The online gaming industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world economy, growing even faster than expected by some of the world’s leading analysts. Beyond taking advantage of a clearly growing market, what lessons can we learn that we can start applying in just about any business?

Engage with the customer across the board

Online games have to keep consistent interest in their product. Like all service-providing businesses, they have to keep players coming back. In order to do that, they have to engage in a very wide range of advertising tactics. They pair strong organic marketing through SEO with targeted ads in hobbyist sites related to gaming. But games are sold not just on the value they provide, but the feeling they provide. Selling the premise of a game is all about marketing to emotions and it doesn’t matter what you sell: emotional marketing appeals better than just stating the facts.

Keep targeting your best customers

A lot of online games have different levels of monetization in them. Many of them are free to begin with like instant win demo games while other require an initial asking price like when you play EuroMillions online. Some run on subscription models. But more and more of them are starting to target their most invested customers by offering little extras as micro transactions. The majority of gamers may not pay for these micro transactions, but the smaller portion that is most closely invested in the product has proven to make online games a lot of money. Of course, it’s up to the business owner to figure out which offers are valuable enough to convince already-paying customers to pay more.

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Create a community and listen to it

The gaming community is one of the most vocal online spaces, but any business can harness the power of a community through social media, blogs, and online advertising. Communities are a source of self-generating hype around products and having a large community serves as proof to potential new customers that your product or service is worth investing in. However, if you fail to listen, to offer feedback based on concerns, and implement changes informed by the community, it can very quickly turn toxic. Some of the highest profile online game failures in the past year have been directly caused by developers failing to respond effectively to the community’s concerns.

Evolving with technology

Online games are highly tech-driven. In the past, this meant better online infrastructure and better graphics, but now it’s starting to incorporate technology like virtual reality and motion sensing devices. The same goes for any business. You can use the latest in technology to offer products accommodated to a niche that your more traditional competitors just aren’t reaching. To use VR as one example that’s making changes across the board, it’s helping businesses create digital showrooms, product customisation platforms and much more.

The online gaming industry might seem like it caters to a very specific need within the market, but the truth is that it applies techniques that every business should be using. It’s about the power of emotional branding, engaging and re-engaging customers, and keeping up with the times.

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