In 30 seconds:
- How can you nail your gaming advertising in 2023? We’re letting you in on our insider advice.
- We’ve listed the platforms that gaming brands need to understand now, plus how you can utilise them.
- The gaming world is rapidly transforming. Where is it going, and how can you lead the fray?
What does gaming advertising look like in 2023? How should you, as a marketer, be tackling it? Where should you be focusing your efforts? That’s what we’re digging into here.
There are multiple platforms that are changing the gaming world for brands, and it’s critical that you know you’re way around them. 22% of gamers post on social media about gaming experiences, and 23% participate in online chats and communities.
So social media platforms are clearly a place for gamers to connect with each other, and brands need to tap into this if they want to get their advertising strategy on point. So let’s look at where we’re heading, what we should anticipate and which platforms you need to be including in your marketing campaigns.
Gaming advertising in 2023
The gaming world is constantly evolving, and in 2023, we’ll be seeing even more shifts. You need to be on these shifts to make sure you’re shouting about your products in the right place.
Gaming is becoming more and more about community. Platforms like Twitch and Discord coined this when they first began, creating a space for gamers to interact with their fans and one another. But this is something that we’re seeing rise in popularity. People are building communities on these platforms now more than ever, and in 2023 brands need to dip into this. Brand Partnerships Manager at Fanbytes by Brainlabs, Markus Rytkonen says “In 2023, Discord might be used for a greater impact within the gaming community, as it allows creators to be closer with their audience and this can be heavily leveraged by advertisers. Twitch on the other hand has always been in the heart of the gaming community and a lot of creators record their stream so they can post it later on YouTube, creating 2 different pieces of publications the advertiser can tap into.”
Non-gamers are also becoming a massive part of the picture. “Gaming” is no longer a hardcore, hours-on-end, game-centric pass time. There are cosy gamers (who like playing calming mobile games), casual gamers, mobile-only gamers and even gamers who are only specifically interested in one game (Hogwarts Legacy, anyone?). Some people are going out and buying their first Playstation or Xbox to experience these games. Brands have the opportunity to target different demographics through various formats like in-game advertising, community marketing and influencer-led campaigns.
It’s clear – the popularity of gaming is spreading. And your brand needs to be ready with new ideas on the right platforms to tap into this increasing pool of potential.
Arguably the OG of gaming social royalty, YouTube has given gamers an easy-to-use platform to showcase their content. Backed by Google, it makes it one of the easiest platforms to get discovered since it works with Google SEO. Some of the biggest esports pros made their names here as well as more casual gamers.
Youtube is a place for long-form content as well as short-form. With YouTube Shorts amassing over 30 billion daily views from global users, brands should definitely be looking at harnessing snappy advertising to engage users.
But the most exciting part of YouTube is that brands have the chance to draw people in with short videos and keep them with longer form content. YouTube has a lot of advertising options for both Shorts and normal videos, so brands can utilise these to get their message across through multiple formats. This is especially important for younger demographics. 59% of Gen Z watch longer versions of videos that they discover on short-form video apps.
YouTube, however, really comes into its own when you look at the millions of influencers consistently engaging with gaming audiences on the platform. That’s where the real value for brands lies. YouTube creators are 4X more effective at increasing brand familiarity than celebrities. So partnering with the right ones can increase your efficacy and build strong connections with your target market.
This channel was created specifically for gamers initially. Now, it’s become a place for all kinds of groups. The main order of the day on this platform? Community. Discord operates with “servers” where people can connect with like-minded individuals. Specific gaming discords are prevalent, with engaged discussions on each.
How can brands use this platform in 2023? Create your own channel. Companies that have already harnessed the power of community marketing on Discord are reaping the rewards. The social media platform does not offer “ads”, so advertising here is solely down to organic growth. This kind of user experience is honest, real and highly rewarding, hence why brands need to get in on it.
But in a world where younger generations are more sceptical than ever about ads, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most people block ads now, so finding authentic, alternative ways of connecting with potential customers is essential.
Build your channel on Discord to connect with your customers and create an engaging gaming environment for them to use. Double down through other channels too, and harness the power of a multi-channel approach. Want to understand more about how to do this? Check out our article on Discord marketing.
When it comes to the gaming industry, streaming is the way forward. According to video game publishers, streaming will grow the most out of any gaming platform by 2025. So brands need to start tapping into this now. Twitch is a streaming platform, especially popular with gamers.
Because of its multifunctional interface, streamers can use Twitch to show them gaming whilst also engaging with them in a number of ways. This includes live chat, emotes and integrated chatbots to streamline the experience as much as possible. It’s a truly interactive experience, and gaming fans are here for it.
How can you use Twitch for advertising? The platform actually offers a number of ad formats that brands can use for brand awareness, engagement and product placement. But it also offers some of the most engaged audience members in the world through collaborations with streamers. Creators on the platform can run in-game ads whilst streaming. These are known as either pre-roll or mid-roll ads (paid), but they can also advocate for your brand through organic content.
Influencer marketing works on Twitch. Gaming company Ubisoft, for example, famously partnered with Twitch influencer LIRIK (Saqib Ali Zahid), who has 2.9 million followers, to market their shooter game, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege.
He played the game while interacting with his audience, informing them about the different elements of the game and answering their questions. The campaign generated 124K hours watched and 68K peak viewers.
Find out more on how to unlock influencer marketing on this channel in our article: Twitch Influencer Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide.
When it comes to gaming platforms, TikTok may not be the first to come to mind, but it’s become a powerful place for gaming brands to advertise. In fact, TikTok has upped its gaming agenda – pushing for a more gamer-centric ideology.
Last year, TikTok hosted its first-ever global gaming event. Attendees heard from top brands, including Electronic Arts, 2K, Homa, Playtika and VNGGames. Assaf Sagy, a heavy hitter in the gaming community and TikTok’s Head of Global Gaming, also gave an address:
“TikTok and gaming were made for each other. TikTok has far shown its value in helping consumers discover what’s fun, valuable, and popular. I look forward to working closely with all gaming companies globally to help make TikTok a central foundation in your marketing strategies.”
They even introduced the TikTok gaming tab that will feature playable mobile games. These changes are what make TikTok the place for marketing both video and mobile games to hyper-targeted audiences. The app also happens to be a haven for influencers. Creators flock here because of its push for authenticity and entertainment. And the ads have something to show for it. Ads created for TikTok with creator partnerships achieved 65% higher 2-second view rates. So get in there and partner with the right gaming influencers. Use real gameplay to enhance your efforts and let the creators take the lead.
How? Here’s an example. We worked with Ubisoft in 2021 to successfully build a ‘social media buzz’ around the launch of Riders Republic to a UK audience on TikTok and Instagram Reels. This drove over 1.5M views and over 68K hearts and led to a “hype” that expanded beyond the initial campaign with influencers speaking about the game in their own time. You can read more about the case study here.
Want some more advice on how to up your game on TikTok? Check out our article on TikTok Gaming.
Hannah Cole, the Creative Lead for Fanbytes by Brainlabs, mentions, “Reddit is an underutilised platform. It’s the core of what community marketing is.”
Since community marketing is one of the biggest current and future gateways to accessing gaming customers, brands need to be whole-heartedly adopting it. Reddit allows you to find the perfect niche communities to build genuine relationships. It operates with major “Reddits” and then “subreddits”, so you can start honing your ideal audiences through smaller pools.
There’s definitely a gamer streak on the channel too. In fact, gaming is now the largest category on Reddit, with some 172 million monthly visitors and over three billion monthly views.
This is the place to test theories, Beta games and ideas. There are tons of communities just itching to give you their opinions, so it’s the ideal online channel to gain real-time feedback and really listen to your potential customers.
In return, they will speak about your products and help build gaming movements.
Where is gaming marketing leading?
With the talk of the Metaverse quietening a little but VR and AR still firmly in our minds, it’s tricky to know where the gaming advertising industry is going. AR will be an essential part of gaming for quite some time. The value of this niche reached $6.39 billion in 2021, and in the next five years, this section of the market is predicted to reach $38 billion. It’s not a point to ignore.
But with technology changing so rapidly (just look at how quickly AI is progressing with companies like Microsoft and Sony pushing more than ever), it’s easy to forget the main elements that help customers buy from gaming brands.
Community, authenticity and influencers are the focus points for now, and brands need to adopt these to build better ad campaigns than ever before. But this doesn’t mean becoming copycats. Use brand examples as inspiration but definitely think outside of the box. The more groundbreaking your campaign, the more it’s likely to trend. Harness the power of metrics to understand what’s working and what’s not.
Then, you can start leading the way on these social platforms. Want to do that sooner? Get in touch to find out how we can help you level up your gaming marketing and become leaders in your space.
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