Anouar Benattia– Apr 02, 2021
Hypercasual games have the benefit of being easy to pick up and welcoming to broad audiences. Everyone and anyone is a potential new player ready to start tapping and swiping away at the next hypercasual hit. With that wide appeal and large market share comes a new problem: User Acquisition. Before jumping into a breakdown for hypercasual games, it’s best to start with a clear definition.
User Acquisition is the set of methods and tools marketers use to better attract people to specific games.
One of the first points of contact between new users and your game will almost always be a result of UA. Making sure that the first impression is good goes a long way in ensuring a great concept becomes a successful hit. At the end of the day, User Acquisition is the part of publishing that focuses on finding new people to play your game.
How Important is User Acquisition for Hypercasual Games?
Hypercasuals are developed in quick iterations with game teams often moving from one project to the next right after release. For game devs and publishers alike, everything boils down to creating as many hits as possible as quickly as possible. The most successful titles combine intuitive gameplay and eye-catching action, leading to a rush of new users playing your game.
Those newly engaged users often only stay for a short amount of time before moving on.
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes with UA campaigns ensuring as many new users as possible are seeing, installing, and playing your game. Capturing that initial attention is the cornerstone of the hypercasual model. Without the right knowledge and experience about how to build a good campaign, even the most fun game on the planet is guaranteed to be a success on the market.
It may not be the focus for hypercasuals, but after the initial launch retention also needs to be considered. UA plays an important role in building up higher LTV and creating more long-term campaigns to help increase the overall profitability of your game.
Considering the KPIs
When working with a publisher like TapNation, fine tuning every aspect of a UA campaign is an ongoing process.
After the initial release, monitoring key KPIs and analyzing the performance of a campaign is incredibly important.
To get an idea of some of the elements that need to be considered, here are some examples of the KPIs for hypercasual games:
Click-Through Rate (CTR) – CTR measures engagement by calculating the ratio of clicks to impressions. In other words, the number of people who saw an ad and actually clicked on it. As a general rule of thumb, a high CTR indicates the campaign is effective.
Costs Per Mille (CPM) – CPM measures the profitability of a campaign on a more usable scale (1,000 people). Seeing the cost of an ad for every thousand potential users provides a nice idea of whether the campaign is worth the cost.
Installs Per Mille (IPM) – IPM measures the next step in the marketing funnel, showing a bigger picture of the entire journey new user’s take right up to installing the game. The more complete view of the process lets marketers pinpoint any friction from seeing an ad to installing the game.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) – ROAS takes everything spent on UA into account in order to calculate the difference between how much is being spent on advertising versus how much that same advertising ends up earning. More simply, it’s a holistic measurement of financial effectiveness.
Retention – After successfully on-boarding a new user, the next step is looking into how long they stay. This more long-term aspect of UA is referred to as retention and includes all initiatives to keep people playing for as long as possible.
These are just a few examples of the more common KPIs involved in User Acquisition for hypercasual games. Depending on your game and your studio, there are many others that can also be looked into in order to meet specific goals and ambitions.
Building the Best UA with Ad Networks
Ad networks are one of the most important tools used in successful UA campaigns. They give game devs and publishers access to a worldwide audience. With such a long reach it’s important to fine tune every message in order to attract the maximum number of players as possible.
There are two main categories of ad networks that are commonly used:
1) Social ad networks
By stepping outside of the more traditional in-app advertising ecosystem, these campaigns don’t need to compete with a user’s limited attention as they rush to get back to their app or game.
Social ad networks allow your UA campaign’s creative to be displayed as posts that encourage installing your game. This more natural fit to displaying a message is highly effective and allows for very precise targeting across social media.
2) Video ad networks
This is the more traditional method of promoting a hypercasual game where ad space is bought from sources like AppLovin, Ironsource, and Vungle.
A video ad campaign will run across these networks, prompting users to download the game in designated advertising spaces.
Don’t Forget the Creative Touch
A sometimes understated aspect of UA is the creativity that goes into a good campaign. UA teams include talented artists who are able to hone in on the best performing videos and create the perfect message for your game.
The best UA combines marketing expertise with a keen eye for aesthetics.
With the help of tools to see which creative users are engaging the most, a UA team is able to craft the perfect message to attract the maximum number of users in both social and video ad networks. The core of any UA campaign is in the use of art and ad networks to make sure your game is played by new users.
Improve Your UA by Working with TapNation
The highly competitive market and fast pace of the hypercasual development cycle make knowing how to best leverage UA more important than ever. With all games being both expertly made and offering simply perfect hypercasual gameplay, the difference is made in marketing.Any developer in the hypercasual market needs to always be on the cutting edge, ready to catch the next wave of new users.
TapNation is here to help.
If you have a great game on your hands, get in contact and we’ll help you build the UA campaign that ensures it’s the next hypercasual hit.