Facebook Gaming report

Facebook Gaming: Achieve more with less with Automated App Ads

This article was first published on the Facebook Gaming Marketing blog.

Varun Aggarwal
Varun Aggarwal is a product manager in the Facebook Ads team. His primary focus is helping mobile app install advertisers achieve their performance goals through Facebook. Varun has spearheaded the development of Automated App Ads and is an active proponent of automation.

When it comes to your app ad campaigns, every dollar needs to drive impact on your game and growth. However, performance can be volatile, sustaining performance when you scale is often complex, and running numerous campaigns often requires a lot of effort.

When Facebook introduced app install ads in 2012, it was the start of an ongoing journey to create ad solutions and tools that empower advertisers to achieve the best performance for their ads and drive continued growth.

Built on powerful machine learning, Automated App Ads was designed for today’s advertiser. It was created to solve some of the complex challenges you may face when launching and growing your game.

Automated App Ads can be used by businesses of all sizes who want to grow their games through greater scale and sustained ad performance, it can help drive more of the results they value, and streamline campaign and creative management.

How Automated App Ads can work for you

Scale campaigns with sustained performance:
As you scale budgets, machine learning and automation help sustain campaign performance over time.

In early tests, Ilyon saw Automated App Ads help grow their game Cube Rush Adventure with 150% more installs and 29% higher return on ad spend compared to their normal app ad campaigns.

“The performance sustained over the duration of our AAA campaign thanks to the automation of creative testing and then delivering to high-value audiences on placements across Facebook” – Reut Leibel, user acquisition manager, Ilyon.

“When it comes to your app ad campaigns, every dollar needs to drive impact on your game and growth.”

Automatically test and deliver high-performing creative:
Provide up to 50 different images and videos with up to 5 text variations. Dynamic Creative Optimization will automatically test combinations and deliver the highest-performing ads.

Optimize for your goals in new and improved ways:
Improved delivery models for app install, app event and value optimization help drive better results. For advertisers looking to drive both volume of installs and value of downstream events like purchase, the new optimization App Installs with Events balances app installs with app events (purchase only) in a single campaign.

GameHouse saw Automated App Ads help drive 25% more installs, 40% lower cost per purchase and 2X higher D7 ROAS for their game Delicious World compared to normal app ad campaigns, in early tests. By switching to Automated App Ads, it allowed them to free up time to connect more with product teams and work on holistic strategies to increase the number of players who enjoy their games.

“Compared to many other ad networks, it took very little time for our Automated App Ads campaigns to start producing results. The campaign began to achieve its goals almost from day one. CPI and CPA remained at the same level throughout the test without unexpected spikes. We also observed that many abandoned creatives, including static images, found a second life in the AAA campaigns. This was in addition to the obvious–saving time for creating campaigns, which can be spent on longer-term initiatives.” – Anton Degtiarov, user acquisition manager, GameHouse.

Reach more people in more places:
Input the app store, country, and optimization goal and machine learning will reach more people you value. Automatic Placements will deliver your ads to the people you value at the lowest cost across Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network.

Achieve goals more efficiently:
Automated App Ads uses a simplified structure to prevent audience overlap and to reduce the number of campaigns to get results: one campaign, one ad set, one ad. A streamlined campaign creation with fewer inputs means campaigns can launch faster.

In early tests, Rovio used Automated App Ads to promote its Sugar Blast game and achieved similar results to their existing manual app ads with 50% fewer campaigns and saw 33% higher D7 pay conversion.

“Automated App Adds not only ran independently saving us time and allowing us to focus on building quality creatives and testing, but also delivered steady ROI and retention similar to our BAU set up.” – Mikhail Bu-Shakra, Performance Marketing Specialist, Rovio.

Test to help decide the best strategy for your business goals:

To determine whether Automated App Ads is the right strategy for you, first run an A/B test using Automated App Ad campaigns versus your business-as-usual app install campaigns with no overlap. If your Automated App Ads campaigns and usual app install campaigns have an overlap in delivering to the same audience, our machine learning may prevent Automated App Ads from achieving the best performance.

Getting started:

Automated App Ads is available for the app install objective and will roll out with more features in the coming months.

We are committed to providing solutions and tools that enable businesses to grow. With Automated App Ads, it is our next step to help you achieve sustainability in your app ads and we can’t wait to continue building on it.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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