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Discover a new advertising approach to help reach new players

Facebook Gaming shares how creative led motivations help improve advertising

Facebook serves as a powerful cornerstone for advertising, offering unparalleled access to gamers worldwide, best-in-class user acquisition, and the ability to convert and monetize efficiently through advertising. The below highlights an innovative new way on how to help significantly expand your advertising reach and impact.

When it comes to games app advertising, the key to continued growth is user acquisition and audience expansion. But with such a vast and diverse audience, it can be tricky to know where to begin. Many games advertisers also face the challenge of finding new players among an already over-saturated market. Similarly, ad creative approaches might not be varied enough to motivate someone to download your game. While changes and disruptions within the advertising landscape can make personalization more difficult. The answer? It's time to tap into gamer motivations.

"Over the past few years, many gaming companies have been targeting their campaigns at the same group of audiences"

Over the past few years, many gaming companies have been targeting their campaigns at the same group of audiences. It ends up slowing down their growth, as everybody is trying to grab this rather small group of gamers, so it can get harder and harder to convert them. Expanding beyond this overfished pond becomes critical to gaming companies.

In 2020, Facebook Gaming collaborated with 16 global games advertisers to build a creative framework advertising called the Big Catch. We discovered that by experimenting with different ad creatives based on player motivations, you can expand the pond in which you're fishing for new players. This was effective in converting different players in 100% of their tests, and attracted and converted higher-value audiences.(1)

Big Catch digital ad creatives also had 26% higher Ads Quality Ranking than control creatives(2), meaning ads performed better in the auction and saw greater distribution at a reasonable cost.

So let's start with some key foundations. The following data comes from the report: Mobile Gaming Behavior Post COVID-19 by Interpret, which was an online survey of 13,246 games aged over 18 between July and October last year.

Gamers are motivated by the experience gameplay can inspire

Motivations are about the player. What does a player look for in a game? What makes this player pick one game instead of another similar one? Is it the fact that it is more customizable? More social? Regardless of the game, some people like more customizable games whilst others like more social.

On the other side, players connect to a game because of how its objectives motivate them to play. How does winning feel? Is there a mode where the player gets to arrange and strategize in their own way and feel accomplished? There are endless types of gameplays and players are motivated by a number of different triggers.

Common Player Motivations
We identified eight motivations that cover most types of players and game genres. While these aren't the only ones, they provide a solid starting point to help guide you towards what best fits your game. Looking at some of these in more detail:

Some players are motivated by games that allow them to express their creativity and identity. It could be painting a vehicle, decorating a room, or choosing a character's style or clothing. Research has shown that 46% of new players in the US, play games to express something about themselves. By highlighting the personalization aspect of your game in your ad creative, you could potentially reach new audiences who play to express themselves.

Social Connection
44% of new gamers in the US play to connect with people they already know. While many gamers like to play to meet new people. Consider the social elements of your game when building ad creative. This could help you reach audiences who are looking to connect.

Many gamers are seeking power they don't have in real life. In fact, 45% of new mobile gamers in the US play to defeat others. Think about gameplay that allows players to control property, conquer new territories from others, or become a leader. This is how you can appeal to those who play for power.

Relaxation is for players who play to kill time, relax, or calm down. 62% of established mobile gamers in the US play to relieve stress. This can include games that involve puzzles, repetition, or even zen mode.

Using the motivations to level up your digital advertising

Step 1:
Ask which gamer motivations your game can best speak to

Step 2
Make a set of differentiated mobile-first ad creatives inspired by these motivators

Step 3
Learn which motivators work best to catch new audiences through a broadly-targeted campaign setup

Step 4
Adapt your ad creatives based on your learnings to continue iteration towards efficiency

This innovative new solution for game advertising will help you to significantly expand your digital advertising reach and impact. Gaming companies of any size can benefit from the Big Catch advertising approach. It's an ongoing process of learning what works and why, and incorporating these learnings into your everyday advertising methods.

To create your own framework unique to your game, get our free-to-download, in-depth Big Catch Playbook and learn more about:
● Testing and optimizing ads
● Key considerations
● Success stories
● Accessing expert regional partners to help you bring this to life

1. Source: Chi-squared test of 16 Gaming A/B tests
2. Source: Creative Shop analysis of ads quality score, new vs. BAU creatives, 18 gaming AB tests.