Gaming is one of the most widely practiced activities on the Internet.
According to a report released by SpilGames, there were about 700 million online gamers in 2013, and 50.5 percent of Americans will be playing mobile games actively by 2015.
Many businesses (including a number of home Internet businesses) have taken notice of the popularity of online games, and some of them have already incorporated gaming into their marketing strategies.
Here is a look at why and how you should use video games to promote your home business…
Why Video Games are an Effective Marketing Tool
Marketing with video games is an effective strategy simply because gaming is a very popular activity.
By placing ads in video games or developing your own games, you can increase the visibility of your business significantly and engage your target consumers more effectively.
Since they are fun and interesting, video games enable you to engage your audience on a deeper level and for longer periods of time.
They can be an excellent response driver that encourages gamers to take action, such as visiting a website, sharing content, interacting with your company or receiving coupons.
According to the article, “Not Just Fun and Games“, video games are not only a form of entertainment; they can also be used to improve efficiency and obtain information.
Using video games as a marketing tool can help you capture valuable information about your customers, whether through demographic statistics, aggregated behavioral data, cookie-based tracking or registration information. You can use such information to improve your marketing strategies and customer service efforts.
Learn From Larger Companies
Many large companies offer video games on their websites or social media networks, and these games can be played on personal computers, laptops or mobile devices.
Century 21 launched a social game called “We City” in April, 2011 to attract home-buyers aged 25 to 34. In this game, players had to acquire virtual goods, such as homes, skyscrapers and other buildings, to construct cities.
Expedia is another company that took advantage of the popularity of social gaming to promote its brand. Its “FriendTrips” game offers its Facebook fans an opportunity to win a free trip. To be entered into the free trip draw, players have to “like” its Facebook page, select one of 13 travel destinations and invite five of their friends to do the same.
How to Market Successfully with Video Games
Before you start developing a video game, you need to identify your target audience.
Whether you are targeting by age, gender, marital status, ethnicity or education level, you need to have a good understanding of the preferences, interests, habits and attitudes of your target consumers.
Then, develop a game that will appeal to them and help you meet your business objectives. Make sure the game is interactive and engaging. To get more people to play your video game, you need to offer real value to the players, such as a reward or an opportunity to win a reward.
Also, you should encourage existing players to recommend your game to their friends.
Marketing with video games has helped many companies increase their sales and profits, and it can do the same for you.
Photo credit: Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to running a small business.