I am sure y’all have heard about Fortnite.
It’s an online game, already in its fourth season, that’s exploding in terms of the number of active users. It’s been downloaded more than 40 million times since its launch last year – and the game’s extreme popularity has prompted a warning about the dangers of addiction…
Still not convinced? Check out this incredible graph. Fortnite is in a league of its own.
Well, as a fan of online games, I was instantly hooked too. But there’s something else about Fortnite that got me thinking: why and how is this particular game such an extraordinary success, and what can we, as content marketers, learn from it in order to drive incredible results for our businesses? First, let me introduce you to BIG MAMA84 – yup- that’s me!
Lookin’ good, eh? 🙂
How does the game start? With you having to let go, and jump out of a flying bus!
It’s actually really exhilarating. You can land anywhere – and then the game of survival begins. It’s a weird kind of mashup between Minecraft and The Hunger Games.
But it’s much more than just a virtual adrenalin rush. Here are some real takeaways we can all learn from the success of Fortnite, and how to implement them in our content marketing strategies:
#1 Power of community
When you first log in to Fortnite, you understand right away that there are so many ways to show off your success: community channels, forums, and videos… — everything is there at your fingertips — but the most exciting part is that everyone’s willing to help the newbies. There are tips and tricks, hacks, and controllers’ screenshots. So, although the other players in this dangerous game of survival might kill you within the first 3 minutes, the community is there to help you learn how to perform better.
What you can learn: If you invest time and resources in building a strong community, you can create stronger retention and grow an audience that really cares about your product.
Sephora, one the best-known beauty brands, has created an absolutely astonishing community. The Sephora Beauty Insider Community is the place to discuss everything about makeup and beauty, and with user-generated content, reviews and links to its product pages, it’s a community that serves the brand, as well as its members, incredibly well:
#2 Power of gamification
Although I kept failing and dying too soon and too often, I still wanted to try again and again – to challenge my skills and to go beyond my inner voice telling me to give up. This game made me want to keep trying and trying to succeed.
What you can learn: As content marketers, it’s so important to keep your audience engaged and motivated to keep going. Fun, game-based and interactive content does this really well. Read more about how interactive content can help to engage your audience and drive more conversions…
It can even help you to acquire new customers to begin their own journey in your sales funnel.
At Outbrain, we love using interactive content to engage potential customers. For example, we promoted an online quiz that tests the user’s digital marketing knowledge. The quiz generated an amazing result – over 5 minutes average time spent on a page! Check it out!
#3 Product updates can be fun!
What’s one of the things I love most about the gaming industry? It’s so colorful, full of life, and fun to watch. It’s the perfect medium for cool effects, super cool characters, and so much creative ingenuity. Even a plain ol’ thing such as product updates can draw terrific amounts of attention:
We chat about changes to Energy Ammo in 3.6, an update on Perk Re-rolls, and what to expect with v4.0 in the latest Save the World Dev Update! pic.twitter.com/pyoxLn3m1k
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) April 26, 2018
What you can learn: A little bit of color goes a long way… Forget about boring product updates sent to your customers via email. Instead, make it fun. Make it colorful and amazing. Get your audience to invest emotionally with your product, and get them excited about the updates and changes you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
See how Drift, a leading developer of chatbots and conversational marketing tools, is doing just that:
#4 Power of UX
Whether on desktop or mobile, Fortnite is a winner. The desktop version is complex, and some players struggle to find the controllers. This may lead to them getting hit or killed, and they may not manage to survive even the first few minutes of the games. For these people, the more simple mobile version is ideal. Using the functional and intuitive mobile UX, these players got better and better, as the mobile version was just more suitable for them.
What you can learn: Make sure your product and website have the best possible UI. And, considering even Google’s switching over to mobile-first website indexation, you should start planning how to better optimize your funnel or improve your dashboard experience for mobile, so you don’t miss converting customers who prefer mobile.
Here’s an example from the king of the internet. See how Google made its Analytics interface much simpler for mobile. The excellent Analytics mobile app gives users full control over their website analytics while on the go, and without disrupting the user experience:
The Bottom Line:
When an online game manages to hit the spot, truly amazing things can happen. Fortnite is the latest example, and it might just be making history with its skyrocketing success.
There are many lessons to be learned from the way that online games captivate their audience, turning some into addicts! Why not adopt some of their viral-triggering tactics, and implement them into your online marketing strategy? It doesn’t mean that you have to turn your brand into a game. It means leveraging some of the psychological aspects of successful gaming and adapting them to help achieve your business goals.
Let the games begin!