Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube. We all know our consumers spend a tremendous amount of time on these social networks but how do game marketers reach them? Why do some campaigns become a viral tidal wave that takes consumers along for a ride while others barely make a ripple? Click-thru rates continue to drop overall. How has that affected the value of online advertising?
We at the Ayzenberg Group recently wrapped up our 2009 annual invitational [a]list summit presenting emergent advertising and marketing trends to an audience of senior game industry executives. Among what was covered, and for some uncovered, by this year’s agenda are trends being driven by the changing web, the changing face of advertising, and most of all by our ever-changing game consumer.
For game makers and marketer, this is our five easy pieces to catch up on trends, revisit some fundamentals, and reinvigorate campaigns aimed at our savvy consumers.
The emergence of Web 2.0 has empowered your consumer. He or she now dictates how your brand is communicated and has powerful tools to influence their social circles. We can ignore this emerging media and continue to try and force the conversation, or we can adapt and engage. The traditional approach to marketing online is done with display banners. At the onset of social media sites we just assumed that these were just new destinations to plunk down our banners. Boy were we wrong! Sure click through rates on the Internet are dropping overall, but on social media sites they are non-existent. Simply put, traditional banner ads on social media outlets don t work. So what does work? As we continue to learn how to tap into the communication power of these new portals, consider these the first lessons learned:
i. Be authentic- Nothing can derail and sabotage a campaign like deceiving your consumer. Consider that on a social site the same mechanisms helping you communicate to so many consumers can turn on you. Once turned it can be an unstoppable sinister force against your campaign. The risks are too great. Do not pretend to be something or someone you’re not.
ii. Engage in the conversation- Your consumers are going to talk about your products whether you like it or not. You can choose to let them have their way with your message or you can get involved, inform and influence it.
iii. Add value to the discussion- Adding value can mean many things. It could be as simple as offering a community an exclusive offer such as a discount or coupon. Even more effective is to deliver something compelling such as entertainment, providing something that engages and in turn evokes a response and desire to share.