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Video Gaming Advertising Trends Every Marketer Should Be Aware of in 2021

Gaming is where the entertainment industry is at. Even pre-pandemic, video games surpassed music, sports, and movies in terms of revenues. Lockdown mode propelled this trend and current forecasts show the gaming industry will double its current value to a whopping $295bn by 2026. Keeping up with the latest video gaming advertising trends is the best way to ensure your marketing efforts pay off. Video games take many forms: desktop, console, mobile, pay or free to playThey have one thing in common: without an efficient and attractive marketing strategy, the game will not generate the hype and sales it deserves. 

Know What Audience the Game Attracts 

The days when the marketing persona of a typical gamer was simple young male are long gone. Gaming transcends age, background, and gender. The male vs. female gamer ratio is almost equal on a global level. Does that mean your messaging should address everyone? The fact is consumption habits vary between different demographic groups. Some groups tend to enjoy different genres, play styles, and platforms. Dig into the data available and create a marketing persona based on the attributes of each game type you are promoting. 

When crafting your ad message, consider the individual gamer intent. The latest report from Theesa revealed that for 80% of U.S. gamers, video games provide mental stimulation, relaxation, and stress relief. Throw away the outdated persona of a lonely gamer, many families are now using video games to socialize and connect. Moreover, with the prevalence of homeschooling, online game hangouts have become the main way for friends to replace physical interaction. The messaging in your ad copy should reflect these new forms of user intent.  

Mobile is Taking Over 

While gaming gets quickly associated with consoles in the U.S., the truth is mobile amounts for half of the global gaming revenue. Driving this tremendous growth is certainly hyper-casual, the genre with the broadest audience, known for generating continuous endorphins rush. Everyone has heard about Candy Crush or the cult classic Flappy Bird. But mobile extends well beyond that. Hits like PUBG Mobile and Pokemon Go prove mobile can also appeal to hardcore gamers. 

Game developers really need to start understanding mobile as an integral part of their business strategy. Marketers should push for the mobile release of the main titles, or the creation of separate mobile games to promote high-selling titles. Marketers can also leverage mobile games for the promotion of their brand. It expands its audience through a highly interactive environment. 

Go for Inclusivity 

Ask yourself about the reasons behind Fortnite’s huge global success. It carefully focused on both strategiesit is available on all platforms and it addressed the different demographic groups. Gamers have also adapted to the new societal cry for equality and brand responsibility. E.g., Monster Legends attracted players with a socially aware marketing campaign. The number of female protagonists in video games is increasing. We can list more. These trends are paving the way for more compelling marketing strategies. 

Marketing in the gaming industry involves everyone. Promoting diversity within your studio and communicating this message externally will go a long way. Crafting an inclusive and welcoming brand identity is a guaranteed lift for consumer’s trust and the attention a studio receives. 

Leverage Performance-Based Campaigns 

Digital marketing and the gaming industry are a match made in heaven since it is hard to imagine any gamer not spending time online. Online campaigns offer marketers greater insights into tangible metrics of their efforts. Marketers should focus on the lifetime value of their acquired customers. Do not over-value on the initial stages of the funnel. Using cost-per-action (CPA) allows marketers to acquire loyal users with a higher overall yield. 

By running data-driven online campaigns, advertisers can recognize high-quality customers and understand their customer journey. Marketers should take the option to bid on the action that brings the most valuable users. Working with the right partner, advertisers can pay based on sales, leads, or any other action they find valuable. Mobile marketers can choose valuable in-app actions, for example buying an in-game bundle or finishing a certain level of the game. With an internal media buying team, platforms like sureyield bring performance to more traditional channels like search, social, and email as well. 

Make Use of New and Interactive Ad Formats 

On top of the audio-visual stimuli, video games engage their audience by being highly interactive. Movies, series and even music videos are exploring ways to hop on that bandwagon. Marketers in the gaming industry must leverage interactive ad formats that online advertising can offer. 

Video content is rising every year and represents most of the data traffic in the world. If you put all the eggs in static ad formats, you are missing a big opportunity. Gamers desire interactivity making it important to address that from the start of the customer journey. Here are a few fresh ad formats marketers in the gaming industry should explore: 

  • Rewarded ads – users choose to view an ad in exchange for a reward. For a greater reward, these ads can incentivize users to play, install, or buy a game. 
  • Playable ads – interactive ad format that allow advertisers to offer a short playable preview of their game. 
  • AR ads – using the latest trend of augmented reality, AR ads can take many forms. For example, image filters and lenses. 
  • 360-degree video ad – video format that leverages 360 VR technology allows the viewer to look in any direction of the video. 

Ready to take the marketing of your video game to the next level? Then pay attention to the video gaming advertising trends described above. Reach out, and we will help you set up a campaign that will make you stand out from the crowd. 

Applift is a leading mobile ad tech company that empowers businesses by creating the next-generation platform for advertisers to reach and convert their audiences on mobile.