For game developers app marketing has become an important tool in engaging new users to download their apps. However, many developers aren’t sure of the ins and outs of best marketing approaches and practices.

The Ad Survey Results 2016 show that as many as 36% of app developers are scared that an increase in their advertising frequency may discourage users from continuing to play a game. Another 29% said it could affect player enjoyment, whilst 14% were concerned about increased player churn.

Which of the following factors concerns you most when setting the frequency of ads in a game?

concerning factors in game ads

Dominant advertising formats used most frequently for app advertising have seen quite a change between 2015 and this year. Whilst in 2015, app marketers preferred interstitials and rewarded video, they have moved on to banners and video this year.

What types of ads do you display in your game?

ads type

However, over half of app developers actually aren’t sure if they have the right marketing strategy in place, particularly when it comes to their top free mobile games.

The survey also found that most developers see advertising as a necessary evil. For others, it represents an important monetisation opportunity.

Which of these sentiments describe your attitude to in-game advertising?

attitude to in-game ads

Overall, marketers feel both experimental, balanced but also cautious when it comes to their advertising approach. Very few app developers have adopted an aggressive marketing strategy realising that doing so may disconnect them rather than connect them with their potential players.

Which word best describes your overall approach to in-game advertising?

approaching to in-game advertising

Mark Robinson, CEO of DeltaDNA, explains that advertising has become an integral part of monetising a free-to-play game. He says:

“[It’s] not surprising to hear that a year after our first ad survey, developers are feeling less confident and more uncertain about how best to use ads. The problem is that most developers don’t have the technology to be able to evaluate the effect of ads on player behavior, which is fuelling these fears over the impact of ads on player engagement, enjoyment and retention. But developers have much to be positive about, as recent studies have found little relationship between ad frequency and retention. However, what’s key to the success of any ad strategy is good integration of ads within the game experience, which our data shows, can uplift total revenue by up to 400 percent, through enhanced IAP and rewarded ad engagement, without impacting retention.”

With the mobile app market fast becoming overcrowded, adopting a marketing strategy for you F2P app is of great value. However, it seems that there’s quite an attitude issue that needs fixing first in addressing developers to come on board and realising that advertising is more than just a means to an end. It can become much more of a communications tool when adopted well.