Yesterday marked the release of House of Wolves, Destiny‘s latest DLC (downloadable content) and the overall sentiment online was more than favourable.
In yesterday’s blog post, I chatted a bit about measuring what people are saying about your brand online and today, I want to talk about one of the ways in which the brand achieved success through a key marketing strategy.
Bungie and Activision, the game’s creators, have done a phenomenal job at marketing their game — so much so that I wrote a book about it! As a gamer, I’ve loved every minute that I’ve invested into the game and as a marketer, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching their process, analyzing it and sharing what I’ve learned with others.
After looking at their most recent launch, here is one of the key launch strategies that I believe they used that, in my opinion, made this expansion pack release successful. You can apply this strategy to your next launch to help you achieve better results.
Create Immersive, Real-Time Experiences
One of the strategies that Destiny appeared to use, to market their latest DLC release, was immersive and real-time experiences for their fans.
In my book, Destiny: A Love Story, I talked a lot about how the company did a fantastic job at identifying their fan base and plotting those groups on the launch timeline so that they fully understood who needed to receive what message and when. Their latest launch was no exception.
When new content is released for a game, the best way that you can create buzz and excitement, as well as ensure that people won’t show up to it scratching their heads and feeling confused, is to take people on walk-thrus. A walk-thru is essentially a play-by-play or a demonstration of what exists inside of the game. Not only does this create hype and lower confusion, it also creates an opportunity for people to become emotionally attached to the material.
Taking this principle and applying it outside of the gaming industry, you want to provide people with an opportunity to get to know your product or service well before it comes out. The more insights, information, features and benefits you can show them, the better. This will also provide you an opportunity to hear the objections and address them before launch day.
Show Up Where the Community Is
One way that Destiny created an immersive, real-time experience for their fans was through their use of the online streaming platform, Twitch.
Twitch is primarily used to livestream video gameplay and as of February of 2014, it was the fourth largest source of Internet traffic during peak times in the US, behind Netflix, Google and Apple. Needless to say, people are consuming Twitch “streams” (an individual user’s channel or station, so to speak) as a major source of entertainment now and Destiny knew exactly where to show up to entertain and engage their fans.
Destiny broke down the new content into bite-sized chunks and did a series of livestreams in the weeks leading up to the launch. From their new player vs player (PVP) modes to some of the new story missions, players got a sneak peek at the content, in advance, which elicited a conversation and generated hype well before the content dropped. These livestreams featured actual, passionate players (super fans of the game and some game designers) playing the content in real-time.
With over 130,000 people now following Bungie on Twitch, I’d say that using this platform in this way was extremely important to the health of this launch.
You can apply this strategy to your own marketing by showing up where the conversation is already happening in your industry and giving people a behind-the-scenes look into what makes your product, service or brand unique or interesting. Don’t wait until the day you launch to release information about what it is you are developing. Get ahead of the game by giving people something to talk about well in advance.
Create Engaging Content that Brings People Along for the Ride
Another way that Destiny gave people a real-time experience was through the content that they created and shared through their own channels.
On launch day, Bungie shared a video on their Instagram account, which showed their team “turning on” the launch of House of Wolves. This video, re-tweeted by over 1,000 people at last glance, favourited over 800 times on Twitter and liked by over 1,400 people on Instagram, gave fans a moment to be a part of. It allowed people an opportunity to feel that they were actively participating in something tangible, which is particularly important when launching something completely intangible such as downloadable content.
For your own brand, think about how can you create content for your channels that is interesting, engaging and that elicits an emotional response from your fan base. How can you increase your real-time shares so that people feel like they are going along with you for the journey?
Immersive marketing experiences are vital to bringing people along with you for the ride. In my upcoming webinar on Brand Storytelling, I talk at length about how to create content that matters and how to tell the story that people will be interested in. I’d love to see you there!
As always, if you have a question or feedback to share, leave it as a comment below!