How to maximize user acquisition during the 2020 holidays – advice from Facebook Gaming

Facebook Gaming’s Sneha Vaidyanathan on why the usually bountiful holiday season will be a bigger opportunity than ever in 2020. This article was created in collaboration with Facebook Gaming.

The holiday season has always been an opportunity for developers to increase their user acquisition activity. This year promises to be a year like no other with the opportunity likely to both start earlier than prior years and be greater than usual.

Early last shipping dates

Every year, post Black Friday, CPMs come down steadily in some markets. This year, the delays to shipping we’ve seen over the past months, especially in the United States, mean that retailers have been encouraging customers to purchase earlier. Between this and the delays there may be reduction of e-commerce activity in the auction as early as December 15. We’d therefore recommend being ready to capitalize on this once you start to notice any changes.

More mobile gamers than ever

With shelter-in-place and social distancing measures in place, people look for ways to keep entertained. 76% of global consumers say they’re spending more time on their smartphones since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. People across all generations are spending more time with Gaming, Apps and E-Sports during COVID-19. This means that a lot of core and more recent late adopter mobile gamers are active and available to reach with your new game or tried and tested classic.

Additional opportunities for smaller developers

With Apple’s Announcement of their small business program reducing App Store commission to 15% for businesses earning up to $1 million a year from January 1, there’s an opportunity for developers who meet the criteria to benefit from less competitive acquisition costs from mid-December through January to also benefit from lower commission for payments made by these players once January roles around.

How to get the most out of the holiday period

To take advantage of the above trends we recommend:

  • Advance campaign planning and flexibility
    Set up campaigns in advance to turn on as soon as prices drop. This helps avoid unforeseen ad creation bugs (and avoid campaign management in between holiday meals). Ensure that budget is available to take advantage of favorable trends and be prepared to move quickly.
  • Diversify
    Diversification is a strong recommendation at all times but even more so during the holiday season. Expand internationally to markets like Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil and Russia, increase your focus on Android that sees less volatile price spikes, and diversify your optimization to a combination of Mobile App Installs, App Event optimization and Value Optimization to get the best outcomes.
  • Leverage Automated App Ads
    Leverage Automated App Ads to help reach more people in more places and maximize auction liquidity. Ensure to use all 50 creative slots and include both video and static creatives in a variety of dimensions.
  • Prioritize holiday-themed creatives
    Adjust your creative pipeline for higher output. Consider partnering with Facebook marketing partners to develop relevant creatives given the benefits last at least into the end of January and tap into the player mindset during the holidays.
  • Explore seasonal in-game events and partnerships
    In-game events and promotions help to improve player retention and drive in-app purchases.

For more information on how to maximize user acquisition during the holidays, check out our recent webinar, Preparing For The 2020 Holiday Season.

With over 5 years’ experience in Facebook, Sneha Vaidyanathan is a vertical strategy lead for Facebook’s Global Gaming team. Prior to joining Facebook, she worked as a brand marketer at Coca-Cola in South Asia and an engineer at Ittiam, a tech IP startup that supplies IP to companies like Netflix and Dolby. With a background in engineering, product management & brand management, she understands the worlds of product development, brand advertising & digital marketing which enables her to bridge the need from strategy to execution.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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