With 600 million active gamers on board, Facebook is one of the best platforms to grow your game business faster and market to a global audience. It offers a great variety of ad formats like banners, full-screen ads, reward video, playables, etc. Facebook also provides advertisers with rich targeting options like lookalike audiences so you can reach people who are not familiar with your game yet but are similar to your active game users.
You can also optimize your Facebook ads for in-app events to target users who are not just likely to download your game but also are likely to make in-app purchases. Such ad optimization has brought Wizard of Oz Slots 4.5 times higher return on ad spend and 60 percent higher conversion rates. In addition, Facebook offers a wide range of products, specifically designed game products such as Instant Games, Gaming videos, Facebook Gameroom, and Facebook Game services.
To cap it off, Facebook launched Dynamic Language Optimization (DLO) advertisements. So now brands can target wider international audiences ‒ with two and more official languages in each country ‒ reducing the amount of effort needed. Let’s explore this advertising option in more detail.
Until recently, when gaming companies wanted to target new countries or regions they had to do plenty of routine work manually. The typical process would include creating multiple ad sets for each particular language and separate ads for each ad set. Each separate ad required an engaging headline and a promotion text, a link, a link description, a thumbnail image, and a powerful call-to-action. They could likewise ignore a particular chunk of their audience and focus on a single language.
Dynamic Language Optimization, however, allows you to create up to 48 language variations with only one ad set and one ad. The Facebook algorithm driven by machine learning then optimizes your ad to display the right language variation to the right person at the most appropriate time.
#1 - You’ll be able to promote your game in one country with two or more official languages and reach gamers in numerous countries at once.
#2 - You’ll see an increase in new users. For instance, DGN Games have acquired 2.5X more users once they started using dynamic language optimization.
#3 - You’ll be able to optimize your promotions for different language headers, descriptions, and deep links at the ad set level.
#4 - You’ll save a bunch of time as you don’t need to create multiple ad sets manually.
#5 - It’s easier to manage your advertising budget across different markets since Facebook optimizes your DLO ads for the best performance. The Facebook algorithm counts your total budget and campaign objective.
#6 - You’ll get a higher return on ad spend. As an example; Crown Games & Bidalgo increased their return on ad spend by 92% using DLO ads compared to English-only ads.
#1 - If you don’t have a localized app or game, you won’t provide your customers with the same experience on your website or landing page as you do in your ad.
#2 - You should revise your customer support if you have call center operators that will communicate with customers in the additional languages you will advertise your game.
#3 - You should get acquainted with the list of countries that have banned Facebook.
Iran, China, and North Korea have currently blocked Facebook as well as Wikipedia, Twitter, and YouTube. Facebook is permanently banned in these countries:
Both Germany and the UK heavily censor content on Facebook for national security reasons and against hate speech, defamation, and incitements to violence. So you’d better not promote violence in your game. Germany has even threatened to ban Facebook for the way they collect user data on their platform. Yet, Facebook has won this dispute.
The countries where Facebook is banned across the globe. Image source: Vodien
We also need to mention that with the COVID-19 pandemic spreading all over the world, Facebook bans ads related to this issue. So don’t joke around with this theme in your ads in a bid to make a funny metaphor.
#4 - You should carefully examine government requirements towards foreign games in the country you want to advertise.
The United States has become the largest gaming market by revenue across the globe. The game spendings raised $36.9 billion in 2019 and it’s going to grow more. Game advertisers should be aware of “responsible marketing” standards introduced by the American Gaming Association (the AGA). According to these standards, brands shouldn’t promote excessive or irresponsible participation in sports wagering or have sports betting messages to appeal to minors.
Additional legislation is the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 that prohibits game brands from targeting their marketing campaigns based on the personal data collected on those under 18.
If you want to run game promotions in Canada, your ads should be compliant with the Canada Federal Competition Act and provincial consumer protection laws. The Criminal Code in Canada prohibits any mentions of gambling in the advertising. That is, your ad can be banned if you promote any kind of financial gain. Besides, the Canadian government supports the AGA’s “responsible marketing” standards.
Beyond the United States and Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Sweden heavily scrutinize advertisements regarding any mentions of gambling. The Belgium government is also fighting gambling. Belgium has forbidden ads promoting video game loot boxes ‒ games where players can unlock special characters or equipment and vehicles using real money.
Facebook offers brand awareness, video views, traffic, reach, app installs, and conversions objectives for dynamic language optimized ads. Select one that is the best fit for your business goals. Remember that traffic and conversions goals are set for websites and web apps.
When working with Facebook ads, you can either select broad or specific audience targeting. By targeting broadly, you hand Facebook all the rights on whom to deliver your ads. Among specific targeting are detailed targeting, Custom, and Lookalike Audiences.
Dynamic language optimized ads are available in a single image, a single video, or slideshow ad formats.
Here are the specifications for each ad format:
For a single ad image, Facebook asks you to upload images with the highest possible resolution. The minimum width for mobile is 320 pixels. The desktop ad versions require at minimum 476 pixels width and 249 pixels heights. Facebook recommends jpg or png file types. Here you can find the exhaustive list of all supported image formats.
Notice that Facebook reduces the delivery of images that consist of more than 20 percent of text. If you aren’t sure about how much text is in your image, you can check the image with the Facebook Text Overlay Tool.
Facebook asks to upload videos without letter or pillar boxing. Facebook supports most file types including 3G2, 3GP, and MPEG4. You can find the entire list of supported formats here. Among other requirements are:
Slideshow ads allow you to tell your brand story with multiple images or videos. You can upload between 3 to 10 images or a single video in your slideshow ad. Requirements are the same as single images and single video ad formats.
From the language dropdown menu, you need to choose one default language depending on your core market. Afterward, you can add up to 48 more languages.
Here you need to enter a headline and description for each additional language. If you want, you can add a new image for each language. You can also apply automatic language translation to interpret your headlines and descriptions.
Still, we wouldn’t recommend you use the automatic language translation for now. Until recently, Facebook was using recurrent neural networks (RNNs) in their machine translation. This means that your ad was translated one word at a time in a strict left-to-right or right-to-left order. So your ads could seem strange for native speakers. Even though Facebook has decided to use convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for their automatic translation to localize, rather than simply translate ads, there is still much work to be done. This is why we recommend you translate strings independently.
Once your campaign is up and running, you need to assess the performance of each language variant. In the Facebook ads reporting, you can use the breakdown by county feature to define what countries performed best and how games reacted to each visual.
If you want to see more details on what players did inside your game, you can install a tracking solution like Mixpanel (in case your game platform doesn’t include analytics by default). The tracking solution will allow you to see how many users have loaded the game, what percentage of them have actually played, and what percentage have clicked the call-to-action button.
More advertisers focus on video ad format on Facebook. Users do actually pay attention to videos on social platforms. Whereas the posts with images reach only about 12 percent of total users on Facebook, posts containing video reach 16 percent of total users. Leveraging the power of video in their ads, Facebook offers two distinct formats of video ads: rewarded videos and playables.
A rewarded ad format is an immersive full-screen ad format that players can watch in exchange for some reward like an extra life. Game Hive has used rewarded video ads on Facebook to promote their Tap Titans 2 game. Since then, the company has increased app installs by 30 percent and doubled its revenue.
A playable ad format provides people with try-before-you-buy experience and allows users to preview and demo your game before they actually install or purchase it. Playdemic & Vidsy used playables to promote Golf Clash and saw a 52 percent higher click-through rate than on previous Facebook campaigns and 28 percent cost per install. You can see that video ad format can bring you tangible business results.
If you lack the time and resources to adjust video ad campaigns, you can outsource it to an external vendor or use a video creative management platform. Performante is one of such platforms that can help you speed up the production of your creatives. The only thing you need to do is provide the original video you want to resize and localize and then an animator will do the rest of the job for you. You can access video assets whenever you need it on the reliable storage on their Performante platform.
Nanobit, a game development studio headquartered in Zagreb, scaled up Facebook video ads for their MyStory project in just two days using Performante. The Nanobit team selected the most performing creatives and resized them into 120 new formats without loading their in-house team.
If you need to expand your Facebook advertising activities to new markets with minimum efforts, dynamic language optimized ads are right for you. DLO ads can help you raise your return on ad spend while maintaining and maximizing the conversion rate. Now that you know the basics of putting together a DLO campaign, it’s time to get started. Put this quarantine time to good use!
About the author: Andew Kozik is the founder of Perfomante.io, a video marketing company.