What is a gamer? Well, take that question to a group of gamers and you’ll get some mixed reactions. For some, a gamer is simply someone who plays games, this could be on a Playstation, Xbox, PC, mobile phone etc. For others, a gamer is someone who believes that gaming is a way of life, playing only the most advanced games, consisting of complex plotlines, characters and gaming situations. Gamers, then, vary tremendously, with some playing casually and others dedicating themselves to all the latest product releases. According to Statista, by 2021 there’ll be 2.7B+ gamers worldwide;¹ clearly this tribe is growing at an exponential rate, thus presenting a huge number of marketing opportunities for global brands.
Related Read: Global Tribes: A New Way to Connect With Your Audience
But what shapes gamers as consumers and how can brands resonate?
Inspired by Influencers
The gaming community hosts some of the largest digital influencers in the world, who have gained a celeb-like status. These numerous influencers are sharing content on different channels across multiple games and genres, meaning there’s lots of space for brand collaboration. Take Red Bull, for example, who partnered with Ninja, a world-famous gamer with 22.4M YouTube subscribers, creating a competition for Ninja’s fans to meet Ninja and win a limited edition Red Bull x Ninja can. By upping the competitive element and joining forces with an influencer, Red Bull ticked all of the boxes for gamer marketing.
Esports is the New Sports
Esports is well and truly taking over the world, with new game releases and world championships offering huge prizes. Vast numbers of gamers and Esports fans tune into live competitions, eager to watch players take on the challenges of games like Fortnite, League of Legends and Counter-Strike. There’s a great opportunity for brands to get some air time, especially if they’re prepared to play the long game. For example, becoming a regular pop-up at one of these events is sure to get a brand noticed.
Equally, sponsoring or partnering with a team can go a long way. Just this year, Puma announced their collaboration with esports organisation, Cloud9, jumping on the esports trend alongside brands like Champion and K-Swiss.
Vast and Varied
Whilst gamers form a tight-knit community, this global tribe is still notably vast and varied. Even across single games there can be big differences among audience demographics. For example, in the UK, the USA, France, Germany, Counter-Strike is played by 90% male gamers and only 10% female, whilst on FIFA there’s a less significant split of 68% male, 32% female.² It’s important that brands recognise that different games are played by different people, so thorough market research is key before deciding on marketing comms. It’s also important to note that while these stats show a greater amount of male players for these specific games, 46% of gamers are women, making them a voice to be heard amongst the gaming community.³
It Pays to be Opinionated
Gamers are known for having strong opinions when it comes to gaming news. Sprout Social notes that brands should get involved with these debates over social media, in particular on Twitter. Equally, bigging-up gamers or celebrating a groundbreaking gaming event is a great way for brands to show they’re part of the gaming community. The live streamed match of Ninja vs Drake on Fortnite: Battle Royale which broke Twitch streaming records is the perfect example of a hot topic that everyone was talking about.
Twitch Channel is Best?
When it comes to gamers, YouTube and Twitch are the platform of choice. With 25,000 gaming channels on its site, YouTube is a hugely popular hub for gamers. Additionally, Twitch, where gamers can livestream their own gameplay or tune into other gamer’s content, is a key channel for the gamer community, and is growing at a phenomenal rate. Brands can not only place their products or logos into gamer content on YouTube and Twitch, but they can also create their own livestreams. For example, in early 2019, Nike livestreamed the unveiling of its latest trainer via Twitch, a strategy for brands to consider whilst Twitch’s popularity is on the rise…
Key Messaging for Gamers:
- We provide you with the best gaming experience
- We stay ahead of gaming trends
- We celebrate your gaming heroes
Global Influencers for Gamers:
Alia Shelesh, sssniperwolf (US)
Daniel Middleton, DanTDM (UK)
Evan Fong, Vanoss Gaming (Canada)
Lachlan Ross Power, Lachlan (Australia)
Mark Fischbach, Markiplier (US)
Richard Tyler Blevins, Ninja (US)
Rubén Doblas Gundersen, elrubiusOMG (Spain)
We hope you enjoyed learning more about marketing to gamers! If you’d like to know more about creating campaigns that resonate with global tribes, download our latest guide – You Are What You Buy: Marketing to Global Consumer Tribes.
¹ Christina Gough, Statista, ‘Number of active video gamers worldwide from 2014 to 2021 (in millions)’, 2019
² Nielson Games, ‘The Esports Playbook: Maximizing Your Investment Through Understanding the Fans’, 2017
³ Newzoo Consumer Insights, 2019