How to stand out in the competitive gaming industry?
Updated: Aug 2
You'll agree with me that the gaming industry competition has made many game start-ups or small-medium-sized game developers throw in the towel too early. The gaming industry is so fierce that only those with a plan and the will to take calculated risks eventually rise to the top. This article will show you what you can do to elevate and propel your game development career to a whole new level.
How big is the gaming industry?
An incredible evolution has occurred in the gaming industry. It has been transformed from a niche-based sector in the 70s and 80s to what is now known as a strong sector in today’s economy. The gaming sector hasn’t always been this big. In the 50s, the gaming sector went commercial at a science fair, and ever since, it has developed into a substantial global entertainment industry.
However, in the 60s and early 80s, we witnessed an era where game developers were making poorly designed games that left a sour taste in people’s mouths and caused the video game market to crash.
Meanwhile, an incredible evolution occurred in the gaming industry. It was transformed from a niche-based sector in the 70s and 80s to what is now known as a vital sector in today’s economy.
In the early 90s, Nintendo ushered us into a new generation of gaming by launching a new gaming console called the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). SNES came with games such as F-Zero, Super Mario World, and many more. The introduction of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990, Sega Genesis in 1998, and the original Play station in 1994 revolutionized the industry and made more people engaged gamers.
Furthermore, to put the icing on the cake, the rise of mobile and the internet was primarily responsible for growing the industry and attracting more gamers. Meanwhile, in 2020, something interesting happened. The COVID 19 lockdown forced many people who weren't game enthusiasts to try out their first game. As the global game players' profile increased, so did the revenue.
It’s no secret that the gaming industry currently makes millions of dollars as profit. In 2020, experts took a holistic look at the gaming sector and valued it at $162.32 billion. However, based on the present growth ratio, the gaming industry's value is projected to reach $300 billion in the next five years. Furthermore, experts also project that the gaming sector is expecting a wave of new gamers (400 million) before the end of 2023.
With that said, it’s not surprising to see a lot of big gaming companies fighting for a piece of the pie. Tech giants like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL), and Facebook (FB) are all showing interest in gaming.
Why is it important to advertise my game?
With fierce gaming industry competition, you need adequate video game marketing techniques to get ahead of the competition. You can't penetrate the industry with your gaming software because no one has heard of you or your game.
Nobody knows you yet; let that sink in.
Instead of running adverting campaigns that eat up your budgets with no return on investment (ROI), you need targeted ads that will help you generate revenue and not lose money. Many games get introduced to the market daily, so how do you stand out from the crowd? It would be best if you created a buzz and leveraged productive advertising channels to promote your game.
If you want to be ten steps ahead of the gaming industry competition, you need to be intentional about advertising.
What advertising channels are available to promote my game?
When it comes to running ads, the traditional advertising channels like TV, Radio, newspapers and others no longer work the way they used to some ten years ago. You need to leverage the most effective methods to promote your games and attract attention so they can reach your potential target audience quickly and with ease.
Here are the most effective video game marketing channels you can use to promote your game.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of enhancing your website’s visibility in search engines. Therefore, when prospective gamers search for games, products, or services linked with your brand in Bing, Google, and other search engines, your website will appear among the search results.
PPC is an advertising model that is used to push traffic to a website. In this case, the advertiser (you) will pay a publisher only when their ad is clicked on.
Social media marketing (SMM)
SMM is the process of using social media to market the products and services of any brand. Companies can leverage social media marketing to engage with their customers and reach prospective clients who want to become loyal customers.
This type of advertising attracts the audience of a social media platform, website, or other digital mediums and persuades them to take a particular action (make a purchase, download an app, etc.). Display ads usually comprise images, text, and a link that directs users to a landing page or website to learn about a product or service and take a specific action.
Video ads refer to the use of videos to advertise products or services. It is among the most productive forms of advertising because it helps customers understand and remember the message more than using text or static images.
Email marketing is the process of using email as a part of your marketing campaign to promote products and services to your customers and the potential customers in your email list. You can also use email to notify customers of your latest offers, send ads, and request sales.
This is a deliberate marketing strategy that you can use to attract, retain and engage an audience by developing and sharing relevant videos, articles, podcasts, newsletters, and other media. The clear objective here is to drive profitable actions from the audience, promote brand awareness, establish expertise, among other things.
How to analyse my budget for marketing?
Your video game marketing budget ought to be a fraction of your income.
A general rule of thumb states that B2C companies should spend between 5 and 10% of their income on marketing. You should be focused on productive lead generation marketing techniques to generate leads instead of wasting money on ineffective campaigns.
Why should I be using performance marketing?
Performance marketing is a term that relates to marketing campaigns where advertisers (you) pay marketing firms only when a particular action is completed. Such action could be to generate a lead, click or sale. Performance action is very valuable because it allows you to plan your video game marketing campaigns with achievable goals and prepare an affordable cost per action budget.
Furthermore, Performance action allows you to only pay for results. For instance, if your video game marketing budget is $5000, it could allow you to get 10,000 game installations at $0.50 per installation. Another selling point of Performance action is that it lets you optimise your ads based on your objectives. They could be to generate leads, get clicks, get app installs, viewable impressions etc.
With Performance action, you can easily track performance in real-time to determine your return on investment.
What are the pitfalls in the gaming industry?
The gaming sector has many pitfalls, but we'll look at some of the major ones you need to avoid.
Not marketing the right way
As a young game developer with a finished gaming product ready to hit the market, you need to market your game the right way. You can do this by leveraging targeted performance-based marketing campaigns.
The fear of market saturation
There are so many gaming companies out there releasing games to the marketplace daily, which has made many young developers scared that their game won't see the light of day. You need to understand that the gaming world is a fierce environment, and whoever can reach their niche in the marketplace will come out on top.
Do not be scared of the competition, and don't give up too soon. Stay in the ring and fight your way to the top, and with the right marketing strategy, you'll get there.
The bottom Line
To make it to the top in a saturated and competitive video game industry, you need to know your target audience, where they are, and how to reach them. Once you have the answers to those mentioned above, your problem is half-solved and with the right marketing campaign, you’re already on your way to the top.