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To maximize LTV - the holy grail of mobile game KPIs - most game developers start by making in-game adjustments, such as improving the onboarding experience or adding rewarded videos. But when, where, and how you first reach users on the user acquisition side also has an effect on LTV. For example, on-device advertising, a channel that enables advertisers to meet users the moment they activate their new phones, tends to have longer LTV curves than traditional channels.

That said, here are three strategies for boosting your game’s LTV with on-device advertising campaigns. 

Get discovered early on in the device lifecycle

By getting in front of users before they even have the chance to browse the app stores, while they’re setting up their brand new devices for the first time, you’re reaching users in prime “discovery mode.” That’s because when users are getting used to a new phone, they’re more willing to test new games they didn’t have the chance to try on their previous devices. Users who install your game on day one of their new devices are likely to choose your game time and time again, becoming high value, long-term users.

On-device channels give you the opportunity to reach users at this moment, during device setup, as a native part of the device experience. For example, Aura’s app discovery unboxing experience puts you front and center during device unboxing. This means you win the first device install of your app category and get ahead of competitors who are sticking to traditional channels. By doing so, you increase the chances that the users you acquire will stick to your app for the long haul and in turn increase your game’s LTV. 

Looking down the funnel, on-device advertising channels can help you boost LTV by reaching a more precise audience. 

Utilize deep insights to reach the right audience

70% of parents say they play mobile games on a typical day and 86% of Gen Z use mobile as a gaming platform, according to Tapjoy research. With everyone being a ‘gamer’ today, knowing your core audience’s demographics is just a starting point. Finding your high LTV players means digging deeper into their motivations. 

Ultimately, users are attracted to games that are similar to what they’re already playing and enjoying. Determining your audience by gaming preferences and demographics, rather than their demographics alone, is a much stronger way to attract the right users. This makes a user’s home screen indispensable. 

On-device advertising channels rely on partnerships with premium OEMs and carriers, meaning you get an inside look into the apps users engage with. Utilizing these channels, you can recommend your app to users based on what they’re interested in, a unique way to ensure they’ll play your game time and time again. On top of that, through these partnerships, you get access to a user base that games don’t usually have access to - device owners - and you’ll reach 100% of users on those devices.

You may know your audience is females aged 30-40, but that's a big sample size. If you’re looking to improve LTV, reaching users based on preference through on-device advertising is a good place to start. 

Put your game next to the hottest apps

Positioning your game as an option among a diverse mix of apps, especially on a reputable OEM or carrier, can also help you acquire high LTV users that are downloading their favorite banking, social, or entertainment app. Think about it - banking and social apps are essentials and users rarely delete them, which means users have long-term value in mind when downloading them. 

On-device advertising channels have the ability to present your game as an option among the hottest samples from other categories. For example, Aura’s App Discovery Unboxing experience and App Discovery In-Life experience show your mobile game alongside the essentials. Utilizing these channels, you position your app as a part of the entire app economy and as an essential piece of your long-term app collection. 

On-device advertising channels ensure you’re reaching users at the right times, in the right places, and in the right ways. Overall, taking app discovery into consideration is just as important to increasing LTV as is making in-game changes. 

With Aura’s Game Spotlight, users are shown relevant recommendations for a starter pack of games they’re likely to enjoy playing. From there, they can opt-in to receive relevant recommendations every week.

Let's put these tips to good use

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