It's no surprise that in today’s digital era, brands are looking for new methods to capture and extend consumers' attention. Look no further -- social gaming represents the new golden era of captive, engaged users. Did you know Facebook users spend more than 50% of their time using apps and playing social games?
Social gaming is low-hanging fruit and should be taken into consideration for brands looking for greater visibility and engagement from their ad campaigns. Here are seven reasons why it’s time to for brands to make social gaming a strategic part of their media plan:
1. Social gaming has hit critical mass: 600 million users play social games on Facebook. In fact, 50% of the U.S. population between the ages of 18 to 44 plays socialgames daily. There are games for every audience and every brand.
2. Your ads get seen: Ads delivered within social games are above the fold and delivered during natural game breaks. That means unlike most regular display ads and some in-banner pre-roll, they actually get seen 100% of the time.
3. High engagement rates: Advertising in social gaming can see average CTRs of 6% and above, up to 23% average engagement rates and 5% average share rates. In fact, eMarketer reports that social gaming can be 7x to 20x more effective than online ads at increasing metrics like ad awareness and brandlift.
4. Going mobile: Mobile is driving the growth of social gaming, which is proven by popular mobile games such as "Angry Bird" to "Draw Something," so the penetration and reach of your campaigns naturally gets extended.
vibrations: Social gaming produces positive emotions, stronger social relationships and a sense of achievement among users that your brand can take part in. As a result, consumers
associate these good emotions with your messaging.
6. You can get creative: There are a lot of opportunities to get creative with in-game
advertising -- which can take the form of video, rich media, surveys and even branded content within the game. It’s not just restricted to online though because you can reward players for
interacting with your brand by offering coupons to use in the physical world.
7. You can measure everything: Because social gaming takes place through the social graph, you can measure everything from CTR to Facebook shares, tweets, follows, interactions, engagement and whatever else your heart desires. Now you can actually measure all the earned media you’re getting.
Leveraging social gaming for advertising can be powerful if you do it right. It’s important to make sure that you’re reaching the right audience and doing so in a way that fits naturally into the activity they’re currently engaged in -- otherwise your brand will stick out like a sore thumb.
Conversely, if you treat social gaming as what it really is -- one of the most disruptive shifts in media consumption we’ve ever seen -- and you build it into your media plan strategically and thoughtfully, then you’ll have a unique opportunity to recapture the minds of a new generation.
Having worked for King World/CBS for 15 years licensing top syndicated TV programs like Oprah, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and other leading properties to local TV affiliates in markets across the country, I rode the downward spiraling roller coaster of television audience erosion, and witnessed consumer loyalties shift before our eyes to the digital platforms and digital entertainment experiences that are most popular with consumers today. Early movers in digital entertainment, today embodied by leaders such as Facebook (obviously), Zynga, Playdom (now Disney), Playfish (now EA), Pandora, Spotify, to name a few, have won a decisive victory over consumer loyalty, consumer reliance, and some would even say consumer "addiction", without having fired a shot. Today's consumer makes multiple appointments per day with their favorite social game(s), music streaming provider(s) and/or other digital destinations. They visit more frequently, spend more time per session, and exhibit the identical consumer loyalty patterns that TV only recaptures (maybe) via LIVE sports and event programming. As marketers and brand advertisers, we should count ourselves lucky that this audience has not completely disappeared from our reach, but simply shifted their attention to new platforms and entertainment environments that are actually more conducive to the storytelling we struggle to convey and deliver everyday. The better today's digital leadership can tell this story, articulate and illustrate these facts, and back up their narrative with audience data, the faster marketing budgets should move to where audience, deep consumer loyalty and consumer attention exist today. The story, data and best practices are right in front of us -- let's go!!