Casino games: 5 best practices for your UA strategy

User Acquisition

January 3, 2017


min read

By 2017, social casino games are expected to generate $4.4 billion with an engaged and big spending audience (read more in our Casino Power Up Report here). In fact, the casino game genre is the top advertising genre on the Chartboost network. I've worked with some of the top casino game advertisers in the US and have learned a few key best practices to help optimize your ad campaigns to acquire the highest quality players. Read on to learn how to acquire these quality player for your casino games.

Target by app categories

In the Chartboost dashboard you'll see an option to target based on app category when setting up your campaign. This is a great way to directly target other casino players in the Chartboost network just by selecting the "casino" category. To see even greater increase on your ROI, target slots specifically.

Want more volume? Including the target "Card and dice," which is a category that you may not think about as a close option to casino but the player interests are very similar.

Making a direct deal is another great way to target high-performing publishers in the casino genre. It's easy to do from your Chartboost dashboard and gives you total control on what games you'd like to work with.

Target by player groups

When setting up your advertising campaigns in the dashboard, Chartboost provides specific audience targeting called Player Group Targeting (PGT). It works just like it sounds: you target an already highly engaged audience in the most relevant categories for your game.

I'd start here with "casino," especially if you are solely focused on overall ROI. If you want to increase your targeting for potentially higher quality users, try "Slots" and "other" next. From what I've seen recently, these are the highest performing campaigns within targeting. Another target deeper — Card & Dice, and Puzzle.

As with any campaigns, you need to test and iterate. A highly targeted campaign may work initially, though after a few days you may want to broaden your targeting again for more traction.

Along with PGT, our team can help you leverage affinity targeting, which is a powerful algorithm that automatically targets players with similar interests as your game.

Optimize your creatives regularly

When you create user acquisition campaigns that target high-quality users, it also means the audience pool is smaller. You'll want to introduce new creatives as performance stalls; we see advertisers update their ads once a month or when their campaigns begin to stall. As for how many creatives to launch per campaign, the sweet spot is four to six separate, eight max. This way you can control the test for what's working per creative and use that data for your next refresh.

If you have a direct deal live, you'll want to optimize more frequently since it's targeting a specific, repeat audience.

Show the game play

The casino game player community is highly engaged and specifically interested in new casino games. That's great for casino game publishers! It's important to showcase actual game play in your creatives — show the slots, the coins, and call to actions that really send the point home. These will always outperform creatives that don't include game play.

Check out this top creative screenshot from publisher Product Madness. Notice how it shows exactly what the game is: slots.

Product Madness

Adjust CPI higher

Another thing to consider if you're seeing performance is adjusting your CPI bids. Keep in mind that high CPIs can affect ROI, but this is also where lowering your bids can really help.

If you're experiencing low ROI, try dropping your bids by ~$0.50; it's the quickest way to increase it. You might see a lower volume but give it a little time!

In the end, it's all about your long-term user acquisition goals. The Chartboost team is here to help you reach your goals. If you're an advertiser looking to reach top-quality players, reach out to Chartboost team to get started