The Social Side of Gaming

If you haven’t heard of Angry Birds or Farmville, you have been living under a rock. These are just two of the many games that have transformed the trend of social gaming. Social gaming is playing games as a way of social interaction, via social networks like Facebook. Gaming is not only for the stereotyped teens, now moms, business execs, and retirees are reshaping the demographics of who a gamer is. The two top activities people do online is social networking and gaming, so its no wonder social gaming has become so popular.

Social gaming is not only keeping users entertained, it is also helping companies market and advertise their brands. Marketers use social gaming to reach a wide variety of people. It also gives them the opportunity to target specific groups of people by uncovering their preferences, habits, and acquaintances via social networks. This is where targeted advertising comes into play. Companies are leveraging their brands to create experiences that exist within the games to encourage engagement and interaction. For example, you can get a pair of Nike tennis shoes for your Avatar. The idea is to incorporate businesses and brands into the gaming network instead of overloading users with ads. By integrating brands into games, users will have the chance to interact with the brand instead of being attacked by numerous ad campaigns.

Social gaming enables an interaction to take place. This is the first step in attracting users to a brand, product, or service. By integrating brands into a game, it allows users to have fun with the brand and get to know it. If a user’s avatar wears Nike shoes, the user may be more inclined to buy a pair of Nike shoes for themselves.

Inbound Marketing Overview

Traditional marketing has been centered around companies taking action to initiate a conversation, meaning companies are focused on finding customers. This is done by sending out a message to an audience through TV commercials, print ads, and cold calling. This form of marketing is called outbound marketing and it is starting to lose its effectiveness. We now have technologies like spam filtering, caller id, Tivo, and other measures to block out these outbound marketing techniques. It is also costly to create outbound marketing messages and difficult to track how successful or unsuccessful the campaign was.

We live in a world where things change everyday. Even the way we market has changed immensely. We have turned away from our traditional forms of marketing and have adapted something different called inbound marketing. This new form of marketing is centered around being found by customers. Companies that participate in inbound marketing take the stress of hoping the money they spent on expensive ads will somehow attract some new customers. Companies using inbound marketing utilize techniques such as writing a blog, creating a YouTube video, and constructing a presence via social media to draw customers in.

Inbound marketing is an efficient way to attract customers. It is less costly than outbound marketing, especially since many social media outlets are free to use. It also allows for more accurate targeting. Instead of sending a message to a large amount of people, inbound marketing allows messages to be formed specifically to certain people that you want to hear the message. The secret to a valuable inbound marketing campaign is through content and communication. If a company focuses on useful and confident content, people will find it and like it. Communication is also key to creating a conversation with potential customers because it could turn into a beneficial business relationship.