If there is one industry that knows how to connect with its fans, it’s the gaming industry. The gaming industry includes tabletop games and video games. Last weekend, gaming was on full display at one of the industry’s largest conventions, PAX East, in Boston, Massachusetts. Gamers gathered from far and wide to interact with the people who make the games they love. Game-makers excel at marketing to their fans, and their marketing excellence was on full display at PAX East.
Here are some examples from PAX East of how the gamers excel at marketing.
Your marketing is an extension of your product.
Your fans love your products. It makes sense that if you want them to respond to your marketing, your marketing campaigns should contain elements in common with the products your fans love. Cards Against Humanity, a comedic, adult-oriented card game, routinely creates marketing that seems like an extension of its product. At PAX East, they gave away packets of “PwnMeal,” oatmeal for gamers. The “product” included a parody video in which athletes smeared oatmeal over themselves. Each packet contained both oatmeal and a small pack of CAH cards. By adding digital elements (a website, hashtag on Twitter, a video), the PWNmeal campaign had a resonance outside of the convention that it would not have had otherwise.
Your fans own your brand.
This phrase gets thrown around so much that it almost seems like a cliché but the gaming industry really gets it in a way that other industries don’t. At PAX East, fans owning brand was on full display as fans paraded in cosplay; homemade costumes of characters from games they loved. That’s right, fans of games love the games so much that they dress up as their favorite characters, and wisely, the brands encourage this. Instead of issuing cease and desist orders, they hold contests at conventions to reward the best cosplayers. On the social side, many gaming brands curate cosplay and other fan creations on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Meet the people.
Speaking of fans owning brand, just showing up for conventions is a great way for brands to meet their fans in person. It’s so easy nowadays to interact with your fans on social media, or email, but every once in awhile, it’s a good idea to show up and meet them in person. This way, you can get direct feedback from your fans, communicate with them directly, and show them your appreciation for letting your brand do what it does.