To maximize lifetime value (LTV) – the holy grail of mobile game KPIs – most game developers start by making in-game adjustments, such as improving the onboarding experience or adding rewarded videos. But when, where, and how you first reach users on the user acquisition side also has an effect on LTV. For example, on-device advertising, a channel that enables advertisers to meet people the moment they activate their new phones, tends to have longer LTV curves than traditional channels.
That said, here are three strategies for boosting your game’s LTV with on-device advertising campaigns.
By getting in front of people before they even have the chance to browse the app stores, while they’re setting up a brand-new device for the first time, you’re reaching them in prime “discovery mode.” That’s because when someone is getting used to a new phone, they’re more willing to test games they didn’t have the chance to try on previous devices. Players who install your game on day one are likely to choose your game time and time again, becoming high-value, long-term players.
On-device channels give you the opportunity to reach players at this moment, during setup, as a native part of the device experience. For example, Aura from Unity’s app discovery unboxing experience puts you front and center during device unboxing. This means you win the first device install of your app category and get ahead of competitors who stick to traditional channels.
Looking down the funnel, on-device advertising channels can help you boost LTV by reaching a more precise audience.
Around 68% of parents say they play mobile games on a typical day, and 86% of Gen Z use mobile as a gaming platform, according to our proprietary market research solution. With nearly everyone being a gamer today, knowing your core audience’s demographics is just a starting point. Finding high-LTV players means digging deeper into motivations.
Ultimately, players are attracted to games that are similar to what they’re already enjoying. Determining your audience by gaming preferences and demographics, rather than demographics alone, is a much stronger way to attract the right users. This makes the home screen indispensable.
On-device advertising channels rely on partnerships with premium original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and carriers. Using these channels, you can recommend your app based on what your audience is interested in – a unique way to ensure they’ll play your game time and time again. On top of that, through these partnerships, you get access to a base that games usually don’t – device owners – and you’ll reach 100% of players on those devices.
You may know your audience is females aged 30–40, but that’s a wide target. If you’re looking to improve LTV, reaching users based on preference through on-device advertising is a good place to start.
Positioning your game as an option among a diverse mix of apps, especially on a reputable OEM or carrier, can also help you acquire high LTV players who are downloading their favorite banking, social, or entertainment app. Think about it – banking and social apps are essentials, and people rarely delete them, which means they have long-term value in mind when downloading them.
On-device advertising channels have the ability to present your game as an option among the hottest samples from other categories. For example, Aura’s App Discovery Unboxing experience and App Discovery In-Life experience show your mobile game alongside the essentials. Using these channels, you position your game as a part of the entire app economy and an essential piece of your audience’s long-term app collection.
On-device advertising channels ensure you’re reaching users at the right times, in the right places, and in the right ways. Overall, taking discovery into consideration is just as important to increasing LTV as is making in-game changes.
With Aura’s Game Spotlight, users are shown relevant recommendations for a starter pack of games they’re likely to enjoy playing. From there, they can opt in to receive relevant recommendations every week. Put these tips to good use and promote your app directly on devices with Aura from Unity.