How MU Monarch increased sign-in rates by over 90% through creative optimization

COMPANY
Webzen
INDUSTRY
Game
WEBSITE
webzen.com
About
Webzen

Webzen is a leading game company based in Korea with over 20 titles spanning from MMORPGs to subculture games. By successfully bringing the MU Online nostalgia to mobile, MU Monarch peaked as the third highest revenue-generating game in Korea and continues to maintain its status within the top 10 rankings.

Summary
  • Improve ROAS by reaching target audiences who are likely to play Mu Monarch
  • Develop ad creatives tailored to the target audience
Overview

Webzen, one of Korea's leading game companies for MMORPGs with iconic titles such as MU and R2, launched MU Monarch in 2023. This mobile game captures the essence of the original PC game MU Online, appealing to users with its nostalgic charm. A key marketing strategy was to target specific segments using ad creatives based on scenes and features from MU Online.  Leveraging Airbridge's customizable reports, Webzen measured ad creative impact explored new advertising channels, and targeted specific audience segments, resulting in a significant improvement in player sign-in rates and return on ad spend (ROAS).

Challenges

Improve ROAS by reaching target audiences who are likely to play MU Monarch

Securing a substantial influx of new users from the start is crucial for MMORPGs, as the excitement of competing with other players is a powerful motivator for users to return to the game. In other words, revenue is directly tied to the number of new registered users(NRU).

However, since the game may not suit everyone's preferences, it's important to find suitable target audiences likely to enjoy the game and to increase sign-in conversion rates by reaching out to them. Getting the right users from the start helps reduce drop-offs during installations or sign-in stages, ultimately maximizing ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).

Develop ad creative tailored to the target audience

MU Monarch's main feature is its faithful recreation of MU Online nostalgia on mobile. Therefore its perspective on graphics and direction differs from other major MMORPGs. Rather than focusing on extensive branding campaigns on TV to create a buzz, the emphasis was on identifying potential players and developing ad creatives that would appeal to them. So, Webzen prioritized creating ad creatives that convey the gameplay and characteristics of the original MU Online. Then, it was crucial to optimize these creatives for advertising efficiency.

Solutions

Identify high-performing ad creatives and channels reaching the target audience with the customizable Airbridge Actuals Report.

To highlight MU Monarch as the best mobile game representing the original MU IP of MU Online, Webzen planned with a strategy utilizing short-form videos. Given the nature of short-form video, which requires showcasing the most compelling content in a short amount of time, various attempts were needed to determine which scenes from the game should be included. Additionally, due to the rapid onset of fatigue associated with short-form video, swift monitoring of performance was necessary. Utilizing Airbridge's highly customizable reports, it was possible to discover the effectiveness of each ad creative and gain insights to optimize the marketing performance.

Webzen ran campaigns on TikTok using short-form video content. They optimized creatives by comprehensively reviewing their efficiency through Airbridge reports, TikTok data, and internal metrics. Specifically, they accessed Airbridge's Actuals Report daily to monitor campaign performance. Airbridge's Actuals Report allows for intuitive configuration of metrics, GroupBys, filters, and measurement date options, making it easy to set up reports suitable for campaign trends and operational strategies, and to review performance. By configuring it intuitively, they conveniently aggregated data for specific campaigns and advertising channels, enabling easy analysis. Through efficient monitoring, they quickly optimized the ad creatives.  As a result, Webzen achieved sign-in rates exceeding 90% and ROAS over 300% in the MU Monarch launch campaign on TikTok compared to before ad creative optimization.

They also promptly discontinued underperforming content, resulting in an increase in VTR (View Through Rate) and preventing marketing budget waste.

Improve overall marketing performance by analyzing the impact of ad creatives and performance data using Airbridge reports.

The primary focus during the execution of the MU Monarch campaign was to enhance the efficiency of key metrics like NRU, retention, and ROAS. Other than TikTok’s short-form video creatives, Webzen utilized various ad channels to improve the metrics and gain more revenue. For this, Webzen checked each performance of ad channels in Airbridge Actuals and Trend reports and also set up Ad Channel Integration for in-app event postbacks, enabling retargeting and campaign optimization across different platforms.

When running campaigns across various channels, particularly on Playio, Webzen fine-tuned the settings to transmit more in-app events from Airbridge as postbacks to Playio. This adjustment resulted in a more than 20% increase in login rates and a 20% rise in NRU compared to the pre-adjustment period. Airbridge offers postback configuration for the integrated ad channels to optimize campaign performance and allocate budget effectively. Webzen specifically ran 'Hidden Quest' campaigns on Playio, offering users additional benefits upon achieving in-game in-app events. They sent more in-app events to Playio through Airbridge to run the campaigns, such as sign-in and level intervals, beyond existing postback settings. Performance was successfully improved by optimizing and operating campaigns based on more data.

👉 Find more Ad Channels integrated with Airbridge

Final thoughts

Webzen strives to consistently introduce beloved games based on iconic IPs and diversify genres. In the midst of a gaming landscape saturated with numerous titles globally, Webzen aims to continually evolve marketing strategies to enhance the appeal and playability of games like MU Monarch for users.

"Airbridge made our lives so much easier. Their flexible reports make data monitoring a breeze. The best part? The Airbridge team is always there when we need them. Quick responses, and proactive support – it's like having our own in-house marketing squad. They've made our campaigns perform better and run smoother. Couldn't be happier with the crew at Airbridge!"

- Hailey Kang (Head of Marketing department, Webzen)
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