With over 45 million Facebook users worldwide and 200 000 joining daily, companies are scrambling to find ways to market their brands via viral marketing to this audience. An increasingly popular way of doing this is by utilising this social network as a platform for branded games applications with a sport, social and stress relieving flair.
"Viral marketing is one of the most powerful forms of online marketing today, due to the potential it has to spread your brand's message like wild fire across the Internet," says Grant Fleming, COO of Fontera, leading South African mobile software development company. "Viral marketing is an influential tool and if well implemented it can propel a brand from insignificance to global fame."
He adds that viral marketing has increased in popularity because of its ease of execution and affordability when compared to the cost of other advertising methods. "Games can be designed for a company by either highlighting the brand's benefits or merely introducing it in the form of background branding."
Some of the games Fontera has developed as applications for Facebook include Rise of the Rebellion and Counter Strike: Red Team Go which are contributing in excess of 2 million page views per day and have a combined total of almost 1 million users.
Knowing human nature's importance of sharing, backed by social scientists saying each person has a network of eight to 12 people, this medium of marketing allows friends to voluntarily pass marketing messages by simply inviting fellow friends, acquaintances or colleagues to join them in playing viral games.
Fleming says this is a far more pleasant way for consumers to connect with a brand, positioning it in a different light to the usual aggressive marketing tactics. "Once the game is made and introduced as a Facebook application, companies can sit back, relax and watch their brand start spreading like a 'virus'."