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5 video game marketing strategies for SMBs

As virtual and physical worlds start to merge, it is becoming more important for companies to look into ways to market in this hybrid universe. With 24 million gamers in South Africa, having n advert or banner in the game may be lucrative. But how do you market your business in this virtual world?

Strategy 1: Sponsor a streamer

Find a live streamer on Twitch or YouTube and offer to sponsor them. When doing this type of sponsorship, you need to ensure the game being played is in line with your brand vision. Sponsoring a streamer is very similar to influencer marketing. You will have access to the audience and depending on your contract you could be a feature on other platforms that the streamer uses.

Strategy 2: Put a virtual billboard up

Digital in-game advertising (DiGA) involves advertising that is part of the game environment. It may be a poster on a bus stop or you could have a billboard on the side of the race track. This advertising is geo-targeted and can be seen in specific games or game genres. This advertising is best for time-sensitive campaigns and is charged at a cost per 1000 impressions (CPM) rate.

Strategy 3: Be part of the story

Static in-game advertising can be an expensive venture because you are programmed as part of the game. It is similar to brand placement in a movie or TV series. With this type of advertising, you will need to find a game in the development stage which aligns with your advertising campaign. You will then need to negotiate a price depending on the popularity of the game and the expected audience for it. This type of advertising can be expensive.

Strategy 4: Build a game

Many brands create games to advertise their products. Though creating a full video game can be expensive, you could look into creating a flash game. These are simpler games that need very little coding ability. By creating a game, you could offer real rewards for the achievements people reach in your game. You could give a discount code or free product depending on the rewards gathered in the game.

Strategy 5: Pop in mobile games

Have you ever been playing a game on your phone and then an ad pops up? These are called mobile game ads. Some people may find them very irritating but mobile gamers are more receptive to these ads than other app users. You could link your ad to get tokens for the game or you could pop up during a lull in the game. One thing to be aware of if you use banners for advertising on mobile apps is that you may get inaccurate click-through ratings as people may be trying to click something in the game or struggle to find the place to close the ad rather than clicking through to your site.

As these marketing opportunities become more popular, they will become effective tools for small to medium businesses to invest in. Keep your eye on these digital opportunities which bring your customers closer to your brand.

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