Companies large and small understand the importance of investing in marketing. Many of the leading ones spend more than 20% of their revenue on marketing. Some even spent close to 50%!
The goal is to get more exposure, reach your target audience, and drive engagement, leads, and sales. However, direct marketing doesn’t always work.
That’s why companies are using online games as a marketing tool. Simply put, using online games for PR can give your brand a competitive edge and this form of marketing is pretty successful at generating engagement.
One of the greatest examples of gamification marketing success is: My Starbucks Rewards
Starbucks’ loyalty program uses gamification tactics to increase customer engagement and ensure repeat business.
They incentivize Rewards members with free food and drinks against “stars” that the customers receive with each purchase. Earning more stars and reaching gold status gives customers a sense of achievement and enhances loyalty.
Let’s take a look at why using online games for PR is a good choice for companies.
1. Increased brand awareness
Using online games for PR is a popular strategy to reach more and more consumers. For example, a number of brands like The Encyclopedia Britannica teamed up with classic games platform Solitaired to create custom solitaire games which drove PR and awareness. When you do something unique, people want to talk and read about it.
2. Greater engagement
Online games are engaging and helpful in developing connections and giving users a reason to return to your brand for more purchases. They can hook the attention of your target audience for a long time.
For example: The personalized gifting brand, M&M’S, launched a pretzel-flavored candy and created an online game asking consumers and other users to find the tiny “pretzel candy” hidden among multi-colored M&M’S candies.
This Eye-Spy Pretzel game generated great engagement: 25,000 likes, 6,000 shares, and 10,000 comments.
3. Increased website traffic and leads
Online games can not only help you drive more traffic to your website but also help you generate more leads and conversions.
High-end cosmetics brand, Guerlain, has tried its hand at gamification marketing many times.
It launched the My Rouge G game for its lipstick launch in China. The game encouraged users to fight against each other and collect rewards in Guerlain stores. This gaming campaign helped Guerlain attract over 18,000 page views and 10,000 players in just ten days of its launch.
4. Higher search visibility
Many companies use online games for PR to increase dwell time on the site as users who play games online will stay longer. Increased traffic and dwell time are good SEO ranking factors that can help improve your site’s search visibility as well.
How can companies use online games for PR?
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of using online games for PR, it’s time to understand how to get there.
1. Launch a game that aligns with your product
Companies are launching new games like the My Rouge G game by Guerlain that I mentioned above. This helps them raise awareness about their product and directly generate leads and sales.
However, launching a game will need some investment from your side.
2. Partner with gaming companies
The easier way to use online games for PR is to do a partnership with a gaming company and sponsor their game or have them create sponsored branded content for you.
The luxury fashion brand, Moschino, partnered with EA Games (Electronic Arts) in 2019. EA Games created in-game stuff that would unlock virtual Moschino outfits. The collaboration was executed well and was a hit with users.
When you partner with a game company, it’s not necessary for you to sponsor the whole game. You can also pay a fixed amount to the online gaming company and a commission for every lead or sale they bring.
3. Sponsor an online gaming team
Another way to use online games for PR is to sponsor a team in popular games or esports that have massive viewership. Take the NBA or MLS for example.
You can sponsor a team in these games. Your sponsored team will wear jerseys with your brand logo and help you boost your brand awareness.
In fact, you can also sponsor the video streams that an individual popular player or gaming influencer runs. This can help you do PR and marketing efficiently and get good returns from your investment.
Companies need creative marketing and PR strategies to raise brand awareness and promote their products or services. And, online games have become a great tool for the same.
You can leverage online gaming techniques like game launch, ranking lists, and incentives to attract and engage your existing and potential customers.
So, what are you waiting for?
Start leveraging gamification marketing and PR to grow your brand. Share your thoughts in the comments below.