I have dabbled in the gaming world over the years - working my way up the gaming hierarchy from my first Gameboy Colour to a Playstation, and onto various other consoles and mobile apps. And just as I thought my gaming days were long behind me, lockdown hit and I soon realised I had no choice but to call my parents and ask them to dig around for my old gaming consoles. I spent hours of fun on various games; Halo, Fifa, Lego Indiana Jones...I even played as Captain Jack Sparrow (not a game I’d recommend by the way).
Let’s face it, the past year has bought the gamer out in all of us, and this was reinforced to me when taking a deep dive into the workings of industry. There has been an overwhelming increase in the amount of time spent gaming, as well as watching gaming content, and the statistics show that we stepped into the gaming world to level up our downtime.
What Do The Stats Say?
Gamers are split across 3 main gaming modes; Mobile, Console or PC, with each serving their own purpose for brands and content creators.
Mobile gaming is a more DTC focused product that allows brands to focus on the consumer of the game. Over the last few years, consumers spent as much time playing mobile games as using social media, which accounts for around 35% of total screen - with that figure increasing to around 48% last year throughout the various lockdown periods.
The ability to have a streamlined approach from content piece to purchase (or acquisition) for mobile gaming is a real benefit that many gaming brands have looked to capitalise on over the last few years through the use of content creators. Our typical acquisition-focused campaigns at Influencer take a hybrid approach of creator content and paid distribution. This allows us to not only create engaging content that drives organic performance, but to then re-use that content through a paid strategy, to optimise and target specific audiences with a lower-funnel performance metric attached. This leads to a competitive cost per acquisition (CPA), as well as benefiting brands with top of funnel metrics that creators also bring to campaigns, them being: reach, impressions and engagements.
Then you have your PC and Console gaming - these are the platforms that tend to be amplified through the use of live streaming, something that again over the last year has significantly raised. YouTube gaming hours watched rose to 1.7 billion in Q3, up from 1.5 billion in the prior quarter and up from 724 million in Q3 of last year, and Twitch hours watched in July through to September of 2020 reached 4.7 billion, up from 2.8 billion hours watched in the same quarter last year.
This added view time is why gamers and streamers have been in high demand over the last year, not necessarily just for gaming brand, but now also for brands looking to target a different demographic. Gaming audiences are maturing, with mums and dads having become frequent gamers. Of the 71% of mums in the UK who game, 30% do so for more than 10 hours a week. With this comes a new opportunity - brands can reach a niche audience type that perhaps wasn't an option before.
How Can Brands Capitalize On The Thriving Gaming Market?
There's a split for brands when running influencer marketing campaigns in the gaming industry; there are those brands who are not gaming-focused but are looking to work with gamers and content creators to target a certain audience and guarantee brand alignment; and then there are gaming brands that are looking to align with content creators, to amplify their game and key messaging, to drive positive brand awareness or acquisition.
Creators, when used correctly for either of these types of brands, provide a share of voice that aligns on a deeper level than other brand partnerships, due to the increased viewership and buy-in from those already aligned to that gaming community. We’ve seen the amount of time spent and how the demographics can vary, and so when brands tap into this vertical, there is great potential for them to build credibility amongst a new audience, as well as driving key messages and brand alignment.
If you have any gaming or creator questions, or want to discuss developing a strategy that lends itself towards the gaming vertical, please feel free to send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.