DomiNations app icon

DomiNations

Players conquer civilizations.
DomiNations wins efficiency.

DomiNations ad on the App Store

With DomiNations, players strategically advance through world history, battling and building empires. The app’s developer Big Huge Games increased awareness and acquisition in new markets with Apple Search Ads while improving redownloads, revenue,
and return on ad spend.

The Results

4x increase in new user acquisition with SearchAdsHQ integration.
24% higher tap-through rate with Creative Sets.
2x higher conversion rate on redownload campaign in the U.S.

The Challenge

To build visibility with niche audiences as well as reengage former players, the team at DomiNations wanted to improve discovery on the App Store. Capturing intent from gamers showing interest in history and searching for mid-to-hardcore strategy games was crucial. With a strategic focus on global expansion, the team also needed to drive acquisition of engaged players in new markets while ensuring efficiency and revenue growth.

We’re very performance driven and Apple Search Ads consistently meets our return on ad spend goals, making it one of the pillars of our global revenue growth.

The Solution

Expand keyword coverage to reach new customers. 

To better monitor performance and gain local insights, the team at DomiNations set up separate Apple Search Ads campaigns for each country or region. With discovery campaigns, they found new, relevant search terms specific to each market. Brand campaigns maximized impressions and captured engaged players actively searching for their brand terms.

 

To optimize campaigns, the team at DomiNations integrated SearchAdsHQ, a tool that automates Apple Search Ads campaign management tasks to better scale performance while saving time and effort. “By integrating Apple Search Ads with SearchAdsHQ, we were able to more easily find new keywords and more efficiently expand our search term coverage,” says Big Huge Games Senior User Acquisition Manager Jingjing Zhang. “With the bulk edit and automation functionality, we could also pivot faster and capitalize on the best-performing keywords more easily, which drove cost-per-acquisition down by 20 percent within two months.”

Increase efficiency with redownloads.

To reintroduce their app to lapsed customers, the DomiNations team removed audience refinements for Apple Search Ads campaigns and included returning users. This helped the team reach the widest possible audience of prospects and engage players who had previously downloaded the app but may not have experienced all the gameplay possibilities. 

 

“Apple Search Ads helped us grow both new users and lapsed players globally,” says Zhang. “We’re able to find the right combination of keywords and creative that attracts the right users and drives costs down.” 

Optimize ad relevance to improve performance.

To maximize new user acquisition as well as redownloads, the DomiNations team tested ad variations with Creative Sets highlighting popular gameplay like key historical periods. They also aligned top-performing keywords and different app previews or videos from its App Store product page. Ad creative highlighting the app’s newest capabilities was aimed at sparking the interest of people who had previously downloaded the app.

 

“Apple Search Ads helps us determine what search terms and creative our audiences find most relevant at the local level,” says Zhang. “That’s invaluable not only to drive downloads with key audiences, but also to help optimize our App Store product page and drive organic growth.”

Company Snapshot

  • Big Huge Games
  • Gaming category
  • Founded in 2015
  • Based in Maryland, USA
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