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Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck in Social Games Advertising

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Millions of people worldwide play games on social networks, and advertisers are expected to spend $293 million in social games in 2011 -- a 60% increase over what they spent just two years before. Interesting case studies will explore the advertising opportunities that work best in social games, and how can you make your brand stand out from the pack -- in a good way!

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Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck in Social Games Advertising

  1. 1. Chris Cummings, Lycos Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck in Social Games Advertising
  2. 2. Hi, my name is Chris <ul><li>Manage Lycos' portfolio of games & community products </li></ul><ul><li>Includes Gamesville, Tripod, Angelfire, white label solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Prior to Lycos, oversaw development of gaming & customer </li></ul><ul><li>acquisition programs for regulated, land-based casinos in US, UK </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20 Director of Product Management, Lycos [email_address] @chriscummings01
  3. 3. What is a social game? <ul><li>An opportunity to creatively tap into the player’s social graph </li></ul><ul><li>This is about friends and acquaintances, not strangers; peer pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Delayed gratification </li></ul><ul><li>Accomplish a task now, get your reward in the future; appointment gaming </li></ul><ul><li>Incentivizing players to recruit on your behalf </li></ul><ul><li>Your game experience gets richer if more of your friends play the game, too; viral </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  4. 4. Social games are big <ul><li>Of approx 60 million targetable game players, US represents 74% </li></ul><ul><li>That’s a lot of volume! </li></ul><ul><li>“ Targetable” game players is different from total game players </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook ads target users who “like” the game, not all of users </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Adparlor </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  5. 5. And that’s just Facebook… Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  6. 6. Social games are big business <ul><li>Social games to attract $293 million in advertising spend in 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Up from $220 million in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>$4.3 billion to be spent worldwide on social networks in 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>29% increase over 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Source: eMarketer </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20 Ad Spending on Social Games & Applications
  7. 7. Beyond display ads and lead generation, how are advertisers using social games to achieve marketing objectives? Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  8. 8. Sponsorships <ul><li>Source: Mall World </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  9. 9. Branded Virtual Goods <ul><li>Source: Wee World </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  10. 10. Branded Games <ul><li>Source: Social Times </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  11. 11. Promo Codes <ul><li>Source: Social Times </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  12. 12. Let’s look at three recent case studies Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  13. 13. Green Giant's Farmville Cash <ul><li>Source: Mashable </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20 Overview: Drive real-world produce sales via virtual farm items. Results: Over 100,000 in Farm Cash was given away as part of the six week pilot program Started in select Target stores but soon expanded to over 4,000 stores nationwide &quot;It's been a great opportunity to modernize our communication channels to consumers. &quot; - Michalin Modena, Green Giant Fresh marketing manager
  14. 14. Honda CR-Z in Car Town <ul><li>Source: Mashable, Car Town Addicts </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20 Overview: Promote the US launch of the Honda CR-Z in Car Town via billboards, video, virtual cars. Results: Only 3 million users to start -- but highly targeted. Users “purchase” the car in-game -- and keep it beyond promotion. Toyota followed suit with Prius campaign in January 2011. “ With Car Town, p a rticipants can engage with and experience Honda in a fun and casual environment that ’s not overtly commercial. ” - Steven Carter, American Honda Vice President marketing
  15. 15. Charles Chocolates & Chocolatier: Sweet Society <ul><li>Source: SF Weekly </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20 Overview: Players can order and send an actual box of Charles Chocolates confections to friends (or themselves) after unlocking the recipes in their virtual factories. Results: The first time a virtual good has been “made” on Facebook and then been transformed into a real-world good…
  16. 16. 3 rules for a successful ad integration Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  17. 17. Rule #1: Be Relevant <ul><li>The integration should feel natural -- in terms of game and audience </li></ul><ul><li>Will the people playing the game feel at home with you in their “home”? </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of what you know about the game audience </li></ul><ul><li>Customize according to demographics and other user data </li></ul><ul><li>Create a sense of urgency </li></ul><ul><li>Demands immediate action while drawing attention to your brand </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  18. 18. Rule 2: Bring Value <ul><li>Offer players something that helps them in the game </li></ul><ul><li>Branded items are nice… but they’re better if their useful </li></ul><ul><li>Let branded items persist beyond the actual campaign period </li></ul><ul><li>Cars, hot air balloons, etc. all function as effective reminders </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits can come in multiple different forms </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual currency, items that provide a competitive edge -- help them win! </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  19. 19. Rule #3: Don’t Interfere! <ul><li>To be successful, make yourself optional </li></ul><ul><li>If players feel coerced into paying attention to you, you’re going to lose </li></ul><ul><li>Be low friction </li></ul><ul><li>Make it fast, make it easy… short videos, short surveys, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Be compelling </li></ul><ul><li>Make them choose to pursue you and engagement will soar </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  20. 20. And don’t forget… Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  21. 21. Return on investment <ul><li>Establish a baseline before you begin -- what’s the current trend? </li></ul><ul><li>Create an activity timeline (month by month). </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor volume of mentions (positive & negative), likes, video views. </li></ul><ul><li>Measure sales revenue & number of transacting customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Overlay your data into a single timeline -- look for new patterns! </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  22. 22. To get the most bang for your buck… <ul><li>Be relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Does your brand have a natural affinity with the game, the audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Bring value </li></ul><ul><li>Help them win… and leave behind something worthwhile for them to enjoy </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t interfere </li></ul><ul><li>Only interrupt the game with advertising content when it’s requested </li></ul><ul><li>Remember the ROI </li></ul><ul><li>Track video views, Likes, mentions etc., to see how they translate into ROI </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20
  23. 23. Thank you! <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @chriscummings01 </li></ul><ul><li>Web: gamesville.com </li></ul><ul><li>christophercummings.com </li></ul><ul><li>Additional resources </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.insidesocialgames.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://blog.games.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.appdata.com/ </li></ul>Follow Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies on Twitter @community20 - Join the conversation with #socialc20

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