- Content Marketing
When Your Customers Become Your Contributors: Brand Journalism Meets TraditionalGoogle Is Changing the Close Variant Matching Option in AdWordsBefore You Invest in Online Advertising, Do This!Native Advertising: The New New Thing or a Race to the Bottom? [VIDEO]
Technology & Data
Data and Creativity at the Social Shake Up: Defining Your Data-Driven Social CampaignTalking Strategy and Data with Shannon Lee of Precision StrategiesNew IBM Study Reveals 3 Key Characteristics of the Most Successful CompaniesMinority Report: Confronting Privacy Issues in Big Data Gathering
- Tech & Innovation
- marketing automation
Social Startups: Moment.me Captures a 360-Degree View of The Social Shake-Up 2014Hootsuite Partners With Syracuse University to Bring Social Media Savvy to College StudentsThe Best Hyperlapse VideosThe Best Content Moderation Tools for Busy People Who Don't Have Time for That
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career GrowthThe Social Shake-Up Attracts Wide Breadth of Brands and IndustriesThe Social Shake-Up: How CMOs Drive Innovation and Revenue GrowthThe Social Shake-Up: The Future of Social Business
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Recap from the First-Ever Employee Advocacy SummitFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Hey Brands: Get Your Game On!
Posted on March 29th 2014
The majority of Americans and more than 500 million consumers worldwide play social and mobile games. Digital games are the newest mass medium. Every demographic plays.
Players play often and for long periods of time. Most social-mobile games are free, with opportunities to buy items within the game to enhance the player’s experience. Who do you want to reach? Millions of them are playing a game right now. Learn how to play nice, and marketers can collect tremendous rewards.
It's Not a Novelty. It's a Marketing Innovation
Social-mobile games and marketing campaigns have the same goal: welcome consumers into a free compelling media experience and invite them to buy. No medium beats digital games when it comes to the most important marketing metrics of engagement, loyalty, and revenue. Games are designed for stickiness and the marketing-monetization ecosystem works so well for successful games, that brands ought to understand the model and the opportunities.
Two Opportunities to Consider
1) Deliver Ad Units in a Game
Marketers can buy in-game ad inventory to deliver videos or display ads inside a game. Despite the often-disruptive presentation of in-game ads, the results are impressive. MediaBrix recently analyzed over 1 billion impressions across 100 ad campaigns that ran in social and mobile games. For ‘traditional’ online ads, click-through rates (CTR) average around 0.2%. MediaBrix found that ads delivered in social and mobile games had average CTRs of 3.0% to 11%, the latter when the ad offers the incentive of some in-game treat for the player.
The metrics notwithstanding, I have two issues with this form of in-game advertising that many gamers share: 1) It’s a bummer when the game pauses to play a poorly presented ad that looks nothing like the cool world of the game; that’s old media feeling clunky in a new media space; and 2) is there real marketing value in a quid pro quo exchange of view the ad and we’ll give you a treat?
The more advantageous marketing opportunity is a branded experience that is immersed in a game played by the people you want to reach. This form of marketing goes beyond the click, into rich engagement that can bridge from the game to the real world.
2) Be the Game
Be part of the game, not just thumb-tacked to it. Seek out creative solutions directly with game developers where you have the opportunity to design a seamless integration with the game that players will value as part of their play. According to a Harris Interactive study from 2012, this strategy is consistent with the immersive, interactive ads consumers prefer in social and mobile media.
P&G’s Bounty paper towels were available as a virtual asset in Restaurant City. In addition to more than 2.5 million players interacting with the virtual product placement, Bounty saw more than 500,000 new likes on their Facebook page.
Cascadian Farms blueberries were the first branded crop available to FarmVille players. Players planted 700 million virtual Cascadian Farm blueberries. Cascadian Farms had a 550% lift in unaided brand awareness, and an increase in real blueberry sales of more than 25%.
Diageo built their own social-mobile game around Captain Morgan. Captain’s Conquest places consumers at the helm of a ship, fighting virtual battles against rivals. So far more than 400,000 players have spent an average of 15 minutes in a fun wrap-around consumer-brand engagement. More than 3 million virtual battles have taken place in the game, and more than 2 million players have taken action outside the game to check-in at local drinking establishments. For months Captain’s Conquest was one of the top-ranked adventure games in the iTunes store.
Ready to Play?
Marketing in digital games gives us the opportunity to move beyond counting clicks. With a huge market and unique engagement opportunities, it’s a good time for advertisers to realize the value of being in a game. It’s your turn.