5 Ways to Target More Than Just Fun With Online Games
3. Figure in budget and timing. Budget and time frame for delivery play huge roles when deciding on whether custom "advergames" or rebranded games are better for your campaign. Custom advergames allow more flexibility for your brand; however, the trade-offs can be increased cost and longer development time. When speed to market and lower costs are of primary importance, consider rebranding an existing game engine. While rebranded games are sometimes not as unique in concept, they are generally cheaper, can be completed relatively quickly and still can be fairly customized.
During the development of Seventeen.com, the decision was made to combined custom advergames—ones that fit in with the publication's branding directly—and rebranded games. The resulting game center allowed people to engage with an equally rewarding branded experience that reinforced Seventeen's message. The rebranded games still accomplished its goal of offering users additional reasons to visit the site and ultimately was a more cost-effective solution.
4. Evaluate community elements. Creating games often goes beyond just deciding what content to put into the game play. Here are a few items to think about:
- Viral: Give your players the ability to challenge or invite friends to play along.
- Personalization: Let visitors create a customized avatar and profile for use inside the game and throughout your Web site. By integrating community elements outside of the games, players can carry over to other elements of the site.
- Leaderboards and points: To encourage competition and game play, use leaderboards and point tracking systems to display score leaders.
- Ratings: Encourage people to rate the games they enjoy the most so those games can, in turn, be recommended to others.
- Prizes: To reward repeat game play and promote play of select games, incorporate prize or sweepstakes entry redemption with game play points.
Lifetime's loyal community on myLifetime.com always has maintained a very active user base of women who are interested in connecting, playing and sharing. When creating its gaming strategy, Lifetime wanted its gaming section to carry on that same message and presence. As a result, various community elements such as the leaderboard, game ratings, send to a friend, personalization, etc., were incorporated.