Mobile Game Ads: 4 Successful Strategies To Get New Users

Pietro Castellani
March 12, 2024
Mobile Game Ads: 4 Successful Strategies To Get New Users

In the 2024 digital landscape, the proliferation of mobile games has developed a need for advertising strategies tailored specifically for mobile platforms. Mobile games ads have become a vital component of marketing campaigns, offering developers a direct channel to engage with their audience in an interactive and immersive way. In this article we will delve into the realm of mobile games advertising, exploring its intricacies, challenges and opportunities. From understanding the nature of these ads to creating effective marketing strategies for segmentation, optimization and contextual targeting, we uncover the essentials for navigating this dynamic terrain.

  1. What are mobile games ads
  2. How to develop catchy creatives for mobile games ads
  3. Segmentation between paying and non paying users
  4. ROI and ROAS
  5. Contextual targeting with mobile games ads 
  6. Final thoughts 

What are mobile games ads 

Mobile games ads have emerged as a fundamental component of the digital advertising ecosystem, integrating into the immersive experience of gaming apps to reach a large and engaged audience

These advertisements encompass a wide range of formats, all strategically placed within the gameplay or user interface, including: 

  • interstitial ads 
  • rewarded videos
  • playable ads
  • banners 
  • native ads

Unlike traditional advertising methods, mobile games ads offer a unique advantage by leveraging the interactive nature of gaming environments to catch users and drive engagement. 

Whether it's promoting other games, products or services, these ads aim to blend with the gaming experience, providing value to players while simultaneously generating revenue for developers and advertisers. To state the importance of mobile games ads, only in march 2023, mobile games advertised were 23k and the number of advertisements created that month were over 2 million 

One of the defining features of mobile games ads is their ability to target users with precision, leveraging data-driven insights to deliver personalized and relevant content. By analyzing characteristics such as  user behavior, demographics and preferences, advertisers can tailor their campaigns to specific audience segments, ensuring maximum impact and ROI. 

Advancements in ads targeting technologies, such as for example geolocation targeting and contextual targeting, enable advertisers to reach users at the right time and place, enhancing the effectiveness of their campaigns. Whether it's targeting casual gamers with puzzle games or hardcore gamers with action-packed titles, mobile games ads offer a versatile tool for advertisers to connect with their target audience.

Mobile games ads also play a crucial role in driving user acquisition and retention, helping developers expand their users base and increase engagement metrics. By promoting their games through targeted ad campaigns, developers can attract new users and consequently drive app installs, generating organic growth and user retention.

Another relevant factor of mobile games ads is re-engaging old users, incentivizing them to return to the game with special offers, rewards or exclusive content. As the competition in the mobile gaming market intensifies, effective user acquisition and retention strategies become paramount, making mobile games ads a crucial asset for developers seeking to stand out in a packed marketplace.

How to develop catchy creatives for mobile games ads

Developing catchy creatives to use in mobile games ads is a multifaceted process that demands a meticulous understanding of both the target audience and the features of the gaming landscape. In a competitive market where apps’ aim is users' attention, standing out requires a blend of creativity, design optimization, strategy and data-driven insights. 

  • Research on the targeted demographic is essential, delving into their preferences, interests and gaming habits to sketch the creative direction. By understanding what resonates with the audience, developers can tailor their creatives to align with users’ tastes, whether it's through eye-catching visuals, captivating storytelling or a showcase of the game's unique features and mechanics.  

  • Utilizing the game's graphics, characters and gameplay footage can be powerful tools, providing an insight into the immersive world of the mobile games. Moreover, incorporating elements of interactivity in multi-page ads, like a combination of a video and a playable ad, can create engagement and foster a sense of connection with the game before players even hit the "download" button

  • It's essential to consider the platform and context in which the ads will be displayed, optimizing creatives for various screen sizes and ad formats; whether it's a full-screen interstitial ad, a banner ad or a rewarded video ad, tailoring the creative to fit within the user experience is mandatory. A cohesive identity across all touchpoints, from the ad itself to the app store listing, helps strengthen brand recognition, increasing conversions.  

  • Leveraging dynamic creative optimization technology allows developers to test and iterate on different creative variations in real-time, optimizing performance based on user engagement metrics and feedback: refining and optimizing creatives based on performance data can ensure that the mobile games ads resonate with the target audience and drive meaningful results. 

Segmentation between paying and non paying users

The segmentation between paying and non-paying users is a critical aspect of mobile games ads marketing strategy, allowing developers and advertisers to create their campaigns to effectively target and engage with each segment, paying and not paying ones. 

Paying users represent a very significant portion of the user base who are willing to spend their money on in-app purchases (IAPs) or generic premium content within the game. On the other hand, non-paying users comprise the majority of players who either opt for free-to-play experiences or are less inclined to make in-app purchases. 

By segmenting these two groups, developers can assemble their ad campaigns to meet demands to the distinct motivations, behaviors and preferences of each segment. 

For paying users, ads can focus on promoting exclusive offers, discounts rather than in-game items that enhance their gameplay experience and provide added value for their investment. Indeed, targeting paying users with ads for premium features or subscription services can incentivize them to further invest in the game.

Instead, for non-paying users, developers can build ads in a way that can emphasize the benefits of making in-app purchases, such as unlocking new levels, customizations or power-ups, to entice these non-paying users to convert into paying customers. 

Segmenting users based on their spending habits allows developers to allocate ad spend more efficiently, prioritizing high-value users who are more likely to drive revenue and ROI/ROAS. By leveraging segmentation between paying and non-paying users in their mobile games ads strategy, developers can optimize their campaigns for maximum possible conversion and monetization, ultimately driving sustainable growth and success in the competitive mobile gaming ads marketing world. 


Another important advantage aspect of mobile games ads is the possibility to optimize in their campaigns return on investment (ROI) and return on ads spend (ROAS). 

ROI stands for Return On Investment: it is a metric that is generally used in all forms of business to measure how effective your investments are at generating revenue. ROI in its easiest form and meaning, is used to understand what you get back in comparison to what you’ve put in the investments. Basically, if you are keeping your ROI positive while keeping expenditure low you are on the right path. 

On the other hand, ROAS stands for Return On Ad Spend: to say it in a simpler way, it answers the question how much revenue was generated for every dollar spent on an ad’s campaign. In effect there’s no specific rule on trends to state if a ROAS is good or bad, everything depends on its strategy’s specific metrics. 

The best way to carry out this optimization is to track in-app events that are related with the game’s revenue, such as in-app purchases (IAPs); thus it is possible to target users generating most IAPs, and so having a high Life-Time Value (LTV). Acquiring these high-quality users it is possible to optimize your expenditure in order to increase ROI and ROAS.

Contextual targeting with mobile games ads 

Contextual targeting with mobile games ads represents a strategic approach to delivering highly relevant and personalized advertisements to users within the gaming environment. This method leverages contextual features, such as the game genre, player behavior and in-game context, to dynamically provide ads that align with users’ interests and preferences. 

By contextual targeting we mean to target users not based on their preferences but based on some “contextual signals”. These contextual signals can be for example the specific OS version of the device, the internet service provider, geographical position, etc. In this way users’ privacy is completely protected and preserved, while at the same time advertisers can carry out a targeting that is technologically accurate and optimizable. 

As the mobile gaming landscape continues to evolve and diversify, contextual targeting with mobile games ads offers advertisers a powerful tool to reach and engage with their target audience in a relevant and impactful manner, driving higher ROI and ensuring long-term success in the competitive mobile gaming market.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, we have seen that the world of mobile games ads is a dynamic and multifaceted landscape, offering developers and advertisers plenty of opportunities to engage with their audience and drive meaningful outcomes for the business. 

From understanding the fundamentals of mobile games ads to developing captivating creatives and implementing advanced targeting strategies, every aspect of the advertising journey plays a crucial role in achieving success. Also, segmentation between paying and non-paying users can maximize revenue while optimizing towards both ROI and ROAS, ensuring efficient allocation of resources and sustainable growth. 

As the mobile gaming market continues to evolve and expand, embracing these best practices and navigating emerging trends will be essential for staying ahead of the curve and unlocking the full potential of mobile games ads. Leveraging creativity, data-driven insights and strategic thinking, advertisers can create compelling experiences that captivate players, drive engagement and foster long-term relationships, leading to success in the competitive world of mobile gaming advertising.