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.

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Twitter Lists: 3 Tips To Help You Stay Updated In Any Industry

Twitter Lists Image

There have been countless articles on the web about how to use Twitter lists – including a guide from Twitter – so I’m not going to give a Twitter 101 on what they are; however, I did want to write about a small reorganization I made to a growing list of Twitter profiles I previously had in one list, and show how you can use these three tips to help you stay updated in an industry you’re passionate about.

By breaking up my “Video Gaming” list on Twitter into three better-organized lists – one for media in the gaming industry, one for media outlets, and one for game developers and publishers – I can utilize Tweetdeck to organize my lists into columns that display the most recent tweets on those lists. This gives me an easy-to-read command center for staying updated with individuals and companies in the industry.

You too can employ this simple resource, and you don’t even need to follow them in order to add them to a list. It’s a good tactic to use when you don’t want to blow out your ratio of follows to followers.

1. Media
By following media active on Twitter that you’re in contact with – or want to be in contact with – you already have a personal touch to the next email you send them. It’s an easy way to find out if he or she is on vacation or if they’re working an additional beat. Plus, it’s an easy way to stay in touch with someone without asking something of him or her.

Tip: Give your list a name that will make someone happy he or she has been put on it. My gaming media list is called “You Make Gaming Awesome.”

2. Websites
Many websites that have Twitter profiles tweet way more than the average person does. While it’s easy reading headlines in tweet format, it can clog a Twitter feed when mixed with people in the media.

Tip: Use this list to read more about websites you aren’t too familiar with, as well as websites you already know. It’s also a great way to track media on the fly or to bookmark articles that sound interesting, but you can’t read at the moment.

3. Creators
This column is a little more nimble when it comes to who you’d place in it. I have one that’s just for companies that develop and publish videogames, but you can adjust it to have tech companies, restaurants, book publishers, and more. The point of this list is to stay knowledgeable about potential clients, because they might need help with a future project whether they know it or not.

Tip: Show these companies some love by retweeting some of their posts to help spread their reach – it’s an act of goodwill that may pay off in the long run.

Whether you like skateboarding, cars, food, or videogames, Twitter is a great place to find tons of information on broad subjects. These three simple lists will help you stay organized and expand your knowledge of the subject you’re passionate about.

Do you use Twitter lists in any interesting ways?

Project inspiration: Using Tumblr for promotion

Xbox Insider Tumblr

Always trust the thoughts you have as you wake from a good night’s rest. Last month, I executed on an idea I had after a restful night of sleep and that idea was brought to fruition through my voracious appetite for reading videogame news and my love of promotion. I set out on a project in my spare time where I’d publish news about Xbox on the social media platform Tumblr.

Read on for why I began this project and how these tips can help your own blogging:

1. Finding an audience through SEO

Initially, I made it a point not to tell anyone about this profile nor would I promote it through any other social media platforms. (I ended up telling a few close people over the course of the month, but they weren’t damaging to my results). The reason for this was to see what audience I could attract through the use of search engine optimization on each of the posts. The results were rather surprising.

The post below is a great example of the structure I use along with the SEO tags at the bottom of the image. Notice how many notes (likes and reblogs) it’s gotten. Use keywords in the article as well as any similar ones you believe a person might use when searching for content. Ask yourself what you’d search for to find your post.

Tumblr SEO example

2. Showcasing your knowledge on a subject

I started an Xbox focused Tumblr because I like gaming on Xbox, but it was also great timing being just a couple weeks out from the launch of Xbox One. Consumer appetite for news of the product was in high demand and I thought the timing would be perfect for a blog of that nature. Using the news websites I have on my Feedly RSS and daily email newsletters, I began promoting Xbox news from enthusiast and mainstream news outlets.

3. Gain experience with analytics

Tumblr has built-in analytics, which displays how many times people have liked and reblogged a post as well as new followers, total followers, biggest fans and your top post. I also used bitly links for each of the posts to track how many times people would click through to the article. I was rather surprised with the amount of interaction that took place over the last month. To date, I’ve published 101 posts and have gained 145 followers through just using SEO. Not every post had a bitly link on it, but out of the 90 I’ve used, they’ve been clicked on 191 times from people in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

Tumblr analytics

4. Tumblr makes it easy and cost-effective to run a blog

The structure I used for publishing posts worked fantastic for Tumblr. The website’s format of publishing was perfect for displaying photos and videos through image URLs and embedded code. The short writing structure of headline, descriptive content, web link, and notation of where I sourced the content from was quick and easy to read, but it was even easier to write, thus making it a cost-effective strategy for my time.

5. It’s helpful to web content producers

Whether you write or produce video on the web, it’s clicks that count. One of the delicate balances to working in public relations is your relationship between your client and the media. By directing people to a writer’s post or by having them watch a video to gain another view, I’m helping people in the media get more eyes on their labor of love. It’s my small way to give back.

Overall, I’ve found Tumblr to be a great platform for easily managing a blog as well as for gaining an audience. This publishing structure can be used for many different industries and brands and is a phenomenal way to show a solid example of your knowledge on a subject.

If you were to start a Tumblr blog today, what subject would you focus on?

Note: This post is not sponsored in any way by Microsoft, Xbox, Tumblr or any other brand. If you’d like to see more examples of posts, head to http://xboxinsider.tumblr.com/.

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.

Why I Truly Use Pinterest

Pinterest page for Jesse Radonski

Pinterest has a simple and sleek board layout for your images

 

A fair amount of people are surprised when I tell them I use Pinterest. The social media platform that is primarily used by women has a niche that I find pleasing. But there’s more to it for me than just posting pictures that I find visually stimulating. Although I find it fascinating to scour the Internet to find images that I’ve never seen before, the real reason is this.

It helps me get free Microsoft points for Xbox LIVE.

See, I use Bing as my search engine. Bing Rewards gives you points every time you do a search. Up to five points for every ten searches per day. They also give you three points to try out something new each day. That’s seven points a day! For every 125 points, you can exchange it for 100 Microsoft points on Xbox LIVE to spend on downloadable games, ZUNE music & movies and more. You can also spend Bing Rewards points on many other things from web services to gift cards.

Not only am I experimenting with a new social media platform, which every innovative marketer should do, I’m also finding some great images to use and getting something tangible in return. I would like to applaud Microsoft for offering such a great deal to people who use their search engine and I urge you to give Bing and Pinterest a try. Check out my Pinterest profile and feel free to follow any of my boards that you find interesting. If you’re on Pinterest already, I’d love to hear what keeps you going back each day.

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.