10 Of The Most Effective eSports Marketing Strategies
eSports, like marketing, is a competitive field filled with competing players, each with a large following of loyal fans.
eSports events can be live-streamed on social media, in sports bars, Twitch, and on other platforms. With proper advertising, eSports influencers can generate revenue and create an e-commerce site for fan-favorite apparel.
You may be asking yourself what this can do for your brand or how do I advertise an eSports tournament? Well, this article will take you through the most effective strategies for eSports that are designed to reach your target audience – eSports enthusiasts.
We’ll walk you through genres, eSports platforms, and other aspects that you need to know to market in the eSports industry.
A Brief History Of eSports
A report produced by the 2020 Global eSports market by Newzoo tells us that this industry grew to nearly $1 billion, up from $950 million, in 2020.
This source also includes the number of eSports players, projected to reach 495 million in 2020, and each of these gamers generated approximately $4.80 in revenue in 2019.
China is the biggest market for eSports, with nearly $362 million in revenue generated in 2019. Over half of the eSports fans are from the Asia Pacific area, but eSports fans from the U.S. are fiercely loyal to their favorite channels.
There are 21 million fans who watch eSports in the US, watching games for nearly an hour a day.
When you ask, “What are the trends in the eSports market” the first place you should look into are the popular genres and tournaments that happened in the real world.
The Rise Of Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Games
League of Legends is currently the most popular game. eSports viewers from all over tuned in to watch their favorite professional gamers play in the League of Legends World Championship, peaking at 46 million concurrent viewers.
The popular Riot games reported 2.1 billion dollars in revenue in 2017. With other popular MOBAs like Valorant and PUBG, the MOBA genre is the most popular genre of eSports.
eSports Marketing Strategy
What does eSports marketing mean for your brand? You may not think you need an eSports marketing strategy for eSports if you aren’t part of a team.
Contrary to popular belief, popular streamers are content creators that can turn their love for video games into a brand that pays.
Major streaming platforms, like Twitch, host video game streamers playing games for their audiences every day. These streamers can generate revenue once they become one of the 51 thousand Twitch partners currently on the platform.
Why Marketing Leading eSports Teams Is An Opportunity
How can you ensure your eSports brand is reaching the right audience? How can your brand benefit from eSports marketing?
This isn’t like marketing for traditional sports. Marketers target the right eSports audience and create hype between competitive eSports teams.
Top companies like Coca-Cola or Red Bull sponsor players in the eSports communities. Those teams then play in tournament events for games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, where the audience sees their brand advertising.
These sponsors are non-endemic brands that, while they create products that are not vital to the industry, still benefit from the advertising and marketing to the eSports audience. However, they hold a secondary position to endemic brands, like Intel or Razer, whose products are used in eSports.
Let’s take a look at the most effective strategies for marking eSports.
10 Effective eSports Marketing Strategies
Find Your Fans, Find The Right Audience
Gamers love a variety of games, and not all of them love first-person shooters. Other genres like MOBA, RTS, and MMORPG are also very popular with video game fans. Just like any different strategy in marketing, finding the right audience helps your brand be successful. Just ask yourself, who is the target market for esports teams?
These are some of the most popular genres of video games that competitive gaming communities have popular teams in:
- Player versus Player (PVP)
- First-person-shooter (FPS)
- Real-time strategy (RTS)
- Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG)
- Battle royale
Find The Right Channels
Your fans have their favorite place to watch their favorite team on. If you want to sponsor an eSports team, you’ll want to know where to find the players and their fans. These are a few of the most popular streaming sites:
- YouTube Gaming
- Bigo Live
- Gosu Gamers
Leverage Influencer Marketing
By picking streamers with a huge following, you can use influencers and micro-influencers to push your brand. Just look at the partnership between the biggest streamer on Twitch and YouTube, Ninja, and the famous rapper Drake during a game of Fortnite.
It’s a win-win situation for streamers to want to partner with global and local businesses. They get sponsored to play non-traditional sports events, and your business gets brand awareness.
For example, famous clothing brand Jinx partnered with Shroud, a streamer on YouTube and Twitch, to promote their jackets with his logo on them. They were promoted both on Jinx’s website and on Shroud’s streaming accounts.
Be Involved With An eSports Team
Start Your Own
You want a sponsorship that works for you, not with you, being loyal to your brands. You’ll call the shots; therefore, your eSports marketing strategies can run the way you want them to.
You can source eSports gamers from sites like this:
- Team Tavern
Sponsor A Team Via Agencies
Two types of teams exist in eSports, Agency Teams and Works Teams. Works Teams are sponsored by big companies, like Samsung or Toyota, and it’s challenging to find a team to support them.
Agency Teams, however, get a lot of presence on websites and social media channels, meaning it is easier to get brand visibility with them. You can sponsor a team from agencies like:
- Viral Nation
- Game Influence
Use Video Ads
Your brand’s video ad could be played at the next popular eSports event. Videos are not like traditional advertising. Twitch streamers can roll ads during their streams around breaks between games. Popular streamers like Shroud will have nearly 6.5 million fans watching your marketing messages.
Give Away Freebies
Popular brands who participate in eSports marketing often give away special merchandise with their brand’s logo on them.
You don’t have to sponsor anyone to do this strategy. A streamer can reach out, or you can pick your favorite player and offer them free stuff.
Find Out What’s Trending
What trends are in the esports market? This is an important question to answer if you want to bring your brands into the gaming spotlight.
Finding out valuable data on your audience allows you to understand better how you can reach them. Gamers can spot inauthentic content and fake promotions, and you want to come off genuine.
This type of marketing uses face-to-face and offline efforts to promote brands. When you host an event of your own, this can strike an emotional connection with fans and your brand.
It can also increase customer loyalty and retention.
Be A Podcast Guest
Become a podcast guest on a channel that is dedicated to eSports, and engage your audience directly. You can shout out to your brands or advertise for events you are hosting.
While podcast advertising hasn’t hit its big boom yet, this is still an excellent channel to reach out to your fanbase and create strong partners with other businesses.
Always Analyze And Revise Your Strategies
This is one of the most important strategies for any marketing campaign. If you aren’t reaching the right eSports fans with your marketing, reevaluate your strategy.
Take a look at what’s working and what’s not, and restructure your campaign to fix what’s not working. Make sure you have realistic expectations regardless if you’re partnered with smaller influencers or not.
eSports marketing has great potential for brands both involved in the gaming industry and those who aren’t. It’s the next big thing in marketing and advertising and is showing substantial growth over the years.
It’s projected to have nearly 577 million viewers by 2024, up from the 2019 numbers of only 397 million. This is a new market for sponsors and advertising, and you don’t want to miss out on a chance to promote your brand at the next eSports event!