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Content Marketing Lessons Learned from…Video Games? (Part 2)

In a post last week, we covered some of the parallels between video games and content marketing — and thus, our “Content Marketing Lessons Learned from Video Games” series was born.

Whether you’ve defeated Super Mario eight times and counting, or have never touched a single gaming console in your life, there’s still a lot you can learn from video games (aside from gamification, which you can read about in our latest buzzwords post). Take a look at the list below for three more content marketing lessons you can take away from the fascinating — and fairly lucrative — world of video games:

Tell a Story

What’s one thing that some of the greatest video games have in common? They all have rich, compelling stories. Many role-playing games like Final Fantasy allow users to actively participate in the story, increasing engagement and creating a greater investment in game play by making the story the driving force of the game.

Your marketing should also tell a story — and if it doesn’t, you’re doing it wrong. Now, we’re not asking you to weave an award-winning fictional novel about a protagonist who saves the world using nothing but a shoelace and a piece of gum. What we are asking is that you take some time to develop a strong stance for your content, think through the conflict and the solution, and make it engaging along the way. For example, consider creating content revolving around the struggles faced by your consumers (case studies are great for this), and position your product as the solution. Voila! Conflict, resolution, story.

Build a Community

Many of the most successful video games have built communities of fans that seek each other out to talk, play, and share in their gaming experiences. One of the most common ways that video games build communities is through online game play, in which players can choose to play against or with other online competitors. Many gamers also actively participate in forums, discussion groups, and clubs that revolve around their favorite games or gaming interests.

One of the main goals of content marketing is to build a community around your brand. Just as video games encourage discussion around gameplay, you can use content to start a conversation about your brand, your industry, best practices, and a wealth of other topics. One of the best ways to do this is through webinars, which can get you some additional face time with your consumers while encouraging Q&A. You can also build communities through social media by participating in conversations and communicating consistently with your consumer base. If you’re lucky, you’ll create some die-hard fans (read: brand evangelists) like the ones that swarm GameStop at the release of every new Halo game.

Visuals Matter

In the video game industry, it’s becoming more and more common to see games being released or re-released with high definition graphics. Given the choice, many gamers prefer the scintillating graphics of the latest video games to the pixelated Nintendo and Playstation games of the past.

When it comes to marketing, your consumers are often the same way. With less and less time on their hands, many consumers are choosing to skim through visual posts like infographics and Slideshare decks instead of investing the time in written content like blog posts and white papers. Take the time to consider what you could be doing to make your content more visual, even if it’s simply including a graphic with every article you post.

Interested in more content marketing lessons learned from video games? Check out Part One in our series! What other parallels can you draw between video games and content marketing? Let us know in the comments!