15 Game Marketing Trends for 2023
by Game Marketing Genie, on 20-Dec-2022 14:14:21
Gaming's consistent growth is evident from its position as the largest and most diverse industry in the entertainment sector. The gaming industry is worth more than $145 billion globally and continues to grow yearly.
To put gaming's popularity into context, the global music industry is worth nearly $20 billion, while the global box office took in almost $42.5 billion. Even when these two leading forms of entertainment are combined, they still clock in less than half of the gaming industry.
For instance, when Marvel released one of the world's top blockbuster movies, Avengers: Endgame, it made $858,373,000 in its opening weekend. When the action game Grand Theft Auto V was released in 2013, it made over $1 billion.
Figure 1: Gaming is the biggest source of entertainment at present. Source: Visual Capitalist
Video games are going for the kill in 2023. Here are 15 marketing trends for gaming brands and game developers to watch as they prepare for another great year.
1. A massive growth in gamers
Gamers are not the minority that television and film portray them to be. According to Newzoo, there will be 2.69 billion gamers worldwide by the end of 2020. Growth is consistent, with an average 5.6% YoY increase.
With the rise of subscription and cloud gaming services, income opportunities have expanded beyond selling game titles and devices. Independent game developers can focus on developing and releasing their games with solid strategies for marketing and advertising.
Figure 2: Growth of gamers in 2023. Source: Finance Online
2. Ongoing influencer brand relationships
Influencer marketing gained traction in 2022, and we expect this trend to continue in 2023. 89% of marketers currently use an influencer marketing plan to increase or maintain their investment in the coming year (source: Influencer Marketing Hub).
Furthermore, 17% of marketers intend to invest in it for the first time next year.
While this type of social media marketing is not new in 2023, brands are taking advantage of the opportunity to establish more authentic connections with their target audience through "brand ambassadors."
These mutually beneficial relationships convert into long-term relationships between brands and their influencer partners. It also helps influencers maintain trust with their audiences by promoting the same brand repeatedly. Using an influencer marketing platform like Atisfyreach is the best way to simplify and scale your influencer marketing initiatives. With your insightful input, it automates most of the time-consuming tasks of running influencer campaigns for the most efficient results.
3. Live video content
Video's ability to hold a viewer's attention for a longer time than a static post is why it will remain a key focus area in social media marketing in 2023. Marketers use bite-sized videos on TikTok and Facebook to Instagram reels to drive engagement and increase brand awareness among Millennials and GenZ.
However, live streaming stands out even in video content. Without the assistance of live-streaming technology, gaming would not be as popular as it is today. Gaming and esports account for 54% of live-streaming content, and YouTube and Twitch drive most of it. Twitch has 30 million daily users, one of the most popular live-streaming platforms for gamers and streamers.
User-generated content (UGC) has always been meaningful in video games. Users have been creating new content for their favorite games. Mods have even inspired new blockbuster titles such as League of Legends and PUBG.
The most well-known UGC-based game is, without a doubt, Minecraft, which has sold over 200 million copies to date. This makes it the best-selling video game in the world 11 years after its initial release. The Minecraft community comprises millions of players who create fantastic worlds within the game. Many Minecraft users share their content on the web via YouTube or social media, resulting in millions more engaged Minecraft users.
Every campaign should integrate community-driven marketing. With the popularity of TikTok videos and similar features on other platforms, authentic content is essential for connecting with your audience. According to a Stackla study, consumers are 2.4x more likely to find UGC authentic than branded content. So keep this in mind when creating your content strategies for 2023.
Figure 3: Minecraft continues to grow a decade later, thanks to UGC. Source: The Verge
5. Moving away from cookies
The world of digital marketing and advertising is forever evolving. New rules, best practices, and technologies are constantly entering the scene. However, significant changes occasionally ensure businesses and consumers have the best experience possible. There is no better example than Google's decision to phase out third-party cookies by 2024.
According to a Google survey, when brands respect their customers' privacy, their advertisements perform better. Furthermore, bad privacy experiences are almost as damaging to consumers as data theft. It's enough to sway 43% of them to a different brand. Cookies aid in target marketing by tracking a user's behavior across the web, allowing marketers to provide a more personalized experience. To make up for its absence in the future, brands must start testing alternative targeting solutions to continue developing highly personalized content and ads to stay relevant.
6. The fine line between personalization and privacy
The conflict between personalized experiences and privacy is becoming more noticeable.
Done well, a data-driven approach to designing personalized experiences benefits both the customer and the business. Most customers want their interactions with brands to be personalized. But they are also alarmed about how brands use their personal information. To avoid losing customer trust, marketing and service leaders must be cautious about using and managing customer data. Proper consent and data management are required for success and trust.
This is where blockchain gaming has found its sweet spot. Because of its robust data encryption technology, blockchain has changed gaming laws by reimagining it as a viable industry. Businesses can now protect their apps in a highly secure environment by preventing hackers from accessing or destroying online transactions. This technology allows players to make secure in-game purchases. Blockchain technology has the potential to improve developer safety and security while also becoming a ground-breaking, innovative, and entertaining platform for developing and storing in-game assets.
7. Improved accessibility
Great strides have been made in recent years to create games that are accessible to all players, but there is still much work to be done. Celeste, God of War, The Last of Us 2, and Marvel's Spider-Man have paved the way, but there are many more ways to bring video games to a larger, disabled audience. While it may not be possible to make every game accessible to everyone, we are getting closer than ever before, thanks to inclusive measures implemented by video game developers.
For starters, game developers should be more open and honest about the accessibility of their products.
If you're thinking about your game's accessibility for the first time, consider the following:
- Is it possible to finish the game with just one hand?
- Can the average person pick up and play the game?
- Can you play the game effectively from a distance using a small monitor or TV?
- Do you allow more than one type of input device to be used to play the entire game?
- Can you play the game with the sound turned off?
- Can you play the game with your monitor set to black and white?
- Can you quickly figure out where you are in the game and what you need when you load your last saved game after a month?
If most of your answers are no or not a clear yes, it is time to step up and work on the accessibility part of your game.
8. Inclusive marketing
According to a Facebook study, 71% of consumers anticipate brands promoting diversity and inclusion in their digital marketing strategies. Gamers from underrepresented groups feel particularly unwelcome.
Fortunately, businesses are aware of the problems and are working hard to find solutions. For example, League of Legends recently disabled some chat features to reduce toxicity, and Twitch has added proactive filters to detect hate speech more effectively.
When developing marketing strategies, game developers must consider these factors. Inclusive marketing strategies can assist brands in connecting with audiences from various cultures, languages, and backgrounds. Furthermore, to truly achieve this, you must invest significant time and effort in understanding your audience demographics and their pain points.
9. An evened-out gender balance
Many developers and publishers are still stuck in the past, heavily targeting teenage boys as their primary audience, despite studies by analyst firms such as Newzoo finding that 45% of gamers are women.
Companies like Microsoft and Facebook are working to address the issue through targeted initiatives. However, gender diversity in the video game industry still presents a concern, with many publishers overlooking nearly half the gaming audience when marketing their titles.
Game publishers must broaden their view of the gaming community, not just in terms of gender but also of age and playing preferences, to overcome stereotypes and better communicate with audiences.
10. Mobile gaming market growth
The mobile gaming market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.7% between 2023 and 2032.
The global mobile games market will grow significantly during the forecast period as gamers shift away from pre-installed games and consoles and toward games on tablets and smartphones.
However, this expansion may slow soon. Because of the low monetization rate of gamers, mobile game developers may face challenges over the forecast period. Only a tiny proportion of gamers will pay for full-version games on mobile. To remain profitable, you should only spend what you will earn from a user. Customer lifetime value (CTV) is a mobile game metric that best addresses this issue you should explore for your mobile game in 2023 and beyond.
11. Interactive marketing and gamification
Today's audience wants attention-grabbing content. Marketers must create dynamic, two-way experiences with content that encourages active engagement from their target audience. Include content such as:
- Polls and quizzes
- Social media games
- Score calculators
- Interactive maps and videos
Gamification is also catching up with many other industries using it to simplify training and process descriptions; it is no different in marketing. In fact, according to a recent poll, 50% of startups plan to incorporate gaming elements into their strategy in the coming years.
Read more in What is the Power of Gamification?
12. Omnichannel marketing
The ongoing convergence of the gaming and ad tech industries is more than a fad. It's a massive opportunity for advertisers, especially when it comes to developing a true omnichannel marketing strategy in an increasingly complex digital landscape. The data that gaming studios collect and have, much of it first-party or even zero-party data, provides a better understanding of consumers than is available anywhere else. As gaming brands evolve their digital strategies, it is critical to use data analytics to gain customer insights and an omnichannel approach to drive long-term growth.
13. Casual, conversational marketing
As artificial intelligence (AI) advances, we anticipate an increase in conversational marketing. Conversational marketing allows you to communicate with customers in real time across all platforms, including email, your website, social media, and even messaging apps. It also builds on customer trust by allowing them to communicate more directly with your company. Gamers prefer casual, chill conversations, so you can relax when communicating with them. With this type of engagement, you can quickly answer their questions, address their concerns, and provide personalized content.
14. The increase of Gen Z as a focus
Regarding marketing, Gen Z and Millennials have often been grouped as "digital natives." However, there are some significant differences to note:
Millennials are less likely to have a postsecondary education than GenZ. In the United States, 57% of GenZ continued their education after high school, compared to 52% of Millennials and 43% of Gen Xers.
While their perspectives are similar, GenZers are slightly more progressive than Millennials. In general, Gen Z is liberal and is more likely to adopt trends, speak up about racial equality, and use gender-neutral pronouns.
Gen Zers prefer relatable, honest, entertaining marketing over polished, professional ads. Adapting brand marketing campaigns with new techniques is more important than ever, mainly when targeting young people.
15. Push notifications
Push notifications are one of the most popular marketing tools in 2023. Mobile notifications are challenging to manage because many people find them annoying. Game marketers must be more inventive to make worthwhile pushes for businesses and players. It is best to incorporate them as part of your game. Keep your push notifications brief and to the point. Nobody wants to see a large promotional message on their smartphone screen. You can try engaging strategies like adding fun elements or rewarding users when they act on your push notification.
The ultimate guide to game marketing
But wait, that's not all! We've got more hot marketing tips for you in The Ultimate Guide to Game Marketing: Everything You Need to Know.
Get your game ready for 2023 with Game Marketing Genie
The last few years have significantly impacted marketing trends and best practices. Consumers today look for more authenticity, transparency, privacy, and inclusivity from brands than ever before. Even as VR and IoT become more common, game developers can incorporate these values into their messaging ingeniously.
Need help with your game marketing in 2023? Get the experience of Game Marketing Genie's seasoned marketers on your side. You get access to various services and strategies to get your game up the ranks with your audience.