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GDC 2019 Google Ads and AdMob Breakout Session

GDC 2019 Google Ads and AdMob Breakout Session

SPEAKER 1: Hi, I’m
Jenn, and this is Ed. And we’re product managers on
the App Ads team at Google. We’re really excited
to be here today to share some ideas
on how you can take your game to the next level. Before we get started, I wanted
to take a really quick poll of the room. How many folks in here
have a strategy game? Raise your hand. OK, a couple. Sorry, I’m having trouble
seeing with lights. How many people in here
have a casual game? Raise your hands. OK. All right, so we got a good
amount of casual gamers in the room. Well, that’s great. That’s actually really
helpful to know. And so hopefully, this session
is useful for everyone. As I think everyone in this room
knows, different types of games have different
challenges with respect to growth and monetization. Today, we’re going to cover
some of the distinct challenges for strategy games
and for casual games, and walk through how
to best address them with your user acquisition
and monetization strategies. So let’s jump right in and
talk about strategy games. In talking with strategy
game developers, we’ve identified three
common challenges with respect to growing
these types of games. The first challenge is
getting a large enough player base at launch. The second challenge is
bursting into the top charts. And the third
challenge is attracting more players that pay. Strategy games often require a
lot of players playing together to make a game more
fun, but it can be difficult to break
into a crowded market and drive a large enough active
player base right at launch. To help with this, we recommend
that you create demand for your pre-released game. Game developers
often start thinking about pre-registrations
up to several months before an actual
game launch, and they can do this in a number
of different ways. One way is with the Google
Ads pre-registration product, which is currently in beta. Pre-registration ads
help drive initial buzz, build awareness,
and help you get a built-in pool
of engaged players before the game’s even live. To get users excited,
many marketers will use language like “2
million already pre-registered. Join today.” Line Games recently tested
Google’s pre-registration ads with the launch of their
Destiny Child game in the US. They had a couple main goals. They wanted to drive buzz
leading up to the game release. They wanted to acquire a sizable
user base prior to launch. And they wanted to capture
potentially high-value users early on. With Google
pre-registration ads, Line Games drove over
10,000 pre-registrations in their one-week
campaign, and they did this at a 50% lower cost per
pre-reg than their initial KPI. To top things off, they
actually reached number three in role-playing games in the
Google Play Store one day after launch. Pre-reg ads roll out over
the next few quarters for App Ads customers
advertising on Android. Talk to your Google
account manager to sign up. One way that a lot of people
discover new games, myself and a lot of my
friends included, is by looking at top charts. However, during
game launch, it can be tricky to quickly
gain momentum and break into these charts. It’s also hard to know exactly
how much to bid for an install without any data
to set expectations around the value of the user. We have an upcoming product
that is just the right thing to help you get as many installs
as possible right from day one, and this product is Mass
Conversions Bidding. With this new burst-style
bidding approach, you can maximize
initial installs, helping the system
learn faster and bring in as much volume as possible
during a critical short window. This can also be a great bidding
type during short promotion windows, like holiday bursts. Mass Conversions Bidding
for App Campaigns is now available as a beta
to select advertisers, so if you’re interested, please
talk to your Google account manager to sign up. The third, and
probably most common, challenge that we hear
from strategy game developers is around attracting
more players that pay. Industry data shows that
less than 4% of players will ever spend on in-app items. Of that small group
of payers, there’s often a huge variance in
the value of the purchases. Spend within games tends
to be extremely top-heavy, with a small set of
your payers contributing to the bulk of the
in-app purchases. But with more and
more gamers getting used to paying for
digital content, you really need sophisticated
user acquisition tools to help target these users. Shift your mindset from
quantity to quality and make sure you’re leveraging
actions-based bidding to drive installs by users most
likely to complete a purchase within your app. Over the last year, game
developers around the world have seen tremendous success
with actions-based bidding, and now, over 50% of
game developer investment with App Campaigns
leverages this bidding type. In order to run a
successful TCPA campaign, it’s important to bid on
events that are correlated with purchase intent. So that can be things
like completing a level, joining a guild, or
buying a power-up. One game developer
that has seen success with actions-based bidding is
Tap4Fun with their “Brutal Age” game. Tap4Fun was looking to drive
high-quality installs, maximize in-app purchases, and
overall, increase game ROI. They did this by
testing App Campaigns for actions in markets segmented
by different user cohorts. They followed creative
best practices and used a healthy mix of
video image and text assets. And they set competitive
TCPAs in each market segment to strengthen machine
learning predictions. By optimizing toward
the user action that made the most sense for their
business, which in this case was making a payment,
Tap4Fun drove over 15,000 daily installs
across iOS and Android, and they did this– sorry, and they saw 3x
increase in their seven-day ROI as compared to targets. Now I’m going to
hand it over to Ed, who’s going to cover
some of the challenges that strategy games
have with monetization and how to adjust them. ED WANG: Awesome. Thanks, Jenn. Cool. Hi, everyone. My name is Ed Wang and
I’m a product manager on the AdMob team. So Jenn just talked
about three great tips and how you can grow
your strategy game, and I’m going to
give you three more on things that I
think about when I think about monetizing them. So when I go out and I talk
to strategy game publishers, the three things
that I often hear are really challenging
is one, how do you maximize your revenue
while keeping a great game experience? Two, how can you make
sure you’re retaining your non-paying players? And three, how can you
protect your player experience when you introduce ads? So Jenn just pointed
out a great stat. I always find it surprising,
but less than 4% of players spend on IAP. And we’ve looked at a
lot of Google Play data. This is kind of a
well-known industry trend. Now, if you want to
be a mass-market game, one of the things
that’s really important is that you have to be
competitive in the user acquisition. But you also need to be super
competitive in your user monetization. And if 96% of your users
aren’t paying inside your game, you may need to look to
other streams of revenue. There’s no “one size
fits all” solution for monetizing
all of your games, and ads monetization definitely
isn’t right for every game. But oftentimes, I
look at a game and I realize that they could double
or even triple their IAP revenues when they add in ads. The industry continues to
move in this direction. So in the last 12
months, what we’ve seen is that 34% more games are
using IAP and ads to monetize their game. And this goes back to the
fact that the industry is just getting more and
more competitive. So if you’re a game that
has a large amount of DAU, but a low [INAUDIBLE],,
you should definitely consider integrating ads
to boost your user LTV. But when we talk to
a lot of publishers about introducing ads for the
very first time, a lot of them are nervous. They want to know, what’s going
to happen to my purchasers? What happens to their retention? How much time do they spend
inside the game post-ads, et cetera, et cetera. And we’ve actually
built a product to help you guys feel a
little bit more comfortable and address some
of these concerns. So that product is called
Smart Segmentation, and it’s something that
we’re introducing this week. So if you’re using
the AdMob platform and your game relies
heavily on in-app purchases, you’re now going to have
access to a feature called Smart Segmentation. And this is going to be
available on all of your AdMob interstitial ad units. This feature uses the
power of Google machine learning to help you segment
your users into two groups– people who are likely to
make a purchase and people who are unlikely
to make a purchase. And what we want you to
do with these new segments is we want you to create
tailor ads experiences. So to give you an example,
up here on this slide, I show two different flows. You have a flow for your
unlikely purchasers, and what we’re
recommending is consider inserting interstitial ads in
between screen transitions. And then you also have
a flow for people who are likely to make a purchase. Now, you can keep your current
existing ads-free flow, keep that experience
unencumbered, and then try and maximize
the IAP conversion rate for that specific
set of publishers, or that specific set of users. So for the last
six months, we’ve been testing Smart Segmentation. We ran a great test
with a publisher called 16 Tons
Entertainment, who built a game called “Emergency HQ.” It’s a simulation game. And 16 Tons
Entertainment basically introduced Smart Segmentation
interstitials into their game. They saw an 8% uplift
in ads revenue. They didn’t see any negative
impact on retention, and they didn’t see
any negative impact on the overall user experience. So that was a great win. Keep an eye out for
Smart Segmentation. And if you’re thinking about
experimenting with ads, definitely consider using it. OK, the second challenge. Now, I’ve played a
lot of strategy games in the past that intentionally
limit game progression in order to get players to spend. And it works, right? This tactic is super effective
in increasing your conversion rates. But it’s a double-edged sword
because it can negatively impact your overall
player retention. So for users like me, who don’t
typically spend in games– either because they
can’t or they won’t, they might not have credit
cards, things like that– we often get discouraged
when we play these games and we can’t make progression. And ultimately, what
happens is we end up uninstalling the game because
it’s not very fun to play. So the real question that we
ask ourselves all the time is, what can you do in
your strategy game to keep players around and
make money while you’re at it? And the answer is Rewarded ads. So Rewarded ads are one of
the most popular formats in the gaming industry. Hopefully, you guys
have seen them by now. And what they are is
basically an ad format that gives players
in-game items, like power-ups or extra
lives, in exchange for interacting with an ad. And these in-game
items obviously work great if you’re
trying to help players progress a little
bit faster inside your game. So this means that
with Rewarded ads, you can offer players a
semi-premium experience. You can give them
a taste of what it’s like to
actually buy an IAP, and you can earn
some ad revenue. So this is, in my opinion,
kind of a win-win for both your players as well as you. Now, we recently announced
a great integration with Google Play,
and this integration is going to make Rewarded
super easy to try out. You can set up your Rewarded ads
and check your ads performance right from the Play Console
that you all know and love. And the best part
about all of this is that there’s no new SDKs. And here’s a great example
of a publisher, Avidly, who integrated Rewarded ads
into one of their games. So Avidly put in
Rewarded ads, and what they saw was that
ARPU went up by 40%, user engagement rose by
20%, and overall IP revenue went up by 18%. They had such great success
that Avidly ended up introducing Rewarded ads
into over 50 of their games. And so this just shows you
the power of Rewarded ads. OK, the last challenge. So we know, when it
comes to strategy games, you guys have spent tons of
money on user acquisition. You’ve spent hundreds of hours
perfecting your game design. And so it’s only right that
you care a lot about the ads that you put inside your game. The tricky thing here is that
most ad networks don’t give you any visibility or control
into the kinds of ads they’re putting in front of your users. The good news is
that, with AdMob, we give you tools to put
you in complete control. So we recently launched
the Ad Review Center, and this is a suite of
tools in the AdMob front end that let you customize and see
what AdMob ads are showing up. And we know that finding a
specific ad that has been shown is like finding a
needle in a haystack. You’re generating millions
of impressions and your user reports one bad ad. How do you find it and how
do you take action on it? We’ve actually
invested in technology and we’ve built
out functionality that lets you actually upload
screenshots of your ad, and it then searches through the
database of all the impressions that have been shown
inside your app. Once you find that ad, you
can then take action on it. And so inside Ad
Review Center, a couple of the actions that
you can take is you can actually block
certain game verticals, you can block competing
apps, and you can even block specific creatives. OK, so to quickly recap,
here’s a list of the tips that we just went over. So on the growth
side, create demand for your pre-release games
with pre-registration ads, try out maximum conversions
to help you rise up in the top charts, and
target high-value players with TCPA campaigns. Go for quality instead
of just quantity. On the monetization side,
consider diversifying your revenue streams. Don’t just rely on IAP. Also, introduce in-app
ads and consider using Smart
Segmentation if you’re nervous about who you’re
showing the ads to. Use Rewarded ads to create
semi-premium experiences inside your game and
boost your retention of your non-paying users. And lastly, leverage
our extensive publisher controls to make
sure that you’re comfortable with the
ads that are showing up inside your game. Cool. So I saw a bunch of
hands in the audience about you guys
owning casual games. And so on the other
end of the spectrum, casual games face a
whole different set of unique challenges
that are very different from strategy games. And I’m going to
hand it back over to Jenn to talk to you
about how do you turbocharge the growth of casual games. SPEAKER 1: Thanks, Ed. All right, so casual games
tend to have a different set of players than strategy games. And while the pool of
players tends to be broader, these players are also
typically less likely to pay, and they also have lower LTVs. So with this different user
base comes different user acquisition challenges. The first challenge
that we’ve identified is optimizing for
the right event. The second challenge is
competing with high CPIs. And the third challenge
is producing great videos. One of the most
common things that we hear when we chat with
casual game developers is that it can be really
difficult to figure out exactly what event
to be optimizing for. By default, most people want
to optimize towards a purchase event, but as Ed mentioned,
as I mentioned earlier, as well, it’s such a small
subset of your players that are actually going
to complete an IAP. So for casual games
in particular, it’s really important
to understand other characteristics of
the users who continue to come back to your game. To make sure you’re capturing
all the different types of users who might
be playing your game, consider optimizing
for events that are correlated with engagement. The best way to do
this with ad campaigns is to set up a retention
event as the biddable action that you’re optimizing against. You might bid for players
who reach a certain level or who return to
the game and play in a certain number
of days, or maybe even people who spend at least a
certain amount of time playing after they make
their first app open. Again, not everyone’s
going to complete an IAP. In fact, 96% of people don’t. But there are a ton of
other signals and events out there that correlate
with engagement, and you can test those
with your App Campaigns. So as I mentioned
earlier, casual games tend to have a much
larger player base, but lower CPIs and lower
LTVs than other games genres. Because of this, your
bid for a purchase event for App Campaigns fractions
isn’t always as competitive as you would like to drive
the results that you want. Instead of bidding
higher, we really recommend focusing
on your creatives. Optimize and differentiate
your creatives and focus on their performance. So what does this actually
mean more tactically? Well, App Campaigns
takes a number of different asset types. One is text. We also take in
images and videos. Text assets are, by far,
the most commonly used. They require minimal
creative services. They have the broadest reach,
so text assets actually appear on all properties. I think a lot of people just
assume text, oh, Search, right? But that’s not the case. Text actually appears
also in the Play Store, on YouTube, on AdMob, and it’s
combined with other assets that are uploaded as well. We really recommend
that, for text, you use standalone, complete
thoughts with clear value propositions. And it’s also in
your best interest to make sure that you end
text assets with punctuation because these text lines
can either stand alone, or be combined with other text
lines and other asset types as well. For image assets, we
recommend using the full slot of up to 20 images. Simple design is
generally great, but particularly
for gameplay, it becomes important to
showcase what’s actually going to be in the game. So screenshots of
different levels, of different characters,
things like that. We’re going to touch on
video in my next section, but some general best
practices that we recommend are making sure that you have
a landscape video, a portrait video, and a square
video if possible. And we really
recommend experimenting with different video links. Again, for gaming,
it becomes really important to showcase gameplay,
as well as characters. Choose creative assets that will
really resonate with end users and inspire them to install
and play once they’ve seen it in an ad format. Use the asset report to
optimize your creatives based on what performs best. The best way to use the asset
report is to sort by asset type to compare assets
to one another, and then to filter by
performance groupings. To look for trends,
invest in low assets. So the third challenge
that we often hear is that it can be really
difficult to produce great videos. As we all know, creative
production can be really costly and time- and
resource-intensive, especially when it comes
to creating a video. But video is super important. Video ads on App Campaigns
drove over $14 billion in app actions in the last 12
months, and that’s an over 800% year-on-year increase. But the good news
for everyone is that it’s actually
OK to be scrappy with your video production. New findings from Google’s
Unskippable Labs team suggests that, for
games specifically, many high-performing
video assets on YouTube had low-fidelity
production values. It’s really more important
to showcase straight gameplay or the app itself. Some other tips include
using energetic music, keeping the framing
tight so that users can see what’s going on,
and keeping the video link between 15 and 30 seconds. It’s really not necessary to
have a longer video than that. Another tip is to make multiple
uses of the same video. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] [MUSIC PLAYING] – Seriously, who
doesn’t love cookies? “Cookie Jam,” the
deliciously fun and free game played by millions on
Android devices, the iPhone, and the iPad. – Bravo. – Flow through bakery
island, match three sweets, and create pastries
from around the world. – C’est bon. – Play hundreds of
levels with your friends. Download now for free on
the App Store, Google Play, or on Facebook. “Cookie Jam.” [END PLAYBACK] SPEAKER 1: Great. So “Cookie Jam”
did a lot of things here that I mentioned earlier. They kept their video short. This was about 30 seconds. They used really
energetic music, and hopefully, you’re all a
little bit more awake now. And they also used an
energetic voiceover to describe the value
proposition of the game. Most importantly, they
showcased gameplay so that the end user
who sees this video will really understand
what they’d be getting if they download and play. This video was also
a great example of how we’re investing
in ways to help you make the most of your creatives. So as you can see here,
the original video that was produced was
actually a landscape video, but with our
auto-flip technology, we can help turn your landscape
video into a portrait video, and this really helps you to
increase your video outreach. And with that, I’m
going to hand it back to Ed, who’s
going to share tips for monetizing casual games. ED WANG: All right. Thanks so much, Jenn. So when we think about
casual game monetization, there’s a couple
of key differences that we like to keep in mind. So the first one
that’s pretty obvious is that casual games typically
have simpler game mechanics. And what that means
is that it’s just more accessible to a
broader base of players. You’re going to have higher DAU
when it comes to casual games most of the time. But what simpler
mechanics also means is that it’s slightly harder to
create a robust IAP experience. You’re not going to have as
many complex interactions. You’re going to have a simpler
game economy, et cetera, et cetera. That means that you’re going
to be more reliant on the ads monetization strategy. So if your game exhibits those
types of characteristics, you’re going to want
to pay attention to the next set of tips. OK, so the three
challenges that we’re going to try and address today– one, how can you build
sustainable ads revenue? Two, how can you easily manage
all of your ad networks? And three, how can you maximize
your ads revenue potential? All right, so Jenn
mentioned earlier that you should consider
bidding on events that correlate to user
engagement or retention. And one of the
reasons why that’s so important for casual games is
because engagement is directly correlated with impressions. So the more play time that
you have, the more impressions you’re going to have
and the more ads revenue you’re going to ultimately make. So when publishers
actually ask me, well, how can I build sustainable,
long-lasting ads revenue? The trick that I
always tell them is don’t focus just on the ads
revenue and the ads metrics, like impressions and clicks. You actually need to think about
the holistic game experience. And really, what you
should be focused on is your core user
experience metrics– things like day one retention,
things like user engagement. If you nail those
metrics and you get them absolutely
perfect, you’re going to generate more ads
revenue for longer periods of time. So I’ll just take a quick
poll in the audience. What do you guys
think a good day one retention metric looks like? Does anyone want
to shout it out? Give me a number from 0% to 100% AUDIENCE: 55%. ED WANG: 55%, OK. Pretty good guess. So we actually worked
with the Play team to pull data for the top
games in the Play Store. And what we saw was that
the median day one retention for the top games was 38%. Now, you said 55%. The reason why
that’s a good guess is, if you’ve been following
the hyper-casual craze, you know that most of the
publishers for casual games require their games to have
minimum 50% D1 retention. If they don’t hit that bar
during the beta period, the game never sees
the light of day and they never end up spending
on the user acquisition for it. You don’t want to invest
in a leaky bucket, right? So if you look at this
box-and-whiskers plot, I think it’s
called, you can tell that if you’re looking for
a game that has 50% day one retention,
what you’re really looking for is a game in
the top 10% of top games. OK, so how many of you guys
have heard about Firebase? OK, a bunch of you. OK, great. So Firebase is really
picking up steam these days. And what it is, if you
haven’t heard about it, is Firebase is a suite of
tools to help you optimize, build, and grow your games. At the heart of
Firebase sits analytics. And if you’re not already very
closely monitoring and tracking your retention metrics,
you should definitely think about adding
Firebase to your game. So Firebase makes
it really, really easy to track all of
these core metrics. And you can do all of
that automatically just by integrating the
Firebase Core SDK. On top of that, AdMob
actually has an integration with the Firebase platform. And what it lets you
do is it lets you track a whole bunch
of additional metrics that are specifically
related to ads– things like your
rewarded user percentage, which basically
says what percent of my users, what
percent of my DAU, actually engages
with Rewarded ads? These metrics, we
think, are actually so important to
the ads experience that, in the very
near future, AdMob is going to begin tracking
these metrics for you without any extra SDKs. So keep an eye out for more
info on that really soon. OK, so if ads
monetization makes up the vast majority of
your revenue, then hopefully you’re
thinking really closely about how you can optimize
your fill rates and your ECPMs. How do you get the most
out of your setups? Well, one of the most
recent industry trends is to begin multi-calling
a bunch of networks, and you multi-call with
different floor prices. If you’re using a third-party
platform for mediation, we actually let you call
us up to three times, and this works best if
you’re calling AdMob once at the top of your
waterfall with the high floor, once in the middle, and
then once as a backfill. But in order to make
multi-calling really effective, the trick is knowing what
floor price to actually set. Now, we’ve actually
built in functionality to help you automatically
optimize these floor prices, and it’s a functionality
that you’ll find in the AdMob front end. It’s called the ECPM slider. Keep an eye out for that. But if you want to simplify
your setup even more, you can actually use
the AdMob platform. So we’ve worked really,
really hard to build a mediation platform that’s
both fair and transparent. And we’ve actually introduced
the ability for you to multi-call other
networks on our platform. Multi-calling other networks
on the AdMob platform, in combination with a
feature called Live ECPM, is going to help
you make the most revenue out of every
impression that comes through our platform. Huckleberry Publishing
recently switched over to the AdMob mediation platform. They used some of these
tricks and they’ve had amazing results so far. So by using Live
ECPM, they’ve actually managed to grow
their ECPMs by 50%. They boosted their
fill rates to 99% and overall, they
made 2x the revenue. So if you’re a
casual game studio and you’re super
dependent on ads, think about using
some of these tricks. You might see a
lot more to be had. One of the things that
I’m most excited about, though, is the next
evolution of mediation. So if you’re using
mediation, you know that there’s a ton
of weakness with it. There’s latency. You have to manage a bunch
of SDKs, all of this stuff. Over the past year, we’ve been
working on a brand new solution that we’re calling Open Bidding. And unlike mediation,
where you’re calling networks in a
waterfall sequentially, with Open Bidding, all
of you’re participating networks are bidding on the
impression at the same time and they’re competing
in a fair auction. What this means is that we’re
maximizing competition for you. And when competition
goes up, publishers win. So this makes sure that
you’re getting the highest bid across all of your networks. The benefits of
Open Bidding go way beyond having
better ECPMs though. You’re able to manage
all of your reporting accurately in a single place. You’re going to have
centralized payments, and you can even reduce
the number of SDKs that you need to integrate
with Open Bidding. Here are the eight partners
that we’re live with today. And you’ll notice we have
some really big names up here. We’re continuing to obviously
work with all of the top ad networks in the market to bring
them into our Open Bidding auction. And we’re currently
in closed beta. So if you want to test this
out, talk to your AdMob account manager or reach out to me, and
we’ll get you on the wait list. OK, last tip. So often, I see a
lot of publishers rely on a single ad format. So they might only
be using Rewarded, or you might only be
using interstitials. And you get really comfortable
with that one format. But if you want to
maximize your monetization, when you look at
AdMob’s top publishers, very, very few of them are
just relying on one format. They often will diversify
their ad format strategy. So I want to walk you
through the four formats that AdMob offers,
and I want to talk to you a little bit
about when it makes sense to use which format. So we have four formats. We have Interstitial
ads, we have Banner ads, we have Rewarded ads,
and we have Native ads. Interstitial ads are
full-screen takeovers. They take up the full screen. And this format is
really, really good for games that have lots
of screen transitions. So if you’re a
hyper-casual game– if you’ve played any
of Voodoo’s games– you’ll see that, after
short rounds of gameplay, they stack interstitials in
between the screen transitions. Now, it’s obviously
up to you to find what is that right balance
between ads being too annoying and the ad load being
too high, and what is a good level of monetization. And you can run A/B tests
with things like Firebase to help you strike that balance. Banner ads are partial
screen takeovers. The most common
usage of banners are anchor banners at the
bottom of the screen, like the thing that we’re
showing here in the screenshot. But Banner ads don’t
have to be anchored. So as long as it’s
a partial screen– you can actually have them float
in the middle of your screen through modal pop-ups
and things like that. And what they’re
really good for is games that have a lot of
single screen game time. So one of the types of
games that I love the most are idle RPGs, and Banner
ads work great with idle RPGs because typically, you’re
spending most of your time on a single activity or
a single game screen. Rewarded ads. So Rewarded ads, I
mentioned it earlier. Obviously, one of the
fastest-growing formats for games for a
number of reasons. And as I mentioned
earlier, Rewarded ads are great for games that
have progression blockers that you’ve introduced for
IAP conversion boosting. It’s also really good
for any game that has rich in-game economies. And you’re trying
to give players a free trial of your
premium experience. And lastly, we have Native ads. Native ads are ads where we
give you all of the raw assets, like the image, the
title, the call to action. And you customize the entire
look and feel of those ads. So this format is really
great for any of your games where you care a lot about
the UX and the design, and it looks very particular. If you want to
make your ads also look like they’re
part of that game and they have that same UX and
design, you can use Native ads and you can completely
customize the appearance. OK. So here is a list of all
the tips that we’ve covered. On the growth side,
make sure you’re bidding on events
that are correlated with engagement and retention. And you’re going to find
better users who monetize well with ads. The second thing is optimize
your creative performance and use asset reporting
to measure and understand what’s working and
what is not working. Be scrappy with your
video production. With Google machine
learning and Auto Rotate and stuff like
that, you don’t need to spend a fortune in order
to make your video production super impactful. On the monetization
side, don’t just worry about ad revenue
and ad performance. Also think a lot about
your core user metrics, like day one retention
and user engagement. Make sure you’re
leveraging mediation, as well as try out Open Bidding
to help you optimize your ECPM and fill rates. And then lastly, consider
diversifying your ad formats. Don’t just stick
to one ad format. Try out a couple. OK, so that’s it. Thanks so much for
letting us share some of our newest features
and best tips with you. I know it’s early
in the morning. To learn more about AdMob and
to get some hands-on help, we have a booth set
up in the Expo Center. Come check it out. And now we’ll open it up for any
questions that you might have. I think we have a microphone
in the center of the room, so if people want to– if anyone is brave enough to
come up and ask a question. No one is brave enough. OK, well, we’ll be
hanging around stage. Oh, we have one. AUDIENCE: Yes. ED WANG: A new
player has entered. AUDIENCE: Yeah. Global publishers that have
more regional-based publishing teams, through AdMob– actually, specifically
with the Smart Segmenting, are we able to do this
on a country-based level for the same game? ED WANG: Yeah. So let me tell you a little
bit about how the model works and that might help you
understand whether or not this is possible. So the model behind
Smart Segmentation– and for you guys
that don’t remember, Smart Segmentation is the
thing that automatically splits your user base into potentially
payers and potentially non-payers– what we’re using is
we’re using a lot of the smarts and the
machine learning that we’ve built on the user acquisition
side of the business, but we’re applying
it to the sell side portion of the business,
to the AdMob part. And we’re using a model
called Similar Users Model. It’s a model backed
off of TensorFlow. And the way that
the Sim Users model works is we basically take
a set of people that we know have made purchases
inside your game. It’s specific. It’s a custom-built
model for your game. We take people that we
know have made purchases, we take people we know who
haven’t made purchases, and we use that as
the training data set. The model is really
good at learning certain patterns of what these
players actually look like. So it can tell your players
all share a certain trend. They’re all coming from a
certain country, et cetera, et cetera. And the same thing
with the non-payers. And then, the way
that the model works is when you make an ad request,
if you don’t know anything about the user, we kind of
run them through the model and we ask the model,
does this user look more like someone who has
spent in your app before or does it look like someone
who hasn’t spent in your app? Now, country is one of
those features that’s built inside the model, and
so it should work regionally. There’s really no reason why it
wouldn’t, if that makes sense. AUDIENCE: So
technically, I can say– if I want to create
a proof of concept, I can limit to Country A, run
a test, and then see if we– OK. ED WANG: Absolutely. That’s right. AUDIENCE: Hi, thanks for
the talk and information. I was curious if any of this
will work being able to segment out children with ads right now. I happen to have two and notice
quite often, with Google Play Store and in my own
games, that they’ll be shown explicit
ads or other things that I don’t want them to
see in a casual play game. ED WANG: Yeah. AUDIENCE: So is there anything
where we, as developers, can actually exclude based off age? ED WANG: Absolutely, absolutely. This has become one
of the hottest topics in the advertising industry. AdMob actually offers
a suite of controls that you can use to, again,
customize ad content based on the age level of a player. I’m not the product manager
of the age control stuff, but we definitely have a lot
of documentation on the product site. And through our SDKs, with
different flags and levers, you can absolutely tailor your
ads content based on the age. AUDIENCE: Thank you. ED WANG: Cool. AUDIENCE: Hi, I had
a question about pre-registration campaigns. Basically, my question is what’s
the best time to launch them? How far in advance– how ahead in advance before
the launch of the game? Because my concern is
pre-registrations are cool, but what’s the conversion rate? In our portfolio,
we have two games for which we didn’t launch
pre-registration campaigns and conversion rate in Google
Play Console was 17% both time. And we were at pre-launch
date distance from the launch, and yet the percentage
was the same. Now we have third game
in pre-registrations mode [INAUDIBLE] more
pre-registrations till the number of organic
pre-registrations is already more than twice the– again, we had in advance. So my question is when to
launch these campaigns, and whether the conversion
rate would be better or worse than the organic ones. SPEAKER 1: Yeah. So I think it really depends
on the developer, the game, and even the market. So in APac, where we see
pre-registrations being really popular, we’ve heard
of game developers saying like, three
months in advance, I have my microsite up. I’m already doing all this
stuff to try and drive pre-reg. And they do it in a
lot of different ways that are not Google Ads. They do it through chat and all
these other different things. So it really depends. One feature that our
beta doesn’t have right now is actually the
ability to calculate the number of
conversions that come because of the
pre-registration campaigns. So the next version of
the beta will have that, and so that’ll be a little
bit more helpful when you’re testing these things out. To be able to say,
OK, maybe I want to test for this
game pre-registration of three months in advance. And this other one, I want to do
three weeks in advance, right? So you can actually attribute
that back to the campaign itself. AUDIENCE: That’s cool. Thanks. ED WANG: If there are
no other questions, we’re still going
to stick around, but we would really
love it if you could take a quick survey for
us and let us know how we did. If you have any feedback
on either the UAC stuff that Jenn talked
about or the AdMob stuff, we would love to hear it. Cool. Thanks, everyone. SPEAKER 1: Thanks. [APPLAUSE]

6 thoughts on “GDC 2019 Google Ads and AdMob Breakout Session

  1. Can you help me?

    Google disabled my adsense account for policy violation. But I feel that this decision was made in error. So I filled the appeal form. But after a few seconds they replied that the publisher id i gave is not valid. But i entered the correct publisher id. It was stored in my emails received from google admob.

    Now what should i do? Please help me anybody.

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