Why would you need to launch a Game Contest?
Marketing games are great way to engage existing and reach new customers for your business.
Here is a couple of benefits of launching your own marketing game:
- You’re helping your brand to stay on top of the mind of your existing fans and / or customers
- You’ll reach plenty of new people who never heard about you
- You’re doing something new and original
- You’re entertaining
- You’re incentivising genuine personal recommendations (further about this later in the tutorial)
- You collect hundreds (or thousands) of new leads for further nurturing
- Ultimately, you’re bringing in more sales
Sounds too good?
Until recently these types of promotions were available only to the “big players” because creating game only for marketing purposes could cost you a lot. Only tech savvy marketing agencies could deliver similar kinds of experiences and it would cost you $$$.
But what if there is a “game template” ready for you to customise by using only drag & drop and launch the game today?
Imagine you could collect over 700 leads in three days while spending only $40 bucks advertising and little more for the game app itself.
Average time in a game per participant would be around 30 minutes and the most hard-core players would spend more than 24 hours in the game playing 1600 times to win your prizes (yes, you read correctly!)
Good news is you can reach those or much better results without any help, only using this tutorial and one very affordable tool.
If you’re not convinced yet make sure to read this case study about how a small spice shop brought in 674 new leads and $871 in sales from a brand new customers in only 3 days.
Note: It’s important to mention that Marketing Games works best for B2C businesses like online stores
The game contest explained — how it works for the participants?
First thing that people see is the contest post with the campaign link that you share on your Facebook page or promote using other channels like website, newsletter or Instagram. It’s motivating people to play the game, mentioning prizes, contest time frame and in the ideal case — showcases the game itself using a video:
Once people click on the campaign link (in this case http://tab.fo/ValentineGiveaway, which is actually a running demo that you can test-run to see by yourself) they are redirected to your Facebook page, more specifically to a Facebook Tab, where your contest lives.
They can see the game, rules and the charts.
Once they click the “Play button” there is a one-click Facebook login collecting their identity (to avoid cheating) and e-mail address.
After confirming this dialog window the player is brought back to the game and the game starts automatically.
The principle of the game is to catch the “positive” objects (hearts on the screenshot, or anything else like pizzas, coffee beans, …) and to avoid the “negative” ones (coal).
Catching the heart gives you one point, colliding with negative objects (in this case it was only the coal) takes one out of 3 lives you have in total. If you loose all three lives the game is over and you have to start over. Players have unlimited number of tries.
The game gets gradually faster and faster to the point where it’s not possible to catch and avoid the objects. What’s important here is that each participant have different capabilities and / or device which makes the differences between players and ultimately builds the charts.
The Referral bonus
Once the player lose all his lives the game is over.
The game has a one great feature and it’s called the “referral bonus”. Imagine you tried to play the game 50 times and your top score is 160 points. You think you can’t get more points by playing, however the current winner in charts got 195 points.
There is a share button at the end of each game saying that you could get 10 extra points for each invited friend who also enters the contest.
This approach brings new people to the game and ultimately to your brand.
On average, one quarter to one half of all the participants are brought to the game using the referral bonus (more on this topic in this case study).
The game is designed with mobile in mind. Actually Mobile is the reason why the game have this tall aspect ratio — working on desktop, tablets and mobile phones at the same time and supporting touch interfaces.
You can try the contest out in this live demo: http://tab.fo/ValentineGiveaway
How do you set up this contest on your own … today?
To be honest, it’s quite simple. If you would skip the graphical customisations, it could be running on your Facebook page in minutes.
Feel free to follow these steps along with the tutorial. You can at least click through the contest setup to better understand how it’s done.
You begin with signing up for Tabfoundry, which is free. Head over to https://www.tabfoundry.com and click on “Get started”. Confirm the login dialog and approve the “Manage pages” permissions so that Tabfoundry can publish page apps on your behalf.
The Tabfoundry account is free and is set up with only 3 clicks and lets you in to the game editor immediately.
Once you’re in the dashboard, select the desired Facebook page and click on “Create new…” and choose “Game contest”.
This creates the game as an “Unpublished app”.
You can click customise the app name and icon and then click “Edit” to open up the app visual editor.
Setting up the game contest campaign
Once in the editor you start with the campaign setup:
When should the contest start and end, what are the prizes, how many winners will you announce, then you set up a customised link preview (when someone shares or refers your contest on Facebook, this link preview will be used) and you customise the campaign link to your likings. You’ll use it later to promote the contest.
How to pick the ideal prizes?
Ideal prize is something that you sell. Ideally your own product or service. People who want to win a massage are probably interested in buying one as well.
On the opposite — offering an iPhone or similar products as a prize is not a good idea. You’ll attract a lot of attention and audience, but “everyone” wants to win a smartphone, including small kids who won’t probably ever buy from you.
The right questions to ask would be following:
- Will the prize attract my potential customers?
- Wouldn’t it attract people who won’t become my customers?
- How much does the prize cost me and what kind of return on investment should I get to be revenue-positive?
Setting up the referral bonus
Then continue with the referral setup. We recommend to set up the limit to 5–10 referrals, because otherwise the participants could act “spammy” and annoy other people. 5 should be enough to carefully pick friends who could be interested in the prizes / game and inviting them one by one for example through the Messenger.
Here you can translate the game messages, set up the country restrictions for the game, or set up a pixel retargeting.
That’s it, this was the last part of the setup which was not visual. Now let’s jump to the game graphics!
In the menu bar on top, choose the “Game” canvas tab.
First thing you’ll notice is that the default game template is winter, rather Christmas motive :) But don’t worry, you can change that to anything you like easily.
There is the editor tutorial YouTube video if you would like, but working with it is quite intuitive.
You click on the widgets, move them around by dragging or set them up using the context menu on the right, or you remove the widgets completely by clicking on the cross sign on the widgets top right.
You can add new widgets (pictures, texts, videos…) by choosing them in the widget menu on top:
You can also use other editor tools like clipboard, history, guidelines, grid, and so on.
Then there is the game widget. Notice the tabs on top. You can switch between three states that it have and navigates automatically as the participants are entering and playing the game.
To edit content of the “Entrance” and “Results” canvases, simply double-click them.
After double-clicking, the yellow border will appear and you’ll be able to move or add new objects within the canvas.
You can double-click the texts to change them, change fonts, colours, edit the button and so on.
Then once you click on the “Game” canvas you’ll be able upload your own game objects. It’s important to know that these images have to be PNGs with a transparent background. You can find these on Google Image search or create them in some image editor . Ideal size is about 40 x 40 pixels to 80 x 80. The size of the uploaded image affects the final game object size.
Make sure to crop the PNGs in a way that there is no free space above, below, left or right from the object itself. Otherwise this free space would be counted as an object in the game and could create confusion for players.
For example they would optically avoid a negative object, however because of its wide transparent background, they would collide with it anyway.
Next, don’t forget to modify the referral copy so that it reflects your game settings. Also note that the referral bonus is counted in only if the contest is shared using the share buttons (each player gets unique link in the button). That’s why the arrow there is so important.
Once you’re done with the game itself, you can move on to customise the “Results” canvas by switching the tabs on top of the editor.
The “Results” canvas serves as Charts when the campaign is running as well as a leaderboard of winners once the game is over.
Then you switch to “Rules” tab and customise the rules so that they reflect the game mechanics, your prizes, referral bonus.
Make sure to include a paragraph where you reserve a right to disqualify any participant who seems to be a suspect of cheating without any explanations (explaining how you found out makes it easier for cheaters to cheat better)
Publishing the game app
Once you like the contest that you just customised, click “Publish” and it will go live to your Facebook page, where you can test it (ideally with your friends)
Don’t worry, publishing the app itself does not share anything to your fans, it’s completely “invisible”. You will need to promote the app with the campaign link in order to get people to participate.
Important: Always test the contest with at least one or two friends and ask them for the feedback. Do they understand everything? Does it work well?
The announcing contest post
Then if you’re happy with how the app works, write and publish the announcing contest post.
Important thing that you shouldn’t forget to mention:
- When does the contest begins and when does it end?
- What are the prizes?
- What are the game mechanics
- And most importantly: the campaign link
- You can use QuickTime player or other screen capture tool to create a video of the gameplay. Videos have great results. First, they create a clear picture of how the contest works. Second, Facebook is giving videos a great reach.
Boosting the post
If your fan base is limited, make sure to boost the post. Use interests common to your target audience or ideally, boost the contest to the lookalike audience of your customers.
Collecting the new leads
Once you share and promote the contest, contestants will start to appear in the “Collected data” tab within the editor.
You can do following things in the “Collected data” section:
- Remove participants that seems to be cheating (or remove yourself if you want to enter again)
- Click on the Score number to see specific games and their times
- Download all your leads and upload them to your emailing service
- Download leads so that you can easily create a custom audience on Facebook to retarget participants (ideally with some special offer)
- See how many people have been referred to the contest
That’s it! You just launched your Marketing Game
We hope that it works for you great!
If not you can ask for the full refund within 30 days after the purchase.
Need help setting up a contest? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.