5 Platforms for Your New Gaming Community
by Game Marketing Genie, on 06-Jun-2022 23:21:32
The world of gaming is booming like never before. Studies reveal that there were 2.8 billion avid gamers in 2021. And the number is likely to reach beyond 3 billion in 2023.
Figure 1: Number of gamers worldwide. Source: Statista
The rising demand for new, engaging games has resulted in an influx of gaming brands. Thus, the competition is at an all-time high, as every brand is trying to grab the gamers’ attention. New marketing techniques have emerged, allowing brands to maintain lasting relationships with their audience. And creating a gaming community is one-way brands ensure their audience keeps playing their game.
Gaming communities are an answer to the fear of missing out (FOMO) in every gamer. They help players from around the globe stay connected and updated. On the other hand, these communities allow brands to retain their players by regularly engaging and building a solid bond.
If you want to capitalize on gaming communities, here are the top 5 platforms you can get started with.
To get a complete understanding about just how crucial gaming communities are, check out our blog, Marketing to Gamers: Understanding the Gaming Communities.
Discord is the most popular platform to start your gaming community. It is a group-chatting app primarily catering to the gaming audience, though it includes varied types of communities today. Each community is called a “server,” wherein members can text, send voice messages, or video call. Members can also share images, videos, internet links, and music. Each server is dedicated to a specific topic, and you can join one that best suits your interests. The two most popular Discord gaming communities are Genshin Impact and Fortnite.
Figure 2: Genshin Impact Discord server. Source: Discord
Figure 3: Fortnite Discord server. Source: Discord
Discord snowballed into popularity during the global pandemic. Today, it boasts over 140 million active monthly users. It can be a perfect platform to boost player engagement and keep your players in your ecosystem. It allures millions of users because of its crystal-clear audio that filters out the background noise, and players can talk as they usually do on phone calls.
Discord can specifically help you enhance the customer experience. You can offer seamless support to members looking for answers or facing an issue with your game. Quick response will increase customer satisfaction. In addition, Discord will provide you with customers’ feedback without directly asking them. By simply analyzing players’ chats and frequent questions, you will know the loopholes in your game. Correcting them will further hone your gamers’ experience and transform them into engaged players.
We cover more reasons Discord can be an incredible platform for the gaming community in our blog Should You Consider Discord For Your Video Game Community!
It is noteworthy that Discord doesn’t have any native advertising tools like Facebook or TikTok. But you can advertise your game organically through community engagement. Forming stronger relationships and having real-time discussions with members will make them your regular customers.
Moreover, Discord offers a premium membership program for brands looking to monetize their gaming communities. The program allows community creators to put their servers behind a paywall. Members can enjoy exclusive content by paying a set amount.
Figure 4: Reddit Homepage. Source: Reddit
Reddit is the 7th most visited site in the US and has over 430 million monthly active users and 52 million daily active users. Due to its popularity, it is one of the best platforms to start a gaming community and engage with your target audience.
Reddit is a massive collection of forums wherein like-minded people communicate and connect. They share news and content related to their interests and comment on other members’ posts. Moderators, commonly called “mods” manage the subreddits. The subreddits are managed by moderators, commonly called “mods.” These moderators are Redditors who volunteer to create Reddit communities, edit their appearance, dictate the types of content allowed, remove posts, and even ban users.
You can create a gaming community if you meet specific criteria. Your account should be at least 30 days old, relatively active, and have earned a minimum of “karma” points. Karma is essentially a user’s score that is calculated by the total amount of upvotes against downvotes. Offering value through comments and posts is a great way to get more upvotes, thus more karma points.
Businesses specifically use Reddit to promote themselves and market their products — all thanks to 1.2 million subreddits; there are ample advertising opportunities. Reddit advertising is cheap and enables brands to target a highly niched audience. There is a catch, though. Each subreddit has certain rules about where the ads will be placed. Not understanding these rules can lead to members reacting negatively. Besides, the efficacy of your ad may be affected. Therefore, ensure you know all rules before placing your game’s advertisements.
Gaming brands receive a relatively higher return on their investment since the ad competition is low and the inventory is cheap. Careful targeting of the subreddit where your audience resides will result in a successful ad campaign. And you will also be able to interact directly with the community as they respond to your ads.
The two most popular gaming subreddits you can follow are League of Legends with 699,793 subscribers and Pokémon with 444,468 subscribers.
Figure 5: League of Legends subreddit. Source: Reddit
Figure 6: Pokémon subreddit. Source: Reddit
Figure 7: FB Groups. Source: Lifewire
Facebook groups are perhaps the most common platform for creating an engaged community. People from varied backgrounds but with similar interests connect and communicate with each other in FB groups. These groups offer an arena for an organic discussion on a company’s products or services. Therefore, brands often use FB groups to generate brand awareness. There are 2 types of FB groups: public and private. As the name implies, public groups are open for any Facebook user, whereas you need an invitation or can send a request to join a private FB group. Private groups are useful if you are looking to create an exclusive gathering for customer support forums.
There are over 640 million FB groups centered on different passions and niches. The most popular groups named Math Formulas and WWE Monday Night RAW have 3.6 million and 3.3 million members, respectively.
With all that said, Facebook groups may not be people’s go-to platforms for starting a gaming community. This is primarily because FB groups don’t have a broader range owing to the aging audience dominating Facebook. But gaming brands still advertise their games on FB. Ads that you run on FB groups will appear alongside community posts on mobiles in the FB Groups tab. This placement is for single image ads created for extended reach and offsite conversions. These ads have a sponsored label, and people can hide them if they wish to. Users can even report the ad if it violates Facebook’s Community Standards.
Facebook Ads are known to yield excellent ROIs for gaming brands who invest in them. Learn about them in detail with our blog, How to Optimize Your Facebook Ads for the Maximum ROI!
GameFAQs and the IGN Boards
GameFAQs and IGN Boards are the two most common game-specific forums you can leverage. GameFAQs is a popular website hosting FAQs and walkthroughs of video games. The website is currently owned by Red Ventures and was created in 1995. There are approximately 40,000 game-specific questions on the platform. Therefore, it is a go-to place for avid gamers dealing with issues in their games.
Figure 8: Game FAQs homepage. Source: GameFAQs
We take a deep dive into the world of gaming forums for devs and marketers in our blog, 12 Mobile Game Forums for Game Devs and Marketers.
On the other hand, IGN Boards is a website owned by a video game producer and entertainment company, IGN Network. It is also an online community and a source for video game news, reviews, and walkthroughs. Like GameFAQs, IGN Boards has game-specific boards. Though games are the heart of the discussions, other topics like anime, sports, and movies are also discussed on the website.
Figure 9: IGN Boards homepage. Source: IGN Boards
Figure 10: Steam homepage. Source: Steam
Launched in 2003 by Valve, Steam is a popular platform in the gaming industry. It boasts over 150 million users and 47 million daily active users. It is a one-stop-shop to buy, sell, and store video games as well as to trade items, watch game trailers, and interact with a community. Steam currently has 30,000 games, ranging from AAA to indie, available for avid players. And the two most popular Steam Community Groups, Steam Trading Cards Group and Na’Vi Team, have 1,895,243 and 1,733,169 members.
For developers, Steam is a go-to platform for game distribution. There are multiple advantages of using Steam for distributing your game. Firstly, the platform will enhance the customer experience through Steam Support, an online help desk for Steam users. Steam Support nearly covers all problems users face in Steam games. Secondly, Steam provides Steam Discussions, a community for game-related discussions. Steam Discussions has moderators who are a part of the Steam Developers and Support Team. Creating a Steam Community Group will help boost awareness about your game, retain players, and help your users get answers to questions specific to your game.
Bonus: A couple of places you could try
TeamSpeak is a VoIP software for online gaming, allowing users to chat with other gamers playing the same game. As its name implies, the platform focuses on audio chat — though text chat is also a feature. TeamSpeak offers high-quality audio, and players often chat while playing the game. Therefore, it is commonly used by gamers playing the same multi-user video game.
Telegram is a messaging app that offers support for large group chat features. There are currently 55.2 million monthly active users on the platform who share entertaining and useful content on various topics, including gaming. Brands increasingly use Telegram to boost awareness and sales and enhance customer service.
There you have it! These platforms can make your game blockbuster and compel many more players to download your game. However, the truth remains that game community building is challenging and time-consuming. You need to put in ample time and effort to ensure all the members are satisfied, which is easier said than done!
Get your gamers playing!
Your players aren't gonna find your game themselves... unless your targeting strategies hit the mark and show them exactly what they want to see. Find out how to do this in Marketing to Gamers and the Gaming Community: The Complete Handbook.
But this is where Game Marketing Genie, your full-service game marketing agency, comes to the rescue. We offer tailored digital marketing strategies to gaming companies looking to generate higher revenue and get more downloads. We can even create a bespoke game community-building strategy to help you create an ecosystem for your game’s fans.
Contact us today and let’s get community-building!