Video Game Marketing In the 21st Century

29 Feb
Digital Video game marketing, Arthur Morgan, Red Dead redemption 2

As a game developer, you can have the greatest story to tell or the most satisfying gameplay, but it means nothing if you decide to shorthand your digital marketing campaign. Some gamers are seeking new and exciting experiences that will resonate with them for the rest of their lives. Consider tales such as Arthur Morgan’s moral incongruence in Red Dead Redemption 2 or Joel and Ellie’s father-daughter spiritual relationship in the Last of Us.

Meanwhile, other gamers are  seeking a quick and simplistic escape from reality which can be found in games such as Candy Crush Saga or Pokemon Go.

Out of the $152 billion that the gaming industry was worth by the end of 2019, 45% of that was generated from mobile gaming and the sector sees a year to year growth of over 10%.As recently as quarter three of 2019, there were nearly 350,000 mobile games to choose from on the Google Play Store. Just as impressive is that Steam has a collection of 30,000 games, thousands being made every year. With so many alternatives for consumers to choose from, it is not enough to just have a great game but you need to also have a great marketing solution that allows your game to rise to the surface and get recognized.

Know Your Consumer

Segmentation is a critical part of any marketing campaign and the video game industry is no exception. Pinpointing the demographics, interests, habits, preferences. etc will help you create a buyer persona.

  • What age range will want to play your game?
  • Is your game more suited for boys or girls?Or both?
  • What socioeconomic class does your consumer belong to?
  • Is your consumer a casual or hardcore gamer
  • What platform(s) does your target market play on

These are just a few jumping off points to get familiar with the consumer. From there, you need to track the progress of the customer value journey. Keeping tabs on where your prospect is on their awareness level will dictate strategic plans.

The Voice of the Customer(VOC), will be the focal point of any sound marketing campaign. Knowing your customers’ pain points as well as their expectations will assist you in reforming your software to the optimal level. Something that many companies fail to remember is that you need to keep tabs on the latest trends so that your game will evolve and remain relevant. For example, extensive market research on your audience may forecast a preference for puzzle-oriented games in 5 years. By incorporating puzzles into your next project, you can be confident that your game will not be dismissed by a large portion of your target audience. 

Marketing Tactics For Upcoming Or Existing Game Titles

Now that you know who your audience, it is time to reach out to them.Fortunately, in the 21st century, it’s a lot easier to reach out to prospects compared to even the 1990’s and beyond due to the rise in internet usage. About 57% of the world population is using the internet at an average rate of nearly 7 hours per day. This time is mostly spent on Google searches, email, and social media. This mind boggling statistic makes it clear why digital marketing is an absolute necessity this day and age.

It makes it easy to understand why the most successful gaming developers take the time to interact with their consumers on social media, set up PPC ads, hire copy writers to post relevant content, and make arrangements with opinion leaders on YouTube and Twitch. Consistent pro-activity on the internet is a fundamental aspect to creating brand awareness.

Landing Pages/Blogs

Since 63% of shopping decisions are instigated online, it is wise to set up landing pages or blog posts on your company website. Put it this way, if someone wants to search for a video game and their interests align with your game, they will likely never be aware of it if you don’t have an online presence. You need to post content such as blogs and landing pages so that when they search for their desired game, your company comes up in the search results. Without a compelling landing page for your prospect to be guided to, the rest of your marketing efforts are a waste.

Here are some good landing page tips


About half the world’s population, 3.9 billion people, use an email account. With such a large userbase, email marketing campaigns must be implemented from day one. There is an average return of investment of $42 for every $1 dollar you spend on an email campaign. Emails are one of the best ways to gauge what your consumers are thinking. Sending out polls and surveys allow your firm to decipher what areas need to be improved upon, what gaming preferences they may have, and what things are siting well with them. Promotional emails are a chance to showcase upcoming games, add-ons, etc that your audience can look forward to, which prevents them from losing interest. And oh yeah, personalization is king!

We have a helpful email marketing guide to take a look at, if you want further knowledge.

email marketing, video game marketing

Social Media Game Marketing

Before engaging in any social media marketing campaign, you must first define your goals. Are you looking to gain 5,000 more followers by the end of the month? Are you trying to get a certain amount of views for a video or a post? These are some awareness questions that you want clearly laid out before beginning. Otherwise, you won’t have any way of measuring success. Then there’s the question of which platforms to prioritize.


Twitter reigns king for video game marketing among social platforms. This is where companies announce upcoming releases and DLC/add-ons. It’s also a place for passionate game developers to display their individuality and share their love of video games with their fans. One prominent Twitter user that consistently dishes out entertaining content is Hideo Kojima. Whether he is posting content from one of his projects or sharing non-gaming hobbies with his followers, he is creating a personal relationship with his audience. It is also wise for small, under the radar developers to follow as many gaming giants as possible so that they have a better chance of being shown to Twitter users with video game interests.

Twitter, video game marketing


YouTube is an excellent way to cater to younger demographics and share gameplay footage with prospects. Too many developers focus on trying to get their YouTube posts go viral but the chances of that happening for a small firm are pretty much none. It would be advisable to post more useful guide videos periodically. Be sure to enable the YouTube comments section so that you can hear the voice of your audience. YouTube is also a chance to communicate with your customers or those who are interested by replying to some of the comments. I remember when I made a funny comment on one of Netflix’s El Camino behind the scenes videos, I was flippant when Netflix replied with a simple 😂. My brand loyalty was raised tenfold after the encounter. Other customers see Netflix’s sense of humor and can relate to them on a personal level.


Did you know that Twitch, the game streaming service owned by Amazon, has 15 million daily active users? On top of that, one of YouTube’s most popular female video game streamers, SSSNIPERWOLF, has over 3 million subscribers. To say that influencer marketing is a solid way to build good credit with your target audience is an understatement.

Twitch TV, video game marketing, digital marketing, influencer marketing


Given the fact that more and more females are playing vidoe games now than ever, it is not a bad idea to utilize Instagram. Instagram is filled with 18-24 year old girls. What is the most popular demographic for video gamers? Well, that’s actually 18-24 year old men. But still, as much as 48% of all video gamers identify as female so that’s a huge portion of the market sitting on Instagram everyday. A popular marketing tactic on Instagram is creating contests or sweepstakes that allow you to engage with your audience. By having them provide email addresses, you establish leads and have another way to reach them. But the lead isn’t possible without an incentive. Don’t forget about ads.By using Instagram ads that connect to your digital store, sales should see a nice spike.

Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, among others are quite outdated for today’s video game climate.

Here are some helpful social media guides

The Bottom Line

Video game marketing can be compared to high school drama: the entertaining and attractive folks are usually the popular ones and represent high social relevance. In a world where there are plenty of these “popular kids”, you need to make sure you keep up. At the end of the day, in video games, it’s not a matter of finding a one and done product. It’s not like buying a vacuum cleaner where consumers weigh opportunity costs and consider alternatives.Instead, gamers are willing to buy multiple games every year in a wide range of genres. There’s no either this or that. You just need to look at your digital marketing content and ask yourself one honest question: Is this a brand that I want in my life? If the answer is no then you need to step back, take a breather, and try going at it at a different angle. if you answered yes, then keep building on it.

Next Step In Your Digital Marketing Campaign

In the digital world we live in today, marketing isn’t as easy as hanging a billboard up and calling it day. You have to have experts in the field help you define, reach out to, and maintain a target audience. Besides, how many people in your staff even know what SEO stands for? or how to set up trigger emails? Even if they did, that’s just less time spent on enhancing the product. Time is money.Your prospects and consumers are smarter than ever and will know when your marketing is lazy. Your consumers will abandon you and prospects will reject you when the marketing isn’t conducted properly.

Customized Package

At Murphy Strategic Marketing, we keep costs down by having a small staff and using marketing student interns for the basics. This ensures quality work at a low cost.

We provide the following services

  • Social media management
  • Email marketing
  • Landing pages/blogs
  • Pay per click(PPC) advertisements
  • Market research

We can take a quick look at where your company stands and how we would help by filling out a free inquiry. Free analysis

Contact us: If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us.

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Whatever direction you take, we wish you success.

Mark Lydon

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