The naysayers who dismiss the Internet as merely a tool for uploading selfies and all things self-incriminating have been proved wrong. We also play games! And that means the marketers of digital video games need to be fully engaged online.
According to yStats.com, the patrons of digital games are increasingly “moving away from consoles and pre-installed PC games toward online and mobile games. And social gaming is a fast growing industry, taking up an increasing share of the total video gaming market.”
Gamers are increasingly drawn by convenience and community, preferring to social games on mobile devices. Interpret LLC tells us that on average, gamers spend more than 12 hours on social networks per day and have 16.5 friends playing the same game. This is a trend that cannot be ignored and an opportunity for the digital video game industry to shift how it engages with gaming enthusiasts.
Here are three ways to connect with the discerning social gamer:
1) Connect With These Spenders
The numbers don’t lie. According to Interpret LLC’s recent research:
- - 32% of social gamers say shopping made them happy.
- - 24% of those surveyed said they clicked on an ad while playing a game and made a purchase.
- - 25% of those who buy virtual currency say that they do so at least once a week.
Gamers are willing to lay down cash (or bitcoins) so you should be very excited to get your digital games in front of them. Unlike porn, online games are something the Internet’s denizens will openly associate themselves with. This means you can (and you must!) target your digital games to online communities of gamers who have shown love for similar products.
2) Make Them Play Games (Tie Game Discounts To Actual Gameplay)
Gamers will play digital games just for the fun of it. They will also play a game when there is an economic incentive tied to it. According to Shoutlet:
Non-gaming companies are cashing in with gaming incentives online. The possibilities for digital game marketers are endless. This is where you get creative, have fun, and literally play games.
Offering a discount on a full game to customers who complete a smaller or complementary version of it is one route to go. The smaller game need not be super complex (think Candy Crush), just filled with enough fun to engage gamers. You could also use this method to offer discounts on virtual goods for use in the full game. Consider testing both strategies to find the right mix for your brand.
3) Create Brand Ambassadors Social gamers represent a massive and diverse online demographic.
Recent Adotas research shows us:
Online gamers will view an endorsement of your game by a blogging gamer with much more weight than your direct marketing. Therefore, you must engage with the outspoken and well-followed bloggers of the online gaming community. Target them for free swag, give them advance copies of your games in exchange for reviews, fly them someplace warm for an all-expense paid informational weekend. Pay off their student loans if you need to. This is marketing war people! Their endorsements will give you a crucial edge in the gaming world.
When they’re trading selfies or documenting regrettable behavior, people love to play games. Marketing them new ones is a walk in the park if you do it right. Be social. Be generous. Be a good listener. And above all, be fun in the ways you connect with online gamers.
Digital Surgeons has deep experience helping digital game marketers engage with the online gaming community. To see case studies of our work, click here (no games required).