Lucky Smith’s Glorious Website

Personal site for indie game dev and entrepreneur Lucky Smith

Facebook PPC Outcomes

I’ll be analyzing the outcomes of a brief Facebook pay per click campaign for my game, ChickenPOP.

In my previous post, I attempted to determine what a new player would be worth. This would allow me to make informed decisions about how much I’m willing to pay for a download.

I decided to run a Facebook ad campaign. I had seen in a marketing video where a gentleman talking about how they had great results with low cost per download by advertising to worldwide English speakers using Facebook ads. I had previously given thought to the global audience and how limiting myself to an American only audience could lower my overall maximum profitability. My long term plan with the game was going to include translating the entire game, but only if it earned enough money to warrant such an effort. I had not considered the fact that there are a lot of people who speak English throughout the world and how advertising to them may be more cost effective.

I created a 15 second video which is very similar to the 2 minute gameplay video just trimmed down to a few basic scenes. I set up a video ad campaign. Facebook did not give me the option to run a pay per install campaign* so I decided to choose a pay per click campaign. The basic final outcome would be a video of the game with a bar underneath that says “Download” and I would pay when someone clicked the download button.

* I believe this is due to my app pending approval by Facebook. I do utilize the Facebook API in my game which should allow me to run this type of campaign upon approval.

For my target audience, I chose worldwide English speakers, any gender, between 13 and 34. The target had to have an interest in mobile games for the type of device they own.

The iOS campaign had negligible results buy the end of the campaign. I think the total spent was $0.04.

The Android campaign, within 1 hour, had spent $4. This should mean that 200 people clicked the download button after seeing the ad. I was able to use the Facebook ad tools to see my demographics. The majority of audience interactions occurred in India, Africa and the Middle East. I started to consider that perhaps the residents of this country would not have cutting edge phones. I paused the campaign, adjusted the minimum Android OS version to 7, then resumed.

The campaign continued to run until the next day where it reached roughly $7.50 spent. I ended the campaign that morning and could now analyze the results. At 2 cents per click, I should have seen 375 new users today. Although this doesn’t sound like much, it would be the single biggest day for my game to date. I was excited to see how far $7.50 got me.

Google Play reported 14 new installs. Unity Analytics reported 8 new users. It was hardly a banner day. The following day resumed the usual amount of downloads and users.

My ad received roughly 25 likes on Facebook and one share. One user wrote a comment in Hindu that Gogole Translate couldn’t decipher. One user posted a picture of him on a motorcycle on my Community Wall. I liked the picture. He liked it too.

If we assume Facebook provided the 14 new installs, I paid $1.80 per user. This is way more than my $0.02 pay per click.

Thinking through the process, I think I can see some issues. First, the user sees a video of a game they think they would like. They click the link which will take them to the app store for the device they are viewing on. Then:

a) The user, although reporting they speak English to Facebook, doesn’t really speak English well. Seeing an all English game description turns them off and they leave.
b) The user sees the size of the game and does not want to waste data on downloading it.
c) The user checks out more screenshots and videos of the game and decides it isn’t for them.
c) The user installs the game but never opens it.
d) The user installs and plays the game.

Overall, I was underwhelmed with the results of this experiment. Pay per conversion is a tough model for games since there are so many steps involved. Despite some of the weirdness that comes with worldwide advertising, I am still interested in experimenting with it. The costs to advertising to this demographic is markedly lower (my ad would never run with a $0.02 PPC in the US) and even if they are less likely to spend money on the game, they would still contribute to ad revenue.

Back to the drawing board.

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