A Three Part Series on the Creator Economy
Written by Heidi Mika, Director of Influencer Marketing at Mekanism
Online gaming has rapidly evolved over the past few decades with the number of people who play video games worldwide at 3.24 billion, over 40% of the global population, according to Statista. There is a huge opportunity for brands to get involved in online gaming, and an even bigger opportunity to get it wrong.
Brands have the ability to bring real value to the gaming world. An analysis of this audience has evolved beyond the typical “gamer stereotype”. There are meaningful insights that can be uncovered about the audience behind individual games. Brands that are successful in this space undercover ways to show-up natively in the space.
An early innovator in this space was Chipotle; they entered the Roblox world in 2021 with a new menu item that was actually available to customers IRL. The reason this worked for Chipotle is because they created an experience that provided value to users. Fans could interact with the brand by playing games to unlock both virtual and IRL prizes like exclusive in-game wearables and coupon codes for burritos.
In order to authentically show up in the Metaverse, it’s integral to understand meaningful insights about your audience and how they live in the space. Red Bull, one of the biggest brands in the gaming industry, gets it.
They quickly understood that online gaming had the potential to be considered a professional sport. So just like they would show up as a sponsor to athletes in motocross, BMX, snowboarding, etc. — they are now one of the biggest sponsors in the eSports space. And RedBull takes it one-step further by truly understanding the audience for each online gaming space; they don’t treat every gamer the same way. Every online community is different and every game functions differently — just like the soccer community is vastly different from the snowboarding community.
One very important takeaway for brands to consider is that gaming is universal in all ways. People all over the world play video games. Low-income households play video games. Different ethnic groups play video games. Brands that understand this and actually integrate themselves in the communities, and help level the playing field will reap rewards. For example, more than 70% of the African American population plays video games. That’s significant compared to the general population of the United States where 66% are gamers.
- If marketers want to enter the gaming space, focus on areas where others are not, and you will see more value, more brand loyalty, and engagement.
- Do your due diligence and study the community and creators to learn which space will be most authentic to your brand and who you’re trying to connect with.
For more marketing and advertising insights and updates, visit the Mekanism blog.