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Marketing in business has changed: what the video game industry can teach us


Marketing in business has seen a massive revolution over the past few years, with those brands who stuck with the traditional strategies falling behind — or vanishing altogether. New strategies have become increasingly powerful, and this is demonstrated by lessons from the gaming world.

Not all that long ago, gaming was stereotypically viewed by the mainstream as a distraction largely for young men. Gamers themselves were often thought to be socially awkward outcasts, and video games garnered more than their fair share of bad press.

Nowadays, of course, gaming is a global, multi-billion dollar industry and everyone plays games, from teen prodigies to working professionals, athletes, and everyone in-between.

Whilst technological development has undoubtedly contributed to the rise of the gaming industry, it’s also created an uber-competitive marketplace in which brands invest tonnes of resources in an attempt to stand out from the crowd and secure those all-important customers.

Some companies may have failed along the way, but several high-profile brands have really nailed the secret to marketing success in the industry. In this article, we’ll be sharing some of those insights that can be applied to enterprises across the board.

Ignore Video Content at Your Peril 

In the world of digital marketing, video content is king. Videos pull in more engagement than any other type of content, increasing brand awareness and influencing consumer decisions in the process.

According to Smart Insights, in 2019, video content accounted for 78% of all global data traffic – a figure that has grown substantially in the years since as more and more consumers turn to their screens for entertainment and information.

As for the potential of video content, we need look no further than Swedish gamer Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie. Despite being one of the more controversial personalities in the gaming world, he’s still managed to generate an audience of over 90 million followers on his YouTube account with a diverse mix of gaming content and formatted comedy.

Streaming is the Fastest-Growing Video Delivery

Video streaming was already growing before the pandemic, but has been given a massive boost with people increasing their appetite for the immediacy of the medium. In the gaming world, the Streaming Queen is the gamer Imane Anys (pictured) – more popularly known by her gaming alias Pokimane. She is a Moroccan-Canadian gaming star, with a massive following who watch her live streams on Twitch, as she plays titles like League of Legends and Fortnite. She has parlayed that engagement into a business empire that grows each day.

Likewise, for marketing in business, brands are learning how to engage their clients and audience more with streaming events, informational content and promotional streams for everything from product launches to stock market announcements.

Brand Integrity is Vital 

Maintaining brand integrity from your products to your online presence is absolutely vital for marketing in business when it comes to expanding into new markets. If you’ve built up a positive reputation in one sector or territory, that reputation may help you expand your business but it won’t necessarily secure new customers if you can’t provide a seamless brand experience.

PokerStars Casino, one of the leading global iGaming brands, quickly discovered that the way to consistently attract new customers in a heavily over-saturated industry is to establish brand integrity.

Recently, the company launched its renowned platform in new, nascent markets. While the reputation of the brand, coupled with the gaming audience’s appetite for iGaming experiences, ensured a surge of interest upon launch, PokerStars has been able to sustain customer loyalty by adhering to its principles of brand integrity. The company provides a seamless playing experience from one country to the next, ensuring that no matter where a player is located they can access the same high-quality features.

The Power of Influence 

Influencer Marketing isn’t exactly the new kid on the block these days for marketing in business. Major brands from across the spectrum of industry are all partnering with high-profile social media celebrities to reach new audiences. The key to working with influencers for marketing in business is to establish connections with the right individual. All it takes sometimes is the right partnership to take a brand or product to stratospheric levels of popularity.

Gaming brands were some of the first to work with individual players to harness the power of influencer marketing. More recently, however, top eSports gamers have become the focus of more mainstream brands and organisations.

Red Bull, for example, famously teamed up with leading gaming influencer Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja, in 2019 to promote the limited edition Red Bull Ninja cans. To increase fan engagement even more, an “experiential contest” was launched at the same time as the new product, which encouraged fans to submit content to win premium prizes.

Harness the Power of Mobile 

The world today is mobile-mad, so it makes sense to diversify your marketing strategy by adding mobile into the mix for marketing in business. Mobile marketing really deserves its own article – or series of articles – to do it justice. However, suffice to say, the mobile audience is now at an all-time high, effectively providing a readily engaged market for brands and companies to tap into.

Gaming companies have been able to harness the power of mobile for brand development by teaming up with influencers to encourage pre-launch promotion. Supercell, the creators behind the global hit Brawl Stars, partnered with 10 influencers before the launch of the game. Their combined efforts meant that 5 million gamers signed up to download the game before it even hit app download stores.

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