How To Design Creatives That Improve CPI

#cpi #creatives #freeplay #ua #useracquisition
January 25, 2023

Creatives are the Holy Graal for hyper-casual games when it comes to CPI. Continuous experiments and tests, optimization and improvement of creative strategy are crucial to boost the game’s profitability and focus on in-game metrics. So, what is the secret recipe for building creatives that perform great? Is it psychology and little tricks? Is it about timing and trends?

FreePlay’s marketing team has built quite an expertise on top-performing creatives. Let us walk you through the creative journey of Shooting Tower — Defense Game, a strategy defense game with a rich arsenal of weapons and exciting challenges. Ultimately, the creative has to set a tone and prepare a player for the fun ride. Here are five tips to stay ahead of the game.

1. Test different angles to highlight the gameplay.

One of the first creatives featured the view from above the battlefield to give a better understanding of the basic strategy and task. The next ad tested gameplay from a different perspective and it boosted the performance. CPI dropped by 28%, while CTR increased up to 6.55%.

2. Feature boosting capabilities of in-game elements

Show more of what the player will be capable of using and achieving with the tools. In Shooting Tower — Defense Game it was important to highlight the merging element and outline the machinery. Featuring new and different elements helps retention in the long run and propels the way to hybrid monetization through greater engagement of the audience. Also, in the post-launch stage focus on in-game metrics and improvements is a clue to new creatives – it’s a two-way highway.

3. Let creatives communicate the “right” emotion

Hyper-casual games are not that simple anymore – the players look forward to the vibe or a feeling of immersiveness. You can take the advantage of these expectations and add a little cinematography, for example, the moving waters in the background in our next creative added some extreme atmosphere for real heroes. It allowed to lower CPI again by 29%, yet the CTR was around 3.47%.

Don’t forget that HC games a sort of relaxation, even if the game mechanics are action or shooter. The game will help the player unwind and cool down. Why not to try incorporate some psychologically favorable elements like mild colors, soft shapes or graphics?

4. Trends and holidays bring excellent updates.

Major holidays and recognizable trends are excellent to boost performance of your creatives and can do surprisingly well for extended periods. Snowflakes lowered CPI by 20% and increased CTR up to 6.78%.

5. Show the goal and use the progress/reward incentive.

A very understable tool of progress bar clarifies the goal and complexity of the game or level and triggers the feeling of accomplishment. Recently, hyper-casual games have turned to more sophisticated scenarios where running for the sake of running is no longer interesting. Players need a goal, a task to complete and receive a reward or visible improvement. So, it makes sense to show the tool in order to give a better perspective on the game and engagement. This little trick to the existing creative allowed to improve CPI by 10%, boost CTR up to 5.45% and is evergreen in terms of performance.