Marketing for eSports already has more people interested than marketing for traditional sports. By 2021, it is expected that 550 million people will watch eSports around the world. This is an opportunity that marketers can’t afford to miss.
Still, many companies still don’t know how to use eSports to market their brand. It’s a relatively new and small market, so if you don’t know much about the gaming world, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are 10 ways to market eSports that work well and how they do it.
How does eSports marketing work?
eSports are tournaments where people play games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Clash Royale, or Fortnite against each other.
Like in traditional sports, eSports championships are shown live on TV and draw a big crowd because they are fun to watch.
eSport marketing strategies have become more important in recent years as their popularity has grown. It is estimated that they made $200 million from advertising in the United States alone in 2019.
As with other sports and entertainment, there are many ways for brands to work with the eSports industry, such as through sponsorship, influencer marketing, and content marketing. To connect with gamers, you need to be able to speak their “language.”
10 effective ways to market eSports
1) Make sure you pick the right game
For an eSports marketing plan to work, the first step is to do a thorough study of the market.
There are professional tournaments for more than 30 video games right now, and each has its own fans. Also, the landscape is changing quickly as more games come out.
To find the right channel, we need to look closely at the people who watch different tournaments and see which ones are most like our ideal audience.
2) Event sponsorship.
For sponsorship to work, we need to think about the following:
Visibility: Before we sign a sports sponsorship deal, we need to make sure that the brand or product will be seen.
Engagement: It’s not enough to be visible; you also need to look for ways to interact, which will help people remember your brand.
Pricing: Most eSports groups and tournament organizers are still figuring out how they will make money. If sponsorships help them pay for expenses, they may be willing to build long-term relationships.
Segmentation: Most people who watch eSports are young and know a lot about technology, but as we’ve seen, every video game is different.
3) Sponsorship of a team
Another way to make sure people see your brand is to sponsor an eSports team through an agency or even start a team from scratch. But since this visibility will depend on how well the team does, it’s important to know the industry well to choose the players with the most potential.
4) Collaborating with influencers
In traditional sports, brands and influencers have worked together for a long time. In the world of eSports, where these celebrities are experts in potential digital image, the possibilities can be even more interesting.
But we have to remember that there are two kinds of people who could be influential: streamers and professional players.
As we’ve seen, there are a lot of people who watch professional video game tournaments. But in reality, they are just the tip of the iceberg. The most followed accounts in eSports are not those of professional gamers, but rather those of streamers.
Streamers use sites like Twitch and YouTube to show and talk about their games. Even though they are good players, entertainment and making content are more important to them. So, when you’re looking for an influencer for your brand, keep in mind that you might be more interested in them than the pros.
5) Content marketing
Blogs or videos about eSports can be an easy way to get started with your eSports marketing plan. As is always the case with this type of strategy, the most important thing is to make good content that gives real value to the audience.
6) In-stream advertising
Live streams of big eSports events can be found on sites like Twitch and YouTube. They are also used by influencers for their streams and other content.
For brands, these streams are a great chance to put in-stream ads, banners, or other forms of eSports advertising.
7) Placing advertisements on platforms
Most platforms for eSports make money by selling ad space. Also, broadcasters can make their own profile pages and choose how to use the space below the player for ads. This gives the brand more room to be advertised.
8) Social media marketing
The right people can be reached at the right times through social media.
For a social media eSports marketing strategy to work, the brand needs to show that it knows its audience and capitalize on the right moments, like when a team qualifies for a big tournament.
9) Giveaways, contests, and sweepstakes
As we’ve seen, interaction helps people remember a brand and builds a relationship with it. Because of this, the eSports industry is a good fit for sweepstakes and contests with video game-related prizes that get users to talk to each other and spread the word.
10) Event planning and execution
Brands can do more than just sponsor events. They can work with tournament organizers to create their own events. It makes sense that this will work better if the brand is more connected to the world of video games and if the audience is more interested in it.
You should also keep in mind that instead of making events that stand alone, you should add them to your eSports marketing plan to build a long-term relationship.