Online Gaming Marketing Trends: How to Make a Difference

As more and more people turn to the internet for their daily dose of news and entertainment, online gamers have become an important part of the internet community. According to HubSpot Blogs, roughly 47% of the UK population play video games online, with similar figures reported in the US and Canada.

With this in mind, it’s important to consider how to best engage with this valuable audience. While you might feel inclined to target millennials with your product, that might not always be the best approach. After all, if trends indicate that this audience is more likely to be found on social media, then why should you be confined to one platform?

To ensure you make the most out of your online gaming marketing efforts, you should consider the following trends.

1. Gamification

Gamification is all the rage when it comes to engaging customers through digital channels, and it’s a highly effective method of doing so. Simply put, gamification encourages users to play the game rather than simply read or watch a commercial – enticing them to take an active role in the process.

This trend is most prominent on social media, where games are often used to promote businesses and products. Take a look at TikTok, for example. The platform is arguably the most popular social media platform globally, boasting a reported 500 million monthly active users. If you’ve ever opened a TikTok page, you’ll likely have played a game of some kind – either quizzes or challenges that have forced you to navigate through a series of images in order to win a prize.

Similarly, TikTok’s newest update brings with it a gamified shopping experience. Rather than simply being exposed to retail promotions, users can now play games in order to discover discounts and make purchases – motivating them to become more engaged with the app and grow their shopping activity.

If you want to make the most of this trend and encourage your audience to play your game – whether it’s a mobile app or a web browser game – consider using a platform like TikTok that is already tailored for gaming.

2. AI & ML

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are making their presence known in all aspects of our daily lives. From chatbots helping customers via digital assistants to self-driving cars taking over the roads, the applications of AI and ML are endless. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that not all AI or ML is created equal.

AI and ML can be highly beneficial, improving our daily lives and allowing for new possibilities in marketing and sales. However, if you want to use these technologies effectively, you need to consider a few things.

  • How do you intend to use AI or ML?
  • What is your end game?
  • How much data do you have?

If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, you’ll likely have come across an AI-driven chatbot named Alexa. Now, imagine Alexa’s response if you asked her to recommend a good book.

She would respond with a curated list of suggestions, likely based on your prior shopping behavior on the platform – effectively using AI to analyze your shopping preferences and present you with a list of products that it believes you’ll enjoy.

While this scenario is certainly convenient, it’s also incredibly personalized and biased – providing an incomplete view of the world. With that said, not all AI or ML is bad – it’s simply important to understand the different types and what they can and cannot do.

3. Virtual & Augmented Reality

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are technologies that can create completely immersive and interactive experiences, allowing users to virtually travel to places and people they’ve never been able to see in real life – like Mount Everest or the Eiffel Tower. This phenomenon has led to an entire industry of “VR/AR games”, where developers combine high-end graphics with cutting edge artificial intelligence to create truly interactive experiences that feel like visiting famous places like Las Vegas or the Vatican City.

Due to their interactive and immersive properties, VR and AR are ideal platforms for marketing and sales, allowing for more effective lead generation and conversion than traditional online marketing and advertising techniques – even if that platform is just a smartphone screen.

So, how exactly does VR/AR work?

  • You create a VR environment, usually inside a digital studio – usually on a computer or in a dedicated device like the Google Cardboard or Oculus Rift headset.
  • Then you put on the headset and step into the “sandbox” – a simulated environment designed to trick your brain into thinking you’re somewhere else, somewhere exciting. This is the part where you’ll feel immersed in the experience – where you forget that you’re actually wearing a headset. If you’re using a Cardboard, you may also hear popping noises as the gelatin filters in the device distort images and block out background noise. These popping noises are the telltale signs that you’re actually in a VR/AR environment!
  • Once you’ve experienced VR/AR, you’ll want to incorporate these technologies into your marketing and sales strategy – whether that’s through blogs, social media, email or text messaging.

4. Video & Live Streaming

While we’ve always been able to record videos and make them available for others to watch – thanks to platforms like YouTube – the ability to live stream has created entirely new possibilities for marketers.

This capability allows you to broadcast yourself directly to an online audience – with the ability to engage with your viewers, curate content and respond to questions and comments from fans.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all video is created equal. For example, if you’re using a service like Vidyard to record and live stream your video content, you’ll want to make sure that you’re setting the right expectations from the get-go. Instead of just throwing up a quick, recorded video and then moving on to the next thing, set aside some time to really think about your video’s content, style and story to give it the best possible shot at being memorable and interesting.

How to Make the Most of These Trends

With so much opportunity in the realm of online gaming, it’s important to figure out how to make the most of it. Since these technologies allow for highly immersive and interactive experiences that can put you in the shoes of a brand or product, they can also be used to immerse and engage users deeper into your content. Consider using a platform like VR or AR that can help you to create a more engaging experience for users – allowing them to virtually visit places, people and brands they’ve never been able to access in real life.

However, if you really want to up your game and make the most of these technologies, you should be looking into all the features they have to offer – from 360-degree video to virtual try-on’s and interactive widgets.

As more and more people turn to the internet for their daily dose of news and entertainment, online gamers have become an important part of the internet community. According to HubSpot Blogs, roughly 47% of the UK population play video games online, with similar figures reported in the US and Canada.

With this in mind, it’s important to consider how to best engage with this valuable audience. While you might feel inclined to target millennials with your product, that might not always be the best approach. After all, if trends indicate that this audience is more likely to be found on social media, then why should you be confined to one platform?

To ensure you make the most out of your online gaming marketing efforts, you should consider the following trends.