So you have a great mobile game that’s burning up the charts, but have you thought about how to effectively monetize? Are you sure you’re maximizing earnings? Here are some strategies you can use to make the process of monetizing with ads easier and more effective.
Getting Started With Mobile Advertising
Mobile games can be a great opportunity to generate ad revenue, but for an ad-tech novice, it can also be a challenging endeavor. Working with a single ad network like Google just isn’t enough. You won’t get enough ads to fill all the impressions shown which means you’re leaving money on the table. To maximize earnings you should enlist a mobile ad exchange to assist you.
The popular trend in mobile advertising right now is real-time bidding, or RTB, which acts like an online auction similar to the stock exchange where mobile advertisers compete for ad slots that are available on ad exchanges. Whichever advertiser bids the most wins the ad slot. This transaction takes place in milliseconds. If successful the mobile publisher can make more revenue than what would have been possible through their direct sales team alone.
The “public” RTB model isn’t perfect, however, and there are still some risks for publishers and gaming apps. Some of these risks include lack of controls around who is buying your ad inventory and the security of first-party data. Reasons like these are why publishers and gaming apps have been moving their ad serving to private RTB.
Why Private RTB Works Best
With private RTB more features are available to put the app in total control. With private RTB, developers can decide which advertisers are allowed to participate in the bidding of inventory. They can also option to set price floors on their inventory and tier access allowing certain advertisers access to the inventory before others.
The other major benefit of private RTB is that it’s more effective on a global level than RTB because it allows mobile publishers a convenient way to monetize international traffic. Therefore publishers and gaming apps tend to put their best inventory on a private exchange so they can get the best price. The rest of their inventory tends to end up on public exchanges.
Other advantages include the ability to make first-party data more valuable to ad partners by making it actionable, utilizing third-party data like geo targeting and audience segmentation to target at the exchange level. Both of these tools save mobile game developers the trouble of having to implement their own data targeting technology.
The problem with traditional RTB is everyone competes on the same exchange, making it hard to differentiate your app from competitors. As a small developer, everything is happening in real time and you’re always at a disadvantage to big apps who have billions in inventory to sell. In public RTB prices sometimes go down instead of up because there is just so much undifferentiated inventory available.
Private RTB avoids all of this by making the app’s first party data actionable to ensure premium inventory always retains its value or increases significantly. This prevents negative issues like data scraping in which sneaky buyers can alter things like data about your users by cross-referencing it with other data and reselling it without your permission. This can be detrimental because it can hurt your reputation and make your gaming app appear less valuable. All these negative factors have made private RTB the more preferable option to mobile game developers.
The Benefits of Mobile Ad Mediation
Another way to generate the most ad revenue for your game and sell through your inventory is to work with multiple partners rather than just one. The best way to do this is through mobile ad mediation.
Ad mediation technology sends ad requests to multiple ad networks to ensure publishers find the best available network to fill their ad slots. With a list of priorities in place related to things like geography, genre type, and other preferences, ad mediation can match your game with the right partners to maximize revenue. The other benefits of ad mediation include the ability to increase fill rates, maximize eCPMs, and control access to ad networks using only one SDK versus dozens.
Both RTB and ad mediation are useful tools that help simplify the mobile advertising process and can compliment in-game advertising by increasing fill rates along with CPMs. With the right implementation the ad revenue results can be extraordinary and separate your game from everyone else’s on the mobile marketplace.