It's been a number of months now since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit, the profound effects of which we've all been feeling, whether that's impacts on family, friends, ourselves, how we interact with eachother, or all of the above. But unfortunately it looks like the coronavirus pandemic is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
We've seen lots of businesses and brands trying to figure out how to adapt to changes including lockdown restrictions, cancellation of events, social distancing measures, inability to have face-to-face time and people generally spending more time at home and doing more of their day-to-day tasks and work remotely and online.
If you've had to cancel trade shows or marketing events or want to make your educational and training content available to people from home, now's a good time to look at moving your content online. Games can add a new fun interactive experience to this.
We've already helped clients move branded games, that were intended for trade shows, online so they can use them as part of their online marketing instead.
Some of the ways games can help bolster your online content during the pandemic are:
Games for Marketing
The pandemic really has turned the marketing world upside down due to restirctions in our way of life and resulting changes in consumer behaviours. With the lack of opportunity to do business promotion face-to-face at events during the COVID-19 crisis, it's become more and more important for brands to rethink marketing strategies and the way businesses allocate and spend their marketing budget.
This is especially important when it comes to e-commerce and driving online sales. At least temporarily, consumer behaviour has changed as more people than ever turn to online ordering and delivery for all types of goods, while fewer physical stores are open and accessible.
Branded games are a premium content marketing solution that can be published directly on your website. They can be a great way to help drive traffic and increase brand awareness when incorporated into your marketing campaigns. Not only do they provide a great user experience they are a great way to reach potential customers online, in their own homes.
We can also incorporate social media sharing features directly in your game to help take advantage of increased social media consumption, particularly when lockdown measures are in place.
You may want to try and avoid sending out physical business gifts to your customer base as part of your Christmas marketing strategy. This is where an online game can be a fun alternative customer experience for brands.
You can send out the link to your Christmas themed branded game via email to both established and new customers and clients.
Seasonal promotional games can be designed to be played solo or with local multiplayer functionality, so people can play with their friends and family over the festive period.
Alternative to Events/Exhibitions/Trade Shows
While live marketing events, exhibitions and trade shows are not being run due to current restrictions it's best to focus on branded games to use as engaging content for your website instead. These can be integrated with other areas of your marketing to drive traffic and brand engagement.
We can also create an additional game build ready to use as an offline PC application at trade shows when they're back up and running if you wish.
Events, workshops and physical locations where you can use an interactive kiosk are pretty much off the table during the coronavirus outbreak. So it's important to try to adapt in a way that allows remote access to the content you would have delivered in person.
If you plan to move educational content online, it's worth considering how you can incorporate educational games into that to add fun learning solutions.
It's worth considering any game content you planned to use at a physical location as well. For instance kiosk games that would have been used as part of an exhibition or interactive installation.
Educational games don't just have to be for kids in an academic setting either, they can provide a useful tool for a broad range of applications from providing information related to your business to customers or educating the public on social issues.
Whether it's for internal business use or if you provide external training sessions as part of you business offering, using online games can be great way to introduce some fun interactive content that trainees can access remotely at home.
Conversion of Flash Content to HTML5
The web based Flash plug-in reaches it's end of life soon. If you've been putting off converting your web based interactive game content to HTML5, so you can continue to use it in the long term, then it would be wise to prioritise this.
As well as thinking about creating new online content, to reflect the changes in how we live our lives and spend, it's important to make sure your existing games are still accessible on the broadest range of devices.
HTML5 provides compatibility with mobile devices in the web browser (which Flash does not), as well as making sure your games will be playable when Adobe and web browsers start completely phasing out support for the Flash plug-in.
Adapting The Way You Do Business
Over the coming months, while the coronavirus crisis is still profoundly affecting all our lives in the short term, adapting to mitigate the effects on your business is essential. It's looking likely that restrictions will take us well into early 2021 at least. So it's best to start moving games content, that would have been used face-to-face at events, trade shows and workshops, online.