Alternate Reality Game for Recruitment

Alternate Reality Game for Recruitment

Companies and even certain government organizations have been using Alternate Reality Games to mask scouting processes since at least a decade now. And each time, through specific tasks, it almost certainly gets the organizers true quality employees. But some thinks that ARGs are limited only to harshly complicated and cryptic riddle-based activities. Well, this article will aim to tell you how that might not need to be the case while still getting you highly capable recruits.

How ARGs Were Used for Recruitment

As ARGs are often more collaborated to cryptic puzzles and conspiracy theories, most of the time, recruitment through it often is for positions requiring elite-level intelligence. Below are 2 of the many notable uses.

Can You Find It?

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In 2013, this ARG was promoted by the British Intelligence to fill elite positions within the GCHQ. And with it, GCHQ hoped to find coders fully capable of cracking such codes that may have been self-taught, doesn’t have the proper degree, or even simply never found the chance. This method proved incredibly effective as the challenge (not even the reward) proved to have attracted the attention of hundreds if not thousands of capable mathematicians. Some of them even joined a community to discuss it with each other such as this Reddit thread in the UK Subreddit.

Cicada 3301

Exploding the world wide web with the biggest scavenger hunt the internet has ever seen, at 2012 was the mysterious organization nicknamed Cicada 3301. Some would say that Cicada 3301 is the pinnacle of an ARG. Combining mystery with elaborate puzzle hunts both on the internet and in the real world. Players would need to solve puzzle after puzzle. From fields of cryptography, steganography, and other related fields. Those puzzles would at the time lead you to find posters spread throughout the world. After the game is complete and Cicada finds their sought after individuals, it would at times repeat again the very next year. Though there is no way to know how many players actually participated in the game, it is safe to say that the count goes up to at least millions.

What We Can Learn From the Examples

Despite the two examples given the sound more elaborate than what a regular company might need, there are some very valuable points to take from them.

  • Can You Find It proves that you can be more direct with your intentions to draw in interested parties.
  • It also proves that such an ARG are an incredibly efficient way to grasp the attention of hidden talents that may even prove more capable than those that have official titles.
  • Cicada 3301 proved that a phenomenal ARG can attract the curiosity of countless throughout the world.
  • While at the same time, it may not need to cost more than you think.

How an ARG Could be Cheaper to Make than It Appears

Returning to the point of Cicada 3301, many of the puzzles that they’ve made are intricate. Even the red herrings were intricate. And this sound like it would take a lot of effort and cost-heavy. Especially the part of interconnecting the scavenger hunt to the real life with the posters spread throughout the world. But that may not be the case.

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While some of Cicada’s puzzles were obviously handcrafted by experts, a less hard and more open to general individuals may not necessarily need such things. For one, many free softwares are available online if you simply want to create encrypted messages. And anyone can now hire a number of services to simply do tasks such as placing a poster in certain parts of the world. And it would hardly cost much.

Even beyond that, with the growth of social media today, it is quite easy to make a number of smaller scale ARGs if you prove creative enough.

Closing Point

ARGs are still not within the mainstream but can easily attract the curious attention of the public. With this in mind, the earlier you are to try and use it, the more unique and creative your implementation will seem by comparison. And thus, would draw in more interest.

Creating a Brand Sensation with ARGs

Creating a Brand Sensation with ARGs

According to eLearning Industry, ARGs or Alternate Reality Games are “An experience that takes place across multiple platforms, formats, and locations.” Something that “Has elements of eLearning, computer games, geocaching, scavenger hunts, live action role-playing, and social learning in Alternate Reality Games.”  But that in itself is not the full extent of this initiative. With proper implementation, this initiative has the potential to attract up to millions of players worldwide. Alternate Reality Games could possibly be one of the best method of getting the involvement of your potential consumers through a marketing campaign and this article will tell you why.

What is an ARG?

Alternate Reality Games are more than often a collaboration of a scavenger hunt and a mystery case. Sparking engagement through the puzzling clues it leaves and drives collaboration within individuals that are equally interested in finding the answer. Through the challenging tasks it provides and offers to the players, often times an ARG is seen as something that might alienate consumers instead of draw them in. However, what is often overlooked is that despite not everyone is able to participate in such a hunt for clues and puzzles, everyone can bear witness to it. The mere activity in itself becomes intriguing and often leaves people fascinated by them, and this often leaves quite the examples.

The Problem with ARGs

Albeit having early 2000s with Microsoft’s marketing campaign for the movie; Artificial Intelligence, ARGs had always been thought as expensive due to the need of in-depth elements such as puzzles, mysteries and the incorporation of those elements to the real world. Combine this with things such as website maintenances and other variety of costs, Alternate Reality Games have always been considered an intimidating campaign to plan, let alone execute. And despite the results ARGs seem to bring, with its level of virality and reach, it has never been a true trend or mainstream within the world of marketing. However, the argument here is that perhaps now it is the time to ignite a more creative approach to ARGs.

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Why ARG is Now Simpler

After nearly 2 decades of its first case, ARGs are now getting simpler to plan (With the creation of intricate elements of the game aside). This is due to the fact that communication and media had grown wildly since then. It is much easier to spread the fire of the game’s virality online. And such ease comes from (but not exclusive to) the following:

  • Growth of the Internet and its ease of use
  • Growth of Social Media
  • Rise of services that serves to ease phases of an ARG’s creation

How Alternate Reality Games Drive Such Engagement

Everyone loves a mystery and many people love challenges. A good ARG brings the best of both worlds. An ARG can create a challenging mystery, driving the curiosity of its players and bringing creative ways for the players to progress the game. In its essentiality, an ARG uses the same drive that makes people think up and love things such as conspiracy theories. Since, within an ARG, initially you would not know what the purpose of the challenge is. The cryptic nature and intermingling over the world-wide web would spark a sense of genuine curiosity and fascination.

ARGs’ Effect to Brands

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Besides leaving behind a spectacle in the brand’s history, players that had partake in the game or even onlookers that observed its progress will familiarize themselves with the brand that conceived it. And this is no small matter. As, if the game itself reached the ears of hundreds of thousands or even millions, those very millions would be the one to see the brand in high regard for the clever marketing. And besides spreading brand awareness, would most likely also promote a better image for the brand as all creative marketing plans tend to do. And should this be coveted into recruitment for capable hands, the campaign itself would also serve to be the best type of assessment for it.

Drastic Changes to How Ads Work

Drastic Changes to How Ads Work

Drastic Changes to How Ads Work

Although the title above says ‘drastic’ the change to advertising due to modernization and advancement of the digital era has been chipping slowly little by little. However, it is that very accumulative stride that will lead to a sudden shift that must be made now in order for a company’s marketing to not be left behind. Below we’ll be going through what those changes are and how a company can cope with them or perhaps even take advantage of those changes.

Traditional Ads vs Digital Ads

As technology advances and slowly surrounds our everyday life, it is only natural that they would be the perfect target for advertising. We live in a strange time where a company’s advertising can show up in a digital monitor on our fridge or car after all. But what is that to say about traditional ads? Will there be no more room for them?

Something that needs to be separated

While it is true that these days digital ads are so much easier to consider than regular real-world advertising, this is not the change that needs to be considered. Even in the digital world, a regular advertisement is still just an advertisement. It is often invaluable to the consumer and the internet user would want to be rid of it. Be it from using an ad blocker or skipping immediately when they are allowed to. And this is said to have costed the digital marketing industry over 22 billion dollars.

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Is there room for real-world advertising?

The short answer is yes. And yet, not in the way most companies might think. How many times do you see a billboard or poster catching your eyes these days? Most likely, it happens rarer than a decade or so ago. And yet, it still happens does it not? Occasionally, creative and eye-catching advertising will pry your eyes away from your activity to get a look at it. And that is most likely the drastic change you need. The key here is that there is in fact, room for traditional advertising, but it must serve to must be more meaningful and charming to the audience. Not simply blatant advertising.

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Consumers Demand Creativity in Advertisements

Blatant advertising is rarely accounted as ‘informative’ to consumers these days. And over 60% of people are saying that today’s ads are annoying and/or intrusive. And indeed they are. In fact, some companies still believe that by being intrusive you can generate more attention because you’re all up on the consumer’s faces. But is that really the case? If your advertising proves to only be a nuisance to your potential customers, it will only serve to hurt your brand’s image.

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And of course, this would at times mean a higher investment. Be it cost, creativity and time investment, these things prove to be essential in modern day marketing. But the key investment you really need is creativity.

The Change Doesn’t Stop There

Creativity is even more needed today than ever before as other forms of scouring the web come to existence, mainly voice searches. Beyond the United States or parts of Europe, this may not yet be that big of a deal, but it certainly is so when it will be.

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This new type of browsing the world wide web can change and disrupt regular SEO as we know it. Don’t think that this might be true? Below are the facts of how voice searches are being used that benefits businesses according to BrightLocal Study.

  • 58% of consumers have used voice search to find business information.
  • 46% of voice search users look for a business daily.
  • 27% visit the website of business after conducting a voice search.
  • 53% of voice search users are performing daily searches.

What Awaits 2019

With everything’s pace coming up a slope, waiting at any time to have that boost of downhill speed, no one is really sure what awaits us at 2019. However, with the changes that we know in mind, we should always try to stay steps ahead. So be sure to use any means you can for your marketing, lest it gets left behind. Controversial ads, live streams, gamification, or a whole other entry only you can think about. Just remember to keep it creative.

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Conversions Using Game Partnerships

Conversions Using Game Partnerships

Conversions Using Game Partnerships

Video games are one of the most top grossing ways to place advertising or collaborations. With an ad revenue of up to 24 billion USD, spending on advertising within video games are rising above 4 billion USD—which, debatably, is an incredibly cheap investment for the potential returns. With the improvements of mobile games as a whole, the market for video game advertising is becoming even cheaper and to a wider audience. 

Why Games? 

Advertising on games are a slow moving yet efficient way of spreading brand awareness and dragging in conversions. Especially if you partner with games that are somewhat in-tune to your brand. As digital advertising brings in more data, it could prove to be an even more profitable investment than many other types of digital marketing. Especially if you are aiming for a lower budget advertising. 

Lower Investment Costs 

Game-based partnerships and advertising is still relatively cheap despite the potential abundance of data and possible conversion it drives. With the average price per engagement staying way under 45,000 IDR or somewhere under 3 USD per engagement. 

Something that game partners often claimed to be “much cheaper than less engaging alternatives” especially considering how much of a user’s digital footprint you gain access to should this type of partnership be done. With the game companies handling the maintenance and necessary changes to the game, the partner doesn’t need to worry about too many side costs (such as maintenance or upkeep costs) that may hinder revenue. 

Various Type of Engagement 

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The type of engagements that comes from this partnership also varies. Among them are some of the following: 

  • Social Media shares of ongoing about partnership/campaign, creating more brand awareness for you from the users and earning more potential users. 
  • Organic Conversion where users may not only use your services for the benefits but also everything else that you provide. 
  • Cyber Footprint of users that logs in through other means than the designed partnership 
  • Behavior Analytics be it from a user’s spending habits of in-game currency to how often they would use benefits your service provides. 

Study Case: Kota Kita 

As an example of how a partnership with a video game works, we take a look at Kota Kita by Agate. The game had first been drafted years before its first partnership. However, was finally finished and launched at April 2018. And in under a year that it had been up, the game had accumulated at least 500.000 users. And with the 500.000 users it had, over 50% of them contributed to the game partner’s conversion rate. As for the rate charged was much under 30.000 IDR or somewhere under 2.1 USD per engagement. Which were even less so than market average. 

How the Partner was Advertised by Kota Kita 

Due to the partner having their own game channel, the way Agate approached this partnership/collaboration was to put in a login option to the game through the partner’s channel. Logging in to play the mobile game would in turn help save their progress, this is the same benefit earned by players even should they log in with Facebook or Google. However, with the partner’s channel, a user would gain additional benefits and premium rewards for the game. 

This generated a lot of interest and in turn engaged them enough to not only register for the partner’s channel but use the partner’s channel for its other uses. With a special note being that the 50% conversion rate for the partner does not include the small percentage of people that had already had an account for their channel. And with the active daily user count reaching 45 to 60 thousand users per day, the partner has a share of said active user. 

Insights from Partnership 

The partnership had been an enormous success due to the sheer numbers of users playing the game, even if they do not log in with the partner’s channel. As, it was found out that logging in with a social media account also proved beneficial due to the user data it provided. And this, in turn, was shared with the partner, letting them earn valuable insight to potential customers. 

Data driven from a user’s Facebook or Google account is invaluable as it contains information such as preferences, digital behaviors and interests. All of which can become a treasure of an asset for market studies and predictions outside the game-based partnership. 

Other Means of Game Advertising 

A full partnership is of course not needed for spreading your name to a game’s user. Even simple ads that pops in on a game meant to be a simple time-waster can help. Though it may prove intrusive should it be done wrong, when a user is fond of the game and the advertisement appears enough, it might even just condition them enough to eventually click on the advertisement and thus, the potential of a customer is realized. 

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How Live Streams Generate More Clicks

How Live Streams Generate More Clicks

How Live Streams Generate More Clicks

Live Feeds or live streams are slowly becoming more and more popular on the internet as many platforms now beginning to provide ease for it. From Youtube to Facebook, live streams are slowly becoming the mainstream way to broadcast be it news on entertainment as it also provides two-way feedback through chats. How will live streams be a key point in sales and marketing? Below we’ll try to share this insight with you.

Live Stream and Its Digital Marketing Use

Digital marketing is grossing by each year alongside the development of technologies and social media. However, some companies have not considered the possibility of combining it with live streams or live feeds. Due to the rise in modern streaming services, it is much easier to access live videos in the internet. Be it from an influencer or from official companies and broadcasts. This rise is considered so much so, that more than 80% of internet users from the billions have watched live videos than years prior.

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And the direct correlation here is that over 67% of viewers would be more interested in going to an event or making purchases that are shown and/or related to the live stream. Placing your products within the stream or sponsoring it, especially when the content shown is of interest to the viewers, will be more likely to help them appreciate your brand. Multiple reasons for this exist depending on the type of stream. For example:

  • An influencer can spread their trust for your brand to their viewers.
  • A news broadcast that is reliable will persuade the viewers that the ads are in turn, reliable.
  • Promoting your event via live stream would urge viewers to want to experience it for themselves.
  • Seeing donations and purchases made live in real time will help urge other viewers’ pride and ease their doubt in participating in the purchase/donation.
  • Direct feedback can be used for QnA to help further assure the legitimacy of content or ads provided.

Live Video Ad Potency

Not only will ads shown on live videos bypass ad blockers, but they are also said to have grossed more than $10 Billion in spending. And the numbers will only keep climbing by at least 10% until it will finally surpass television, if it hadn’t already by this second.

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But click rates aren’t the only thing that live videos are good for. Unlike a show on television, when someone loves a live stream, there are still the possibilities that they share it on social media. And this will be opening the floodgates for a domino effect of shares and increase in viewers, with over 90% of mobile video consumers sharing them according to Insivia.

Live Streaming Efficacy

By this 2019, it is even said that videos will account for a whopping 85% of total internet traffic. With the video-sharing giant, Youtube, making strides to improve their streaming services, live video sharing is becoming easier and more available to do at that much lower of a price.

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Not only will it be that much easier to manage your content or ad on a live stream, but it will also be easier on feedbacks as well. As mentioned at the start of this article, live streams provide two-way feedback for you and your viewers through chat. Should this feature be used properly, may be the key you need to show your company’s transparency through direct communication with your consumers. And through it, 73% of B2B marketers say they have been getting positive ROI impacts.

Transparency and Shift in Advertising

These days, many of the consumer base highly values the more transparent companies. And through a live stream, the chance to show that transparency is shown. While it is a risk that something done live may have difficulties and mistakes, it is those very mistake that sometimes remind the viewers that the people doing this are still human.

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That in itself is already marking the shift in modern day advertising. Where companies used to strive for perfection and blatant, bold remarks, today’s market is a bit more delicate than that. However, you keep your eyes on us because this topic will be further discussed in the next article.

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Using Viral Social Media Marketing

Using Viral Social Media Marketing

Using Viral Social Media Marketing

Social Media marketing is something that a lot of brands and companies are looking to these days for what is sometimes a cheaper alternative to traditional advertising. However, should that really be how this initiative is viewed? The matter of the fact is, that this type of marketing has proven to be more than lucrative with the right amount of investment, creativity-wise and funding-wise. Below is how some companies had used social media to their advantage and at times manipulated its virality. And why this method of marketing is essential in this day and age.

What is Virality

Virality is essentially the status of a post’s engagement. When a post is viral, it would drag in hundreds of thousands if not millions towards that single post. But a state of virality is an elusive one. Many companies also try to recreate this without understanding the bases of what and how the youth—or rather, the masses of social media—thinks. This statement is proven in this video that rejects such blatant attempt at virality in a TV ad for Wendy’s. And yet ironically enough, the video itself became viral.

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To a degree, the virality created by the ironic hate of this commercial indeed worked. But at the cost of damaging the brand’s image by the people that resent it. But using memes isn’t the only way to boost your virality. And in fact, that inside joke-like internet culture is better off left to a whole other topic entirely.

Using Controversy and Rivalry

Nothing is better than a little healthy rivalry right? Wrong. The internet is quite the brutal place where most of the time childish humor and backlash actually might help you win the day. An example of using controversy is mastered by the fast food brand Wendy’s. That’s right, where their TV ad fails, their twitter rivalry saves them.

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Wendy’s Twitter account is infamous for being extremely hostile towards rival brands and to back this up, the admin of said account is extremely proficient in dishing out insults. However, what most would think as bad business practice actually played an incredible part towards Wendy’s brand awareness and loyalty from their followers.

And with most other restaurants retorting back at Wendy’s twitter account, customers get to choose sides. And with their pride for their favorites in line, becomes more loyal with each supporting action such as re-tweeting and sharing. While your brand might antagonize some potential customers, it gains great loyalty by the ones that truly love what you have to offer. This helps improve the quality of your customer base for the price of some of its quantity.

Using Influencers and Social Figures

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Another most common social media marketing tactic is to simply pay an influencer to promote your product. This will help not only spread brand awareness, but perhaps earn you the loyalty of new customers that are loyal to the influencer that’s sharing it. And with over 69% of marketers considering this highly grossing initiative, its effectiveness is only further proven. And being that most influencers have multiple channels across the varying social media platforms, you won’t have to worry about missing any.

Through Acts of Charity

Companies sometimes underestimate how moving the force of good really is. This is especially the case when your acts of charity is shared for everyone to see.  And when the charity is crowd-funded, everyone that takes part in it gets to see your brand at the center of it all.

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The act of charity is not only beneficial in spreading your brand awareness throughout social media, however. As the main benefit you earn from creating such a loving and charitable campaign would mean it helps improve your brand image as well. This will be earning you the trust of those that follow your campaign with good will. And of course, you’ll also help many in need as well which never hurts.

Other Benefits to Social Marketing

Not only is social media marketing most of the time remains easier and cheaper, but it also goes by the 30% of people using the internet with an Ad Blocker in tow. Since your advertising won’t be detected as an ad but as content. Though ads in video sharing platforms like youtube remains blocked, it still won’t be if your influencer accounts the ad within their content itself. And yet, besides from that, online videos have other means of generating clicks.

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