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COVID-19 threw the world in disarray. Home-bound and anxious, you may have turned to binging videos and playing video games for solace. And if that’s the case, then you weren’t the only one.
Videos and video games became humanity’s saving grace during the pandemic.
Nielsen studies reported a 60% increase in the amount of video content watched globally. And the video game industry also flourished during this time.
Earlier in May, Nintendo Switch sales increased 24% year-over-year, indicating the addition of new gamers. Other major gaming companies also reported an unexpected increase in revenues as in-game purchases soared.
Safe to say that video content and video games have thrived in 2020.
As a marketer, you should take a look at the highly competitive gaming industry and its steady growth to gain some valuable lessons for upgrading your video marketing strategy.
In this post, we’re going to do just that.
8 lessons to learn from the video game industry
1. Tell a story
Video game developers know a thing or two about immersive storytelling. Giants like Nintendo and Naughty Dog have time and again shown us how it’s done with hits like The Legend of Zelda and The Last of Us (2013), respectively
When it comes to video marketing, help your audience connect with your brand or message with a great story arc.
Psychological research confirms that humans remember a well-told story with greater accuracy compared to a list of facts and figures. A great tale can stand the test of time; it won’t even be bound by geographical barriers. Aesop’s Fables is a case in point.
So, if you’re going to make a video to talk about your business, tell your story with passion.
And if you’re promoting a product, frame your prospect as the hero; yourself as the kindly guide, and take your customer on a journey to help resolve their problem.
Or, depending on what your target audience is into, frame them as the villain:
Want some creative minds on board to help you craft the perfect video for your brand? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Hit us up, our video production team will be happy to bring your project to life.
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You have to admit, video game trailers generate some serious buzz. With time, game developers and publishers have started to put some serious effort into their teasers and trailers.
Some come out with sequences that could rival Hollywood’s epic movie trailers. Just take a look at this Far Cry 6 promo by Antibody. It gives us goosebumps.
3. Product demo
Video game developers and publishers debut game demos to build hype and share special features about their product.
As a video marketer, you could also make use of a demo/explainer video for your business.
This type of content works well if you want to explain something complex in an easy-to-understand and engaging way.
A word of caution, make sure you’re not misleading your audience with these types of videos.
Sometimes, video game companies drop amazing demos; highlighting impressive functionalities, gameplay, and graphics. But then the actual game fails to measure up.
4. Incorporate Easter eggs and references
Easter eggs give video games a second life online. Plenty of die-hard fans and inquisitive players get excited about finding cleverly hidden references scattered across the virtual world.
This practice can generate buzz on social media for the game. Fans love to chime in on these types of conversations.
Think of unique ways you can slip in easter eggs in your marketing videos!
5. Build a strong community
Video game marketers know the value of a loyal fan base. They frequently engage and build stronger relationships with their followers through Q&A sessions, playable demos, and beta testing.
All of this makes users want to learn more about the company’s latest offerings and generates word of mouth (both online and offline).
This is the sort of community video marketers should try to foster where possible. Your customer’s lifetime value increases with this type of effort.
Customer onboarding videos, how-to content, videos featuring your customers (such as testimonials) are all great ways to crank up your video marketing efforts to build stronger communities.
6. Experiment with interactive videos
Of course, video games are inherently interactive, but developers often push the envelope a bit further by introducing alternate endings based on decisions players make throughout the game.
This makes people want to revisit the game multiple times to see how it’ll end.
The Stanley Parable is an example of this type of game. It’s narrative-driven and uses the art of storytelling to explore reality, choice, and freedom.
As a video marketer, you can use interactive elements in your content to enhance your viewer’s experience. With these types of videos, you can bet your audience won’t be watching passively.
Need more ideas to make this type of content? Check out our post on the best interactive videos for inspiration.
7. Live stream
Plenty of people on YouTube and Twitch have made careers out of playing video games online.
Let’s plays on YouTube is the type of content that propelled creators like PewDiePie, Markiplier, and Jacksepticeye into stardom while live-streamers like Ninja gained recognition on Twitch.
All of the above is also great publicity for video game companies. Minecraft’s popularity surged partially due to PewDiePie’s series.
This just goes to show that live streaming has massive potential. And as a video marketer, you should consider this form of content as a viable way to engage loyal followers.
Here are some ideas for what your live-stream could be about:
- Q&A sessions
- A masterclass
- An interview or discussion panel with thought leaders
- Event coverage
Read more: How to Start Live Streaming on LinkedIn
Social media makes it easy for video game marketers to run targeted ads for their titles, and genres tend to define how companies formulate their strategy for these platforms.
As for retargeting, that depends on your prospect’s previous interaction with the ad.
Apart from that, platforms like Firebase make it possible for mobile game developers to set up events to track app performance and user behavior.
All of this information can be used to improve a marketing strategy. So, if video game companies are using social media and analytics to market their products, then what’s stopping you?
In conclusion, there’s a lot video marketers, and marketers in general, can learn from the video game industry.
And if there’s one key insight you should take from everything we’ve talked about, it’s this: venture out of your field and look across industries for inspiration.
By expanding your horizons, you’ll discover a fresh take on video marketing for your brand.
So, player one, are you ready?
Let the adventure begin!