Google Admob Campaign, or Not

Here at Lazybrush we have written a neat little Word Search game called Lexigon.   On the iPhone it has had 6 months of customer reviews and improvements.   This month we have just released it for the Android platform. So far, we have been quite disappointed by the download rates from Google Play compared to the Apple AppStore.

We are now debating amongst ourselves if we should throw money in the direction of google admob to try to get more downloads or not.

Paying for adveretising is a strange beast.  It obviously works for large companies who can spent millions to get or retain customers.  I’ve heard that Virgin spend about a 1/3 of their turnover on advertising.   But for the little indie developer can it work?  If I spent 1/3 of last years turn over that would be about $100, I doubt spending that on admob advertising would achieve anything.

This isn’t my first attempt at doing something creative and trying to turn it into profit.  I write my software under the name LazyBrush. Part of this name is due to my arty side. I do like a bit of oil painting, Art Deco style is ‘my bag’. I tried for a while to sell these paintings as quite a few people did ask, ‘do you sell them?’. Now there is a difference between trying to sell something and actually selling it. Before you put a price on my effort, a canvas, brushes and oil paints come to about £30 for each painting. If I do a quick painting it would probably take about a week’s amount of hours, spread over a month or more. With all this a sensible price would be about £500. I did try selling my paintings on eBay.  Here we are ‘using’ eBay as the advertiser, we pay them some money to list the paintings.  They also take a big slice of the final price if you manage to sell.  On this occasion I didn’t manage to sell a single painting.  Then again, who’s going to spend £500 on a painting from an unknown artist.  I probably wouldn’t, not on eBay anyway.

Another occasion, I used my arty skills to make a CD album cover.  This was quite a bit of fun, and I was very pleased with the result.  With this I thought I could turn that into a business and charge a nominal sum for each album cover.  I put an advert in the music paper, NME (New Musical Express).  With this I did get a few phone calls, however, all of them were other companies trying to get more money out of me to advertise elsewhere.  Not one lead.  Then again, everyone can create an image on a PC right? So who wants to pay to have a album cover designed?

Yet another occasion, I made an advert for a local paper to sell the services of a local drama teacher. It was a beautiful advert, even if I do say so myself.  This cost over £100 for the advert which was less than a postcard size.  Again, there was no leads from this.  The paper was keen to tell me that really you need to advertise for several weeks to see an effect.  Um, really?

All in all, dabbling in advertising is probably not the way to go. If you have the money go for it, if money is tight, don’t.  I have read other reviews of admob for those with small budgets on the internet all seem to have mixed levels of disappointment.

I think this article has convinced me that paying admob is not the route to take.   Probably standing in the centre of town with an iPad and a sign round my head saying ‘Play My Game for FREE, download for FREE’ would probably reach more people and get more downloads than I could reach with $100 of admob adverts.  And being a LazyBrush I could probably make the sign myself.

This isn’t meant to be a depressing article, but rather point out the universal truth, it’s not an easy job.   There is a lot of potential out there, about 1 million Android devices being registered every month.  Apple seemingly breaking all expectations every quarter.  If you have a cool game, you could make it.   One of best ways to advertise your games is in other games, so keep working at it.  If you have a handful of ‘neat little games’ that all point to the ‘more games’ that you have made you could well reach that critical mass.

So never give up, never look back and keep on going.  This time next year rodney…

(If you would like to try my ‘neat little game’ head over to www.lazybrush.co.uk and try Lexigon!)

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