Gaming is a global phenomenon that is growing in popularity across all generations. And despite the stereotypes, gamers are an influential audience that marketers and brands should not ignore. Almost half of the gamers advise and influence their inner circles on consumer purchasing decisions. That means that gaming enthusiasts have considerable spending power, so it’s essential to understand their unique behaviors and needs.
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They’re a Diverse Audience
Despite the stereotype of gamers being young, angry, heterosexual, non-disabled men, the gaming industry has been making a concerted effort to reach more diverse audiences. Women, people of color, and those with disabilities may still feel excluded from the gaming community if they don’t see themselves reflected in promotional material or within the games themselves. For marketers, understanding who gamers are can be a big help when deciding how to target them with advertising. Gamers are more likely to have disposable income influenced by what they see, so the best cloud gaming services can effectively reach them. Additionally, 88% of gamers lean towards non-disruptive ads that are integrated into the game, and over half of them agree that they enjoy the choice to watch rewarded advertisements. However, it’s important to note that gamers have interests outside of gaming and tend to have more than one “lifestyle” channel they spend their time on. For example, they are more likely to be fashion experts, fitness enthusiasts, food enthusiasts, travel lovers, and technology fans than the average consumer. In addition, over half of gamers say that they want brands to take a stance on social issues that matter to them. Sitting on the fence about specific topics may seem safer, but it could backfire and deter future engagement.
They’re a Highly Engaged Audience
Numerous people like gaming, which has become a common pastime. According to Newzoo, 2.7 billion people play games on mobile devices or consoles. These gamers are highly engaged. They stay on top of gaming news and are eager to get the latest titles. They’re also a buying audience. They spent $180.3 billion on in-game content and hardware in 2021.
Despite the old stereotypes, gamers are a diverse audience. In addition to young males, there are a variety of demographics that make up the gaming audience. For example, a recent report from Tubular found that women are more interested in gaming than men, even among millennials. Another essential fact to remember about gamers is that they want brands to take a stand on social issues. Over half of gamers feel that brands should take an active stance on societal problems rather than sitting on the fence. It is an influential and receptive audience that wants to hear from the brands they trust. The most effective way to reach them is through in-game advertising. It includes video ads that they place in the game itself and branded content that is integrated with the gaming experience.
They’re a Highly Trusted Audience
Gaming offers a unique opportunity for marketers to engage in-game audiences. This powerful demographic of highly engaged consumers is a prime audience for brand advertising, as demonstrated by a 2021 study that found mobile gamers were the most ad-friendly group, with a commanding 84% preferring non-intrusive in-game ads and 85% indicating they enjoy the choice to watch rewarded ads. Once stereotypically thought of as sweaty teenage boys in a basement, the gaming community now comprises a diverse and multifaceted audience. The popularity of YouTube game creators and streaming platforms like Twitch has shifted the landscape, allowing gamers to monetize their gameplay and connect with new viewers. This gamification also allows gamers to communicate with one another and form communities, providing them with opportunities for competition and professional growth through sponsorships.
Unlike many traditional marketing channels, gamers are highly engaged with the content they consume and actively seek out brands that align with their interests. They’re also a trusting audience, with a large percentage reporting positive mental health benefits from their gaming experience. It is especially true for LGBTQ and minority gamers, who say social and personal empowerment, as well as therapeutic benefits from the ability to practice and rehearse their gender identities in virtual spaces before transitioning into real life.
They’re a Highly Influential Audience
While gamers may be seen as a male population with fixed gazes anchored to a couch, they’re a diverse group that spans several generations. They’re also a highly influential audience that drives the direction of gaming, technology, and pop culture. Gamers are often skeptical of new products and can smell inauthenticity a mile away. But marketers can turn this skepticism into an opportunity by leveraging influencer marketing to reach gamers with authentic messaging. YouTube gaming influencers such as PewDiePie and Markiplier can create video content that combines your brand with their audience’s interest in gaming, esports, or other pop-culture topics. As a result, you’ll have a much better chance of creating content that will generate engagement and conversions. Marketers can also segment gamers by day part, format (e.g., videos require more patience than display ads), message copy, and call-to-action to deliver more relevant messages.