Our world is rapidly becoming populated by gamers, thanks to artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the growth of mobile marketing. It is estimated that the video game industry will be worth $ 180 billion in 2021. For years, the gaming industry has been a puzzle that many marketers have failed to solve. In a niche market where revenue was intrinsically tied to the launch dates of major games, marketing in the video game industry has traditionally been unpredictable and frustrating .
The big question for those involved in marketing in this field is: how can you maximize the visibility of your brand in the hyper-competitive gaming industry?
As will soon become clear, the answer lies in the influencers.
Gaming influencers do more than just play games
Influencer marketing is no longer a niche practice, quite the contrary. Major brands in every industry leverage the reputation of social media celebrities on major platforms to reach a wider audience. All you need is the right partnership with a relevant player , and any product can become a giant.
Influencers can earn thousands of euros with a single post, and those with millions of followers are able to earn 250,000 euros or more per post and for some years now this is also true for gamers on YouTube.
Along with YouTube, the biggest stage for gaming industry influencers is the hugely popular Twitch streaming platform , to which members can connect their console, computer or smartphone and stream live video of themselves as they play.
Some research shows that 80% of the 10 most successful influencers in 2018 weren’t even ranked in 2017. No influencer seems to hold a safe seat, testifying to obviously fierce competition. With a global audience and a constant battle for supremacy over the number of followers and streams, gaming influencers are a huge marketing opportunity.
But how do you go about deciphering such a volatile market and building a successful marketing strategy ?
Five ways to leverage marketing in the gaming industry
According to a study, 64% of Americans over the age of 13 play video games . Even though gaming has become mainstream, however, many marketers still find it difficult to connect with gamers. But it’s not as complex as people think. Instead of looking for new ways to engage them, simply leverage what we already know well about contemporary marketing .
Looking at five key reasons that have affected the growth of the video game industry, parallels can be seen with the growth of digital marketing as a whole . Once we understand this correlation, it will be much easier to harness the potential of the gaming industry in our favor.
1. All Crazy About Mobile Gaming
- Mobile games contribute 51% of the entire global gaming industry turnover.
- The revenue of the mobile gaming industry is higher than Costa Rica’s GDP.
- American players between the ages of 18 and 35 play every day for 48 minutes on their mobile.
It is clear that this is a massive market, easily used by companies to promote themselves. By partnering with a gaming influencer relevant to your brand and products, you can quickly build brand awareness. The perfect example is the Brawl Stars game. The creators, Supercell, teamed up with 10 influencers to promote the game ahead of launch, which helped them acquire 5 million registrations after the release date was announced. Since then, the game has been advertised by many other influencers and is currently the most played mobile game on mobile .
2. Video content is essential
The rise of video marketing goes hand in hand with the growth of the gaming industry. Video content increases engagement and influences more consumers. Smart Insights studies say that video content accounted for 78% of all data traffic in the world in 2019 .
As for the effect of video in the gaming industry, just look at YouTube, where six of the top ten channels are linked to gaming.
Gamers love watching gaming videos, and as many as 48% of YouTube gamers admit they spend more time watching others play than playing in first person. But they don’t want to watch just anyone: they love videos of their favorite gaming influencers, to learn tricks, and discover new games. The undisputed king of gaming is Felix Kjellberg, who calls himself PewDiePie. More than 100 million people watch his videos daily.
3. Women matter in the gaming market
While once upon a time the typical gamer might have been a kid with acne in his or her bedroom, now it is just as likely that there is a woman in front of the screen. In fact, today 45% of the players are women and girls . In fact, the most avid users of mobile games are middle-aged women. A nice change of perspective, right? And for brands that want to start marketing in the gaming industry, this is great news: the huge number of adult gamers gives companies an audience of people who actually have an income to spend. And while many male gamers gravitate towards battle games and car racing, companies that align with women’s interests can findcollaborations with a more heterogeneous and novelty-prone public.
4. Unlimited Cloud Computing
When Amazon came and acquired Twitch for $ 970 million in 2014, many wondered how the gaming platform would fit into Jeff Bezos’ plans for digital world domination. Then, as the cloud computing market expanded, the answer became obvious.
Following the purchase of Twitch, Bezos launched Amazon Web Services, and rival digital giants joined the fray, causing a massive evolution of the traditional gaming console market, once monopolized by Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox. For a gaming influencer, streaming live content has become a fundamental part of the job. As such, the continued growth of cloud services will pave the way for many profitable partnerships and promotions in the years to come.
5. Brand integrity is everything
When Social Point Games wanted to promote their Monster Legends game, they chose to partner with Markiplier, alias of American YouTuber Mark Fischbach. Fischbach had previously used his online influence to promote charitable causes , with several livestream campaigns with which he raised huge sums of money to donate to nonprofits, including Save the Children.
This proved to be a smart move by Social Point Games, and the company and the influencer were a perfect match for promoting the game. The company was well aware of the value of social impact in today’s market, where nearly 90% of consumers choose the products to buy based on the brand identity and the charitable initiatives it promotes.
If you can build awareness for a good cause during your marketing campaign, your brand will quickly acquire a good reputation that consumers will be drawn to. This is the trick marketers need to build trust with their potential new customers.