Game marketing is not business marketing

Gamers require a special touch

September 30, 2021 / by Joshua Goodpastor

Business communication has long relied on the foundations of Advertising and Public Relations strategies to market games. While classic skills like trend awareness and behavior prediction are useful, it is becoming increasingly necessary for marketing to evolve past business communication. The internet opened up the door for tons of different businesses, opportunities, and communication strategies to be viable and marketing must evolve with the internet’s new world. This becomes even more important when looking to dive into game marketing as the video game industry is a constantly evolving ecosystem. 

Twenty years ago players were gaming on the original Xbox, Gamecube, and PlayStation 2. Now, hardware has increased in strength and game profits are on the rise as the industry evolves to an online-based dynamic. Cross-play, esports, streaming, and many other new gaming trends are driving the market in dramatically different directions that many marketing professionals struggle to keep up with. For business marketing specialists, it is time to shift from a business marketing standpoint and level up into the realm of game marketing.

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Games as a Market

Games are primarily designed for entertainment which draws a wide variety of consumers to the game market. As games continue to grow more mainstream, the gap between gamers and non-gamers is shrinking rapidly as everyone from athletes to accountants enjoys some form of video game-based entertainment. As the game continues to trend heavier towards gaming in a more mainstream focus, marketers are stuck in a strange position as traditional tactics fail to work. This has made the world of video game marketing frustrating, unpredictable, and competitive at a new level. 

Depending on whether a marketing team is pushing for launch date-based promotions or service is hoping to launch, breaching the niche space of game marketing can be difficult. However, once a marketing team shifts from a business standpoint to a gaming standpoint many professionals can find clarity within this turbulent space. Knowing how to navigate the gaming market means having access to the right data, the right influencers, and the right marketing angle within any campaign design. Lurkit offers help with data and influencer harvesting, but the campaign angle is where many teams get lost in the chaos of game marketing. 

Fun Means Profit

To market in an entertainment-based industry, one must be entertaining. While traditional marketing tactics rely on repetition, consumers have learned to tune out a majority of advertising. To breach through this consumer-based adblocker requires that companies shift out of traditional tactics and instead push for a more entertaining approach. This means redesigning social media, digital advertising copy, and launching new and exciting promotions that do more than just enforce a repetitive message. Tell a story, gain a catchphrase, and live in the hearts of consumers through their entertainment channels. In the end, gamers are looking to have fun so for a company having fun will equate to profit within the game industry when it comes to their marketing endeavors.

Profit is still the main objective, however, but if the copy or images are not fun to make then they will most likely not be fun to experience. An energetic, explosive, or casual copy can make a marketing campaign pop. Further, companies that keep their marketing campaigns relevant to pop culture shifts will see an increase in engagement. By making your marketing endeavors fun to read and interact with, you will be able to track an increase in gamer engagement. Gamification will attract gamers in larger numbers, and by making your marketing plans fun you will be able to see an increase in profits. 

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Personable Advertising

Traditional advertising can easily be ignored, but if it is personable it can often leave a larger impression on your target market. Influencer marketing is a great way to make your product approachable and interactive as streamers can advocate for your title in real-time. Further, by finding trusted members of the gaming community and having them advocate for your product you gain a boost equal to their reputation among fans. For example, streamers like Markiplier are known for using their influence for good and charity endeavors. Companies that can get Markiplier to promote their title will gain the same level of goodwill associated with their games in reputation alone. This increases brand awareness and can expand the influence that game company has on the social share of voice metrics. 

In addition, being aware of inclusivity, mobile game trends, and the increase in female gamers can aid a brand in being a more approachable company. While most marketers are trained to target niche audiences, it is important to note that the gaming industry constantly evolves and contains consumers from every demographic. By creating an inclusive and welcoming brand identity you will be able to foster trust within your audience and become a personable corporate entity. 

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Intelligent Consumers

Respecting the consumer is very important as many gamers tend to research and understand complicated ideas. While content in a marketing campaign should be clear enough for all ages to understand, marketers should keep in mind the knowledge that the consumer already has. In the gaming industry, explaining basic concepts or breaking down famous trends can be detrimental to a campaign. There are some, generally speaking, basic ideas that all gamers understand. For example, most gamers can connect a red barrel to explosives even if they are not clearly labeled within a game environment. While there are clearly exceptions to this, it is better to respect the intelligence of your consumer audience rather than undershooting and possibly causing insult to fans. Treat them as equals, and foster trust in your communication efforts with your consumer audience. This can turn a company into more than just a faceless corporation. 

Lurkit Makes Marketing Fun and Successful

With Lurkit, companies get access to data that can be vital to understanding the market. By connecting with content creators, working with our amazing account managers, and using our insight tool any company can turn their marketing from business into game marketing. Learn to bring the fun into your influencer relations and discover why great launches start with Lurkit.

Tags: Streamer culture, Influencer marketing, Xbox, PlayStation, Insights, Indie games

Joshua Goodpastor

Written by Joshua Goodpastor

Lurkit's Social Media Manager, Joshua has a wide range of knowledge spanning multiple sectors of the gaming industry. Previously a freelance writer, content creation and leveraging influencer-based interactions is a focus of his career.