Get the most of your banner ad campaign

27 11 2007

NotesBanner ads are very popular. There is a lot of ad networks that let you advertise using banners. The problem is that banners are generaly not very effective (like almost all advertising). Depending on a banner and audience CTR may be as low as 0% and as high as few percent.

The good news is that you can maximize your advertising returns by testing your banner effectivess. All you need to do is to create 2-3 variations of your banner and check which one is the best. The problem is that most networks doesn’t let you test it and even if you run 2-3 ad campaigns one by one to check CTR you may get wrong results because conditions change. Your ad may get different response rate on weekdays, weekends, durign work hours and off hours.

That’s where Google AdWords come to play. Create 3 versions of same banner ad. Then create ad campaign targeted on sites. This is important, because when your ads are targetted on sites you pay per mille, not per click. You will get results faster and you will be able to check what audience has the site you advertise on. Pick 3-4 high volume traffic sites and set CPM to get high probability of displaying ad. Go to campaign settings and set:

  • accelerated delivery method -> Show ads as quickly as possible – you want to get results as fast as possible,
  • ad serving -> rotate: Show ads more evenly – this will let you pick up a winner sooner.

Invest $20 to $50 to receive about 30k impressions per veriation. You need a lot of impressions to make sure that your results are not accidentall. After you get requested amount of impressions go to Ad Variations tab and select a winner. You don’t need to advertise on Google AdWords any more (but you can). Take your best banner and put it to work in your favourite advertising network.

Try to make good banners, because sometimes it takes a lot of time for Google to approve your banners. I had to wait over 7 days to get my banners approved for one of my experiments.

Remember – all your banner ads should feature a call to action and offer a clear benefit to end users. Any web site that has a clear benefit to end users and actually delivers on that benefit will get positive advertising results.

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Achievements Are Unlocking Higher Sales

22 11 2007

Here’s another great study from EEDAR:

After examining 4,615 achievements incorporated in 124 retail and 63 downloadable game titles available for the Xbox 360 during the period November 1, 2005 through June 1, 2007, EEDAR found that in general that titles that have a higher volume of Accomplishments (EEDAR’s platform agnostic term) correlate with both a higher Metacritic Metascore and higher gross sales in the U.S.

The study, Accomplishments Unlocked 2007, also discovered that a number of developers aren’t necessarily making the best use of the achievements system. 29 percent of all Accomplishments were Completion Accomplishments, which is naturally the easiest type to develop and integrate into a game. Having a variety of Accomplishments is key, the research firm noted. “The results showed a strong connection between a game title’s diversity of Accomplishment types with that game’s profitability – pointing to the idea that the more diverse the Accomplishments available to the user, the more enjoyable the game, higher review scores, more units sold,” explained EEDAR.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Stamp Out Piracy Awareness Week

21 11 2007

Stamp Out Piracy logoEvery day StampOutPiracy reports hundreds of links to illegal pirated games that are hosted on file sharing accounts. StampOutPiracy also try and take down full warez sites/blogs and Ebay listings.

The idea behind the awareness week is not just to remove links but to educate people and inform them about game piracy.

Stop saying that you can’t fight piracy. Educate yourself. Educate others. Or just don’t approve it. That makes a difference.

The Facts

  • By using pirate games you are basically stealing from the actual developer of the game. This is how they make their living. If you don’t pay for the game, then they don’t make any money.
  • Game development takes time (sometimes years) and money. It is only right that developers get paid for their hard work.
  • By using a pirated game you are not entitled to any technical support or updates for that product.
  • Pirated games can often expose your computer to viruses, spyware and adware, to name a few. If your computer is infected then you only have yourself to blame.
  • The bottom line is that pirating games is illegal and people do get caught!

Piracy: Why is it wrong? – An article by ELSPA to make consumers aware of the issues with piracy.

I will just quote one argument from that article:

By knowingly purchasing or downloading a counterfeit computer game you are running the risk of children having access to unsuitable material.

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Games with Downloadable Content Sell 114% More

20 11 2007

Does your game have downloadable content? Can your customers make new content for your game?

Games with downloadable content sell 114% more, says EEDAR. Research firm Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR) have found that publishers have the potential to nearly double their profit on any given game through revenue generated by both purchasable and sponsored downloadable content. “…console storefronts represent a major opportunity to offset growing development costs and stabilize revenue momentum between major releases,” EEDAR stated.

After examining 180 downloadable games and 2,100 pieces of downloadable content for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii, EEDAR found that Xbox 360 games offering downloadable content sell 129 percent more and PS3 games sell 16 percent more (Wii offers no extra downloadable content currently).

You can read the whole story here.

While EEDAR examined console games I am sure this can be applied to indie/casual games. My games don’t have downloadable content yet, but releasing a level pack for Runes of Avalon at least doubled my monthly income. Prof. Fizzwizzle has a lot of downloadable content and it is one of the best selling affiliate games on my site. Make sure your next game can have downloadable content. It’s one of the easiest ways to increase your revenues.

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