For the past several years, the video game industry has taken a massive turn towards pro-gaming – esports.
67% of #Millennials have stated that they could not live without #YouTube. Click To Tweet
Lately, most brands center their marketing and advertising efforts on delivering experiences that quite simply fail to resonate with the key audience, which in this case (and frankly in most cases) are millennials. After all, recent research data indicates that millennials are twice as likely to watch videos on mobile devices, rather than on TV. Also, 67% of millennials have stated that they could not live without YouTube. Statistically, millennials are more likely to respond to videos quicker than any other target audience and 80% of millennials use video to help them decide which products to purchase.
There is an obstacle with this type of audience, I’m afraid. Data has shown that 50% of consumers (who are millennials) are steering clear of ads, completely! In addition, 198 million rely are using some form of ad blocking to remove ads that disrupt their experience. Companies have indeed strived to be less “corporate” and impersonal when reaching out for audiences, taking a more personal and ‘human’ approach to their work. To cut to the chase, brands are being sold by celebrity faces, persons or, in other words, actual people, not by a see-through marketing scheme or pitch.
The word of esports is spread throughout a vast and ever-growing community of professional gamers, reporters and YouTubers. Perhaps it goes without saying to some people who are more avid gamers, but it should be stressed that all of the aforementioned individuals (pro-gamers, reporters and YouTubers) are supported passionately by an army of followers and that’s the where most marketers are looking to deliver their products. To get there usually requires the presence and help of Esports influencers who might bridge the gap between marketers and professional gaming people, because these influencers have their own crowd of followers too. Getting a firm grip on this community is a shortcut to exposing your brand more effectively.
#Twitch completely bypasses obstacles like #adblocker Click To Tweet
As we’ve already mentioned, you’re dealing with millennials here and as a target audience you’re looking at extremely low tolerance for traditional ad placements and digital marketing strategies. These days publishers have found a circumvented any obstacles for potential brand recognition. Sponsorship via streaming platforms such as Twitch completely bypasses obstacles like adblocker. When broadcasts kick off publishers can embed ads directly into the stream itself. As a result, this triples chances for qualified impressions, usually due to the fact that viewership is actively promoted by the sponsored influencer. Such efforts have a direct impact on revenue. What’s more, publishers will maximize their returns, while building consistent engagement. Coke, for instance, has pushed their marketing strategy so far as to creating snackable content that draws attention towards updates to the game itself, thus staying relevant to the community. There are other well-known sponsorship efforts, where companies companies like Airbus, IBM, Samsung, Toyota and Volkswagen have so-called eSports Works Team (or eSports Agency Teams), which are run by product companies – a good example would be the Samsung Galaxy Pro-Game Team.
AOL recently invested into global research to learn more about the exact emotions consumers experience when engaging with content, and, naturally, that denotes video content. The main goal of this particular research was to discover ‘why’ consumers engage with content in the following territories: Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. Having analyzed over 55,000 ‘content moments’ the data unveiled 8 emotions that drive every one of these digital content moments: Be in the Know, Comfort, Connect, Entertain, Feel Good, Find, Inspire, and Update Socially (thanks Greg Jarobe for the heads-up).
Believe it or not over 100 million actively play the multiplayer-oriented game League of Legends every month, as co-founders of dev. studio Riot Games revealed only two days ago. This surpasses the 83 million worldwide subscribers to streaming video big fish, Netflix. Meanwhile, two years ago 67 million people were playing the game on a monthly basis.
Streaming is all the rage among gamers and the gaming community. Right now, there are well over 10 insanely popular esports games being streamed via services like Twitch, including League of Legends (71,436 viewers), Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (33,888 viewers), NBA 2K17 (29,762 viewers), Dota 2 (15,376 viewers), For Honor (14,872 viewers), World of Warcraft (14,507 viewers), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (11,334 viewers), Overwatch (9,957 viewers) and Destiny (9,297). By video streaming standards, these are all pretty impressive numbers.
Setting up a successful and monetizable gaming channel is a long and arduous road, but it’s certainly doable and you can be sure that once you get the ball rolling, you’ll be able to monetize your videos quickly and easy. But on a quick sidenote, apart from having strong presence on services like YouTube and Facebook, you should seriously consider the benefits of utilizing a paid video platform; it quite simply gives you more control over your brand or product, without having to worry about potential change in policy from the ‘big boys’ at Google or Facebook that could potentially ruin your business.