According to a recent report by Nielsen, users spend 22.7% of their time on social networks, and 10.2% playing online games. 56 million Americans play social games on a regular basis, so you should consider including social games advertising into your marketing mix.
Social games provide some unique opportunities for advertisers, as gameplay generally involves virtual goods — things players want, but often don’t want to pay for.
Here are four great ways to use social games to promote your brand.
- Advertise on the in-game ‘Offer Wall’: However, the Offer Wall is somewhat like the bulletin board at the front of a grocery store — there are frequently 20 or more offers from other advertisers;
- Post your ad on banners or billboards inside the game;
- Put your name on branded virtual goods: This strategy paid dividends for Cascadian Farm, who teamed up with game developer Zynga to be the brand behind the game’s organic blueberries crop. Within a few days of launching in the FarmVille Market, Cascadian Farm organic blueberries had been purchased by more than 1 million players for 20 credits each; and
- Launch your own branded game: For example, the New York Jets launched a Facebook game called Ultimate Fan that lets football fans predict game scores, take quizzes on their knowledge of various NFL teams, allot points to their favorite teams and hold virtual tailgate parties with other fans. The Jets anticipate generating revenue through product placement sponsorships and fans purchasing virtual tailgate items.
Contact Zynga to enquire about advertising or partnership opportunities. I must warn you though. According to their contact form, the minimum budget for a virtual currency campaign is $75,000 USD, while in-game campaigns start at $300,000.
Advertising on the in-game ‘Offer Wall’ may be the most affordable way to add in-game advertising to your marketing mix.