A guide to Facebook UA

Facebook UA Guide for Testing and Scaling Mobile Games

Gaming marketing consultants Nikita Okan and Margarita Nikolaeva – who have worked on dozens of projects including hits Hustle Castle, Zero City, Tacticool and Love Sick – have put together a comprehensive guide on scaling games from soft launch to global launch.

This article will focus on Facebook as the primary traffic source and is suitable for those who buy users for games with in-app monetization.

The article will cover the following topics:

1.0 Preparing for User Acquisition

1.1 Technical Integration for Tracking and Results Analyzing

1.2 Advertising Campaigns Naming

1.3 Ads Reporting – Basic Report

1.4 The Initial Preparation for Creatives

1.5 Technical User Acquisition

2.0 Soft Launch

2.1 Creatives Test

2.2 Retention Test

2.3 Monetization Test

3.0 Go Global

3.1 The Main Metrics for Evaluating UA

3.2 Basic Settings When Creating Campaigns

3.3 Tips for Better User Acquisition

3.4 Best Campaign Setups for Games

4.0 Glossary

A glossary can be found at the end, as the article uses many technical terms from the field of user acquisition.

1.0 Preparing for User Acquisition

1.1 Technical Integration for Tracking and Results Analyzing

Register the application here.

Create an application and add the required information. Make sure you have accepted the Advanced Mobile App Measurement Agreement.

Decide on the data transfer path to Facebook. There are three of them:

  • Send events automatically via Facebook SDK.
  • Send events through a traffic tracking service, such as Appsflyer or Adjust.
  • Send events manually from the client.

The favoured choice is to send events manually from the client, and it is important to not only to send the event but to also check it, for example, to verify the payment. If you implement a scheme for verifying payments through a server and are sending an event to Facebook from a client, then you control the entire process and do not depend on third-party services.

If you don’t want to implement this approach, then you can try sending events through a traffic tracking service, but this will incur a cost. If this approach does not fit then the first option remains, but in this case, payments from cheaters/testers can get into the statistics.

Decide on services for data collection, analysis of purchases, and products.

It is very important to do this from the beginning because if you decide later, then all of the old users for some new SDK (service) will be considered new. You will then not be able to analyze the traffic and the product properly and, as a result, make decisions on changes and improvements.

There are many analytics and tracking schemes for applications, and professionals have different preferences. We will detail our solution for marketing and basic product needs.

Main SDKs and Tools

  • Facebook - collects data for Facebook Analytics and Facebook Ads.
  • Firebase - obtains data for Google (many features are available in Google Ads only with Firebase integration) and helps conduct A/B tests for products.
  • devtodev - collects internal data from game events; it allows to quickly view product funnels, download specifics through MySQL, and has convenient pre-configured dashboards.
  • AppsFlyer - a paid tracker for exclusive sources, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. It is worth integrating the platform initially but connecting to sources after realizing that you can scale the project.
  • MyTracker - a tracking and analytics system; it is free, very flexible, and convenient for evaluating UA performance. There are income forecasts in-app, adv, subscription. A free alternative to similar, high-cost services.
  • LTV Engine - a tool that allows you to quickly predict LTV, easily calculate target metrics for user acquisition, and create a business plan.

It is also necessary to initially integrate advertising mediation. Many companies on the market have their own preferences, but it is recommend to use IronSource. Its significant advantage is that IS sends user data; this allows you to quickly analyze performance and predict revenue. There is also an easy integration option with MyTracker.

1.2 Naming Advertising Campaigns

Before launching campaigns, decide on the naming. This will help in future when you need to quickly find certain campaigns and understand the way they work.

The standard Facebook approach:

Campaign – platform_geo_audience_optimization_date

Ad Set – platform_geo_audience_optimization_date_name of the creative (something else unique, if necessary)

Creative – the unique name of a creative

Example: iOS_US_lal1 5%_AEO_20.10

1.3 Ads Reporting — Basic Report

To evaluate advertising campaigns, you should prepare a report. Facebook has a convenient Ads Reporting tool, and it creates a template to do daily assessments.

The basic report consists of two blocks: ad funnel effectiveness and performance.

Basic breakdowns: campaigns, days.

Ad funnel metrics: Impressions, CTR (link click-through rate), CR (custom metric: mobile app installs / link clicks), IR (custom metric: mobile app installs / impressions), App Installs, CPI, CPM and Frequency.

Evaluate the overall dynamics and effectiveness through the following indicators: creatives, store, overall funnel efficiency by IR, how expensive the audience you buy by CPM, whether ads are shown too often to the same audience.

1.1 Technical Integration for Tracking and Results Analyzing

Register the application here.

Create an application and add the required information. Make sure you have accepted the Advanced Mobile App Measurement Agreement.

Decide on the data transfer path to Facebook. There are three of them:

  • Send events automatically via Facebook SDK.
  • Send events through a traffic tracking service, such as Appsflyer or Adjust.
  • Send events manually from the client.

The favoured choice is to send events manually from the client, and it is important to not only to send the event but to also check it, for example, to verify the payment. If you implement a scheme for verifying payments through a server and are sending an event to Facebook from a client, then you control the entire process and do not depend on third-party services.

If you don’t want to implement this approach, then you can try sending events through a traffic tracking service, but this will incur a cost. If this approach does not fit then the first option remains, but in this case, payments from cheaters/testers can get into the statistics.

Decide on services for data collection, analysis of purchases, and products.

It is very important to do this from the beginning because if you decide later, then all of the old users for some new SDK (service) will be considered new. You will then not be able to analyze the traffic and the product properly and, as a result, make decisions on changes and improvements.

There are many analytics and tracking schemes for applications, and professionals have different preferences. We will detail our solution for marketing and basic product needs.

Main SDKs and Tools

  • Facebook - collects data for Facebook Analytics and Facebook Ads.
  • Firebase - obtains data for Google (many features are available in Google Ads only with Firebase integration) and helps conduct A/B tests for products.
  • Dev2dev - collects internal data from game events; it allows to quickly view product funnels, download specifics through MySQL, and has convenient pre-configured dashboards.
  • AppsFlyer - a paid tracker for exclusive sources, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. It is worth integrating the platform initially but connecting to sources after realizing that you can scale the project.
  • MyTracker - a tracking and analytics system; it is free, very flexible, and convenient for evaluating UA performance. There are income forecasts in-app, adv, subscription. A free alternative to similar, high-cost services.
  • LTV Engine - a tool that allows you to quickly predict LTV, easily calculate target metrics for user acquisition, and create a business plan.

It is also necessary to initially integrate advertising mediation. Many companies on the market have their own preferences, but it is recommend to use IronSource. Its significant advantage is that IS sends user data; this allows you to quickly analyze performance and predict revenue. There is also an easy integration option with MyTracker.

1.2 Naming Advertising Campaigns

Before launching campaigns, decide on the naming. This will help in future when you need to quickly find certain campaigns and understand the way they work.

The standard Facebook approach:

Campaign – platform_geo_audience_optimization_date

Ad Set – platform_geo_audience_optimization_date_name of the creative (something else unique, if necessary)

Creative – the unique name of a creative

Example: iOS_US_lal1 5%_AEO_20.10

1.3 Ads Reporting — Basic Report

To evaluate advertising campaigns, you should prepare a report. Facebook has a convenient Ads Reporting tool, and it creates a template to do daily assessments.

The basic report consists of two blocks: ad funnel effectiveness and performance.

Basic breakdowns: campaigns, days.

Ad funnel metrics: Impressions, CTR (link click-through rate), CR (custom metric: mobile app installs / link clicks), IR (custom metric: mobile app installs / impressions), App Installs, CPI, CPM and Frequency.

Evaluate the overall dynamics and effectiveness through the following indicators: creatives, store, overall funnel efficiency by IR, how expensive the audience you buy by CPM, whether ads are shown too often to the same audience.

Performance metrics: Purchases, Unique Purchases, Cost per Purchases, Cost per Unique Purchases, ROAS, Amount Spent.

You need to estimate the volume of events (purchases), whether you are satisfied with the cost, and what ROAS you reach according to an effective payback funnel.

You should always remember how many days have passed since the purchase of players because events are accumulating, and ROAS is changing.

Additional (But Not Required) Reports

If the project has a small UA budget (up to $15,000 per month) and you require payback on small volumes as soon as possible, you should pay attention to the following reports:

Who installs my game the most? Who pays the most? Are these the same people? Should I redistribute traffic to the paying segment? To answer these questions, you can build a report for a specific period by gender and age.

Which placement receives many impressions, but doesn’t provide a lot of payments? – Report indicated by platforms and placements. It is sometimes useful to add a section by day or week to track traffic distribution dynamics by placements.

If the project is planned for launch at spending volumes of $100,000+ per month, then it is favored to conduct UA for a wider audience from the very beginning so that the metrics are more relevant.

Examples of campaigns for the cases described above can be found at the end of the article.

1.4 The Initial Preparation for Creatives

Creatives have a big impact on UA performance. This applies to both the advertising source and the store.

Initially, it is vital to analyze and evaluate stores and ads from your biggest competitors. Write out the best approaches in store and through advertising (via the FB service) and create something similar.

For UA at the start, you will need to prepare five different creatives (gameplay/features 1-2, mislead 1-2, stories).

Formats: 1080 × 1080, 1920 × 1080, 1080 × 1920, 1080 × 1350

Timing: preferably up to 15 seconds.

1.5 Technical User Acquisition

Once you have gone through all the technical integration, it is important to understand how the whole scheme works and that the data is not duplicated, especially for statistics on Facebook.

What you need to check day-by-day, going through all the services:

  • The number of logins (installations)
  • Amount of payments
  • Volume of payments

Important - Each service must be configured for the same time so that the data can be checked correctly each day.

Important - A nuance affects the efficiency of UA, so it must be implemented initially. If your game is larger than 150 MB, then the build distribution via a CDN must work. Otherwise, the store will request a Wi-Fi connection from the players and some traffic will be lost, which will affect the advertising funnel and overall efficiency.

Technical Test Budget: $400.

Buy 4 days for $100.

Countries: Philippines, Czech Republic, and Poland. These countries are cheap, they have good levels of English, and you can even get some first payments in the Philippines.

Example of a test campaign:

1 campaign – 1 ad set – 1-5 ads

Campaign budget optimization:

  • Audience - broad (countries only). You can choose the gender depending on your genre
  • Coverage - will be large with a broad audience
  • Daily Campaign Budget - $100
  • Territory - low-cost countries, such as Philippines, Poland and Czech Republic
  • Automatic placements
  • OS version - can start tests from Android
  • Optimization - App Installs Lowest Cost

What to do if the data between Facebook and the tracker/analytics system does not converge - reasons and possible solutions:

Discrepancies due to nuances in attribution:

  • Attribution to another traffic source. Facebook only sees the last click while your tracker sees the real picture; taking into account all available channels, which leads to the installation being attributed to another channel. This is the standard workflow for all last click trackers.

*1 — Facebook attributes traffic only to Facebook

*2 — the tracker attributes traffic to Google Ads

  • Different attribution windows. Facebook and the tracker can have their own attribution windows. In case they do not match, there may be discrepancies. By default, Facebook has 28 days after click and 1 day after view.
  • Different time zones. Check that the time zones on Facebook and the tracker are the same.
  • Show/click time versus event time. Facebook attributes the install by impression/click date. Trackers attribute the installation by the date of installation (in this case, the first opening of the application is counted).
  • Attribution of in-game events. Facebook sees events for a maximum of 28 days from the moment the ad was shown/clicked, while trackers may have a larger “tail” of events (for example, 180 days or more from the moment the app was installed).

Discrepancies due to incorrect settings for Facebook and tracker integration:

  • If you do not see the data in the tracker, check if the Facebook App ID is correct.
  • Only relevant if events are not transmitted directly through the FB SDK. If you don’t see in-game events, check the event integration settings in the tracker. Sending events in the tracker is enabled. The correct event is transmitted from the tracker to the account (for example, purchase leads to purchases, but not in the tutorial). The setting of sending money (revenue, value) is enabled.
  • Duplication of statistics for in-game events. This can happen when events are sent through both the FB SDK and the tracker.
  • Incorrect working of events. It is important that payments in all SDKs are sent simultaneously (for example, after a transaction has passed) after they are validated.
  • TOS is not signed

Discrepancies due to technical problems/bugs on the tracker or Facebook side. If such cases happen, they affect all advertisers and are fixed relatively quickly.

2.0 Soft Launch

The very concept of ‘soft launch’ is rather arbitrary. Games are continually being updated and, in fact, every update is a testing complex similar to what is done during a soft launch.

The main purpose of a soft launch is to determine how close you are to finding a balance to scale the project.

Balance for scaling:

To make the formula shorter:

To understand how close you are to balance, you need to run three tests:

  1. Creatives test
  2. Retention test
  3. Monetization test

2.1 Creatives Test

UA is highly dependent on the creative, which is used in both the advertising source and in the store. Therefore, it is very important from the beginning to make the most effective advertising funnel and to systematically update it to maintain efficiency.

You will constantly be doing the test of creatives both in the soft launch and in the global launch. The testing approach will depend on the number of creatives in production and your UA structure and budgets.

  1. If the budget volume is $1,000 – $50,000 and 1-2 creatives are produced per week, then the test can be carried out within standard campaigns by adding creatives to active campaigns.
  2. If the spend volume is greater than $50,000 and more than three creatives are produced in a week, then it is better to set up a testing process to avoid the worst creatives with less 50% IR* efficiency from the benchmark.

*IR — Install Rate — conversion from the impression into install.

For large volumes, the entire process can be divided into two stages:

  1. UA MAI in low-cost countries for basic IR assessment.
  2. UA AEO in tier-1 countries for IR, CPPU, CPP assessment.

As a result, you need to find 2-3 creatives with the best IR.

Benchmarks

Recommended IR Tier 1 by category for MAI campaigns:

  • Casual games with advertising monetization – 1.2-1.8%
  • Casual games with in-apps – 1-1.6%
  • Midcore- 0.5-1%
  • Hardcore – 0.3-0.5%

What to estimate

You estimate IR after reaching 10,000 views per creative and one day.

Important - Remember that FB collects data on your creatives. If you have several creatives in your ad set, then the initial priority is given to those for which there is data. Therefore, to reset the “knowledge about the old creative”, add 1 pixel per video.

Example of a test campaign:

1 campaign – 1 Ad Set per creative – 1 creative

Optimizing the budget at the ad set level

  • Audience - broad (countries only). You can choose the gender depending on your genre
  • Reach - will be large with a wide audience
  • Daily Ad Set budget - if you run a campaign in low-cost countries, you can set $10-50
  • Territory - depending on the creative (e.g. it may be for a specific territory) or the target country (e.g. if the target is US, then it is worth testing on CA or in lower-cost European countries)
  • Automatic placements
  • OS version - can start tests with Android
  • Optimization - App Installs (Lowest Cost)

2.2. Retention Test

The first question is important to get an answer: Are players generally interested in playing your game? To do this, you need to bring players in and evaluate their retention.

Benchmarks

You can check your recommended retention by genres here in the Game Analytics reports. It is already quite old, but the figures for retention in genres do not change much.

What to estimate

Calendar retention of the 1st day, 7th day, 14th day and 28th day.

Important - Evaluate the calendar retention, this is the standard for comparison.

User acquisition

You need to buy a wide audience of ordinary players. Campaigns should work for at least 4 days.

You need to buy about 300 – 1000 players per day.

Country

If the primary language is English, you can buy cheap traffic from Eastern Europe and the Philippines. The retention rate is likely to be slightly lower than in Tier 1 English-speaking countries. Or if you are confident in the advertising funnel and the budget allows, then apply Nordic countries and Canada.

Budget for 1 test: $ 400 – 700

Example of a test campaign:

1 campaign – 1 ad set per country (countries must be of the same tier range) – 3-5 ads

Campaign-level budget optimization

  • Audience - broad (countries only). You can choose the gender depending on your genre
  • Reach - will be large with a wide audience
  • Daily campaign budget - if you run campaigns in low-cost countries, you can set a budget of $30-200, it all depends on your ad funnel and genre
  • Territory - Canada and Nordic countries are relatively low-cost, plus Philippines, Poland and Czech Republic
  • Automatic placements
  • OS version - can start tests from Android
  • Optimization - App Installs (Lowest Cost)

Additionally, try to estimate the rolling retention of day 1 with a cut-off for day 7. If it is about 30%, then there is a high probability that a core of players will form, which will give good dynamics of payments in the long term.

2.3 Monetization Test

Any project is just a funnel into which a player comes, and at the exit are paying players with some kind of check. It is important to evaluate the funnel, but this is not as easy as it seems.

It is key to always understand that the funnel is not stable and changes from both the project itself and depending on the quality of the players. Therefore, it is in terms of monetization that any average metrics taken for some geo and with some traffic mix cannot be compared with another project. For comparison, it is necessary that the source of traffic is the same, preferably organic.

Benchmarks

It will not work to single out the benchmarks themselves, even when using tools that assess the profitability of projects.

There is only one right way: start UA, calculate LTV and find a balance between CPPU and LTV that matches your business plan and targets.

Relative benchmarks for assessing monetization

CPPU is very IR dependent. IR = CR × CTR, high IR will allow you to get a payer for less money on a large volume of traffic.

LTV can be viewed from the other side – indirectly from ARPDAU.

Our experience has allowed us to identify clear project boundaries where you can see a possible hit. IR balance in UA for value optimization in tier 1 and ARPDAU organic tier 1 countries.

  • IR FB VO Tier 1 = 0,2 % with ARPDAU inapp (Tier 1 Org Net) = $0,3
  • IR FB VO Tier 1 = 0,4 % with ARPDAU inapp (Tier 1 Org Net) = $0,2

What to estimate 

Ask the question – can you recoup traffic on any horizon on the existing monetization with the existing advertising funnel? To do this, you need to buy paying players and estimate their LTV, comparing it with the advertising funnel and the final CPPU.

It is not advised to try to count monetized metrics from commercial traffic in different periods to make conclusions, because quality can change very seriously; this depends not only on the project, but also on the market conditions, creatives, loyalty of moderation, campaign learning, and entry into the auction.

If you want to understand that there are positive changes in monetization, then it is better to conduct an A/B test through Firebase or the Google console. Here you can already evaluate standard payment metrics since the quality of traffic is the same in both groups.

You can estimate LTV through LTV Engine

User acquisition

It is necessary to buy around 200 players so that they make about 500 payments in 3-4 weeks. This is necessary to build satisfactory LTV quality; here both the volume and the lifetime of the paying players are important.

Countries: Tier 1

Budget for 1 test: $5,000-$20,000

Important - The monetization test can be expensive, so make sure you have the best performing IR=CTR x CR funnel before starting the test. You should have 2-3 converting videos and an ideal store.

Example of a test campaign:

1 campaign with certain optimization – 1 ad set for the fastest leaving from the learning phase – 3-5 best creatives with optimization of formats for placements – or use the “Dynamic creative” option

  • Audience - interests of competitors / value audience
  • Reach - from 4 million to optimize for events
  • Daily budget for the campaign - you need to receive around 10 events within the optimization window per day in order to reach 50 events as quickly as possible within the first 7 days of the Ad Set’s life.
  • Territory - countries in tier 1: US, UK, CA, Nordic, DE, NZ, AU and FR
  • Placements - Feed FB, Inst & Stories FB, Inst & AN
  • Optimization - App Event Optimization – Purchase (Lowest Cost, 1 day)

*Placement Asset Customization allows you to choose your own video format for each placement (e.g. 1-1 to Instagram feed and 9-16 to Stories). Turns on at the ad level. You can read more about this here.

*Dynamic Ads allows you to select up to 10 creatives (video or static), 5 texts, 5 headlines and 5 call to actions in one ad, then Facebook will choose the most successful combination. Turns on at the Ad Set level.

3.0 Go Global

You can say that you are moving to this global launch when you are sure of the following:

  1. All analytics and tracking tools are working correctly.
  2. Your game is played, and there are no critical bugs.
  3. Pop-ups with the necessary legal documents work (GDPR, CCPA, Terms of Use, Privacy Policy).
  4. You can download an application from the store without Wi-Fi, distribution of the build via CDN works in all territories.
  5. The game is open in stores worldwide, and there is a main localization: EN, DE, FR, RU, ES, IT, PT.
  6. If there is matchmaking, then in all key territories everything is in order with the servers, and the ping is at the right level for smooth gameplay.
  7. The ad funnel has been tested and its effectiveness is maximized. You have a perfectly converting store, and five very good performing creatives.
  8. The LTV model has been calculated and you have chosen a satisfying payback point for growth within your business plan.

Before scaling, you must clearly decide what good traffic is.

3.1 The Main Metrics for Evaluating UA

Effective cost per paying user for tier 1 countries on day 1, day 3, day 7 (tier 1 will give most of the revenue, so you can work with the average cost for the paying player; but for other tiers, the effective cost of the paying player will be less, because solvency is less).

  1. Effective payment cost for tier 1 countries on day 1, day 3, day 7.
  2. Effective ROI funnel on day 1, day 2, day 3, day 7.
  3. Multipliers of income (n) day to the desired recoup day.

It is important to count each metric. Metrics 3rd and 4th are initially important, they are identical. There are cases when payments have not yet accumulated, but you have a low cost of paying users; then you can safely buy as much traffic as possible because payments will come later. Or a top payer comes and pays a lot of money, you immediately have good metrics 3rd and 4th, but - in fact - the cost of paying users and payments is high and it is dangerous to scale.

3.2 Basic Settings When Creating Campaigns

  1. Audiences – different LALs, interests, gender (with priority by genre), age (if there is an urgent need) 
  2. Geo – US, Tier 1 (FR, DE, UK, CA, Nordic, AU, NZ), Tier 2 (RU, BR, TR, SG, CH, AT, Eastern Europe), Tier 3 (everything else, Asian countries)
  3. Optimizations for MAI, AEO, VO and conversion window 1 day / 7 days
  4. Campaign types – App Ads, Automated App Ads
  5. If you do not have tablet support or the game does not work on some OS versions, you can change it
  6. In rare cases, limit placements
  7. In rare cases, limit the target cost per action
  8. Creatives, formats, texts

When creating Facebook campaigns, it is important to remember that there is no perfect campaign that guarantees the best performance. There are rules by which campaigns must be created so that they can learn and work for a long time. Some campaign strategies have a slightly higher chance of performing well, but that doesn’t mean others will be less effective.

3.3 Tips for Better User Acquisition

  1. Required audience reach for normal long-term operation of campaigns AEO 4 million, VO 6 million. In some cases, you can try to work with AEO 1,5 million, VO 3 million but don’t expect long-term good performance.
  2. The Ad Set should have from 1-5 top creatives, otherwise the budget will be spent on bad creatives or, for some reason, it will not go into the best creative for some time.
  3. You need to gain 50 conversions within the conversion window in 7 days, based on this, plan your budget and it’ll help to optimize right.
  4. Value optimization works best with value-based LALs.
  5. Don’t limit LaL’s audience by interests.
  6. Exclude those who installed the application to not waste the budget on them: this option is in Connections – Advanced combinations. Do not forget that FB considers new users who have not logged into the game for more than 90 days. If you want to exclude older users from the campaign, you should do this through Custom Audience by uploading a csv file to FB with the ID of users who installed the game.
  7. If during the entire lifetime of an Ad Set its frequency is from 2.5 to 3, its performance may fall since Facebook targets the same users every day and, in this case, it is time to find new approaches.
  8. Make major changes to your working campaigns only within budgets, bids, and creatives. If you want to make other changes, then re-create the campaign.
  9. Do not make harsh decisions when working with AEO / VO optimization, get at least 200 installs, estimate the dynamics of changes in the campaign by day. If you are not sure about the project, then calculate the budgets for the test campaign in such a way as to train it in a short time – in a week, during this time you can evaluate the dynamics and collect the amount of data to decide what to do next.
  10. Campaign performance can decline for many reasons. If after training the effectiveness drops and does not recover within three days, look for the reason and re-create the campaign if you want to make changes.
  11. Remember that paying players do not like advertising and the advertising funnel is 2-3 times worse in IR for AEO / VO than if buying ordinary players by MAI. This is reflected in CTR and CR, so do not panic.
  12. For games, it is important to get to Value Optimization in order to buy out the highest quality audience. For this you need to collect 100-300 payments in an advertising account within a week, and it is very important that the payments have different values, then FB will be able to distinguish different groups of paying players and to turn on VO.
  13. Creatives can receive the Low Quality mark. You do not have to pay attention to this if the campaign works well, but it is better to avoid using Low Quality Ads in new campaigns. Because of this tag, you are not getting the best traffic within your budget. Low Quality Ads can be rejected after some time. The main reasons for getting a mark: 
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  14. The best time for UA is January. Ecommerce is cutting its budgets since the new year has passed, and people have more time to play. All this leads us to more revenue per player and lower CPM in the market.

Rejected Ads

Your Ads may get rejected quite often. Facebook has constantly been updating its advertising policy, and this allows moderators to ban any creatives easily. Ads in new accounts that have not yet received a credit of trust are more likely to be banned.

Sometimes the moderators strongly doubt their decisions and it turns out to be the following

These are the objects that may violate Facebook Ads Policy: the creative itself, the text of the creative, the name of the community from which the advertisement is coming, and the store itself (name and screenshots). In rare cases, they may not even like the game itself. In the beginning, it is better to start with standard approaches without risky phrases in order to gain a positive history.

A method that will maximize the chance of approval after rejects:

  • As soon as they are rejected, go to the support chat and explain that you have perfect creatives, and you do not understand why they got rejected. If everything is fine with the creative, the support manager will send an application for review to the managers responsible for checking the ad. As a result, there may be two outcomes: your ads will be restored or the manager will say that ads do not pass according to the policy.
  • If you receive an email with rejection after review, go to the Ads Manager, find the Ads, and submit it for review via the appeal button. Here you have a second chance to get on another manager who can approve your Ads.

If your ads are rejected again, then the functionality of re-submitting for review through your account will be closed for these ads. In this case, message the support if you are sure that everything is in order with your ads. They can submit again for the review.

Ad Set learning phase

Before you increase your Ad Set budget, you need to make sure it is out of the learning phase.

After creating an Ad Set, it enters the learning stage until it receives a sufficient amount of data (about 50 optimization events, it may be more or less depending on the situation at the auction) to produce a stable result (complete learning).

Every major change to the Ad Set will reset the learning phase. Major changes:

  • Change targeting
  • Change ads
  • Adding new ads
  • Stop Ad Set for 7 days or more
  • Big change in budget, bid cap

How to change campaigns and avoid resetting the training phase (relevant for general campaigns, not AAA). Golden rule: no more than 20% (you can make changes once an hour, no more than once an hour, but better less often).

  • A budget change by more than 20% (a change from $100-$120 will not affect training, but from $100-$1,000 will zero it, unless you have set Target cost, in which case it will not be considered as a real change and will not affect the training).
  • Change bid cap or target cost. Here is the same recommendation: once an hour, a change of no more than 20% is possible.

If, after learning, you are satisfied with the performance of the Ad Set, you can start increasing the budget. If you are not satisfied with the result, then the Ad Set should be turned off, copied, changed, and restarted.

Learning Limited status. Sometimes the Ad Set may be marked as learning limited, which means the system thinks that you are not getting enough conversions for optimization. Do not be afraid of this status, it disappears as soon as the Ad Set collects enough data.

3.4 Best Campaign Setup for Games

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Additional comments:

  • Most of the campaigns are presented with VO optimization. Nevertheless, all these setups are relevant for AEO optimization (App Event Optimization – Purchase). AEO will give you a cheaper CPI than VO, and sometimes a cheaper payment cost (but ARPPU will usually also be lower).
  • Conversion window: day 1 and day 7? If day 7 shows good results for your project, then you should not switch to day 1. In AAA, the default conversion window is day 7, there is no choice.

4.0 Glossary

CPPU — cost per paying user

CPM — cost per 1000 impressions

CTR — conversion from impression to click

CR — conversion from click to install

%pu — percentage of paying users

ARPPU — average revenue per paying user

inapp — payments from in-app purchases

adv — ad revenue

sub — subscriptions revenue

n — any day from the day of installation

IR — Install Rate — conversion from impression to install

MAI — Mobile App Install Optimization

AEO — App Event Optimization

VO — Value Optimization

WW — Worldwide

AAA — Automated App Ads

LAL — look-a-like audience, similar users to yours for some reason

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