Online Gaming: 4 steps to create trust and loyalty
Consumer loyalty and industry reputation are two of the major headaches for the online gambling industry.
A smart content marketing strategy can help humanise gambling brands and create mutually beneficial relationships with players and the public.
4 steps to content marketing success:
- Define your sharing culture
- Humanise your brand
- Create unique and useful content
- Be smart in distribution
So, it has been the best ICE show ever and our team covered the amazing show live at our blog. We have worked in the industry for a while now and it seems that one of the main points of discussions is consumer trust and loyalty – possibly only second to reputation in an industry that is still coming to terms with lessons learnt by food and drinks manufacturers.
So how can online gaming companies build trust and therefore loyalty? Obviously, there are a number of factors, such as online security, user interface and of course reputation to name a few. One that is talked less about is at the heart of every successful content marketing strategy: reciprocal altruism or the art of sharing.
Brands create trusted relationships with consumers very much the way people like you and I do, namely by giving and sharing about yourself, by opening up and thereby encouraging the counterpart to do the same. One of the ways of doing this is with useful content, that is creating content that helps consumers to be better at online gaming. Gaming brands that understand this dynamic will be the ones that succeed in the long run in an industry that is confusing and sometimes suspicious for many consumers.
Here are our top 4 tips for online gaming companies that want to get into content marketing:
1. Define your sharing culture
Before online gaming companies even start thinking about a content strategy they need to be clear what their mission is. Is your goal to extract as much money from players at any cost? If yes, stop reading now because no content or any other strategy for that matter will be able to help you build trust. Or is it to create the most enjoyable gaming platform, to educate your players to become better and more successful gamers/gamblers and thereby turn them into loyal players? If the answer is yes, clearly articulate this mission and ensure that everybody in the company subscribes to and acts on it. From tech to design to marketing to sales to HR.
2. Humanise your brand
Conversions are a by-product of great relationships and relationships are based on empathy and honesty. Relationships on trust last a lifetime and keep giving back. Companies that focus on creating value for their customers in everything they do will succeed in building trust and loyalty amongst their players. The same rule applies from online support to your content strategy. The key to creating content that will convert is to optimise for the relationship with the consumer, not the conversion. Conversion techniques are largely mechanical, content must be human.
3. Develop your unique content strategy
It’s tough to get your content strategy right from the very start, but it gets easier as you learn. In an earlier post we outlined the content cycle, a process of understanding your audience to engaging and optimising. In simple terms this exercise is all about finding out what content your players love and where they want to read it. Companies that have a deep understanding of both are set up for success in the long term. Examples of content can be game tactics and strategies or in sport simply information and data that help players make a decision. Engagement can take place on the gaming platform, but it doesn’t have to. In any case the most important ingredient here is a smart distribution tactic, which leads us to point 4:
4. Deploy a smart distribution tactic and optimise
Now that you have content that engages players it is time to think out a smart distribution tactic. Yes, SEO and SEM are still viable channels, but there are other strategies you should get out of the toolbox. Apart from email and social you should seriously consider investing in native advertising. It’s one of the most efficient amplification tactics for great content. Get your content in front of people that are already in reading mode and are interested in gaming. Research has shown that content placed in context (ie. native advertising) generates more page views, longer engagement and lower bounce rates. Whatever you do, keep measuring and optimising. Your content strategy will feed your marketing with consumer research data. The longer you go on the more you get to know your customers and their habits and preferences and the less effort you need to spend building relationships.
So what about the industry reputation of online gambling?
Some of the biggest criticism the industry has faced is that a lot of research efforts into gambling addiction are biased and disingenuous. In short, most people simply don’t believe that the gambling industry is seriously caring about the problem. A smart (and honest) content marketing strategy can help fix this problem. The same rules as above apply. It has to be human and focused on building relationships.