Us­ing so­cial apps to drive brand en­gage­ment

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

More and more busi­nesses are de­vel­op­ing branded ap­pli­ca­tions as part of their mar­ket­ing pro­grammes, in­te­grat­ing prod­uct in­for­ma­tion with prod­uct reviews and even gaming el­e­ments to reach con­sumers. From in-game ad­ver­tise­ments to en­tire games built around brands, en­gage­ment through games-based apps takes on mul­ti­ple forms and presents unique op­por­tu­ni­ties for mar­keters.

So­cial gaming is one of the best medi­ums that can be lever­aged by com­pa­nies to cap­ture the at­ten­tion of their au­di­ence as well as en­gage them. So­cial games are in­ter­ac­tive in na­ture which in turn makes mar­ket­ing eas­ier as in­for­ma­tion can be given to cus­tomers and aware­ness about their brand can be cre­ated. This in­ter­ac­tive mode of so­cial gaming helps not just in pro­mot­ing and rais­ing aware­ness of a company’s brand but also in keep­ing cus­tomers en­gaged for a long time.

The mes­sage for mar­keters should be clear: they need to con­sider us­ing so­cial game-based apps to build brand en­gage­ment, recog­ni­tion and loy­alty. Here are four tips on what brands of all sizes should con­sider when build­ing their own cus­tom apps.

1. De­fine Your Goals.

As with ev­ery other so­cial strat­egy mar­keters em­ploy, suc­cess in so­cial gaming en­gage­ment starts with a clearly de­fined goal. Know­ing what you want the gaming ex­pe­ri­ence to be will go a long way in help­ing you de­cide the right game and type of en­gage­ment. You need to build a game that ac­com­plishes your goals while tar­get­ing your de­sired au­di­ence. When defin­ing your goals, con­sider fan growth, con­sumer en­gage­ment, vi­ral growth, rev­enue gen­er­a­tion, coupon or sales pro­mo­tion and the cam­paign com­po­nent (part of broader cam­paign).When launch­ing a so­cial gaming ap­pli­ca­tion you must de­ter­mine what works best for your brand and over­all mar­ket­ing strat­egy. Highly en­gag­ing and with vi­ral com­po­nents built in, so­cial games pro­vide the per­fect ve­hi­cle for fu­elling fan growth and build­ing com­mu­nity. They also serve as a per­fect ve­hi­cle for driv­ing brand aware­ness, rev­enue

and pro­mo­tions.

2. Of­fer Real-World Re­wards.

By link­ing the points that users earn inside the game to real world re­wards (like coupons or gift cards), busi­nesses can give their users more in­cen­tives to come back to their apps and spend time earn­ing points. If you’re look­ing for a leader to follow – or one to bor­row ideas from – look no fur­ther than McDon­ald’s. To pro­mote their new col­lec­tion of sauces, McDon­ald’s launched an on­line game, ‘McNuggets Saucy Chal­lenge’, chal­leng­ing those who dare to test their Chicken McNuggets sauce-dunk­ing skills and win real world re­wards. The company in­cor­po­rated give­aways into their so­cial gaming giv­ing play­ers some­thing tan­gi­ble to strive for or achieve in a fun and en­ter­tain­ing way.

3.

Don’t

Build

It

from

Scratch.

Re­mem­ber that you are build­ing a game to en­gage your so­cial com­mu­nity, not to be­come the next great video game pub­lish­ing company. Aware of the grow­ing de­mand for branded so­cial games, com­pa­nies spe­cial­is­ing in com­mu­nity man­age­ment tools have made it rel­a­tively quick and easy to choose a game, brand it with your look and feel, and launch it on­line. As long as you don’t need to cre­ate your games from scratch, then brand­able, tra­di­tional games can pro­vide a cost-ef­fec­tive means of of­fer­ing fun, in­ter­ac­tive con­tent to your con­sumers. Con­sider part­ner­ing with a company with a wide port­fo­lio of so­cial apps which al­lows you to in­clude your gaming con­cepts and company in­for­ma­tion.

If a game is con­fus­ing, dif­fi­cult, or just plain bor­ing, play­ers will likely aban­don it. A con­sumer is more likely to be drawn to your game - and spend more time en­gag­ing with it and your brand - if it’s shared on your web­site or so­cial plat­form, it’s easy to get started and rules and in­struc­tions are kept to a min­i­mum.

To suc­ceed in the age of mo­bile apps, com­pa­nies must do more than just launch an app. They need to de­liver en­gag­ing cus­tomer jour­neys, with com­pelling and rel­e­vant app ex­pe­ri­ences that build bind­ing re­la­tion­ships with cus­tomers. So­cial gaming is a great way to do that as it adds a fun, en­gag­ing layer to any brand. Who doesn’t like play­ing for a chance to win a prize? Adding so­cial games to any brand will not only pro­mote your business, but build loy­alty and en­gage­ment.

4. Sim­plify and Beau­tify.

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