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Connects Creatives: How Creatives Impact Your Bottom Line

by Alice Guillaume on Jun 3, 2020

Last week the team at SparkLabs had the opportunity to host a creatives-focused webinar with our friends at Kwalee and Luna Labs where we discussed the topic of influencing your bottom line with strong creatives. More often than not, creatives are often the primary lever to list when you’re optimizing a campaign for your mobile game, so read on for a recap of the highlights from the session. 

Watch the entire webinar, including the live Q&A here.

Before you even start a campaign, it’s vital that you understand what the goal of your campaign will be, and how it maps back to larger business goals. Some questions to consider as you begin to develop your campaign are: 

  • Do you have a clearly defined goal, challenge, or story? 
  • Are you tapping into the same motivators as your game? 
  • Is your ad fun to play or watch? 

Once you’ve defined your goals at the macro level, it’s important to actually execute on a strong piece of content. Next in our discussion, we highlighted some practical dos and don’ts for creatives: 

  • Establish a hook: Make sure you’re capturing a viewer’s attention immediately within the first three seconds of your ad, and make sure your creative strategy aligns with core hooks within gameplay. If you’re creating a playable ad, make sure the first interaction is extremely engaging. 
  • Tell a clear story: Consider the narrative you’re sharing with your viewer – ensure that the storyline is clear and linear. The first three seconds need to hook the audience, but it’s critical that you’re using your remaining time to convince the viewer that this game is right for them. Think about this as you’re storyboarding the ad.
  • Keep it simple: You’re going to want to focus on one to two core features of your game in an ad to avoid cognitive overload for your audience. By simplifying the user interface (UI), keeping tutorials short, and ensuring in-ad mechanics are easy to understand — you’ll give your viewer an exciting experience without overwhelming them with too much information. 
  • Build anticipation: Leave your audience wanting more! Maintain their interest and inspire action (i.e. downloads) by making sure the viewer is on the edge of their seat throughout your ad. Motivate them to take action by incorporating cliffhangers and challenge-based prompts. 
  • Connect with your users: Leverage pop culture and internet trends to inform creative ways to establish a relationship with the viewer and give them a reason to engage. You’ll want to leverage humor, live-action footage, or voice-overs to help make your product seem relatable and approachable. 
  • Evoke positive energy: Give your users a fun experience that will captivate and entertain them. Avoid frustrating or confusing users by rewarding them, giving them positive feedback, and tapping into emotions like happiness and accomplishment in your creatives. 

Our panel also covered some key principles in developing a creative strategy, which you can read more about in my previous blog post here. These principles will guide you in developing profitable creatives that will positively impact your business. 

Challenges and opportunities in creatives today

We also discussed challenges and opportunities that the creatives industry will be facing in the near future. In addition to staying relevant and ahead of current trends, it’s going to be important to stay close to your teams and be flexible in shifting marketing strategies as game-side KPIs evolve or change in unpredictable ways. Most importantly, as we shift toward a creative-first world, teams will need to rethink their overall structure and build a process that works cross-functionally across teams like user acquisition (UA), growth, marketing, product marketing, and product. 

On the other hand, there are several opportunities that the industry is facing that will bring about some exciting changes in the industry. Impending automation of creative delivery will allow teams to shift an increased focus on creative strategy. This will also lead to more analytics being available to creative teams which helps drive teams to better iterate and evolve their creative strategies. Finally, we think we’ll see the sophistication of playable ads. As these become more optimized, we may see a shift toward targeted ad variations for different audiences. 

Key Takeaways

Understanding how important creatives are to driving business success is a key, and creative testing prior to launch is increasingly important to ensuring a strong start as cost per install is a critical KPI. This means that creatives should not be a secondary thought when defining your UA plans as they are an important business lever to pull. It’s also imperative to give your creatives room to grow — by ensuring they have the proper budgets for testing and bids, you’ll give them the room they need to push the business forward. 

For more information on AppLovin’s creative team, and how you can start your spark click here. To learn more about upcoming digital events, click here.

Alice Guillaume is Senior Director of Marketing Operations at AppLovin.