Simple strategies to ace your video game marketing

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Photo by Mark Cruz on Unsplash

Gone are the days when gamers were stereotyped as outcasts, dreamers, or loners struggling to fit into society. The perception of gamers has evolved, and today, people from all walks of life, including older women, athletes, kids, and accountants, are embracing gaming as a source of enjoyment. 

In the past, marketers had to develop complete branded video games to reach gamers. However, nowadays, prominent brands can adapt traditional strategies like influencer marketing, product placement, and native advertising to suit the gaming realm. 

Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and mobile marketing growth, our world is undergoing a gaming revolution. According to Tech Jury, the gaming industry is projected to reach a staggering worth of $257 billion by 2025. Despite its potential, the gaming industry has long posed a perplexing challenge for marketers, often leading to unpredictable and frustrating experiences due to its niche nature and reliance on major game launches for revenue.

However, times have changed. With a global count of 2.5 billion gamers spanning diverse demographics and 70% of people in the United States playing video games daily, unprecedented opportunities have arisen.

For marketers, the pressing question is: How can you tap into this massive gaming audience and maximize your brand's visibility in the fiercely competitive industry? Read on to discover the answers.

History of video game marketing

Let's take a look at the history of video game marketing and see how some brands have creatively engaged with young gamers.

These examples showcase the creativity and effectiveness of branded video games in engaging audiences and promoting brands in an interactive and entertaining manner.

In the early 1990s and 2000s, major companies targeted young gamers by developing branded video games. Two notable examples are Chex Mix and Burger King.

Chex Mix

Chex Mix introduced a game called Chex Quest in 1996. This game was included as a CD-ROM in Chex Mix boxes. It featured an intergalactic adventure where players controlled a character named "Chex Man" as he battled green aliens. The game had different difficulty levels and challenges, including a maze filled with aliens. 

Players had to find and guide him towards foods like fruits and Chex Mix to keep Chex Man strong and healthy. Beyond entertainment, the game also conveyed the message that heroes and astronauts need nutritious breakfasts, such as Chex Mix. It received recognition in the form of advertising awards, including a Golden Effie for Advertising Effectiveness in 1996 and a Golden Reggie Award for Promotional Advertisement in 1998.

Burger King

Burger King followed suit in 2006, recognizing the gaming interest among its audience. The fast-food chain partnered with the ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky to create branded Xbox games. These games, known as advergames, were included in value meals or available for purchase. Each game featured the Burger King mascot and revolved around burger-related themes. 

For instance, in the game Sneak King, players assumed the role of "The King" and delivered Burger King meals to other characters. While providing entertainment, the games also served as detailed advertisements, showcasing Burger King's menu options and reinforcing its brand image. 

Sneak King alone sold approximately 2.7 million copies in its initial weeks, demonstrating a positive return on investment. This achievement earned the campaign a Clio Award, and Burger King reported an overall sales boost as a result.

Strategies and tips for effective video game marketing

The world of gaming has transformed significantly since the days of Chex Quest and Sneak King.  Here are some simple tips and strategies on how to effectively market and promote your video game:

1. Create an engaging trailer. 

Developing a succinct trailer is to your game what magnet is to mental: it attracts. Craft trailers that showcase your game's unique features, gameplay mechanics, and visual appeal. A captivating trailer increases the chances of players buying and playing your game. Pay attention to pacing, visuals, and storytelling elements. Engage viewers emotionally, leaving them excited and eager to experience the full game. If you aren’t certain how to get started with your trailer, consider hiring a professional video editor or learn to create one yourself.

2. Utilize social media. 

Nearly 60% of the world's population has a social media account. And with 75% of millennials who happened to be game enthusiasts having access to the internet, you can’t afford not to utilize the power of social media. Social media is a powerful and effortless tool to reach a large audience. To get started, establish accounts on platforms like Twitter and Facebook and regularly post updates about your game. Employ visually appealing content and compelling messaging to capture attention.

3. Seek coverage on gaming websites and YouTube channels. 

Numerous websites and YouTube channels focus on video games. Endeavor to get your game featured on as many platforms as possible by reaching out to them directly.

4. Create articles or blog posts about your game. 

Writing content can generate interest and initiate discussions. Platforms like Linkedin and Facebook offer excellent opportunities in this regard. While traditional methods like newspaper, magazine, and television advertisements still exist, online methods like writing articles, blog posts, and social media promotion tend to be more impactful.

However, it is one thing to create articles or blog posts and it is another thing to create content that actually converts and keeps your audience engaged with your platform. If you are interested in acing your articles and blog posts, check out our article on 17 proven SEO strategies to attract more clients

5. App Store Optimization (ASO) 

By optimizing your mobile app's title, description, screenshots, and videos with relevant keywords, you can increase its visibility and generate interest among a broad audience.

6. Advertising channels.

Television, radio, and the Internet are commonly used channels. The Internet, in particular, provides immense marketing opportunities, including creating a dedicated website for your game or placing ads on popular websites. However, you don’t have to break the bank to own a website that you could use to boost your marketing efforts. By signing up on Workee, you can create a customizable no code website in the blink of an eye. However, to have more control and personalization of your websites, you may need to consider opting for the Workee website Pro. Kindly click here to learn more.

Aside from providing you with a no code website, below are some of the other features you can enjoy by creating an account with Workee.

  • Smart booking and scheduling features: These features allow business owners to manage appointments very often with clients across multiple time zones. Workee also provides reminders so you never miss any meetings or activities.

  • Payments and automated invoicing for services, account logs of received payments, automatic tax calculation, and multi-currency support — all without commission fees.

  • Integrated workspace for holding meetings, managing contacts, and receiving payments, all in one place.

  • Video calls from any device, which allows you to conveniently make notes during call sessions.

  • Clients' management tool to easily manage your interactions with clients. Here you can keep all respective client information in one place, manage sessions, take notes, and receive payments.

There are many more ways Workee can help you manage your business as a video game owner. The best part is that using Workee is free, but if you intend to unleash the full potential of Workee, upgrade to our pro version. 

7. User Reviews

User reviews can be a valuable marketing tool. By providing honest and unbiased opinions about your game, you help potential customers make informed decisions. Sincerity is key, as customers appreciate transparency. Feedback from users can also aid developers in improving future versions of the game.

8. Storytelling 

By creating stories that resonate with your target audience, you can build emotional connections and highlight the unique value your brand offers. Dove's "Real Beauty Sketches" campaign successfully challenged traditional beauty standards and portrayed the brand as one that values authenticity.

9. Continuously update your content and marketing strategies. 

Just as video game developers listen to feedback and release patches, marketers should actively seek input from their audience and make necessary improvements. It's crucial to stay up-to-date with changes in technology, trends, and regulations to ensure your content remains relevant. 

Bottom Line

The video game industry is thriving and is expected to continue growing in the coming years. As the gaming landscape has evolved, so has video game marketing.  As a game developer, you've invested significant time perfecting your game. Now, the challenge lies in ensuring people actually buy and play it.

Marketing and promoting your game are crucial for its success, and with fierce competition among developers, marketing your video game may seem overwhelming. However, by employing creativity and effort, you can reach your target audience and achieve success.

Ihor, CEO at Workee

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