23 May 2018
Many brands are still figuring out how they can connect to people on their devices. The technology on our phones has grown and adapted in such a short space of time, it can leave some marketers’ heads spinning.
Yet 74% of UK Gen Z and Millennials interact with friends digitally more than they do in real life. So it’s where a lot of consumers are spending their time and yet some brands still struggle to properly engage them there.
A good starting point is to think about what our phones have become. Originally tools for communication, they’ve developed into tools for entertainment. People don’t think of smartphones without thinking of the videos, pictures and games that come with them.
Quality content over quantity
With the effects of ‘content shock’ settling into general life, it’s more important than ever to create content that breaks through the swathes of noise. Brands want more than sporadic likes, seeking better engagement and to foster loyalty.
Even if a video seems interesting and a consumer watches it for the whole 30 seconds, many scroll past and forget about it when the next cute puppy appears. So what makes people really stop and listen?
We’ve found that game-based content is really effective. Even compared with the most gripping Netflix series, games will always be better at holding a user’s attention. Playing a game takes full concentration – there’s no chance someone can be checking Instagram whilst playing.
The desire to win that drives this dedication to playing is also what makes them such effective tools. Any time a user wins, they receive an emotional high. Then they’ll play again hoping to be hit with the same feeling.
And if they lose, many don’t give up. They try, try and try again until they get better, learn more and win.
So that cute cat video they watched engaged them once, a good game will engage them over and over again. (That’s not to say adorable animals aren’t great – we welcome brands filling up our newsfeeds with fuzzy friends!)
Obviously they have to take the step to play it in the first place, but games have an 80% – 90% standard engagement rate.
How can brands benefit commercially?
Other than the obvious results of better engagement, games allow brands to have complete creative control. What the game’s about and how it plays is up to the brand – they can create something totally unique and tailored to their message.
Brands also control what users get when they win. Got a whole load of samples to hand out? Make them more sought after by having people complete a game to receive them. We’ve spoken before about how people view coupons and samples when they’ve earnt them, but it’s such an important point to reiterate. In no other context do people view them as valuable as when they earn them.
However, there doesn’t always even need to be a prize. Mostly, the act of winning is good enough in itself. Especially if there’s a leader board or way to compare scores. Winning then becomes more than a one-time thing as people try to one-up each other until they’re at the top.
Mobile devices were specifically created with community in mind, so multiplayer games, messaging and leader boards all feed into this.
As well as this, customers they don’t view games as marketing. Many people take them as purely forms of entertainment, not seeing them as the same obvious ploys that brands use to engage. So people are much more likely to interact and then get hooked.
So it’s clear that games are an attractive option to reach consumers on mobile. But what makes it such a perfect platform?
The most obvious answer is convenience. Phones are always around and often out when people are bored or looking for something to do. Whether it’s at home on the sofa or during the commute to work, mobiles are at hand and therefore a brand’s game can be too.
And people do spend a lot of time engaging. Almost half of Gen Z are connected on smartphones 10 hours a day. That’s the majority of their time spent scrolling and messaging. This is also time they could be interacting with your brand.
Games that are made for mobile can also span multiple devices. If it’s created with mobile in mind, it’ll perform perfectly on a phone but really well on tablets and desktop too. This means that even those that ditch their phones for the evening, can still play.
Games engage, and they reengage. And putting them on mobile makes them even easier to play as people will already have the phone in their hand. Brands aren’t asking consumers to do anything out of their ordinary schedule, instead they’re inviting them to enjoy a fun experience when they’re bored. And if they have a competitive nature, or the game is particularly good, people will then seek it out themselves to play again.
And again. And, probably, again.