While the global economy is still trying to dig its way up from the 2008 economic shock, industries like social gaming skyrocketed. Interestingly, the social gaming industry is a prospering segment of both the digital economy and the entertainment industry, with 750 million people around the globe engaging in social games.
But what are social games exactly? When discussing social games, we refer to gaming titles played over social media platforms, such as Facebook.
The majority of games that appeal to players are those calling for collaboration and interaction in order to achieve a common goal. For example, growing plants, vegetables, and fruits, running an organization, working in a café, and similar. Yet, if common goals are not your cup of tea and you’re more interested in achieving personal goals, opt for some free casino games, like Vegas Downtown Slots, for example.
As interest in social gaming has exceeded interest in video gaming in a short time, there is an opportunity for small business owners to learn from social gaming. Let’s see which practical lessons small business owners across a range of industries can apply to their business models.
Incorporate the Illusion of Free
Social games create the illusion of free entertainment, but still operate under a business model that brings in millions every year. Most games do not charge a participation fee but offer players the possibility of investing their own capital and choose how much they want to invest.
Note that the average age of a social gamer is 43, so we’re talking about full-time employees with families. Hence, they can choose between spending time (spending hours to get to the next level) and spending money (simply purchasing a tool for leveling up).
Thanks to game designers that understand their target audience, this business model works well. Even if it might seem like a flawed concept, remember that people spend more than $1.26 billion on virtual goods in social games.
Although it's unlike anything else you’ve seen in both the entertainment and online industry, this is a business model that small business owners can implement. One idea is that fixed costs can be replaced with optional costs that can enhance the user experience by enabling higher levels of service. This business model would allow users to choose how and when they’ll spend their money as compared to a generic predetermined subscription program.
Observe Consumer Behavior
Social game designers can easily see and respond to issues as they arise as all games are played in real time and online. That way, consumer behavior is observed, and moderators can get a sense of what drives users to spend money when gaming. Because of that, game designers can enhance their products with new modifications and additions.
Thanks to regular amendments, social gamers respond accordingly by being more engaged and spending more money. Even online games that are not considered social operate on the same principle. Take, for example, Poker Heat, a free online casino game where you can purchase virtual coins without actually spending your money — the operator still profits from you playing.
This type of behavior leads to increased profit margins in the long run. The same strategy can be applied with small businesses by creating an interactive and dynamic social media marketing campaign. Such campaigns will help business owners learn from consumers by studying their feedback and improving their services or products.
Although it might sound simple to create a social media campaign, that’s far from the truth. It’s crucial to create an in-depth and connected campaign that will help business owners understand their consumers’ needs, challenges, and issues, and allow them to make needed upgrades and changes.
Although it might be out of the ordinary, social gaming models can help inspire small businesses. Since the iGaming industry is expected to grow further, as well as increase its presence on mobile devices, it additionally proves that not all sectors are doomed to collapse during this unpredictable economic period.
Adopting a similar approach to enhancing consumer experience and identifying user behavior, businesses should be able to optimize their performance and succeed in their goals.