We do games, we love games, but why should you?

Do you want to engage with a new audience or re-engage your current ones? Give your social followers a reward or incentive to be loyal to your brand? Get a serious message across in a fun way? All of these are great reasons to consider using games in your marketing strategy. Here are a few more, in facts and figures…

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to have any meaningful engagement with your audience, when everyone is pushing content and producing masses of branded communication, which can be quite intrusive and overwhelming for the consumer and not all that effective for brands.

The power of mobile and games

It’s estimated that in 2015 the UK mobile games market value was £664m, up 21.1% from 2014. This growth means that games have become so much more accessible, from the early days of Doodle Jump, Angry Birds and Temple Run to the augmented reality phenomenon of Pokemon Go today. To put the latter’s popularity in context, this free to download app has just exceeded £250million in-app sales in just a few weeks and is set to exceed the predicted £1billion mark.  Gotta catch ‘em all!

40% of the UK population play games

In Q1 of 2016, GameTrack estimated there were 18.8m people in the 6-64 year old population playing games in the UK, that’s a whopping 40%, and on average they spend 8.8 hours per week playing them.

It’s easy to assume that gaming is largely dominated by a young male audience and that may be the case for the more traditional gaming environment, but it may actually surprise you that in a report from 2014 by the IAB, 53% of UK online gamers were women, and the growth of the mobile gaming trend has been largely driven by a female customer base.  It also suggested that a quarter of all gamers are now over 45-years-old. I think it’s safe to say that mobile and online games have really changed the landscape of the industry and there is a game genre out there for everyone.

So it’s really no surprise that brands are including games in their digital strategy, its proving a great way to engage with audiences in a way that clearly resonates with a large portion of the population. There are plenty of examples to choose from; Coca Cola, HBO, McDonalds, Disney to name a few, a quick scan of the app store quickly shows all the branded content ready to be downloaded.

High engagement figures 

Most online rich media content, have limited engagement figures, take online video ads for example, 30 seconds is the typical length of an ad with the opportunity to skip before you get to 10, Econsultancy published in 2014 that “63% of web users skip online video ads ‘as quickly as possible’ with this figure rising to 75% for 16-24 year olds.”

So with that figure of 30 seconds in mind; our most recent HTML5 game, for a global alcoholic drinks brands, saw each unique player play the game an average of 20 times with the average game play session lasting 10 minutes. In fact, most of our branded games see average sessions range from 7 to 13 minutes.

That’s pretty compelling.

HTML5 levels the playing field

“Yes, it’s all well and good for big brands with deep pockets who can afford to take a punt on a marketing trend…

We’ve heard this a lot, but HTML5 web based games are a much more cost effective option, our white label, off the shelf games are a fraction of the cost of developing a brand new engine, ranging from around £2k to £12k, they’re playable on mobile, tablets and desktop computers, you don’t need to download from a store, and they’re accessible anywhere you have access to the internet.

As a consumer, there are no barriers to play and often it’s packaged with a benefit, a competition to win a prize or brand based experience. As the owner of a brand it gives you a chance to engage with your current audience and gain some new ones in a way that is proven and fun.

…and if all else fails, give them a cat gif – people like those too.

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