to diversify your revenue with AAA

There are a number of ways where you can use AAA to help you to diversify your campaigns and revenue including:
● Optimization: Grow your player base and retention by investing in multiple optimizations while minimizing risk exposure
● Targeting: Broaden up your geographic targeting and expand your reach
● Creative: Employ mobile-first best practices and creative diversity to maximize effectiveness across placements and audiences

On Optimization:
After identifying your primary and secondary KPIs, you need to decide on the right combination of optimization types to help drive them, including install volume, payer conversions rates along with return on ad spend.

You can then optimize in a number of ways, based on these goals:
● Mobile App Install: If your goal is cost per install and to maximize install volume
● Mobile App Install with Events: If you are looking to drive installs and purchases
● App Event Optimization: To drive in-app actions like a purchase event
● Value Optimization: For driving return on ad spend or finding high-value players

It's all about finding the right combination for your game and your KPIs. That's why we encourage anyone using AAA to apply this diversified strategy to their campaigns. Meta insights from Facebook studies have shown that a combination of delivery optimization drives higher incremental installs, app opens, and purchases with similar ROAS (return on advertising spend) compared to value optimization only.

Learn how Pixel Federation used Optimisation Diversification with Automated App Ads and saw a 1.09X incremental return on ad spend.

Broaden up your potential targeting

Keeping in mind that you can control targeting through the Ad set level and at an App setting level on AAA, our primary recommendation is to:

Set fewer constraints on the target audience to find the best results based on your goals within your chosen constraints such as country or language. Increasing the audience size can also help Facebook's systems to gather more data and target more effectively.

Also make sure to continuously seek new audiences by expanding your reach across markets and locations as it will also help you to identify new customers and grow your business. But broad targeting can be daunting, especially as you employ it for the first time. However, in combination with motivation-led creative, you can begin to narrow down your audiences, even with fewer signals.

Automation and creative diversification

Earlier this year, Facebook released The Big Catch Playbook, a guide into motivation-led creative. By infusing this strategy with a powerful automation tool like AAA, you can begin to identify new audiences through broad targeting and iterate towards efficiency.

It all begins with why people play. Ask yourself: What motivations does your game speak to? What are the different reasons why people play your game?

The playbook identifies eight core motivations that cover most types of players and game genres: Self-expression, social connection, progression, expertise, discovery, power, escapism, and relaxation. While these are a solid starting point, there may be others that relate to your game. Once you've identified them, it's time to make different creatives inspired by these motivators. The more unique these are, the easier it will be to ultimately determine what has attracted its audience.

A primary goal of any AAA test is to meet a maximum input of 50 assets, utilizing a variety of aspect ratios and formats. The more you have in the test, the more opportunities your campaign has at finding success.

These should:

1. Open with a big moment that clearly represents the motivation. The beginning of an ad is crucial to get the message across

2. Highlight your brand (your game's name/logo) within the first three seconds. There are a lot of similar games, so highlighting your specific brand and game early is key

3. Keep it short: Testing has shown that shorter ads typically perform better. 15 second ads can fit cleanly into all available placements

4. Finally, we suggest creating four aspect ratios per ad concept: 1:1, 4:5, 9:16, and 16:9. That way each concept can easily fit into every placement, giving each ad the same shot at success

After testing your assets, it's time to identify which assets attracted new audiences. Once you've identified your new audience or audiences, you can then adapt and iterate on your winning creatives to better appeal to these new audiences. The more you iterate and test, the more efficient your assets will become.

By employing these two solutions in tandem, you can cast a wider net, and expand your reach, trusting your creative to attract the players most likely to engage with your games. For more information on Automated App Ads, or to get your copy of The Big Catch Playbook, visit the dedicated pages today.