Contrary to popular belief (or perhaps unpopular at this point), a lot of useful skills can be taken from the video game world. Avid gamers know that video games have a lot more to offer than just an entertaining pastime. Aside from learning multi-tasking, planning, and problem-solving skills, the world of gaming also offers us some competitive insights when it comes to business and marketing. The gaming industry is projected to reach $111 billion in sales this year, and it didn’t get that way from resting on its laurels. Video game marketing strategies are aggressive and often wildly successful. So, get comfortable in your gaming chair and level up your marketing strategy this year with these helpful insights from the world of games.
Level One – Improve Your Battle Tactics and Build a Better Campaign
Video games feature cleverly disguised tasks that improve our logic and critical thinking skills. We play video games under the guise of fun and tend not to realize they are actually training our brains to adapt to changing situations. A skilled gamer keeps a watchful eye on the surroundings, constantly analyzing the battlefield and tweaking his or her tactics to fit the challenge. Likewise, a seasoned marketing professional must keep in mind his or her target audience and fluctuations within the marketplace at all times.
A good marketing campaign will first identify targets before deploying a slew of strategies that will effectively grab and retain customer attention. A tactic that works for one campaign may not work well for another, and the key is pinpointing that difference. Don’t waste money on developing a killer direct mail campaign if you’re trying to capture a younger or more tech-oriented crowd, and don’t dump tons of financial resources into social media if your target is an older, more traditional generation. First, recognize your brand’s story and its strengths, and adjust individual parameters within your campaign so it aligns with your endgame.
Level Two – Upgrade Your Skills and Equipment
Technology seems to have taken on the form of a rolling snowball: picking up more speed, mass, and occasional debris along way. Since the dawn of the internet (which shockingly has signs of life as early as the 1960’s), we’ve come a long way. Floppy disks have given way to cloud storage; chat rooms have grown up and become professional tools for collaboration, and automation software runs the world. If your marketing campaign isn’t harnessing the best tools that technology has to offer at any given time, you’re missing out.
It’s imperative to stay on top of changing media trends and industry innovations if you want to stand out in a heavily crowded market. Are you spending enough time on Twitter? Is your site optimized for mobile? Are you using automation software for market research? Revisit your marketing strategies frequently and make sure your equipment is tailored to provide the benefits that matter most to your brand. Don’t use outdated strategies or unnecessary features that don’t work for you – that’s like putting level 4 heavy armor on a level 8 mage.
Level Three – Forge New Pathways and Think Creatively
So you’ve customized your equipment and honed your skills – congratulations! You are now prepared to go out and explore new pathways in your world. Forge bravely ahead knowing you are in the world of technology, an environment full of hidden treasure chests stuffed with new, useful items. Every year that passes brings changes to the content marketing arena, offering more interconnectedness and exciting new opportunities – all you have to do is find them. Remember to think outside the box and embrace creativity.
The great transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” For content marketing, perhaps this means trying out different social media channels like Instagram or Pinterest, or even completely new ones like Pheed and Learnist. Above all, remember to place a high value on creativity. Dull, flat content and old SEO techniques, like keyword stuffing, simply don’t cut it anymore. In fact, practices like these negatively affect your page rank and get your site penalized. As long as your content is high-quality, you and your party can blaze new trails with confidence.
Level Four – Working Together to Take Down the Boss
You’ve made it through the unknown, optimized your inventory, and you have a skill-set worthy of mastery. You know where you’ve arrived – the boss fight. The giant creature that holds all the gold and XP you could ever imagine looms forebodingly overhead, and it’s time to take him down. This fight will take camaraderie and cooperation of epic proportions, so it’s critical that all your party members are working together as a whole. If any of these pieces are not functioning to their highest abilities, now is the time to trim the fat.
To pull off a highly effective content marketing campaign, you must monitor your strategies closely to make sure they are all connected and working at optimum efficiency. While the identification of the original goal and planning are what lay the foundation for a winning campaign, it’s the implementation, delivery, and ongoing maintenance of these strategies that matter most.
Take some inspiration from the marketing campaigns of large-scale video game developers. They orchestrate giant campaigns with many moving parts that function together as a whole. They build hype around the release of a new product, release teaser games, and get their audience talking long before the product is even released. Combining pinpoint audience targeting, online marketing, social media, and traditional advertising, game developers cover the marketing spectrum end to end.
Bear in mind this is only a rough guide to the marketing game. In the end, it really boils down to how you play.
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