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论述Android应用内置广告的设计建议

作者:Tyler York

在Android平台创造收益颇为困难。许多开发者投入许多时间创建、测试及推广他们的应用,结果却未能达到创收独立的状态。我们浏览了50份Android游戏&应用事后分析及开发者收益报告,总结出若干可行的最佳实践和技巧。

Online Game Advertising from gamasutra.com

Online Game Advertising from gamasutra.com

应用内部购买机制&广告

我们非常推崇免费增值模式设计,因此可以想象看到多数独立Android游戏开发者的谋生方式我们颇为惊讶:广告!

事实上,落实成熟的免费增值游戏设计相当复杂。你无法事后添加免费增值创收模式:你需要彻底基于免费增值创收模式制作你的游戏,融入适当的限制性诱人虚拟交易机制。当面临此艰巨设计挑战时,多数开发者选择内置游戏广告。即便是他们植入虚拟交易机制,这通常也带来不到5%的收益。

但用户不会讨厌在他们的游戏中看到的广告吗?是的,他们的确心生厌恶。但令人惊讶的是,极少玩家愿意付费摆脱这些内容:我们发现,只有不到1%的收益来自付费,以及无广告的免费应用。这说明,虽然用户不喜欢广告,但他们更不喜欢在应用中掏钱。

利用各种广告供应商

关于最大化广告收益,一个主要建议是,综合利用大小规模的广告供应商。小型广告供应商的供给比率相对较低,但会就你所展示的广告支付丰厚酬劳。大型广告供应商eCPM明显较低。一个常见策略是,和1-2家小型广告供应商合作,填充尽可能多的位置,然后让大型广告供应商填补剩余位置。这点也非常重要,因为来自各供应商的收益每月会出现较大波幅,因此同各种广告供应商合作能够让你一定程度上免受这些变化的影响。

出于好玩,我们整理出各热门Android广告供应商的平均eCPM和填充率。这些数据不是什么真理,但希望能够发挥一定作用:

* AdMob—eCPM 1美元

* InMobi—eCPM 1美元

* Millennial Media—eCPM 1.25美元

* Madvertise—eCPM 6美元

* Leadbolt—eCPM 3.5美元

* revmob—eCPM 6.5美元

* Mobfox—eCPM 6美元

app store icons from gamasutra.com

app store icons from gamasutra.com

利用App Store优化

虽然我们过去曾写过关于此话题的文章,但这一建议同此密切相关:Android Market的曝光关键是搜索。若你没有优化自己的应用商店图标、清单和描述,那么你就会同用户和收益失之交臂。简单来说,App Store Optimization(游戏邦注:简称ASO)和SEO类似:你需要确定你希望同应用建立联系的关键字,然后根据这些关键字优化你的清单和描述。自文章发布以来,市面上已出现若干重要工具,能够帮你完成应用商店的优化工作,包括AppAnnie和MobileDevHQ。

优化你的广告位置

优化广告位置是项棘手的任务。你需要谋生,因此你得赚钱,但你还希望这不会破坏玩家的体验。受Zack Hiwiller和Johannes Borchardt的启发,我们将向你展示若干潜在优化方式,你可以判定哪种方式适合自己。

选择1:基于曝光度进行优化

在这一方式中,你将广告置于玩家最可能看到的位置,但不要置于玩法的“导火线”位置。这里的目标是,最大化用户看到广告的可能性,且会对广告产生兴趣,然后点击广告。这带来较高质量的点击率。

best ad visibility from gamasutra.com

best ad visibility from gamasutra.com

选择2:根据点击量进行优化

在此方式中,你将广告置于玩家最可能进行点击的位置,无论是出于偶然,还是因为广告置于玩法的页面焦点位置。这里的目标是,最大化用户点击广告的可能性。这带来最多的点击率,但可能致使用户心生不满。此外,如果植入方式过于具有侵入性,广告商也会心生不安。

best click rate from gamasutra.com

best click rate from gamasutra.com

选择3:基于玩法进行优化

在此方式中,你将广告置于非玩法页面,例如菜单、库存画面等。这里的目标是保留玩法的完整性,以维持用户体验。这一方式带来最少点击量,但最不会让用户心生不满。

当基于玩法进行优化时,很多开发者会选择插播广告。这些广告能够巧妙填充于玩法版块之间(游戏邦注:如异步游戏的回合之间或益智游戏的关卡之间)。相比旗帜广告,这些广告通常创造较高收益,不会像旗帜广告那样破坏游戏的沉浸性。

制作不同类型的应用

这也许是最显而易见的建议,但具备多种应用组合的开发者总是能够比着眼于单个项目的开发者表现更突出。除众所周知的不要孤注一掷道理外,这一方式还有许多优点。通过针对不同用户制作不游戏和应用,你将扩大自己的整体目标用户。同时,你还会涉猎不同细分市场,相比应用或游戏当前的目标细分市场,这里竞争相对不那么激烈。某款游戏或应用创造多数收益及广告印象的情况司空见惯。你不知道这会什么应用,直到你将其制作出来,但拥有一款杰出应用能够让你通过交叉推广推动整个生态系统。

通过内部广告交叉推广你的其他游戏

Admob和Android平台的其他服务能够让你利用自己的广告空间交叉推广应用。这对于壮大你的生态系统来说作用显著,因为你可以将收益和广告印象翻一番。此外,你可以通过将既有用户同适当应用进行搭配,最大化他们的粘性程度。也许最重要的是,这带来众多免费营销机会,能够让你推广自己的下个项目及深入扩大既有生态系统。

app ecosystem from gamasutra.com

app ecosystem from gamasutra.com

总结:创建生态系统

要结合上述建议,开发者需将他们的整个用户基础看作是单个生态系统。像Reddit或ICanHazCheezburger那样,迎合各种偏好的手机应用能够可以围绕核心品牌互相借鉴。即便他们遍地撒网,这些网站依然是典型范例,因为他们依然能够将目标用户缩减至若干关键群体。要弄清这点内容,不妨想想为什么用户使用你的应用,或者他们如何从中收获价值。用户是否喜欢你极其简单的应用?他们也许欣赏极其简单的任务清单。思考什么类型的玩家使用你们最受欢迎的应用,以此挖掘开发新应用的机会。也许喜欢你简单应用的玩家会体验靠数据推动的棒球模拟游戏?你只有进行尝试才会知道,但通过将你各应用的用户基础看作是单个生态系统,你可以判断自己能够引起哪些用户的共鸣,然后继续发展壮大。随着你生态系统的发展,下载量、广告印象和收益也将陆续跟上。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转载,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

Making money with free Android apps

by Tyler York

Making money on Android can be hard. Many developers devote countless hours to building, testing, and marketing their apps only to fall short of that income-independent holy grail. We went through over 50 Android game & app postmortems and developer income reports to put together a list of common best practices and tactics that worked.

In-app purchases versus Advertising

We are big proponents of freemium game design on our blog, so imagine our surprise when we found out how the majority of independent Android game developers make their living: ads!

As it turns out, implementing a fully baked freemium game design is rather difficult. You can’t simply tack on freemium monetization after the fact: you need to build the game for freemium monetization from the ground up, complete with appropriate gating and enticing in-app purchases. When faced with this daunting design challenge, most developers opt for in-game advertising instead. Even when they did implement in-app purchases, it typically accounted for less than 5% of their revenue.

But Betable, you say, won’t users hate having ads in their game? Yes, they will. However, what’s surprising is how few of them are willing to pay to get rid of them: we found that less than 1% of revenue typically comes from Paid, ad-free versions of Free apps. This may also be a function of the frequency of advertising in apps on the Android platform, but it’s still a very low number. This tells us that while users dislike ads, they dislike paying for apps more.

Use multiple ad providers

One of the key tips we found for maximizing ad revenue is to use a mix of small and large ad providers. Small ad providers have low fill rates, but pay you well for the ads that you show. Large ad providers can always fill your inventory, but typically have a significantly lower eCPM. A common strategy is to work with one or two small ad providers to fill as many spots as possible, and then let the large provider fill the remaining inventory. This is also very important because revenue from each provider can fluctuate wildly month-over-month, so diversifying your ad providers gives you some insulation against those changes.

For fun, we wanted to post the average eCPM and inventory fill rate from each popular Android ad provider below. These numbers should not be taken as gospel, but hopefully help:

* AdMob – $1.00 eCPM, almost unlimited inventory

* InMobi – $1.00 eCPM, large inventory (especially international)

* Millennial Media – $1.25 eCPM, large inventory (mostly US)

* Madvertise – $6.00 eCPM, small inventory

* Leadbolt – $3.5 eCPM, moderate inventory

* revmob – $6.50 eCPM, small inventory, interstitial ads only

* Mobfox – $6.00 eCPM, very small inventory

Utilize App Store Optimization

While we’ve written a whole post about this in the past, this tip belongs here: The key to discovery in the Android Market is Search. If you aren’t optimizing your app store icon, listing and description, you’re leaving users and revenue on the table. In a nutshell, App Store Optimization (“ASO”) is just like SEO: you need to identify the keywords that you want associated with your app and then optimize your listing and description for those keywords. Since that post, some key tools have become available to help you with app store optimization, including AppAnnie and MobileDevHQ.

Optimize your ad placement

Optimizing your ad placement is tricky business. You’ve got to eat, so you need to make money, but you’d also like do so in a way that doesn’t totally ruin the user experience. Taking equal inspiration from Zack Hiwiller and Johannes Borchardt, we’ll show you some potential optimizations and then you can decide which approach is right for you.

Option 1: Optimize for Visibility

With this method, you place your ad where users are most likely to see it, but not in the line-of-fire of gameplay. The goal here is to maximize the likelihood that a user sees the ad, is interested in it, and then clicks on the ad. This generates the highest quality clicks.

Option 2: Optimize for Clicks

With this method, you place the advertisement where users are most likely to click, whether it’s by accident or because the ads are in an area of the screen that is a focal point during gameplay. The goal here is to maximize the likelihood that a user clicks on an ad, period. This generates the most clicks but can lead to disgruntled users. Also, if done too intrusively, it can upset your advertisers.

Option 3: Optimize for Gameplay

With this method, you place the ads in non-gameplay screens such as the menu, the inventory screen, and others. The goal here is to leave gameplay intact to preserve the user experience. This method generates the least clicks, but is least likely to prompt complaints from your users.

When optimizing for gameplay, many developers opt for interstitial ads. These ads have the benefit of fitting well in between gameplay chunks, such as between turns in an asynchronous game or between levels in a puzzle game. These ads often pay well compared to banner ads and don’t intrude on your game’s immersion like banner ads.

Build multiple apps in different categories

This might be the most obvious tip here, but a developer with a diversified portfolio of multiple apps always outperforms the developer with one project. Other than the truism that you shouldn’t place all of your revenue eggs in one basket, there are a number of advantages to this approach. By building different games and apps for different audiences, you’re increasing your overall target audience. You’re also attacking different niches, which might be less competitive than your current target niche of app or game type. It’s very common for one game or app in your stable to generate the lion’s share of your revenue and impressions. You won’t know which app this is until you create it, but having a workhorse app can power your entire ecosystem with cross promotion.

Cross promote your other apps with House Ads

Admob and other services on Android give you the ability to cross-promote your apps using your own ad space. This is huge for growing your ecosystem, as you get to double-dip in revenue and impressions from your users. Furthermore, you can maximize the engagement of your existing audience by matching them with the right app. And perhaps most importantly, this gives you a ton of free marketing firepower for promoting your next project and extending your ecosystem further.

Conclusion: Build an ecosystem

To tie together the tips mentioned above, developers need to think of their entire user base as one ecosystem. Like Reddit or ICanHazCheezburger, mobile apps that cover diverse interests can build on each other around a central brand. Even though they cast wide nets, these sites are good examples because they can still narrow down their target audience to only a few key demographics. To figure this out for yourself, think about why your users use your apps or how they get value out of them. Do your users enjoy your dead-simple budgeting app? They might appreciate a dead-simple to-do list. Think about what type of person is using your most popular apps to identify opportunities for new apps. Maybe that user who loves your dead-simple budgeting app would play a stat-driven baseball sim? You won’t know until you try, but by thinking of your user base across all apps as a single ecosystem, you can identify which audience you have struck a chord with and continue to grow. And as your ecosystem grows, the downloads, impressions and revenue will follow.(Source:gamasutra


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