Publisher Showcase: Virtual Currency

Welcome to the 2015 publisher showcase series, aimed at exploring the different ways publishers can drive traffic and sales for advertisers. Each month we will be discussing a different publisher model with, hints and tips to encourage and inform advertisers about the potential that lies within each model.

This month, we’re discussing Virtual Currency partners such as Tap Joy and Supersonic. These companies are networks in their own right since they work with app and game developers in order to help them monetise their audiences.

What is Virtual Currency?

Virtual Currency is a form of in-game or in-entertainment reward. The rewards are virtual in the sense that they can only be redeemed within the game environment (e.g. in return for extra lives or features) and don’t have any direct cash value. Users can earn rewards most commonly through watching videos or completing various actions presented via an offer wall.

How to drive engagement

Virtual currency can be used by advertisers in numerous ways, to incentivise different levels of engagement with customers:

Branding: Virtual currency can be used initially to drive engagement at a brand level; getting the user to watch a video, visit a brand’s website or ‘like’ their Facebook page. It is simply a means of delivering a branded message, encouraging interaction with a brand or driving traffic to a brand. The rewards would carry relatively nominal CPC or CPV values.

Mailing lists: Alternatively users can be encouraged to sign-up to a mailing list or enter a competition so that brands can use their details for future marketing purposes. Typically this is done on a double opt-in basis and rewarded with an increased CPL but still acknowledging that it is incentivised.

Subscription services: You could also consider trailing subscription services or installations of apps. If brands are looking to drive usage of their product and are confident that this can convert into longer-term custom then they can reward users on a Cost per Registration or Installation basis.

Sales channel: Of course, it can be used as a more conventional sales channel, rewarding users on a CPA like with other publisher channels.

Top tips

The channel lends itself best to some of the softer customer engagement metrics but also lead generation campaigns that allow for an element of incentive. Like with social channels, the users are not in a ‘shopping mode’ so a more accessible and less intrusive offer works best. Entertainment and technology products will naturally relate well to the target audience, so it can be particularly successful for brands in this area.

One important consideration is that users expect their reward immediately so the partners tend to prefer auto-validation campaigns. Advertisers should be mindful of this if there is an option to cancel or return the service/products after the initial purchase. A reduced CPA and close monitoring of activity can be used to find the right balance and allow for this element. The commercials should still remain competitive since the offer walls rank according to eCPM, so a weak offer will not receive much traction.

Partners use our SubID (or click-ref) tracking in order to identify which of their own ‘publishers’ was responsible for the action and needs rewarding accordingly. This function can be used to monitor which games/apps are delivering the best performance and likewise underperforming ones can be switched off. Most virtual currency platforms can also offer a degree of targeting; be it by game type, device or even geo-location in order to further tailor campaigns.

So, that hopefully gives you an idea of the opportunities and best practice within Virtual Currency. Feel free to get in touch in order to discuss possible campaigns and arrange introductions to such partners. Next month we will be discussing the publisher retargeting model, so until then!

Mary Ellen Cotter

Mary Ellen Cotter

As Publisher Executive, Mary Ellen's main responsibilities are supporting the publisher team, maintaining relationships with publishers and liaising with the account management team to maximise client publisher opportunities.
Mary Ellen Cotter

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