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Using Facebook Ads to Find Your Game's Audience


June 7, 2012 Article Start Page 1 of 3 Next
 

[Marketer and indie developer Christian Fager outlines exactly how to use split testing to hone in on your audience via Facebook ads -- driving traffic to your fan page or home page and determining specifically what demographic is most interested in your title.]

If you have never run Facebook ads for your video game, you may be missing out on some very good and inexpensive data about your game's market.

We were finding it difficult to get real data from potential customers. We needed to find who would be interested in our upcoming game, and what parts of the game would draw them in. We wanted a realistic market response, so instead of surveys we chose ads.

There are five key things a Facebook campaign gives you:

  • Your target market's demographics.
  • What groups are they a part of? (Should you market to Pokémon fans or Starcraft fans?)
  • Finding an image that gets your audience's attention.
  • What 'one line of text' interests your fans the most? (Helpful for selling it later).
  • And of course, build fans for your page.

My Example Campaign

In this example test, I ran a campaign for an upcoming game Breed Battles. The end result was 110 new fans from 173 clicks, market demographics, which groups they are part of, and what information they were most interested in. The cost of this campaign was $70.30. The ads were shown to a total of 136,556 people an average of 3.4 times each.

Many campaigns generate more fans for cheaper. It highly depends on the topic and how much you want to test. Bringing in video game fans compared to other topics was more expensive than any other Facebook campaign I've run.

Profile Your Customers

If you have no idea who your target market would be, or you just want to confirm who it is, it can be discovered through testing.

Initially we targeted:

  • Males
  • All Age Groups
  • Relationship Status we left to 'All' (we know our fans are a little nerdy but that doesn't mean they all had to be single)
  • A large number of Interests (people who 'Like' other pages):

The above groups have about 4,839,340 people in them. Those topics were chosen because we thought fans of those topics would like this game too.

The Results

  • 110 new fans
  • 48 percent of fans in 18-24 age groups.
  • 23 percent of fans in 25-34 age groups.
  • California received about 17 percent of ads and delivered 40 percent of clicks.
  • New York/New Jersey received about 10 percent of ads and delivered 37 percent of clicks.
  • Most interesting aspect of game to our fans is "Real Strategy".

Here is an image of most successful ad of the campaign:

We'll analyze each part of the ad shortly.

Setting Up Your Ad Campaign

When you set up a campaign, you can choose where you want to send people that click. You can send them to your website or to your Facebook Fan Page. If you send them to your website you can control the title of your ad, which is great for increasing clickthrough rates. If you are sending them to a very specific page on your site (such as newsletter squeeze page, sales page, or some way to build your relationship with them more than that one time) then this can be a good way to do it.

If you are just going to send them to a regular home page (that isn't tailored to retain them for future relationship building) then I don't recommend it. You're far better off sending them to your Facebook Fan Page. That is what we chose in this campaign for two reasons:

  1. Build Fans to the Facebook page so we can build a relationship with them.
  2. They can't 'Like' a web page from the ad. If your ad is sending them to your Facebook Fan Page they can 'Like' the ad without even going to it. (If you are running 'Cost Per Click' that is a free fan.)

Those reasons make up for not being able to control the title of the ad unless your website page is very strong.


Article Start Page 1 of 3 Next

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