Connect. Inspire. Grow.
Every household nowadays most likely has a gamer in it. The phenomenon that was once seen as an anomaly, has become the norm. What do you mean you haven’t heard of Among Us or Fortnite?! With this peak in no of gamers, brands need to relook at how they talk to those new gamers and community at large. This blog of mine will help you when you’re thinking about your next marketing campaign in the gaming industry.
Community. Community. Community.
We as communications professionals know to always put ourselves in the shoes of our target audience. To think about the individual. To think about how we can best get that person who likes X, Y, and Z to find interest in whatever brand we are marketing. The same applies to the gaming community of course, but with a catch. Gaming is all about having a community. Most gamers play those games to unwind and destress with their friends. It helps them (well, us, I am one too after all!) to build bonds and spend time with people we care about.
Which leads me to my most important tip to anyone thinking of marketing a video game. Think about how you can amplify your campaign to be community-focused. Gamers love to talk. Gamers tend to move together as one big entity. Notice the trends over the past few months. RIOT Games decides to give Beta access to Valorant to those who watch others stream the game (regardless of how big or small their channel is). This immediately created a dedicated community around it. It broke records and was the topic of discussion for most PC gamers out there, regardless of whether or not they liked competitor shooters. (Yes, I did leave my twitch on for 2 days until I got a key to try the game. #worth).
Following up on my point, the community then moved on to the next big thing, which was Hyper Scape. Then it was Fall Guys. And of course, most recently, Among Us. The latter being a game that has been around for a while now (initially released in June 2018), but suddenly boomed and every content creator jumped on that hype train and started creating content for it. THAT is the power of this community.
Collaborating with influencers that only have 1M+ subscribers or followers is probably going to yield the worst ROI in the long term (in my humble opinion). The gaming community is massive. Dropping thousands of dollars on one shoutout or one video by X influencer who will probably never play that game or even mention it again won’t REALLY bring any value. All you will see in the comment section is their followers saying “Since when do you play this game?” or “SPONSORED!” and all that negativity.
The best thing you can do for your brand is finding those that are genuinely interested in your game or product, and help them grow! This goes hand in hand with my first tip. Instead of grasping at straws hoping to grab the attention of X’s viewers (who could have already blocked that out of their head because it’s sponsored, ad blindness IS a thing), help the community around those interested in the game grow! I have found that supporting an already existing interest is far more effective than trying to create one out of nothing.
Choose your battles wisely.
Not every update or expansion or news that your game/brand/product/outlet dishes out will get attention. The market is very, VERY noisy nowadays. Look at November alone, you have around 15 titles launching this month in addition to the next generation of consoles! Instead of trying to cut through the noise, you need to plan. Time your campaigns properly so that they bang the loudest and get the attention that they deserve.
I hope that you find my tips useful and that your next campaign checks all the right boxes! I, as usual, will be watching what you do. Closely. Don’t disappoint us!
By Tarek Hakim, Senior Communications Executive, Active DMC