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Social network gaming is fast becoming an interesting sector for businesses to explore. From a business perspective, social gaming serves as a burgeoning marketing and branding technique that attracts an active, profitable demographic. Facebook shares that more than 250 million people play games on its site. And by 2016, investment bank Digi-Capital predicts that online and mobile will help the gaming industry grow to a worth of $83 billion. At that same rate, mobile and social gaming is expected to receive a revenue share of $48 billion (57 percent), according to Digi-Capital’s global games investment review. Social gamers are a subculture of hot and impressionable consumers that businesses shouldn’t overlook.
Branding, Monetization & Community
Creating social games, or using gamification, to drive your marketing campaigns develops brand loyalty and enhances customer engagement, which both boost your bottom line—revenue.
For one, brand integration entices advertisers because you’re providing exposure to a valuable audience of brand loyalists and dedicated gamers. Advertising brings in money, and an advertiser may even help fund a gaming developer. The most common model for brand integration with social gaming is based on cost-per-engagement (or impression) interaction with the game, explains InsideSocialGames.com, which is similar to traditional media buying. Disney’s “Tron: Legacy” partnered with the social game “Nightclub City,” for example, and through that type of branding integration, more than 3.1 million Tron virtual goods were consumed during the gaming campaign, according to InsideSocialGames.com analysis.
Along with branding and advertising, games can grow a business through monetization. Keep in mind the game should have a simple design, offer incentives (e.g. rewards and points) and be socially shareable. Social Media Examiner focuses on virtual goods as gaming monetization devices. A game developer provides these virtual goods, or in-game items, that the user can purchase without quitting the game. Virtual goods generate about 90 percent of revenue.
Social games also create positive experiences and foster a sense of community. If a gamer feels like they’re part of a your gaming community, their engagement with your brand correlates. Mashable mentions how MasterCard and Expedia have used social gaming experiences as a way to enhance connections with their fans and provide a more communal branding experience.
Gaming Development & Gamification
If you want to embark on social gaming for marketing and branding purposes but lack the resources, outsource services for your needs. Arkadium is a game development studio that specializes in mobile and social games that attract visitors to websites and mobile properties.
For a business that wants to customize a game, iWin.com develops, publishes and promotes games with its Developer Zone program. iWin distributes games on platforms such as Facebook, as well as channels through major retailers like Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy.
Lastly, look to gamification. Strengthen relationships with your consumers and increase sales by adding gaming elements into your marketing campaigns. Fans can earn points or acquire badges for being socially active (e.g. sharing Facebook posts or commenting in forums). Mashable emphasizes this tactic by sharing that the L.A. Kings hockey team used gamification to enhance its website, and users who accumulate the most points by interacting gain access to exclusive King’s content. If your brand is active on social media sites, Qmerce can gamify how your fans interact with your content. Use the Qmerce Social Club to reward loyal fans who interact with your brand online with prizes or coupons.
This article was written by:
Gaming reviewer, app creator, fast food addict