Marketing in esports is one of the biggest things to consider as a team or organisation, but what things do you have to consider before stepping into that sector?
We spoke with our Head of Marketing, Morgan Ashurst, Social Media Manager at Betway Esports, Leonora Tomlinson, and Community Manager at Ninjas in Pajamas, Monika Strauja about their key tips for esports marketing.
Content is king:
Whether you’re an esports team or outside the competitive sphere, content is proven to be a huge part of the esports industry.
A lot of the time, you’ll see esports teams produce content around their teams. This is to help their audience learn more about the players, to expand and engage with communities.
Content can be digested in many ways. Whether it’s video focused, written, audio, or through social media platforms. When we spoke to Nathan Edmonds, from Excel, a key quote that stood out was: “If you don’t have social media and you’re an esports organisation, then you really don’t exist.”
Esports is one of the most engaging industries when it comes to communicating with your audiences, and it’s vital that this isn’t overlooked when working within marketing.
Most people believe that you constantly need to be pumping out content in order to stay on top. It’s a common trend in esports that a lot of the teams will produce similar pieces; from behind-the-scenes footage, to voice comm videos, and a documentary series following their flagship teams.
Whilst all of this is great, make sure you listen to your audience and what they want to see. As well as match this up against some of the biggest trending videos within this remit, to help you better tailor your content schedules moving forward.
There is nothing wrong with trialling new ideas!
An innovative mind can be a huge asset to approach esports marketing.
Whilst there are tried and tested methods to what works and what doesn’t within the industry, it’s important to think outside of the box and do things differently from your competitors.
The ‘doing things different’ approach helps, especially if you haven’t got a lot of budget to put into the likes of Google Ads and PPC (pay per click).
Most marketing budgets today don’t allow for businesses to pursue every single avenue each time they have an activation or a campaign. So, really focusing on the best platforms for your audience can help you significantly when it comes to return on your investments.
Keep track of how your content performs down these different avenues, and allow that to also guide you on what works best.
Know your audience:
It’s important to analyse your data across your platforms. If you have just focused every project towards ‘esports enthusiasts’ this demographic can be very broad and cover a wide range of ages.
Once you know who your demographics are across each social media and content platform, you’re able to better tailor your activities to reach the best results.
Alongside this, you need to make sure you keep up to date with what is relevant in the sector – mainly because your audience wants the latest information.
Leonora Tomlinson said: “Knowing your audience is the bread and butter of esports marketing – what they like and don’t like is vital to connection with your fans.”
This is really important in esports, as a way to keep the audience interested and wanting to engage with your content.
Paid social media:
Paid social media is often overlooked, the esports industry is extremely active when it comes to social media and is one of the most cost effective forms of marketing within this space.
Social platforms are constantly changing their algorithms, which means if you want to be seen, paid socials can help you to become more visible. Tools like Facebook Ads can help you reach a wider audience and can be the best bang for your buck.
This can be a huge game changer to your social media strategies and engaging new audiences.
Social media channels have different methods for paid advertisements to suit the platform – so knowing this can help to tailor your content.
Monika Strauja, said: “Paid Social Media takes time, you have to go into it knowing that it’s a long process of trial and error, however it’s the most effective way to grow and expose yourself to a new target audience.”
More information about paid social media advertisements can be found in this article from HubSpot Marketing.
Influencer marketing has proven to help build brand awareness, as well as increase your visibility and reach.
An example of how this has been so well executed is through the organisation 100 Thieves. They have been incredible when it comes to their onboarding of content creators and through their decision making, it has allowed them to increase their visibility by millions.
Just because we’ve referenced 100 Thieves, doesn’t mean you need to spend the same amount of money to onboard viral phenomenons.
You can even look to work with micro-influencers and onboard brand ambassadors or affiliate programmes which may not reach the same numbers, but is a fantastic place to start when building your brand.
As mentioned before, staying relevant is really important – especially if you are looking at working with an influencer. Whether or not the person you are working with has a million followers or ten-thousand, the content you market with them is what is most important. Working with ambassadors, affiliates and or influencers can also help when selling products as it gives your brand an advocate – mainly to develop the trust that people should be following your brand.
People engage with content they are interested in, so ensuring you stick to this for your demographic will make all the difference.
These are just a few of the many things to consider around esports marketing, and you can find further information in our careers hub.