Gaming: An Emerging Branding Opportunity for Businesses

Brand equity is important for companies. It enables businesses to engage with their customer base more effectively. If your company has positive brand equity, you could charge more for your services or products than what competitors are offering on the market.

When building brand equity, you have the option to use search engine optimization (SEO) and social media to help you achieve your goal. If you’re a forward-thinking brand marketer, however, you’ll want to look outward and take advantage of an emerging branding opportunity: gaming.

A goldmine of marketing and creative opportunities is present in gaming, but only a few are focusing their efforts on this exciting and wonderful trend.

The good news is that you can take advantage of this trend before the platform becomes too crowded. Here’s why gaming is the next big branding opportunity for businesses:

Gaming Allows Brands to Engage a Captive Gaming Audience

An article from Forbes revealed that gamers spend an average of seven hours and seven minutes a week playing games. Itgives brands a chance to share engaging and clear content with a captive audience. Interacting with fully immersed gamers is highly advantageous for businesses.

One obvious advertising benefit is that your target market isn’t “distracted,” like they are on social media platforms. Your audience isn’t scrolling or split-screening through news feeds. Instead, they’re fully immersed in what’s in front of them.

Games are Lucrative Virtual Platforms

Brands wanting to achieve success with gaming platforms should look at games differently. Instead of looking at gaming as creative executions, brands should see games as popular and profitable virtual spaces that can serve as media outlets for branded content.

Just look at the world of e-sports as an example. A report from Business Insider revealed that the e-sports market is on track to exceed $1.5 billion in revenue by 2023.

Gaming is Here to Stay

Games aren’t a trend that will disappear in a few months or years. Wired estimated that there are over 2.5 billion active gamers across the globe. Everyone is on the search for the next big marketing channel – and everyone should watch out for gaming.

Tips When Making a Brand Game

If you’re thinking about creating a game for your brand, know that can’t simply outsource game development to a company and then insert whatever product or service you want in that new game. You need to approach gamification differently.

Here are some suggestions to help you produce an effective brand game:

Avoid Applying Conventional Marketing Methods to Gaming

Businesses need to understand that the traditional ways of developing a marketing campaign (ideation, design, build and launch) don’t matter a lot when creating a brand game. If you’re creating a campaign that integrates gamification strategies, you’ll need to prioritize game development over marketing.

The goal of a traditional marketing campaign is to raise awareness and prioritize reach. Gamification success, however, depends on users to keep coming back and playing the game. Instead of investing your time, money and efforts in immediate awareness and eyeballs, your focus should be on growth and engagement.

Tell the Right Story

All marketing efforts must be about telling a story that resonates with a specific target audience. Given this, your gamification strategy should support and enhance the product or brand story that you need to tell. Better yet, come up with a game story that builds on the brand story.

Make Your Planned Brand Game Engaging and Fun

The words “engaging” and “fun” aren’t just terms that are exclusive to excellent game design. They apply to brand games, as well. When developing a brand game, don’t be afraid to build a fantasy world and immerse players into that world to produce the audience engagement you want.

Add a “Hook”

If you want your brand game to work successfully, you’ll need to think up of ways to entice users to keep coming back. You could, for instance, reward players with in-game money when they log in or complete a level. Alternatively, you could create a leaderboard that rewards users who rank in the top three or top five of a contest.

Develop a Platform, Not a Marketing Campaign

Unlike a conventional promotional campaign, you should design gamification initiatives iteratively and incrementally. Take a page from viral mobile games that introduce continuous improvements, such as new power-ups, levels, skills and rewards. These elements keep your target audience continuously engaged within your brand ecosystem. They also help gamers move down the sales or marketing funnel.

The games that people play aren’t just for fun and entertainment. They give advertisers and brands the opportunity to tap a previously “unreachable audience” in large numbers.

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