Mobile gaming content: in the ascent or a non-event?

The phrase ‘mobile gaming’ conjures up images of commuters on trains battling to conquer digital kingdoms. But content marketers take note: there’s a lot to learn from this fast-growing industry

Smartphone gaming is projected to be worth over $52 billion by 2019, making it the highest single source of global game revenues. Cunning content marketing has been one of the vital factors underpinning growth – publicising revolutionary new formats, but also augmenting barely noticeable changes.

Fresh formats

Clash of Clans is a smartphone staple, and has gone from strength to strength since its release in 2012 by consistently publishing updates and twists to keep the game exciting.

A significant example of this came at the end of 2016 with the game’s first foray into virtual reality. Although still in development, big changes are expected in 2017 to make the game more immersive than ever before.

What’s significant is how Supercell, the game’s creator, went about breaking the news. A one-minute video depicting a hog rider (one of the game’s best-loved combatants) storming into battle, complete with 360 degree viewing, has acquired nearly 40 million views on YouTube.

Supercell has mastered the trickiest aspect of content marketing: picking out precisely what their consumers want and how they want to consume it.

Pioneering platforms

Whatever the avian counterpart is to flogging a dead horse, Angry Birds is probably the closest digital equivalent we have. Yet this fowl-flinging extravaganza has achieved even greater popularity than Clash of Clans.

Starting from a humble mobile game, Angry Birds has expanded into new genres, television, cinema and even theme parks. And there’s no sign of the franchise slowing down. Recent additions include Angry Birds Blast, a puzzle game released at the end of 2016, and Hatch, a video game subscription platform.

Combined with this constant evolution is a proactive approach to content marketing from Rovio (the makers of Angry Birds), focused on making the most of every medium at their disposal. This includes an active YouTube channel with lots of bonus content, social media pages updated on a daily basis, and consistently original contributions to live gaming events.

Content marketers could learn a lot from Rovio’s inventiveness, both in gaming ideas and content output, which has paid dividends in the company’s enduring popularity.

Insignificant innovations

Some mobile gaming giants do content marketing so well that the merest hint of an update, however minor, is enough to generate frenzied excitement among consumers. Pokemon GO provides a recent case study.

This one-month wonder has seen its active user base fall off a cliff since the summer – but you wouldn’t guess this from engagement with Pokemon GO-related content. The game’s Facebook page garners likes and shares that most digital content creators can only dream of, and its YouTube advocates gain hundreds of thousands of views per video.

By teasing consumers with forthcoming additions, and publishing updates with a seasonal twist, a vibrant hardcore of Pokemon GO devotees remains in place despite the game’s plummeting popularity. Pokemon GO might not be the best example of lasting gaming success, but content marketers will appreciate the game’s impressive record in customising content and engaging with enthusiasts.

Content marketing: more than just a game

The momentum of mobile gaming shows no signs of slowing down in the coming year, particularly as gaming giants like Nintendo shift their focus to the platform.

With the industry’s growth, interesting opportunities for content marketing have emerged, as new platforms are explored and growing target markets are exploited. One thing’s for sure, mobile gaming offers plenty to inspire content marketers.

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