How to Create Player Buyer Personas For Video Game Marketing

by Game Marketing Genie, on 11-Oct-2022 11:47:34

Personas are intended to assist a marketing team in developing a mental image or representation of their primary user segments. This is why developing and referencing personas is common in the corporate marketing and advertising industry, particularly those that work for major brands or agencies.

Consider every major advertising campaign you've seen. 

Most of those have buyer personas developed through extensive market research and data analysis for better targeting. However, you don't have to work for a large game studio or have a large video game marketing budget to create useful user personas for you and your marketing team. All you need is some research focus, excellent analytics, and the ability to put yourself in your players' shoes. 

Learn more about Why You Need Buyer Personas For Your Game Marketing Strategy.

While simply studying the personalities of gaming personas may not give you a clear prediction of direct relation to long and short-term revenues, it may surely provide insight into who those people behind their screens are.

Studying player personalities can be just as important as understanding their purchasing habits. Knowing this is the first step in creating game mechanics and marketing materials that captivate and retain players.

What information do your buyer personas need?

Spoiler alert: Understanding your ideal players requires more than "spying" on them. To guarantee that solid data rather than assumptions back your final results, you'll need to put in the effort to know everything about them.

Here's how to make fail-safe buyer personas for video game marketing:

A fake name

Begin by naming your buyer persona. Creating buyer personas in the first place is to help you market and sell more personally. Giving your buyer personas names, say "Player Steve" or "RPG Lover" personalizes the experience. Once you've decided on a name, you can add an image and give a face to the name. 

Age range

How old is your target player? Or perhaps you have a game that applies to more than a single age range. Remember that different age ranges have different usage habits that will affect how they interact with your game. 

Gender

The best way to collect this information is to examine current buying statistics (for your business or a competitor) and study gender distribution. If men are the clear majority, make your persona a male; otherwise, make it a woman. If the distribution is 50/50, you have a choice. You may wish to target gender to improve a particular market share. In this situation, the persona may be of the targeted gender, even though it is not currently in the majority.

But why is knowing gender so important in video game marketing? It gives essential feedback on the game mechanics that will engage the user. According to studies, markets like competitive gaming tend to attract males, while social and mobile games attract females. Having this knowledge ahead of time might provide significant suggestions to the product team regarding gameplay specifics. But make sure you don't fall victim to stereotypes!

Interests

It's time to get a little more personal with your gamer. Learn about their interests both inside and outside of gaming. What types of games excite them? Is gaming their main passion or just one of many? Favorite movies, books, TV series, music, media subscriptions; and who they follow on Twitter. You get the idea.

Social media icons in spray paint

Attractions

What draws people to your game? The reasons can surprise you and help address your target gamer's deeper needs. 

According to a survey conducted by the UK-based media Independent, many adults between 18 to 30 years see gaming as a stress-coping method. According to the survey, 55% of respondents played games to unwind and relieve tension. The study revealed that people believe that playing well in a game has a beneficial impact on their lives outside of the game.

37% of respondents claimed gaming helped them enhance their confidence, while 27% said gaming helped them process and deal with mental health difficulties and concerns. Furthermore, 20% claimed that gaming had enhanced their problem-solving abilities.

Motivations

What will keep them engaged? Is it a reward or the feel-good component of the game that motivates them?

The Bartle Psychology test categorizes players into four groups depending on their gaming preferences. They are the Achiever, the Explorer, the Socializer, and the Killer.

To some extent, everyone possesses elements of all four player types. However, some may show dominating qualities of a single type or a mix of both. 

Killers want to destroy their opponents and the gaming world. These players wish for domination across the board. Achievers compete for points and status. Achievers are drawn to frequent flier statuses. If your players are explorers, they will love to discover new aspects of the game. They enjoy doing repetitive tasks that unlock new levels of the game. Some players may simply enjoy the socializing aspect of the game.

Figure 1: Bartle's test of gamer psychology. Source: Gamedesigning.org

Behavior

Knowing your target audience is critical to the success of any game design project. It's important to know a twenty-year-old male college student will behave differently than a forty-five-year-old female tech specialist. However, if they are both gamers, some common behavior patterns or choices may exist. 

For instance, someone who loves gadgets or technology may also be a gaming fan, and the two may be correlated. To be successful, the gamification approach, like user experience design, must be founded on a thorough understanding of your player. 

Other games they might play

Getting a peak into their game selection can tell you a great deal about them. Perhaps they like trying out new games. Some may just stick to one genre and add similar games to their collection. 

For example, someone who enjoys playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a fan of open-world exploration and action-adventure gameplay. They may be looking for more games that encourage exploration and RPG elements, like Horizon Zero Dawn or its sequel. 

Platforms they use and interact with others on

While Twitch and YouTube own the bigger share of the pie for gamers for live streaming or researching new games, online communities thrive on Discord, Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter, where gamers may share their feedback or connect over a trending game. Use popular hashtags to comb through social media and find these people. 

Here is a quick guide on The Best Social Media Platforms to Reach Gamers On.

Targeting variables

Consider other factors that may play a role behind the scenes of your ideal gamer. Some of these can be significant factors in the grand scheme of things that affects your game's affinity or play times among users. 

Location

Where are your players located? Or is there a particular market location you want to target? 

The chart below demonstrates that social gamers are concentrated in more developed economies, with North America having the highest concentration, followed by Europe. This strongly suggests a comparable regional footprint to iOS and Android adoption, with Asia beginning to develop more swiftly as Android, in particular, gains traction in this region.

Figure 2: Concentration of mobile gamers in various regions around the world. Source: Flurry Analytics

Generation

According to research, there are considerable disparities in views toward games between generations. Gen Z grew up with video games, expects rapid feedback, and is willing to take risks and bear "epic failure." They have over 10,000 hours of video game experience under their belts.

This information is important for games since it indicates players' openness to game mechanisms. For example, Gen Z gamers may have higher expectations of system feedback than Millennials and may be more inclined to experiment with the product to learn about its potential.

Preferred genres of games

There are an increasing number of genres and subgenres rising in popularity. Your ideal gamers may prefer to use more particular labels such as Sandbox, RPG, and MOBA. Learn about your target players' preferences to offer them something they will likely attempt.

Preferred device to play

Are they playing on a smartphone? Or are they more avid gamers who have the whole set, including the Nintendo Switch, and the latest PlayStation and Xbox?  

An example buyer persona

Figure 4: A sample player persona. Created using AvatarMaker

  • Context: A racing game set in a fantasy world that has a medieval cartoon style, animal racers, and a comedic theme
  • Name: Racing Rob
  • Age: 25 to 35 years
  • Gender: Male
  • Interests: Racing, fantasy, socializing, simple gameplay
  • Attractions: Multiplayer elements, lighthearted gameplay, challenges
  • Motivation: Wants a fun, casual game that provides enjoyment not just in gameplay but in the theming too
  • Behavior: Enjoys spending time playing games with friends but can’t invest too much time into it. Wants to play games that he can jump into quickly without having to invest time in lore, complex mechanics, or high load times.
  • Other games they play: Crash Team Racing, Mario Kart, Clash of Clans
  • Platforms they use: Mobile, console (Xbox or PS)
  • Other variables: Has the budget for in-game purchases, has a tight knit friend group that he can recommend the game to, will likely only use the game for its multiplayer abilities.

How to start using personas in video game marketing

It is a great idea to sit down and write persona descriptions with your team so that everyone feels connected to them. Once you've completed them, you can print them and keep them visible in your workspace to help you remember the end aim.

There is no universal way to describe personas. You can use a tabular method with short sentences (which is more understandable) or a more descriptive approach (which gives more information).

Begin with 3 or 4 personas and how they will interact with the primary components of your video game marketing. Once that feature has been developed, you can design new personas or imagine how the present ones will interact with the new features on the way. Knowing your target audience after you've put your video game into production is quite beneficial. You can utilize that data to improve the realism of your personas in the future.

Start filming picture

Get your gamers playing!

Your players aren't gonna find your game themselves... that's why your targeting strategies need to be excellent! Get started in Marketing to Gamers and the Gaming Community: The Complete Handbook.


Or create personas with an expert

Gaming has grown into a multibillion-dollar business with a large and diverse user base — the marketing and revenue opportunities are limitless! However, without a plan, unlimited choices might be daunting. Understanding your player personas allows you to create video game marketing tactics that target specific groups of your game's audience and assist you in acquiring new and profitable players. 

An experienced game marketing agency can create your ideal game personas, sparing you the time and resources needed to research and cumulate data. Need help with your game's marketing too?

Connect with Game Marketing Genie's seasoned game marketers to give your game what it needs to excel

Topics:Gaming CommunitiesVideo Game Marketing StrategyVideo Game MarketingTargeted AudiencesPersonalization

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