Targeting the Right Audience to Advertise Your Video Game
by Game Marketing Genie, on 23-Nov-2018 09:15:51
Conceiving and implementing a smart marketing campaign may spell the difference between the success or failure of your game. It’s no secret that advertising your product to the player base most likely to buy or install it is one of the fundamental principles of game marketing.
Before this can happen, you must first determine the audience best suited to your game. Who did you have in mind when you were conceptualizing and developing your game? What demographic were you aiming for? Are you catering to a niche audience?
Understanding these targets can help you build a strong marketing strategy to decide which advertising methods you should allocate your marketing budget towards. Luckily, there’s a wealth of free (for the most part) information you can access with little effort.
Find your audience through competitors
By now, you may already have an idea of who your competitors are. Take a look at some of your competitor’s more successful offerings that are similar to yours and chances are you’ll want to advertise to the same audience. This is referred to as lookalike target audience research. While you can go about this method any way you want, following some guidelines to keep your research data-driven may be the way to go.
First, select at least three of your competitors’ titles, choosing the biggest and most successful games if possible. You will want to choose games with a similar art style, business model and gameplay mechanics as yours. They don’t really need to be complete matches but you will want something that is likely to draw in a similar audience.
Are you a mobile game dev? Even if you're not, our guide still has some good tips for you! Check it out here: 5 Steps to Identify Your Competitors on App Stores.
Collect the data
Following that, mine audience information from these games’ player bases. Find out their demographics, interests, devices and other available information. This includes the median age, gender and age of players as well as information on their online and offline activities.
The overlapping audiences of these three or more competitors’ titles are now your tentative target audiences for marketing your game. It’s fairly easy and intuitive once you find games that resemble yours. There are several places where you can look at your competitors’ customer demographics, which includes SimilarWeb and App Annie. Just plug in a competitor’s website or name to get started.
After all, data is the backbone of your marketing strategies. Find out why it is so important here - Big Data: What It Is and Why It Matters To Your Game.
Plug your preferred audience into your campaign
The next thing to do is make an audience profile based on that information so that you can have it on hand for when you’re ready to choose your advertising demographic. Once you’ve collated and analyzed all available information, you now have a data-backed and clearer idea of who your target audience must be.
The next step is to put what you’ve found into good use and formulate your own game advertising strategy. With information from social media, search engines and other sources, you can now determine which advertising channels might be your best bet to reach as much of your target audience as possible.
Want to know more about isolating the correct people for your campaign? Check out Why You Need Buyer Personas For Your Game Marketing Strategy to learn how to separate your audience into different, actionable groups.
Be ready to adjust the sails
Once you have information based on your competitors and are running an ad campaign, you can develop your own lookalike audience based on what is working for you. You can also apply this data to any future games that you produce. ZeptoLab’s Instagram marketing strategy for the C.A.T.S. launch was based on this and resulted in the introduction of the game to millions of potential customers.
On Facebook Ads
One fantastic source of free audience information is Facebook Advertising Audience Insights. Facebook have made it easy to create lookalike audiences right on their platform. Several successful game developers are using this right now for research and expanding their sales reach based on audiences that their games are already selling well with:
“When Facebook added the international option to Lookalike Audiences, that significantly reduced our campaign efforts and helped us increase our measures worldwide. By combining our team’s expertise with high-performing assets and Facebook’s specialized products, we expanded our reach and managed to double the return on ad spend.” Christian Pern, Chief Marketing Officer, InnoGames via Facebook
With almost everyone being on social media right now, using the world’s most ubiquitous social media platform to conduct audience research and game advertising is a smart thing to do.
Still hesitant about investing in paid ads? Don't be! Take a look at our handbook which help convince you in Paid Social Media Ads: What They Are & Why Your Video Game Needs Them.
On Google Ads
If you’re using Google Ads, this can be done through the Google Ads experience. Once your campaign is established and you have some data in Ads, check out their Similar Audiences feature to build a lookalike target audience based on your own advertising data.
The great thing about Google Ads Audience Insights is that you’ll find more than just player and audience demographics, you can also look up information per region. For example, if you’re planning to launch your game in multiple countries, you can choose to analyze data that Google has collected from all of those locations.
Want to learn more about digital marketing?
Digital marketing is a vast industry, and you need a strong understanding to master it. That's why we've compiled all of our best resources to create the ultimate guide to digital marketing. Check it out here: Everything You Need to Know About Video Game Digital Marketing.
Researching your target audience will involve some legwork and analysis, but will give you a head start over your competitors in the gaming market. It will also make advertising for the next game you develop an easier undertaking.
Want to know more? Game Marketing Genie will help you pinpoint the right audience for your game. We know how daunting the task can be. Our team of specialists has been assembled from the best that the industry has to offer and our experience is second to none. Don’t believe us? Let’s have a chat!
Click here for more information on our strategy and consultation services.