By Héctor Borrás, on 13 November 2023
Digital marketing offers endless possibilities when it comes to attracting attention for your brand. Did you know that social gaming marketing is one of them? Social games are very popular platforms that offer a lot of possibilities for users to interact with brands.
We tell you how to take full advantage of them in this article!
What Is Social Gaming Marketing?
The term "social gaming" refers to online video games accessed mainly through social media platforms. In addition to being entertained while playing, users share the gaming experience with their network on the platform they’re on. By integrating into commonly used platforms, these types of games can attract audiences that aren’t typically interested in video games.
Facebook has been a pioneer in this sector with games like Farmville and Candy Crush.
Social gaming marketing consists of using video games accessed through social media platforms to promote products, services, and brands. Thus, instead of impacting the user unilaterally, the brand can pave the way for an interactive dialogue with its potential audience.
According to the consulting firm NewZoo, the social gaming market will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years, thanks to the development of new technologies and the low investment required.
For brands, social gaming marketing is a great opportunity to expand their reach, since millions of users can access these games from anywhere on any device connected to the Internet.
Benefits of Social Gaming Marketing
1. Reach and Segmentation
With social gaming marketing, brands can find new business opportunities. Social games reach a wide audience, so they can be an appropriate channel for many companies. At the same time, since they are located on social media platforms, they allow brands to leverage very precise segmentation.
2. Brand Awareness
Social gaming makes it possible to reach users when they are most receptive to marketing, so brands can provide them with value in the form of entertainment. This makes the brand more memorable and associated with positive emotions.
By nature, video games facilitate interaction. Users are directly involved with the brand, which enriches the experience. In addition, these types of games encourage engagement and the chances of going viral.
4. Possibility of Monetization
The creators of social games offer multiple ways for them to be monetized, such as creating a pay-to-play model or charging for certain elements or items within the game.
Social gaming marketing makes it possible to combine the virtual environment with reality. Users can obtain physical benefits when playing. You can use this functionality to create a loyalty marketing strategy that fosters long-term customer engagement.
6. Data Insights and Analytics
Social gaming platforms offer valuable data insights and analytics that can be used for targeted marketing strategies. By analyzing player behavior, preferences, and engagement patterns, marketers can gain valuable information to tailor their campaigns more effectively.
How to Include Social Gaming in Your Marketing Strategy
There are many different marketing strategies for incorporating social games into your brand. Here are some of the main ones:
- Sponsor existing games. This strategy is particularly used within the world of eSports. The brand can launch advertising actions within games and tournaments (to reach active players) or on streaming platforms (to reach more passive participants or spectators). With this strategy, it’s very common for a brand to collaborate with an industry influencer, for example, through mentions and product placement in their live broadcasts.
- Make the brand part of the game. For example, McDonalds created a farm within Farmville. Players could help them grow tomatoes and mustard in exchange for McCafe points, which they could then use to increase the productivity of their own farms. Users were also offered the ability to download a hot air balloon with the McDonalds logo to display on their farms for 24 hours.
- Create your own games. There are already several companies that have created their own apps and games to differentiate themselves from the competition and provide value to their potential customers. As you have seen above, this can also become a source of monetization for the brand.
To know how to incorporate social gaming marketing into your strategy, you have to know your target audience in depth. Each target audience has its own profile and usage habits of social games, so you will have to find out the best channel to reach them and how you can inspire and entertain them.
3 Examples of Social Game Platforms Used by Brands
1. Travis Scott and Fortnite
Hip hop singer Travis Scott chose the video game Fortnite to host a virtual concert in April 2020. Users could see the concert advertised on in-game posters or on their social networks. When they logged in at the chosen time, they could enjoy an incredible visual experience with a giant hologram of Travis. More than 27.7 million users attended the concert.
2. Moschino and EA Games
In 2019, Moschino launched an original experience in which users could unlock virtual clothing items from the brand in the Sims and choose different careers and options related to the fashion world. The game also included virtual avatars of models dressed in clothes from the brand.
3. Animal Crossing and Lazy Oaf
Fashion brand Lazy Oaf leveraged the popularity of Animal Crossing to interact with its potential audience and create user-generated content. Players could create their own clothes and invite others to make swaps via Twitter and Facebook.