The number of active gamers worldwide has increased by over a third in the last five years – with the number of active gamers expected to surpass the 3 billion mark by the year 2023. This is partly due to the widespread rollout of accessible gaming technology in even the most remote of locations. It can also be accredited to the marketing techniques being used by gaming developers becoming far more sophisticated in recent years. But what are these marketing techniques? And how have they evolved from the tried-and-tested styles previously used?
Advertising has moved on significantly in the last five to ten years, with processes like ad verification now increasingly used by companies to successfully market their products. This is no different in the gaming industry, where ad verification is used to check whether new gaming releases and software are being displayed in the right context, on the right websites.
Without a doubt, social media has revolutionised the way that gaming companies market their products. Knowing that the vast majority of their target audience spend many hours engaging on social media has not been lost on gaming developers. The gaming industry is spending far less on traditional marketing techniques such as television advertising, with a reported near 15% decrease in tv advertising spending from 2018 to 2019. Nearly all of this additional marketing budget is being fired into social media advertising.
Streamers & Influencers
Arguably the biggest change to the gaming industry in the last decade has come through the creation of gaming streamers and bloggers. Platforms like Twitch and YouTube have given birth to a whole generation of gaming influencers, and companies are picking up on this trend – getting these gamers to help promote their products. To fully appreciate the impact that influencers are having on gaming we need look no further than YouTube, where six of the top ten channels are related to gaming. In fact, a recent study found that almost half of gamers admit to now spending more time watching others play than they do gaming themselves.
An example of how gaming influencers have been successfully used to market products is Azur Games’ pre-launch of the Infinity Ops game. Azur partnered with several influencers who created videos to promote the game, with the company offering special in-game tokens and bonuses for those that pre-registered. The views on these videos were often in the millions, and within less than a month, the campaign resulted in 1.3 million pre-registrations of Infinity Ops.
There is no doubt that evolving gaming marketing techniques have aided the sector in its recent boom. Be it through social media advertising, or the help of gaming influencers, gaming marketing now looks very different from how it did a decade ago. In the long term, adapting to technological and societal changes looks key to the gaming industry maintaining its upward curve.