Self-isolation can be rather, well, isolating! As we are all on mandatory shelter in place orders of varying degrees during the pandemic, we are starved of two things: interaction and entertainment. This has provided hyper-casual games with an opportunity to flourish. What could solve boredom and loneliness better than text-based games? The problem is that with the highly saturated market for these games, you need to get creative with your campaign strategy to stick out. What creative strategy does Chat Master! use?
Chat Master! A game with mobile phone-related activities consists of multiple chat scenarios and mini-games, experienced a sudden growth at the end of September landing them at the top of the category Rankings under Among Us (one of the most popular games 2020) and staying one of the most popular games for over a month.
With the “Games” category being one of the most competitive in the app stores this rising star app has already started to slip down in rankings. Now that they have made their name, it might be a good time to take a look at their advertising strategy. An ad analysis might show us what got them here, what’s working, and what they would need to do to keep a grip on their place at the top.
So what brought this all about? Chat Master! has three updates around the time of the spike. The app first updated on September 26th, followed by another on October 2nd, and another update followed soon after on October 8th.
This could have contributed towards their growth but updates are not all an app needs to be successful. What did Chat Master! do that made them climb so quickly within a week? What do they need to do to hold on? A deeper dive into their creative strategy in advertising might give us some clues. Let’s take a look to see what’s working and check with an advertisement analysis what needs work in terms of their advertising.
Chat Master! published its first creatives in July of 2020,
starting on Facebook the campaign gradually expanded over the months.
In September they added Ironsource and by October they were advertising on a number of ad networks.
Along with the redistribution of ad networks, we can see that the focus on video ads has increased as compared to images. They have also started to include playable ads in their creatives. This was a good move. Their creatives with the highest impressions are interactive creatives and videos. A short creative analysis shows us that 14 out of 29 of their active ads are video and 8 of them are interactive. This indicates that they picked up on what was working for them and adjusted their creative strategy.
However, there was still some discrepancy. Though the app is putting the majority of its ads on Facebook, when we look at the impressions, we can see that they are actually getting the most traction from Ironsource.
In fact, their ratios are almost reversed. It appears that the ads from Ironsource are doing far better than those on Facebook.
Now, looking at their ad distribution over time, we can see that they have changed their ratios.
They are now advertising more on Ironsource.
These kinds of discrepancies can also be viewed in their visibility. Their creatives are most visible in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. Their impressions are higher in the US and Singapore.
As far as the actual creatives are concerned, Chat Master!’s strategy currently is to post videos and interactive advertisements displaying the chat portion of the game. The ads are either be screen recordings from the actual game or an iPhone chat screen displaying the conversations that you, the chat master, are having with someone. Usually the video ads will have the “player” lose in order to create a sense of frustration. The person watching the ad will therefore be persuaded to download the game.
But aside from their ads, what could be the secret to their success?
Is Chat Master! Stealing social media customers?
This is a texting games app but two of its three highest-ranking keywords are related to social networking apps. This could be an advantage for text-based games. Whether this was a strategy to poach people looking for free chat apps or a result of coincidence, “text free” and “hangouts” are among the top 3 keywords for this app.
This suggests that they may be targeting people who would be interested in social apps. Come for texting, and then stay for addicting gameplay!
Though these are interesting speculations, Chat Master! is not a chat app, and while it is addicting, the reviews seem to show us that the ads began to outweigh the fun.
The addition of an in-app purchase permitting players to remove the ads for 2.99 did not, it seems, rectify the situation. The negative reviews for the app are centered predominantly around the ads.
How Chat Master! could do better
Based on the ad intelligence tools, their best performing ads are interactive and video ads. It also appears that they have a large user base in Asia and are currently only running ads in English. They might want to localize some of their creatives.
The data also suggests that Unity and Ironsource are the networks on which their ads are creating the biggest impressions.
Trying to thrive in the gaming market requires a unique approach to advertising. Simply having an addicting game that reels people in, is only the first step. Try strategies such as targeting audiences from a less saturated market or a disgruntled audience of an app they are frustrated with.
Keeping up with what your competitors are doing! What ads are they running? What mistakes are they making? Test your keywords. All of this is an important part of promoting your app. You can schedule a demo with us if you would like to learn from the victories and failures of your competitors.