Thursday June 29th || by Theo Sastre-Garau

Being a successful game publisher means spending a lot of time – and money – on user acquisition. You need a continual stream of new players to keep your assets profitable, and in an increasingly competitive marketplace, it can be hard to stand out – and it’s not cheap.

According to mobile marketing firm Fiksu DSP, the cost of acquiring a new mobile game or app user has reached as high as $7 over the past two years, and CPA averaged between $3 and $4 at the end of 2016.

So for game creators, it’s vital that UA campaigns are efficient and effective, or they won’t pay off. Gaming brand Innogames has found a great balance of reach, effectiveness, and cost-efficiency with Taboola.

Reaching the right gamers.

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InnoGames is one of the world’s top online gaming companies. The company is based in Hamburg and Düsseldorf and employs more than 400 people. They’re the creator of six successful online games including Forge of Empires, Tribal Wars, and Elvenar, all of which are operated on a free-to-play basis.

That means the titles are monetized through in-game purchases made by players, not game purchases. To keep people playing, the company invests heavily in keeping its games engaging and fresh, providing frequent updates so that users can enjoy the game experience over a long period of time.

This monetization model makes it particularly important for the company’s UA campaigns to reach the right users. To achieve a return on their ad spend (ROAS), they must be able to optimize campaigns toward players who will stay with the game and contribute lifetime profitability. Taboola’s predictive engine and advanced targeting capabilities have helped InnoGames reach those types of consumers.  

“One of the secrets to successful campaigns is the audience–the right audience. Taboola helped us spotting the right people, at the right time, and in a right way,” says Perrine Keutchayan, Senior Performance Marketing Manager, Innogames.

Innogames initially came to Taboola to drive users to their desktop and mobile games, and they were looking to run native advertisements internationally.

Why Native? According to Digital Turbine, native ads are a relatively new channel to the UA scene:

“Taking advantage of the natural form and function of the surrounding user experience, native advertising offers distinct advantages from banner ads. Functioning in cohesion with natural mobile content, native ads provide reach, branding, and value… native ads are likely to play a pivotal role in the future of app user acquisition.”

Clearly, native is paying off for Innogames. Taboola now ranks among Innogames’ top partners when it comes to generating traffic on PCs.

By running Taboola discovery campaigns, Innogames exceeded their target UA numbers and now attracts 50K new players a month. Next, they plan to take that native strategy to the mobile world.

Investing in mobile development.

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InnoGames has already successfully introduced mobile versions of its games, and more than half of all new user registrations are on mobile platforms. In fact, several of its titles are very successful in the strategy and simulation game market across both desktop browser and mobile platforms.

For example, Forge of Empires, which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary and has been played for a cumulative total of more than 160K years around the world, was first released as a browser-only game. InnoGames released a dedicated mobile version for mobile devices two years later. Now, players can use the same account on all platforms and switch back and forth.

With the rapid growth of mobile usage among its gaming audience, the company now has several mobile-only games under development, and Taboola will be an important channel for bringing in those mobile users.

You can read about Innogames’ experience with Taboola here.

Taboola is the world’s leading content discovery platform, serving 360B recommendations to over 1B unique visitors each month on the web’s most innovative publisher sites. To learn more about how Taboola can help you A/B test your site content, contact us or start your campaign today.

 

Theo Sastre-Garau

Taboola Media Account Director for France, Belgium, Switzerland. I am leading the French account management team in Europe. When I am not maximizing our client's growth and satisfaction, you can find me playing strategy games, reading self-development books or meditating.