16 Esports Marketing Strategies That Will Get You In The Game

/ April 9, 2021

For such arcane traffic like esports, some marketers might scoff at the idea of dipping their toes into this industry. But if you’re still hesitant, let numbers persuade you. Newzoo found that esports revenues reached 973 million US dollars, and it’s forecasted that it will reach 1 billion US dollars in 2021 and beyond.

With this in mind, big names such as Red Bull, Intel, Taco Bell, or ESPN know the potential of esports marketing. That said, digital marketing strategies will work to a marketer’s advantage if done correctly, and that’s where Penji comes in. But before we talk about how Penji helps marketers and their design needs, here’s our list of foolproof esports marketing strategies to help you get started.

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How do I market my esports?

Whether you’re part of an esports team or running an esports agency, esports marketing will help you find more audiences and sponsors. There are many ways to market your esports. Some top examples are identifying the proper channels such as social media, forums, or esports groups. You may also collaborate with esports influencers to expand your reach. 

Moreover, if you want to invite more esports fanatics, you can also organize an esports event or sponsor one. Finally, investing in content marketing will also do wonders for your esports team or business as long as you promote valuable content. 

What does esports marketing mean for your brand?

Esports has grown into a global money-making business that is expanding its market and audience. Esports revenues topped one billion in 2019 for the first time, according to a Newzoo article. There are also over 450 million viewers and esports fanatics. These numbers prove that esports is progressing into an industry that competes with film or music.

That said, esports marketing is crucial for your esports brand because you’ll have an extensive market. This doesn’t limit your target audience to one geographical location alone. Esports is adapted worldwide, which means your esports brand can leverage marketing to garner more sales. 

Who is the target market for esports teams?

Esports is an industry with the potential to generate revenues for brands, even in the food and beverage industries. For instance, Coca-Cola is Overwatch competitions’ official sponsor. It goes to show that not only do IT companies like Intel and Samsung find gold in esports. 

Moreover, esports is also a booming industry in the United Kingdom, with over 36 million gamers. Twitch also has over 30 million viewers daily, with seven million unique streamers monthly. Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America also have a promising esports market in revenue and audience.  

1. Find the right audience.

gamers watching

To assume that gamers belong in one category is absurd. It’s like saying all athletes do one sport. Like conventional sports, esports is divided into various gaming genres such as:

  • PvP (Player vs. Player)
  • FPS (First-Person Shooter)
  • RTS (Real-Time Strategy)
  • MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)
  • MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games)

As with any other marketing strategy, finding the right esports audience lets you communicate with them the right way. As a result, esports teams can sort out the brands they can relate to, and both will have a higher chance of lasting partnerships.

Aside from that, you can also look at demographics to know your audience better. While the esports industry is a male-dominated one, over 20 to 30% of fans are female. Plus, most of their viewers are from the 18 to 35 demographic.

2. Go to the right channels.

phone social media

After you’ve figured out your esports target market, now you can find where they are lurking. That way, if you’re planning to sponsor an esports team in the future, you can scour for the best of the best in the gaming space.

More often than not, you will find your audience in minor and major video game streaming sites. Here are some of them:

  • Twitch
  • YouTube Gaming
  • Hitbox
  • Beam
  • Azubu
  • Bigo Live
  • Afreeca
  • Gosu Gamers

3. Find real esports influencers.

ninja top twitch streamer

Influencer marketing is definitely not dead. You can leverage influencer marketing by picking streamers with a huge following to market your brand.

Ninja, the biggest streamer on YouTube and Twitch with 19 million and 14 million subscribers respectively, played a game of Fortnite with the famous rapper, Drake. And you can get inspiration from this example.  

ninja dra

Needless to say, you shouldn’t miss other video game streamers trailing behind Ninja on Twitch:

Influencer marketing can encourage highly-vocal esports teams to come to you for help in forms of partnerships, sponsorships, ads, and more. It’s a win-win for both!

4. Start an esports team.

video gamers champions

For brands with a tight marketing budget, starting an esports team will create that perfect synergy. Underrated esports teams who are looking to get sponsorships will work FOR you and not WITH you. That means you get esports advertising whenever they stream or engage with their audience and you call the shots.

You can find esports teams on sites like:

  • Seek Team
  • Skillinked
  • Team Tavern

This way, you’ll save time on finding esports gamers, and you can spend time working on your esports marketing strategies.

5. Sponsor a team through agencies.

people working at the office

While starting a team from scratch might be more cost-efficient, sponsoring a team through agencies will connect you to the most well-known esports teams worldwide. Though expensive, you know you’re getting the creme de la creme in the gaming space.

Some popular esports marketing agencies are:

  • Upfluence
  • Viral Nation
  • Ader
  • Flood Interactive
  • Knowscope
  • Game Influencer
  • CheeseCake Digital
  • Foreseen Media

6. Invest in video ads.

videographer working

Video ads work every time if they’re shown at the proper time and to the appropriate audience. For instance, Twitch streamers can run pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll video ads on their streams. However, Twitch streamers have to become Twitch partners to do this. So partner with a Twitch partner to take advantage of video ads.

Millions of esports viewers will weigh a Twitch streamer’s credibility through big brand partnerships. Esports teams and players will have more gaming recognition worldwide when viewers see that they’ve partnered with prominent brands.

7. Create small tournaments.

gamers playing video games

Small things start from humble beginnings. So never underestimate the power of small tournaments. These are perfect points of entry into more significant esports events. This is also an ideal way for smaller brands to leverage esports marketing.

You can partner with local businesses in nearby areas such as pubs, hotel bars, or sports bars. This will attract small and local esports teams in your area who can’t afford substantial entry fees as well.

8. Create bigger tournaments.

esports arena

Whether you partner with another gaming platform or create a massive tournament from scratch yourself, bigger tournaments mean one thing: BIG TURNOUTS.

One example was when PepsiCo’s subsidiary, Brisk, 7-Eleven, and Twitch did an off-season esports tournament for the game, Rocket League. This will also create a highly competitive atmosphere for all the famous esports teams and will give them a higher chance to be recognized by major sponsors as well.

9. Look into event partnerships.

business partnerships

Whether it’s an esports tournament, convention, or business summit, partnering with esports-related events will make for brand awareness on a bigger scale. Your brand can be at the forefront of these events and will likely develop long-term relationships with leading esports teams, video game streamers, organizers, or even other like-minded brands.

10. Blog marketing.

marketing

The influx of gaming aficionados is snowballing by the day. Content marketing, primarily blogging, can gain more followers for your brand provided that you offer valuable blogs to the right audience. You can even try guest posting in some known esports marketing blogs to widen your reach. Another thing to consider is when you have an email newsletter. You can ask your target audience to subscribe to your emails and promote relevant blogs.

Gaming enthusiasts who think your content is share-worthy will undoubtedly like, comment, or share your blogs within their community as well.

11. Merch giveaways to gamers.

proud winner with trophy

Your brand doesn’t have to be in line with the esports industry. However, you can think of ways to affix your brand into this booming electronic sports through your products or services.

For example, if you’re an apparel company, you can produce limited edition esports t-shirts and market them by using social media contests. User-generated contests are conversation starters that will likely expand your base.

You can either pick random esports players or highly followed video game streamers for free merchandise as well. That way, you know you’re not missing out on the underdogs in the gaming arena. This tactic will be favorable for you in the long run if you’re ready to create or sponsor an esports team.

In fact, esports teams can even approach your company to sponsor them shirts or caps for an upcoming esports competition.

And if you need merch designs for giveaways, check out what our designers have produced for companies.

12. Use Data and Learn About Gaming Communities.

Before you start any esports marketing strategy, data should guide you on connecting with your audience. If you’ve done a previous esports marketing campaign before, learn how you can improve your targeting efforts, for example, so you have a wider reach and range. 

Another way that data can become useful is it can help increase your budgets. Stuart Lipson shared in Event Marketer that numbers can persuade executives to give you a budget or sponsorships.

Plus, authenticity is key in gaming communities. They can spot inauthentic sponsored content or fake promotion. If you want to learn more about your target audience, it’s best to have a genuine interest in their community. This way, you’ll learn how to promote to them, and they can connect with you better.

13. Consider Experiential Marketing.

Whenever you host an event, experiential marketing can also captivate your target audience to root for your team. You can level up your event by bringing experiences to life. In some cases, experiential marketing can even enhance customer retention or loyalty. 

One example comes from Call of Duty XP. They brought the game to life through paintball or virtual reality experiences.

14. Get on Podcasts.

There are podcasts dedicated to esports, and you can expect that your target audience would be listening to those. You can advertise an event or ask the host to give your brand a shoutout. Podcast advertising may yet boom in the esports industry, but it can become a great channel to find audiences you have yet to reach.

15. Stay Active on Social Media.

Most of your target audience would likely have a social media account. Aside from hosting contests or merch giveaways, social media is best when you want to announce upcoming events. You can also promote your team there. Plus, you’ll know what your audience likes seeing and use that for your other esports marketing strategies through social media.

16. User-Generated Content.

User-generated content is not only the best for contests. If you want to increase awareness and engagement, you can repost content from your followers. You may also start a hashtag where people would post about their experiences in an event, which could excite people to attend one.

Requesting Marketing Graphics from Penji

Whether you need designs for merch giveaways, tournament posters, or anything else in between, Penji can save you a ton of time and provide high-quality graphics while at it. 

Our clients turn to our services when they need a professional team to handle the design legwork as they focus on analytics and honing their marketing blueprint.

Plus, requesting designs from us is super easy! In three easy steps, you can have the best designs you need in as little as 24 hours.   

1. Create

penji platform

In the Penji dashboard, click “Create new project.” Choose the category of the design you need. Then type in the info – the title, description, and size. The task card also allows you to select your color palette and choose royalty-free images that you want to appear on the design. 

2. Revise

penji platform

In 24 to 48 hours, the designer assigned to your project will send you a draft of the design. Just click on the file to view the graphic. If you want to request any revisions, you can click the pointer on the part of the graphic and type in your comments. The designer will revise the graphic according to your input.

PRO TIP: Translating visuals into words can be such a big challenge! To solve this, you send the designer links to online images showing the type of look you’re going for.

3. Download

penji platform

Once you’re happy with the design, click the “Download” button and it will automatically be saved to your computer.

Wrap Up

Esports marketing is the next big thing. As more big brands meddle with esports advertising, this industry is somehow telling entrepreneurs and marketers one thing — there is promising business growth in esports. Boost your esports brand with Penji’s unlimited graphic design services. Sign up today and try any plan risk-free for 15 days.

Updated April 9, 2021

About the author

Karen is a Content Writer and successful Entrepreneur. She has helped various startups increase their search engine rankings through valuable content. Her ultimate passion in life is surfing, and she gets her writing inspiration from the ocean.

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