If you want to acquire more users for your mobile game, your best bet is paid advertising campaigns. More specifically, video advertising on social media. Wondering where to start? The first step is writing a script for social media ads. The process of scripting is very important because it helps you create better videos that convert more users.
In this guide, we explain the strategies we use to create top-notch video ads for mobile games.
So don’t miss out on this article!
Identify What Works
Before we get into writing a script for social media ads, it’s essential that you understand what makes a great mobile game video ad for social media.
Do some research and analyze video ads from your competitors and notice what works and what doesn’t work.
Here’s an example of a good one.
Mushroom Wars 2
Mushroom Wars is an award-winning multiplayer strategy game that’s played in real time.
The video ad for this mobile game is quite simple – it includes a fair amount of gameplay footage. That’s good because it is a true representation of the game.
While animations look cool, they can be quite misleading. They make it seem that the game is much better than it actually is.
At the beginning of the video, there’s a short puzzle – the challenge is to get water to the mushrooms while avoiding lava. The first try is a fail and the mushrooms catch fire.
Chaos ensues and the fire spreads to the battleground, where we see a glimpse of gameplay footage.
The second try is a success and water gets to the mushrooms safely.
The purpose of this type of puzzle intro is to hook people in. Puzzles that pose a challenge to viewers tend to grab the viewer’s attention and make them want to download the game.
There’s a reason why we’re shown the first failed try, even though the puzzle is so easy to solve. It serves the purpose to engage viewers and make them feel smarter.
This is basically a version of those ads that challenge viewers – “Can you solve this puzzle?” You probably noticed a lot of mobile game publishers use this video ad strategy, casual publishers in particular.
However, in Mushroom Wars, it’s a more creative version of it and one that manages to tie gameplay footage into it.
But let’s get back to the video.
After the puzzle is solved, we are shown scenes of actual gameplay – there’s an exciting battle going on in this colorful world.
At the end of the video, we see the Mushroom Wars 2 logo appear. Followed by different awards and finally, a “PLAY NOW” button (CTA).
Overall, the strategy for this video ad was really smart. First, hook players in with a puzzle and then show them actual game footage and show off the main features.
Identify Genre Trends
Now that you have seen some examples of video ads, we advise you to start doing market and competitor research.
Identify the top game publishers in your genre and check out their video ads. (We recommend using Facebook Ads Gallery – it’s free and easy to access).
When analyzing competitors’ video ads, keep an eye on the following things.
- Video ad length
- Does the video consist mostly of gameplay footage or animations?
- What game features are highlighted?
- How the video is edited
- Are there any special effects?
- How interesting are the first couple of seconds of the ad
- Is there a CTA at the end?
- Are there sound effects or music?
Furthermore, try to identify genre trends. Is there something video ads in your genre have in common?
It makes sense to jump in on certain creative trends because there’s always a good reason behind them. If your competitors use a certain technique, it’s because it works.
However, make sure to put your spin on it – you don’t want to straight up copy other game publishers.
Study Your Audience
Target audience research is another important step you should complete before you start writing the script.
A certain video ad might appeal to an audience of young men with an interest in mid-core games, but not to an audience of middle-aged women who are into puzzle games.
According to a study by Facebook Gaming, more than 60% of gamers in the US, UK, and South Korea say a video ad can convince them to download a game, but only if it’s appealing enough.
Furthermore, gamers like advertisements that show gameplay, the progression of characters/universe, and high scores that can be achieved.
When it comes to emotional tone preferences, gamers respond well to ads that are humorous, suspenseful/adrenaline pumping, and those that make the game look challenging. However, that differs according to genre preference and location.
For example, casual gamers in the US prefer humorous ads.
You can learn more about these differences in our puzzle games report, and RPG report.
Analyze Your Game and Its Features
In order to write the perfect script for a video ad, you need to map out your game’s features and analyze them.
Let’s say you have a physics puzzle game like Brain It On.
The features could be:
- Dozens of physics puzzles for all levels
- New puzzles added every week
- Player created levels
- Multiple ways to solve a puzzle
- The ability to compete with friends
- “No ads” option available for purchase
Also, think about whether the game offers some benefits. In this example, the benefit would be a better knowledge of physics, better problem-solving skills, better memory, brain training, etc.
Finally, think about how to show that visually in a video ad. A good strategy is to create a different video ad for each feature/benefit, but more on that in the following section.
Write the Script for Social Media Video Ads
Once the research is done, you can start writing the script for video ads on social media. Here’s a simple step-by-step process you can follow.
Describe the Visual Part of Each Scene
The purpose of scripting is to create a scenario or a storyboard for video ads. That way, every scene is carefully considered and mapped out. Plus, it serves to illustrate how the ad should look, which is useful to the video production team.
Start by describing the visual aspects of the video ad, scene by scene.
Let’s say you have a choice-based simulation game, similar to Choices or My Story. This is how you might write the first couple of scenes.
We see a young blonde woman sitting at a restaurant, alone and bored, looking through the window.
A message cloud appears from the phone and we see the message is from Tristan, her boyfriend.
The message says, “Sorry babe, I can’t make it to dinner, have to work late.”
The woman looks suspicious, still looking at the phone screen.
The caption says, “Do you trust him?”
A choice appears.
A: Say it’s ok and go home alone.
B: Tell him I know he’s cheating.
As you can see from the example, the script describes what happens in each scene and how it looks. You could also describe the audio part. However, keep in mind that video ads usually autoplay on mute. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include sounds effects and music, but the ad needs to be interesting enough on mute as well.
Come up With an Attention-Grabbing Intro
As any marketer will tell you, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, especially when it comes to watching ads.
You pretty much have a few seconds to convince someone to continue watching instead of scrolling past your ad. For that reason, the beginning of a video ad is where you should put the most effort into.
Advertisers have come up with all kinds of different strategies to grab the attention of viewers. Oftentimes, video ad intros are shocking, suspenseful, humorous, all for the purpose of making you stop and watch the ad.
Pay attention to the trends in the advertising industry, but be careful with applying them to your video. More often than not, certain things will work for some ads, but not for yours. Imagine this – you started watching a new TV show, and the first episode or the beginning of the first episode hooks you in.
But then, when you want to watch the rest of the season, it turns out to be disappointing because it was very slow, a lot of things were left unexplained, key points in the story weren’t covered, etc. The same thing can be applied to ads.
For example, some ads tend to have a shocking, provocative intro at the beginning, which works out wonderfully for them.
And then, it can happen that the rest of the ad turns out to be boring, misleading, and overall not very attractive to potential users. Don’t make the same mistake – try to match the same tempo and tone as you set at the beginning. It can be hard, but a successful ad, as you are already aware of, will be worth it long-term. The intro is very important, but save some creative energy for the rest of the video too.
A good intro is supposed to draw the users in, but the rest is supposed to inform them, make them stay until the end, see and recognize your CTA, and of course, download the game.
Include a CTA
The purpose of a video ad is, of course, to acquire new users (or bring back lapsed players). In order to achieve that, you need to direct people to the desired action you want them to make. Most commonly, it’s to download the game.
We do that by adding a call-to-action at the end of the video ad for social media.
You can go with classic ones like “Play now” and “Download for free”. However, you can customize the CTA according to game features. For example, “Join the battle” or “Choose your story”.
Keep the Script (Video) Short
When writing a script, you should also consider the video ad length. Most commonly, video ads are pretty short – we recommend making it 15 to 30 seconds long.
To keep things on track, it’s useful to mark how long each scene is. For example, scene #1 is two seconds, scene #2 is 3 seconds, etc. These scene durations are not set in stone, but only give the video production team a general idea of how you want the video to look like.
Another useful advice is to keep the script (and the video) simple. Don’t write elaborate scenes that are overly complicated to make. Since video ads are short, you should cram a ton of information in it. It’s a much better strategy to create multiple videos, each of them focusing on a different aspect of the game.
This brings us to the next tip – writing more than one script.
Write Multiple Scripts
Not only should you write a different script for different game features, but you should also write multiple scripts for the same ad.
Let me explain.
Let’s say you’re writing a script for a video ad that will focus on social/multiplayer aspects of the game. You need to write multiple variations of that script.
The purpose of that is to have multiple video ads that you can test.
Use the Scripts to Create Video Ads for Testing
Once you have written a script for social media ads, send it over to a video production team. You’ll need multiple variations of the same video ad. Additionally, you need to create videos in different dimensions and aspect ratios, depending on the social networks you advertise on.
In this phase, you also need to work with the marketing team to split test the video ads. This is the only way to really know which ad variation works best, i.e., which one converts the most users.
When you identify that ad, we recommend that you create even more video ad variations based on that winning ad. This process helps you find a formula for video ads that will work every time.
Final Thoughts on Scripts for Social Media Ads
Writing a script for social media ads can be a daunting task, especially if you have no advertising experience or have a very small team.
If that’s the case, you should reach out – we’re here to help.
We have a team of advertising experts, as well as an experienced video production team that specializes in mobile games.
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