• In-App Monetization
  • Product and Technology

Succeeding With Rewarded Ads: The Three Commandments

Prithvi Mani
Prithvi Mani
5 min read
Posted on May 14, 2015
Succeeding With Rewarded Ads: The Three Commandments

Rewarded video is the popular kid on the block - with visually immersive experiences and skyrocketing ROI. Deciding to use rewarded video is a no-brainer, but here are few key pointers to keep in mind to ensure you have a winning strategy.

1. Present Perfect: Ensure that the Placement and Reward are Correct

Design the placement and virtual reward of your rewarded video in such a way that it both entices the user into interacting with the ad, and also serves the two orthogonal objectives of:

  • Ensuring that the user finds the ad interesting.
  • Ensuring that the user stays engaged in the parent app.

Sounds tough? Not really. When done correctly, rewarded video can be the most ‘rewarding’ ad format for both user acquisition and monetization.

Place the rewarded ad in a slot that ensures optimum monetisation and engagement. Popular ad placements for rewarded ads in a game are:

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 4.52.01 pm.png

After you decide on the placement of your rewarded video, you also need to decide what to reward the user with. Popular rewards include virtual currency and game play elements like skateboards, power boosts, energy shields, and additional lives. Stand out by rewarding users with items that are not usually available through in-app purchases.

Remember: Time the ad to minimize interruption, and be generous - after all, you have an unlimited supply of virtual goods!

2. Get Your Timing Right: Figure out the Ideal Frequency for Rewarded Video

How often should you reward the users of your game? Every completed level? Every time they start a game? As many times as they decide to visit the shopfront? This decision depends on the game type and the rewarded video placement, but here are some things to keep in mind:

For Monetisation

  • Limit the number of rewarded ads per user to strike the right balance between user experience and monetization. With a shopfront slot, it’s best to limit the number of rewarded videos to five per day per user. This is just right to show users the gaming advantages that rewards provide, and also nudge them towards in-app purchases (IAPs) when the rewards run out.
  • If you want to reward users at level failure, it’s best to do this only once in a game session - this helps users advance in the game and keeps them playing longer. On the other hand, unlimited extra lives in a single game session could lead users to depend on the extra lives to proceed within the game, and make the ad performance of subsequent ads decline.
  • Personalise rewards based on what level the user is on, and which reward will keep them playing longer, to keep them engaged

For Acquisition:

  • Ensure that the ad platform you work with has smart frequency capping to solve for user fatigue.
  • Provide multiple video creatives, if possible, to ensure that the ad network can rotate through them, alleviating user fatigue and giving you the optimum exposure required.
  • Frequent creative revamps have proven to improve ad performance and to help ad networks create more engaging ad experiences for users.

Remember: Rewarded videos are a way to train users to think in terms of IAP - use them wisely.

3. Choose your Ad Platform Wisely

This decision will direct not just the revenue you could earn from your game, but also game adoption, user perception, flexibility with ad formats, demand, and user diversity. The ad platform also dictates how much time you spend integrating with an SDK, monitoring your earnings or acquired users, and their Lifetime Value (LTV). For all these reasons, and more, keep the following in mind when choosing your ad partner:

  • Ad Load Time: Most ad networks have the capability to ‘instant play’ a video ad. This is enabled by caching the video ad in advance to minimise load and buffer time, hence providing a good user experience.
  • HD video experience: Get rid of pixelated videos by working with an ad partner who supports HD videos. But keep in mind that HD ads can consume a lot of data and prebuffering them every time may negate the positives they provide. Strike the right balance to ensure your game doesn't drive up your user’s data charges.
  • Ad Experience: Engaging visualizations, animations, and localization are few creative factors that play a significant role in improving ad performance. Ensure that your ad platform’s offerings include visually beautiful ad units for higher engagement and better monetization.
  • Ease of Integration: SDK integration should be a simple procedure, especially if you’ve done it before. Most networks provide an option to use a native or Server to Server (S2S) callback upon video completion to trigger the reward mechanism. Pick the one that works best for your app and reward implementation.
  • LTV: As a publisher, Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is a key success metric, but it might work better to relax monetization targets in exchange for customer loyalty. Work with an ad partner who understands this to leverage rewarded video to increase user retention. As an advertiser, conversion is a key metric but equally important is LTV. Choose to work with an ad network that delivers not just high conversion rates but also high LTV users.

Remember: Key factors for monetization and user acquisition are engagement, retention, and revenue. Pick an ad partner that offers you a comprehensive package.

To know about InMobi video ad offerings, contact us at videoads@inmobi.com.

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