Marketing in video games requires a smart strategy

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Brands should embrace in-game advertising as this billion dollar industry has high user engagement and interaction.

Posted: May 20, 2022

(Image credit: Sean Do/Upslash)

There are 3.1 billion gamers worldwide and the data indicates that the industry will continue to grow. In the United States alone, mobile games are expected to exceed $11.35 billion by 2025. Globally, the video game market is expected to surpass $200 billion by 2023. advertising view, these figures alone are a reason to enter the marketing of the game. But there is another reason, probably even stronger.

The video game industry is dominated by 18-35 year olds, with 29% of gamers belonging to the group. The average age of a gamer? 34. And contrary to stereotypes, 45% of all American gamers are women.

What better way for advertisers to reach these demographics than to advertise in the billion dollar industry of high engagement and user interaction?

Here’s what you need to know to successfully advertise and market in video games and get it right.

What is in-game marketing?

In-game marketing most commonly refers to in-app advertisements in desktop, console, and mobile games. It’s a great way to build brand engagement, as you can pay to have your brand or product featured in ad overlays, scene footage, in-game banners, or embedded directly into the gameplay.

Part of marketers’ success is due to immersing players in the metaverse. Studies show that Gen Z gamers spend twice as much time with their friends virtually than in real life.

As a result, players can interact with in-game advertising. If you find it difficult to reach people through traditional marketing, video game marketing is a tactic that gives you the opportunity to reach more than 2.5 billion players, i.e. a third of the world’s population!

More and more brands are starting to set up in-game marketing campaigns.

In May, PepsiCo and Pizza Hut teamed up for a “Score with Pogba” augmented reality game ahead of the UEFA European Soccer Championship final. In the same month, Butterfinger and PUBG MOBILE collaborated so that players could participate in a special challenge to receive exclusive in-game rewards.

Types of in-game marketing

There are different types of in-game ads and ways to market your brand to gamers, but here are a few to consider:

  1. Dynamic in-game ads: This is the newest (and most popular) form of in-game marketing. Dynamic ads allow you to buy in real time and geographically target, similar to banner ads on websites . In the non-digital world, we typically see dynamic ads on billboards, posters, and bus stops that come and go over days or weeks. The same goes for these types of spaces in video games.
  2. Static in-game ads: Unlike dynamic ads, static ads remain embedded in the video game for its entire lifespan. This marketing is planned and integrated directly into the game scenario via product placement.
  3. Advertising games: These are video games created for the sole purpose of promoting a brand or product. Examples of popular promotional games include those created by LEGO and the Star Wars and Harry Potter franchises. In each game, the storyline, gameplay, and environment are designed to strongly promote the brand or product.
  4. Virtual reality experiences: Look to the metaverse for virtual experiences. You can buy digital spaces to create a virtual reality. Gucci did this with the Gucci Garden Experience where users could visit themed rooms and see the brand’s history.

Tips for successful in-game marketing

Before you dive into the depths of in-game marketing, here are some key things to keep in mind:

Match your product to the right game

All kinds of people play video games, but the preferred genre varies from person to person. Younger men generally opt for sports and adventure games, while families play puzzle-based games. When choosing the game to host your brand advertising, be sure to choose a game with a style and demographic that matches your product.

Timing matters

For your marketing campaign to be successful, show it to players when they are most receptive. Rather than being intrusive or annoying (no one likes to be interrupted), display advertising between levels, cut scenes, or during natural game breaks.

If you ignore the timing, you risk players associating your brand with frustration, inconsideration, or worse. Your ads should serve as an enhancement or a break, not an interruption.

Quality over quantity

It is possible to have too much a good thing, and that applies to in-game marketing. More ads don’t necessarily mean more revenue, so don’t overwhelm the audience. Bombarding players with ads can lead to poor user experience. Don’t be the reason players aren’t having a good time.

be creative

One of the biggest barriers to advertising today is banner blindness, especially when it comes to mobile games. People will ignore anything that looks like a traditional advertisement or advertising messages.

Therefore, you may need to think outside the box. To ensure your in-game marketing is successful, create a strong message that can be seamlessly inserted into the video game storyline or environment.

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