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IGG Hits ROI Goals for Lords Mobile Game Launch While Scaling Ad Spend 80X

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IGG Hits ROI Goals for Lords Mobile Game Launch While Scaling Ad Spend 80X

“IGGI Got Games, or IGG, is a renowned developer and publisher of online games across mobile, PC, and browser platforms. 300 million people worldwide have played IGG’s games, from arcade and action genre games like Castle Clash to strategy games like Clash of Desert.

While the company is well known in Asia, IGG has gained notoriety globally in recent years by extending its chart-topping games to more players worldwide and localizing titles in fifteen different languages.

Setting a New Game Up For Success

Driving IGG’s global expansion and providing the company a competitive advantage is its strategic and data-driven in-house marketing team. Leveraging Nanigans advertising automation software, this team recently launched IGG’s newest real-time strategy game, Lords Mobile, to multiple geographic markets with great results:

  • Scaling spend 80X by the fourth week and meeting ROI goals while increasing install volume over three months
  • Using software-enabled learnings and optimizations to increase click-to-install conversion rates by more than 40% between the first and fourth months of the campaign
  • Driving installs at 20% lower cost and achieving nearly 2X the ROI of other mobile app install ad formats using video

The Nanigans platform and the exceptional support team in Singapore have been instrumental in Lords Mobile‘s success. ‘Set and forget’ campaigns that auto-optimize creatives and targeting have saved us a lot of time and boosted ROI.

Eugene Konash, Marketing Director, IGG

The Goal

While game launches are challenging, the best game companies in the world understand that their initial user acquisition campaigns present a critical opportunity to capitalize on early profitability gains by reaching users that generate the greatest customer lifetime value. This is particularly true during a global game launch, where multiple different geographies and audience attributes present unique challenges and opportunities for granular campaign optimization.

Knowing this, IGG’s marketing team set out in early 2016 with a refined Facebook campaign strategy that centered on hitting key audience monetization milestones. These targets included 7, 14, 30, and 90-day return on ad spend (ROI) goals, all while adhering to specific cost per install (CPI) constraints. Nanigans software enabled IGG’s team to quickly, efficiently, and intelligently test, measure, optimize, and scale their ad budgets to reach these goals within and across multiple different markets.

The StrategyLords Mobile

Targeting

To attract new gamers, IGG looked to prior successful game launches to empower early success by building Lookalike Audiences based on similar genres of games IGG had developed and launched in the past.
Additionally, their marketing team leveraged Interest and Broad Targeting on Facebook. Nanigans granular and flexible real-time reporting interface enabled IGG’s team to monitor the audience attributes generating conversions and early monetization so as to maximize campaign impact.

Creative

Throughout the course of the campaign, IGG experimented with different Facebook mobile app install ad formats, including image, carousel, and video ads. With strategic testing, they discovered that video mobile app install ads delivered 20% lower cost per install and 2X higher ROI than other ad formats. As the team tested these ad types using Nanigans, they focused on determining which attracted the most valuable audiences. They also ensured that creative assets were adapted for each particular geography.

The Solution

Nanigans profit-driven advertising automation enabled IGG’s in-house marketing team to save significant time in campaign setup, bidding, and optimization—freeing them to focus more heavily on marketing strategy.

Regarding this strategy, IGG found several aspects of Nanigans software critical to their profitable game launch:

Advanced Workflow Automation

Creative testing automated rapid and efficient testing for IGG’s team to quickly understand the audience and creative combinations resonating and generating conversations with players. Bulk ad creation enabled IGG to replicate ad creative that was performing well and clone successful campaigns to new markets.

Customizable Reporting

Custom reports that could be easily saved and shared allowed for more streamlined day-to-day campaign maintenance. Real-time reporting and analytics provided the data necessary to drive creative refresh.

Predictive Optimization

Cohort analysis and maturity curve functions helped to identify purchase trends of new users and set the correct attribution window. Value-based bidding maximized return on ad spend by optimizing on downstream, revenue- generating actions within the game.

IGG Software Mockup

The Results

Using Nanigans advertising automation software over a four-month period, IGG’s in-house marketing team achieved impressive business results.

80X

increase in ad spend while meeting ROI goals

40%

increase in click-to-install conversion rates

9%

lower cost per install than the initial goal

Look-back windows for monetization were a key piece of IGG’s strategy, enabling the team to understand which timelines (7, 14, 30, or 90) delivered maximum ROI potential. While this is a complex strategy, Nanigans intuitive features enabled IGG to:

  • Scale ads with higher monetization yields with no restriction on CPIs
  • Control CPIs with ‘max bid’ features
  • Bid down or stop ads with lower yield

Lessons Learned

1. Go Beyond the Industry Standard

Typically, Tier 1 countries are key to global game launches, but analysis from the Nanigans Analytics team revealed to IGG that placing additional emphasis on less saturated markets had potential to deliver more cost efficient game installs at a comparatively high ROI.

2. Capitalize on a Game’s Unique Maturity Curve

With Nanigans’ cohort analysis tool, IGG was able to understand that 7 day ROI was highly correlated with the long-term profit margin they aimed to achieve after 90 days or longer. This insight allowed IGG to optimize their campaigns accordingly toward this earlier lifecycle milestone.

3. Understand the Ad Formats that Inspire Action

Mobile app install ads are available in multiple formats, and IGG dedicated time to analyzing which formats drove the most revenue-generating action for their prospective players. With video leading the way, IGG adopted a strategy of rapidly testing video clips with Nanigans software. Testing revealed that a singular battle scene drove the highest returns. IGG incorporated these learnings into as many new iterations of their ads as possible.

Next Steps

The initial success of the launch of Lords Mobile is just the beginning for IGG. Continuing to leverage Nanigans advertising automation software, IGG’s marketing team plans to:

  • Extend the reach of its user acquisition campaigns to new channels, such as the MoPub mobile ad exchange
  • Scale profit-driven campaigns to five key new countries by combining lookalike modeling with Nanigans value-based bidding and optimization
  • Intelligently test new ad types, such as carousel mobile app install ads with video, by building on early learnings from other similar ad types

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IGG Hits ROI Goals for Lords Mobile Game Launch While Scaling Ad Spend 80X

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