Gaming is one of the most flexible and versatile mediums available today through which brands can connect with their target consumers. It offers brands unique opportunities to develop relationships with a growing and diverse audience, as well as to drive brand preference and loyalty.
The IAB UK worked with members of the IAB Gaming Group to create a guide that will help brands and advertisers understand the gaming landscape, uncover the diversity of the gaming audience, and learn how they can enter the space in the right way - by enhancing the player experience and creating a positive association.
Whilst the opportunities in gaming are plentiful, understanding the environment is crucial. IAB UK have broken it down into three categories:
In the game: In-game advertising opportunities, looking specifically at how brands can directly influence gameplay visuals/audio with their messaging or alter the gaming experience through skins and sponsored content.
Around the game: The opportunities available to brands during the gaming experience but not within the gameplay itself. Examples of this include in-app rewarded video, interstitials and overlayed audio ads.
Away from the game: Opportunities within gaming that exist away from the gameplay experience itself. This includes streaming, esports, influencer and content marketing.
Venatus was proud to contribute towards this guide, see a preview of the guide below as we explore the opportunities that exist within gaming away from the gameplay experience itself.
These ‘away from the game’ formats include streaming, esports, influencer and content marketing. Interest in gaming doesn’t fade the moment users stop playing a game on their mobile, console or desktop. Like any other hobby or interest, it remains omnipresent in our lives, from the content we consume to the items we purchase and the people we admire.
As gamers move away from the game, so should the brands trying to reach them. So where do gamers go once the game is over? And what are the marketing opportunities available to brands in these additional gaming environments?
Where do the gamers go: what can’t they get from the game?
Once players leave the game, potential engagement opportunities open up, Take the example below: allowing audiences to click, scroll, swipe and listen to brand messages, offering a full user journey through to branded landing pages, online stores, video content and more.
So where do they go when they stop gaming? Let’s start by considering what gamers can’t get from the game. What information isn’t available on a gaming app, console or desktop? What would make them exit the game and go elsewhere?
The simple answer is - more gaming content. This content can come in many forms - video, audio, articles, social platforms and events. To simplify ‘away from the game’ marketing opportunities, we’ve split the environments into three categories, sharing details on how these marketing activities work and what metrics you can achieve:
Gaming content & influencers
To improve gameplay, discover a new game, learn more about which console to use or simply be entertained by a gaming internet personality, gamers can turn to their search engine or video platform of choice. And for brands, the wealth of content available means that they can be incredibly granular with targeting.
Outside of esport events and online content, there is a thriving gaming community that under normal circumstances (pre-COVID-19) would be attending conferences and meet-ups to reconnect and share excitement around new game releases and console announcements. These environments are increasingly present across digital and physical spaces simultaneously and provide a great opportunity for marketers to create positive affinity between brands and gaming audiences.
Esports marketing opportunities
Esports is an incredibly exciting growth area in the world of gaming. However, it’s important to bear in mind that if you were looking to reach a football fan, you wouldn’t expect your only option to be sponsoring the World Cup. You would be looking into sports news sites, fantasy football, FIFA and more. So, when it comes to esports, take the same controlled approach, at least when starting out.
Learn more about these gaming environments by downloading the full guide.