To engage with gamers successfully, marketers first need to understand how the industry operates. Unfortunately, old beliefs concerning gaming prevent advertisers from reaching and engaging with their audience. Gaming is continually evolving, which means that marketing to gamers is changing too, leaving advertisers having to catch up.
Many gamers prioritise social connection, especially women: close to 70 per cent of female YouTube gamers watch videos on the video site when waiting to hear from those they have something in common with. These communities, i.e., networks, forums, and blogs, are constantly discussing games and gently influencing the buying decisions made by other gamers. For marketers, engaging with communities, or even creating their own that generates buzz, can be crucial as to whether their game turns out to be successful or not.
Another engaged sector of the gaming community is online gambling. While online slots at the likes of Dreamz Casino in Germany are more akin to traditional gaming, poker attracts more interaction, largely due to chat being a more common feature of table games. This is both true of traditional online table games and live dealer games, where the action is streamed directly from a casino and real dealers interact with the players.
The demographic isn’t the only thing that advertisers can use, however. They can also investigate the real-time motivations behind the behaviours of gamers. Google and Kantar TNS conducted a survey of over 3,500 gamers and created three groups in a bid to summarise gamers’ motivations: the casual gamer, the strategising gamer, and the fantasy gamer. Within each of these groups, members shared similar ad-viewing durations and spending behaviours, such as subscriptions and in-app purchases. So, it’s important for marketers to know the similarities and differences between each of their target markets.
Understanding Gaming Channels and Communities
The biggest app marketing error in gaming is waiting before a game is released before considering the marketing strategy. This strategy is vital in building a player base: the stronger the player base before launching the game, the better reception it will get. Regardless of budget. there are ways for marketers to reach their target audience, get feedback, and ultimately grow their brand.
Marketers should know that gamers are a skeptical bunch. Gamers are becoming adept when it comes to distinguishing between ads and authentic endorsements and have high expectations when it comes to how brands engage with them online. Understanding gaming channels and how their audience uses them is key to successful engagement for marketers.
Not All Social Channels Are the Same
Social media has had previous success in making seemingly smaller games (games like Fall Guys and Fortnite) into viral phenomenons, but it isn’t one size fits all. While gamers most commonly use Twitter for news, Instagram is more focused on community updates and user-generated content like fan art. Thanks to post longevity and ad placements, Facebook is still a popular solution for studio promotions. Each of these gaming audiences uses social media in their own way, which means that marketers need to understand these behaviours if they wish to market to their audience effectively and build a sense of community.
Learning How to Approach the Gaming Community
With a gaming market more saturated than ever, marketers need to find a unique selling point for their game if they want a chance to break through all the noise. The game also needs to reach the relevant audience when it comes to communicating its message. Rather than develop a game for a particular market, however, multiple expert marketers have said that creating a distinct game and then finding its audience should be the approach.