Four Inspirational Ways to Make Content Marketing Work for Your Videogame

Public relations is a fun industry to be in, because of all the creative ways I can spread the word about things I appreciate. But, as the profession continues to evolve, we in the PR field need to know how to adapt and provide more value for our clients as well as our own business. What I like about content marketing is how it can solve a problem for someone and also provide extra exposure to a brand. If the brand grows in popularity, community relations can provide publicity for other content creators and for the brand itself.

With E3 2014 being criticized by some as an event that should change as the game industry evolves, the role of PR also needs to adapt to provide more services that benefit their clients. One of many ways to provide benefit for game developers is through content marketing. Here are four ways content marketing can provide value to PR in the videogame industry.

Via Blackbolt

Via Blackbolt

Provide tips and walkthroughs to sharing game content on social media platforms

If you want people to share your game content on social media, begin by showing them how to do it. Xbox’s Major Nelson uses his podcast to provide tips on how to upload and share streaming game content in a segment called “Xbox 101.” Given enough time, guides and walkthroughs may have already been created by others and you merely need to strategically share them on your own channels.

Via ZeldaDungeon.net

Via ZeldaDungeon.net

World location hints and tips

Does your game have a large world filled with lush landscapes, dark dreadful swamps and hidden areas? Most players don’t want a story spoiled, but there are those whose time is limited and would appreciate tips on finding a hidden location or a not-so-well-known weapon to defeat a truly tough adversary. Whether you use YouTube as a video guide, or take screenshots that provide clues to where a rare item is at, these are things that can provide great value for your social media platforms if implemented correctly. People will turn to you for help.

Content from the game for other uses

It might seem like common sense to provide things like custom images for desktop computers and mobile devices, but there are other assets from a game that can be just as useful for extending the experience from the device into popular culture. Phil Fish did that when he had Disasterpeace create the soundtrack for his unique puzzle platformer Fez. The developers of Borderlands released a handful of sound files that could be used as ringtones for your phone, and they also created one of the most memorable memorials I’ve seen for a fellow fan who had passed away. If it’s created organically and authentically, content like this can take your game from just a product to a fan favorite.

Via Dekuwa

Button presses and combo tips

If your game utilizes complicated button presses, then this is something that people can utilize to improve their own skills. Sometimes a fighting game will provide a full tutorial utilizing one character, but not with others. This is the perfect time to provide tips for how the player can succeed with additional characters in the line-up. If your game is a third-person brawler, it might be worthwhile to provide tips on how to utilize items or skills, along with intricately timed button presses, to finish off a difficult opponent in short time.

These are only four ways to provide content to spread out the life of your game from a digital interactive product to much more. With a lot of hard work and a little luck, the content you provide along with the careful sourcing and distribution of community content can spread the word about your game.

Is Social Still Cool? Webinar Highlights

Today I attended a webinar ran by Social Media Today called “Is Social Still Cool?” Three panelists who work with social media in their businesses offered their perspective on the state of social media right now, defined the word “cool” as it applies to social media, and spoke about the “do’s and don’ts” in social media marketing. Gabby Nelson, community manager for Sleep Number; Erika Napoletano, writer and author; and Paul Berry, CEO of Rebelmouse were the panelists and these were some of the highlights from the hour-long conversation.

Defining “cool” in social media

Brands that are cool on social media definitely understand their target audiences and know how to communicate with them through a variety of channels.

 

Brand interaction on social media

Some of my favorite brands on social media have both an inanimate presence and human presence. People like Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson, Activision’s Dan Amrich and Marvel Entertainment’s Ryan Penagos are great examples of a human presence of a large brand.

 

If your brand screwed up, would you apologize?

The power of an apology is greater than ever in the age of the Internet. I’m not sure if it’s because people feel like others are desensitized to hurtful actions, but a heartfelt apology can make the difference between a friend and an enemy.

 

Who works well in public-facing roles for your company?

Not everyone needs to be in a public-facing role of a company, but most people in media roles should have a presence on social media. Those who use their accounts successfully will only benefit their employers by doing their job well and attracting future talent to their place of business.

 

What brands are doing cool things in social right now?

The Oatmeal is awesome. If you love sriracha, you must read The Oatmeal.

Overall, I’d say that being “cool” on social media involves listening and interacting with your customers. For companies both large and small, every employee that is active on social media is a potential asset for the company. Hiring an employee that fits well with the company culture could ensure fantastic exposure of the company for future business opportunities. Employees that fit their company culture and understand how to communicate with their brand’s audience are what make social media “cool.”

How to Make Content Marketing for Social Media Work for You

Content writing

 

Today I attended a webinar at Social Media Today hosted by C.C. Chapman, Ann Handley, and Maggie Fox, which covered the topic “content marketing for social media.” In the hour that they let their expertise shine, I discovered a wealth of insight that I wanted to highlight here in case you missed it.

Content Marketing: What is it and who does it well?

Content marketing is anything you create and share to tell the story of your brand and/or company. You can ask yourself, “How does our product help people?”

Two companies that C.C. and Ann covered who are doing content marketing for social media well right now are the following:

Burberry: They are doing a fantastic job with over 454,000 followers on Instagram right now and it’s not unusual to see someone with an iPhone next to the runway taking pictures. Burberry has a great mix of raw and professional photos that keep them popular on social media.

Oscar de la Renta: OscarPRGirl uses Pinterest to tell a story about the brand whether it’s through sketches of the designs or fashion shows they appear at. Their 27,458 followers on Pinterest demonstrate the success of the medium.

But you don’t have to have a big budget like those two examples to create great content marketing. With a high-quality camera phone, you can take pictures of happy customers and your product in use to spread your very own content marketing. The power of social media is connecting with potential customers in their daily lives by telling the story of your brand. Be flawsome.

What’s “flawsome?” It’s being awesome because of your flaws, not in spite of them.

Tool Examples in Content Marketing

Some of their favorite content tools mentioned include the following:

Instagram – Many people use this simple app on iPhone and Android to share pictures and it’s proven to be a great way to share marketing content.

Vyclone – The concept behind this app is that many people in one place can take a video of the same thing and it’ll upload all the videos to make one solid video from multiple angles. I imagine it’s like that Beastie Boys documentary.

Over – This app is simple in the fact that it lets you add words over pictures. It’s for those people that love ads and equally for those that want to make memes straight from a mobile device.

List.ly – This tool lets you create lists out of information you have and also curate lists.

Of course, not every brand needs every tool at their disposal, so study what works for your brand and go from there. Not all brands can be storytellers and there’s nothing wrong with hiring someone to come in to tell your story for you. Again, you can do something like this at every budget level whether you hire a whole agency or just a journalist.

One last tip from C.C. Chapman is as follows:

“If you want to start creating things, start today. Don’t wait.”

3 Habits in Social Media to Successfully Educate and Promote Yourself

What would an employer want in an employee? If you were hiring someone, would you want someone who’s constantly learning and networking in their profession or someone who’s tired of educating him or herself and doesn’t have the time to communicate with others? My goal as I search for my next job is to have a company feel secure with me as a new-hire because I’m proactive in my own education and I’m social enough to spread the word about my employer and our services. I try to do it through the following 3-step process.

1. I use my Twitter account as an active resume

Posts on Twitter from Jesse Radonski

I share the news I find interesting in my chosen profession as well as the news in the interests I have personally such as video gaming, music, craft brewing and more. The majority of people and companies I follow are directly related to those industries and I make sure to converse with them every day. Not only does this habit communicate what I’m currently educating myself on, but it shows that I’m active on this social media platform daily and that I have a commitment to using it and educating myself regularly. I believe this approach is much more effective than merely mentioning that you understand social media in your resume or in a job interview.

2. I use an RSS reader for daily consumption of news

RSS Feed Image

Time is a rare commodity nowadays and a reader helps cut down on the fluff to get the news I find most appealing. I find myself gravitating to articles that help me with different tactics in social media campaigns as well as other tips for better performance from services such as Google Analytics or Facebook Insights. Similar to how I use Twitter, most of the news I follow relates to the industries I find interesting.

3. I use LinkedIn to keep tabs on others in related industries

LinkedIn Post Image

Since LinkedIn has a longer shelf life for posts, I usually post 1 – 2 of my favorite articles of the day on the professional networking website. I’m part of quite a few groups, although I must admit that I don’t interact with them as much as I should. LinkedIn is a place that every professional should keep tabs on, even if they aren’t currently searching for a job. It’s a great place to keep your job skills updated, so it doesn’t become a chore when you have to update your resume.

With just an hour a day, you can educate yourself and promote yourself through Twitter and LinkedIn. Plus, it’s a great way to wake up with your morning coffee. How do you educate and promote yourself?

3 Steps to Twitter Success

Twitter Bird

If you’re having a hard time getting your content  retweeted on Twitter, then this blog post is for you. Sometimes I forget that not everyone knows how to use Twitter to its maximum potential, so I’ve outlined some very easy ways to start on the path to success with your social media content from these helpful tips I picked up from a PRSA webinar.

The first step to Twitter success – Tweet guidelines

Use the 70/20/10 method:

70% – Sharing of industry content: Make sure to leave some of your own insight or commentary.

20% – Connecting: It’s called a social network for a reason, so talk to some people!

10% – Chirping: Talk about you but make sure the message is relevant. (If you had to pay for the tweet, would you?) I love this tweet from Laura Bergells (@maniactive)

The second step to Twitter success – Getting retweeted

Share new ideas – People love interesting and entertaining stories, so share them when you find them.

Include links – Twitter is about receiving news on the fly, so including links to the news is great for sharing.

Make it “all about me” – Sharing information that helps others is usually an easy way to get retweeted, but sometimes it’s the funny cat video that makes all the difference. We all need a good laugh.

The third step to Twitter success – Use evocative language

Using verbs like “go bad”, “busted” and “exploit” are great for painting a picture with words. And as we all know, sex and violence sells (but make sure it’s appropriate for your audience a.k.a. your followers and the people you want to follow you.) This Associated Press tweet caught my eye here.

With those helpful tips, you can start on your path to Twitter success. Do you have any extra tips? Please, feel free to leave them in the comments.

3 Helpful Uses of the Twitter Favorites Feature

Back in May 2011, Twitter moved the Favorites feature from where it usually sat on the side bar. When I first noticed it missing, I was afraid they were getting rid of it. The reason why is the same reason why I’m writing this post. This is how I use the Favorites tab on my Twitter profile to benefit my followers and the people I follow.

It’s a mobile bookmarker.

Twitter Favorites Page

Twitter Favorites Used to Bookmark

Think of it as a Twitter version of Delicious. Many times throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening I can be found checking Twitter via my mobile device. Unfortunately, my iPhone 3G isn’t all it’s cracked up to be these days, so clicking through a link and reading the content within can take a LONG time. This is where the favorites tab comes into play. It becomes an extra bookmark or RSS feed. Plus, if I find the content remarkable but haven’t gotten to read it until a few days later, a retweet can breathe renewed life into an old tweet.

It’s a rant recorder.

Using Twitter to Capture Quotes

Twitter Favorites Used to Capture Quotes

There have been moments on Twitter where some significant news happens that causes a storm of opinions to hail down on the twittersphere. For a PR person, these rants are open looks into the opinions of journalists. If you’re a writer, it’s a recorded document of what someone has said.

It’s a great helper with commenting on the blogs of others.

Relating with bloggers can be done better with the Twitter Favorites feature.

Twitter Favorites Used To Contact Bloggers Later

Typically, I will only see one tweet about an updated post on someone’s blog. Unfortunately, I see most of these posts on my mobile device and reading then commenting on a mobile device is still quite the task compared to an actual computer. When I sit down to read the post at the appropriate time, I can offer quality feedback on what they’ve written. It takes time to write a blog post, so I try to offer the same courtesy by commenting on the post – not on their social media platform.

Do you have any other uses for the favorites tab? Feel free to leave your comments below, follow me on Twitter and check out my Favorites.