A recent study by Localytics found that app users are increasingly demanding personalization. They don’t want the same, generic experience as the next person. App users are demanding more personalized content and messages, tailored to their specific behavior, location and intentions. What they want is to feel special. What they want is a relationship.
The truth is you are in a relationship with your players. And yes, it may seem like all they want to do is have fun, not appreciating how hard you work to provide for them. But if you can prove that you are trustworthy, you’ll earn their retained love and engagement.
How do you build trust with your players? A good place to start is through honesty, respect, empathy and communication. Just be careful: Once lost, it can be difficult to earn back.
Be honest upfront about who you are and what your intentions are. If you pretend your game doesn’t have ads in the first few sessions but turn them on eventually, you’re no better then the guy who borrows his dad’s sports car for the first date, or lies about his age on his Tinder profile.
Most of your players understand that you need to put ads in your game to support yourself. Yes, there will the crazies out there that will take drastic measures to keep you in line through ad blocking, but most players will put their selfish needs aside as long as you respect them throughout the process.
In a relationship, each party has its individual needs. But to be a team you must respect the needs of the other person. Like girls: Pick up your hairpins. And guys: Please put down the toilet seat!
The easiest way to respect your players is by deeply integrating your ads into the gaming experience. Native has become such a powerhouse in mobile because it mimics the look and feel of the app. No one is being tricked about what’s an ad and what’s not. I just improves the experience by not interrupting the user flow.
Have you ever had a rough day at the office and come home to a bottle of wine or a case of beer? I bet it made you appreciate your person a lot more. Empathy is how we build bonds with each other and strengthens our relationships. (Like how girls bond over how we don’t like your ex-girlfriend.)
Understanding the emotions your players will encounter in your app and game can help to build loyalty. By identifying the peaks and slopes in your game, you can anticipate your players’ needs and provide targeted offers. If you know your player might be struggling on level 5, offer support through a value exchange video ad. On the flipside, if you know your players will be excited about reaching a milestone, consider helping them celebrate by offering a brand-sponsored reward. This method is referred to as moments-based advertising and can be very effective.
Communication is the most important part in building a healthy relationship. It’s also the easiest to mess up (especially over text). So you need to be VERY clear.
To ensure there is no miscommunication between you and your players, incorporate proper messaging into your mobile ads. If you are using rewarded video in your games, make sure you clearly communicate the benefit to the players. Adding a simple message in the flow such as “watch this 30 second video to receive 20 gold coins” is like the difference between someone saying “It’s fine” and “It’s FINE.”
Relationships take work, but if you work on the foundations you will be on your way to a lifetime of happiness. Now the only question is, who’s going to do the dishes?