These days, if you ask a child to name a bird that they know, the response will more likely be “Angry Bird,” than “Big Bird.” But, social gaming is certainly not limited to children. A recent statistic puts the number of daily players at 81 million . . . and growing.  

With its marriage to mobile, social gaming stands only to gain more momentum. eMarketer research shows that mobile users are the most swiftly-growing segment of the gaming population—expected to increase 26.2 % this year and hit 141 million in 2014, compared with 102 million currently. 

You don’t have to be a good hand at poker to realize that social gaming is a business opportunity. Is it a revenue builder for publishers? Some seem to think that it is and we are starting to see a few big players, like National Geographic and Self, venture onto the game board.

What are the some of the benefits of incorporating social gaming into your content strategy?

  • Deeper Audience Engagement
  • Audience Expansion
  • A greater range of lead generation opportunities for your advertisers and sponsors through multiple branding levels and approaches

Where do you begin?

1) Don’t wait for someone else to do it.

2) Make sure your audience is a social and mobile audience. Do your market research and understand your readers. Again, it’s about context awareness. Make sure you are set up to track user activity and analyze it, so you can create a relevant and engaging game.

3) Think about how you can repurpose your popular content for social, mobile gaming. Engage the most creative members of your team, and make sure you involve someone who understands gaming well.

4) Make it active and interactive. The more action, the more engaging.

5)  Test it out. Take the time to gather user input, before launching.

6)  Don’t fall into the print trap. Use recognizable entry points and clickable icons, in place of text heavy opening pages.

7)  Enhance your game with video and audio. An integrated multimedia experience will make for richer content engagement.

8)  Integrate your game into your website—to provide access to a greater variety of content.

9)  Make sure you have a SaaS CMS that can support integration, multimedia, context awareness and consistent branding.

A system with the flexibility and scalability to complement mobile usage and a variety of delivery methods for your content will keep you in the game.