New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Marketing your library to gamers

I saw an interesting post about advertising to gamers on ClickZ by Matt Story called, How Marketers Miss the Mark With Gamers. We all know Obama tapped video games for advertising but there's an entire world of magazines, blogs, podcasts, web sites, etc. all geared for gamers.

Before even thinking about tapping into this realm the question to ask yourself is what does your library offer hard core gamers? This isn't as much about about advertising tournaments at your library, as looking at the connection between gamers and libraries. Are you building collections for gamers, making connections to preview new games, offering classes to create games, bringing well known game creators to the library or interviewing them on your podcast? How are you connecting gaming to your communities? Game challenges between mayors and teens, father/son teams, community teams challenging other communities.

Matt wrote some recommendations for businesses to looking to advertise to gamers. Here's an excerpt:

"Align brand with valuable content. Gamers who spend time outside of playing games reviewing magazines and Web sites are looking for the latest and greatest content. The content can be related to early looks at upcoming blockbuster releases or tips on how to beat the final boss of the game they've spent 60 hours playing. Consumers actively seek this content out. Aligning your brand to it will show that you understand gamers and their needs. The more coveted the content is among consumers, the better results you will receive.

Be careful when using gamer language. While it may seem appropriate to swap out copy with a few key gamer words, use caution. If used incorrectly, inserting "n00b" into your message can have a more negative impact than leaving well enough alone. Gamers are quickly drawn to brands they feel understand them and are even quicker to slam those brands that don't. As with any language, make sure you fully understand it before beginning conversations with the locals.

Humor always works. While humor tends to work across all forms of advertising, gamers aren't afraid to laugh at themselves. Assuming the brand understands the gaming culture, gamers are open to executions that exaggerate tendencies in a humorous way. The key is not talk down to gamers but instead to speak as a member of the audience in a credible way. It doesn't hurt if the brand also pokes a little fun at itself.

Advertising should be contextually relevant. It's a no-brainer: ads must be relevant. I saw many examples of the ads being relevant to the brand or brand's product, but that's only half the equation. It's hard to compete with advertising touting the upcoming game release consumers are counting down the days to pick up. Brands must find the sweet spot where the all-important brand message and relevant consumer message overlap. For example, gamers may be more interested in your telecommunication device if they knew it offered the widest variety of their favorite games instead of just knowing you have the best 3G network."

You can read the entire article on ClickZ here.

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