The Engagement Boom: What Marketers Can Learn From The Gaming Industry

By Tim Philipp, Marketing Specialist at nerdyctec

It’s clear that gaming is now a mainstream activity — no longer reserved for video game enthusiasts — as more people seek diversion from consoles, PCs, and mobile devices. In fact, in 2024, a whopping 3.32 billion people are playing some kind of video game.

It’s also safe to say it isn’t just a hobby anymore. People are playing games professionally (Red Bull even posted a guide on how to become a professional e-sports player) and can even make money from it by streaming their gaming sessions on platforms like Twitch. But beyond a career or financial gain, video games give people a chance to seek solace from hectic lives, decompress after long working hours, or simply pour themselves entirely into entertaining tasks.

Believe it or not, the marketing industry can learn a lot from how video games engage users. The gaming industry’s final goal is for the audience to play games, alluring them with an interesting premise and hooking them to an interesting product — much like in marketing. However, video game companies have made it their life’s mission to find new ways to entice gamers and persuade them to commit to the game and its sequels.

So, as the gaming industry gains increasing traction and claims more loyal users, marketers should echo some of their engagement strategies to turn people into loyal customers. Let’s examine three ways to make this happen from the video game lens.

Immersion Isn’t a Want But a Need

In the gaming industry, the experience and the immersion are two of the most relevant points. Users are playing games to dive deep into another world and want to feel like it’s their own real decision and adventure they’re going through. That’s why it’s no surprise that two-thirds of surveyed gamers say video games provide them with a healthy outlet from everyday challenges.

So, marketers need to create worlds for their products that customers would like to dive in — or even better — in which they are drawn in. For that, the experience can be interactive and/or engaging. It’s not only about consuming content, its about feeling the world, the message, the story and what’s happening in it.

This can be done with gamification campaigns, using interactive ads and letting people participate by generating their own content, which involves them in the adventure to lend their interpretation.

A prominent example is Nike’s Run Club app. To help build community among Nike customers, the company created a running app that not only tracks running stats but also creates challenges, leaderboards, and achievements for users, fostering a competitive and engaging community similar to gaming environments.

Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Niklas Ingvar, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer @ Mentimeter

Building Community Is Indispensable

A writer recently asked students in the famous New York Times “Student Opinions” section why they like playing video games. Many said they liked playing with friends, and vice president and global head of games at Mattel Ray Adler confirmed this with company research, stating gamers don’t think competition is as important as it is to have a way to connect with others and have fun.

Nearly all gamers are part of a community. While not all play online or even prefer multiplayer games, almost all want to share their experiences, talk, and engage with other gamers. Whether to discuss the game or simply connect with like-minded individuals, the video game industry has capitalized on creating community spaces for their games to grow.

For brands, it’s meaningful to create a community around their brand — people who identify with their product and want to meet more customers who feel the same way. These consumers will stay through thick and thin and help the company’s reach grow over time by cultivating a loyal following and customer base.

This can happen through many channels, such as Discord, which has diversified its target audience beyond the gaming industry, social media, online forums, etc. Offering these spaces will also help companies gauge user experiences and take the pulse on the public opinion of their product.

Strive For Long-Term Experiences

There’s a reason why popular games like Red Dead Redemption have entire wikis dedicated to them to untangle their in-depth stories and characters. Even though it was released in 2018, people are still raving about it and making it trend online six years later.

Gamers are used to participating in an experience over a long time. They can play games for weeks, months and years and still be fascinated, ike it’s the first time they play it. For marketers that means they must provide content, media and engagement over a long period of time to build up their brand and the community itself.

It’s not enough to push a campaign that drives sales, and then stop communicating with customers immediately afterward. That’s when brands are no longer in their minds. And the same goes for offering all kinds of services around the brand and the product, and coming up with new stories, options and opportunities for customers to engage.

How is this best done? By building a strong narrative and embedding it into the brand with worldbuilding, a technique used in movie franchises and video games.

A prime example of this is Late Checkout, the clothing brand of renowned Spanish singer C. Tangana. The brand uses worldbuilding to create a narrative and an entire universe around its clothes. Late Checkout’s story revolves around characters in a hotel, from the lobby boy to the rockstar and the valet. With every new collection, the brand introduces a new character in its universe, hooking fashion fans into this eclectic and stylish realm.

Beyond worldbuilding, brands can also create a longer user experience through events, such as live streaming — popularized by the gaming industry and now available across several social media platforms — and augmented and virtual reality events. A great example of this is what Fortnite did with the Travis Scott concert back in 2020, which took place entirely within the virtual world of the gaming platform and reached over 12 million people. This hooked the platform’s and the singer’s users to keep engaging in the platform as similar events were planned.

The gaming industry has taught the world a masterclass in customer engagement and community-building. For marketers who seek to create more personable and authentic experiences for their users, these gaming lessons are crucial to achieving their goals. Offering more immersive experiences, opening communication channels, and generating long-term experiences through strong narratives are key pillars to begin excelling at marketing.

Marketing Technology News: The Future of CTV: Navigating Omnichannel Advertising Strategies

Brought to you by
For Sales, write to:
Copyright © 2024 MarTech Series. All Rights Reserved.Privacy Policy
To repurpose or use any of the content or material on this and our sister sites, explicit written permission needs to be sought.