ICYMI: Kai Deveraux Lawson KeynoteApril 4, 2023
Fundamentally Future-focused: MIMA at SXSW Interactive 2023May 5, 2023
Creating a Game Plan: How to be authentic in esports and gaming
Annie Scott Riley, Creative Marketing Officer at Version1, led a panel discussion on the current esports landscape and how digital marketers can get in on the game. The panel included Ashley Glassel (Wise Ventures Esports), Justice Miranda (Cxmmunity), and Halina Malik (Efuse).
As digital marketers, we always want to be on the cutting edge. We continuously seek the next big thing, so that we can keep our brands moving forward.
It makes perfect sense, then, to take a closer look into one of the biggest new names to the branding game: esports. In essence, esports transforms the interpersonal, competitive aspect of playing video games into a publicly viewable experience, as with many other in-person sports. This genre of media is especially popular with teens and young adults, and it has become so widespread as to grab the attention of brands across the globe.
If you’ve never picked up a video game controller before, there’s no need to shrug and move on to the next idea. Integrating into the lucrative world of esports can be as simple as starting a conversation.
Finding the Esports Audience
By and large, the people who view esports tend to be young, passionate, energized… and entirely disconnected from the most common forms of advertising. As tech-savvy individuals, they know how to install ad blockers, or press “skip” on the bottom of a video. They tend to steer away from cable TV and curate their entertainment carefully.
Esports are able to do what few other entertainment mediums are able to do — reach these audiences. Brands that can get into this area take advantage of the one-of-a-kind engagement and unbeatable excitement present in the gaming community.
But how does a brand that may be completely removed from gaming grab such vibrant audiences’ attention? Many start by contacting esports organizations. These groups include esports teams and individual content creators that form meaningful relationships with both their viewers and their sponsors.
The Content Creator Advantage
Content creators are not your typical celebrities. They may gain the same amount of money from their social media posts or video uploads as your favorite singer or movie star, but their methodology for building an audience is entirely different. Instead of relying on a film or album release to create new fans, they use their own public personality and live interaction. Often, they will livestream, respond to post comments, or engage in other forms of real-time audience interaction. This generates a feeling of genuine connection between gaming content creators and their fans.
For this reason, advertising and promotion done by these creators is often highly effective. The viewers that already trust the person speaking to them are much more likely to trust the products they endorse, no matter how far removed from gaming the product may be.
If you’re looking for a new angle for your brand, consider seeking out a connection with a content creator or esports team. As the esports industry continues to grow into the next decade, you may find yourself unexpectedly thrilled by the new heights to which this method of branding can take you.