Gaming has evolved from something that one or two people did in their living room to a spectator sport that can attract upwards of 50 million viewers for a single event. According to the latest research, 64% of Americans play a video game of some sort, whether it be on the mobile phone, console or PC. Gaming is currently one of the most compelling and popular activities in modern day life, with people spending hours not only playing games, but also watching gaming content and interacting with other gameplayers.
In an “era of perceived disengagement,” as the sage Mary Meeker has stated, gaming is capturing an increasingly large share of consumer time and attention. It’s outdated now to think of gaming as a reclusive activity, with so many consumers playing, watching, and interacting with each other in the same game at any given point in time. Arguably, it is more accurate to think of gaming as a form of, or an innovative frontier of social media. At the core of gaming is creating and consuming content, plus the communities that form out of this shared interest.
How might brands and their agency partners best get into gaming? Here are four pre-requisites to start:
1. Determine Your Target Audience: Audiences vary depending on the type of game & environment they are playing in. Understand the audience and who they are beyond the fact that they’re a “Gamer.”
2. Establish an Approach & Level of Investment: Gaming offers many different ways to connect with the consumer. Whether that be on-site, via a team/player sponsorship or through digital/social media content.
3. Keep it Authentic & Prove Value: Gamers want to keep the focus on gaming and closely guard their community. If you're going to advertise in gaming, ensure it's something authentic and provides value to the gamer or the community.
4. Choose the Right Partner: There are a ton of new leagues and partners entering the space. Choose a partner that is credible, an expert, and will bring value to your brand. They are your guide through these new lands.
These are by no means comprehensive, but simultaneously, no brand has “figured out” the gaming space by any means. The opportunity is there for the taking, so press “Start” already!