Guest Column | Four marketing strategies to help beginners and entrepreneurs in the esports industry journey

In recent years, India has witnessed colossal growth in the esports industry. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of gamers has increased and seems to occupy a good number of amateur and experienced minds who feel passionate about esports and, throwing light on the popularity and demand, it has evolved as one of the exponentially growing industries in India and abroad. 

IGL CEO  Yash Pariani

For many, esports and gaming are the same, but that’s not the case. Esports is a segment of the gaming world where we see professional gamers compete to win tournaments and occupy the top ranks against regular-season standings, whereas gaming is meant to provide real entertainment and not sports. 

According to industry estimates, 2021 will eventually be the year of growth and high engagement for the esports industry, and close to 600 million people worldwide will watch esports in 2021. Last year, the viewership of esports in India had doubled to 17 million and the prize money pool grew by 25-30 per cent. Esports are considered a good source of entertainment in a time when social distance has become the norm and physical sports have been temporarily suspended. Rising investments, brand collaborations, and rise in smartphone usage has further fuelled the growth of esports in India. 

Four unique marketing strategies for esports:

The most popular media platforms, multiple creative strategies, and user interests in the gaming world greatly differ from traditional advertising methods. Here are four effective strategies that will help brands leverage this growing industry.

Identifying the right platform 

Apart from finding the right set of audiences, esports brands need to hunt for the appropriate platform where their audience tends to spend most of their time. This is important for understanding where and when should the relevant content be posted for grabbing the attention of one’s target audience, without any time and funds wastage.   Companies are more likely to find their audience on some of the major esports streaming sites, like YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming. Not only this, but companies should also focus on those platforms where their competitors aren’t active so as to capture audience attention. 

Effective content marketing 
With the growing interest of esports enthusiasts, content can play a vital role in diverting the attention of players to the respective brand as good and impressive content helps target the right audience. Moreover, to pique their interest, companies must create promotional videos which will create excitement around upcoming events. Further, social media platform scan help attract more people for the upcoming streams. As users will share good content among their circle, it will help increase brand visibility. 

Influencer marketing
First of all, brands need to ensure that the influencers they are working with have an enormous following on their selected social media platforms with nearly the same audience as the brand. This will boost brand reach and increase the effectiveness of the current and upcoming marketing campaigns. This, in turn, will lead to more sales. 

Esports sponsorship 
Sponsoring conventions and business summits with high-profile esports streamers will make people aware of one’s brand, as leveraging their popularity will help garner a considerable fan base. Your brand at the forefront of all the prime events will help you develop a long-term relationship with key industry players, such as leading esports teams, organizers, and other businesses of a similar nature. 

Journey from beginner to entrepreneur in the esports industry
Tech is significantly blurring the line between the real world and the virtual world. As long as developers have the budget to code a fictitious activity into games, a whole universe of fancy avatars renders anything possible. As a result, doors of opportunities are opening for budding entrepreneurs who are interested in monetising people’s enthusiasm for virtual reality experiences and similar video games. Right from becoming a professional player to offering support services, esports has emerged as one of the most thriving industries. 

Converting an idea into a money-making business begins with market research. According to industry experts, the esports industry is set to reach a value of over $3 billion by 2022. Analyzing one’s target audience and their expectations, studying one’s competitors, and looking out for potential supporters can help set up a base in one’s chosen niche. 

Into the bargain, deciding what type of esports business one wishes to launch, forecasting the probable revenue figures, drafting a balance sheet, financial planning, drawing up a budget, and business plan are all part of the journey towards fulfilling those entrepreneurial ambitions in the esports segment. 

Summing up 
Esports is transforming at a good pace and is all set to move to new heights in the future.  A significant shift in the user psyche from casual fun games to professional level video games is the reason behind the increasing numbers of budding gamers. Esports is offering a cohesive model wherein one can find both amateur and professional gamers collectively in sync and thus it is emerging as a promising industry that will take a good leap in the years to come. 

(This article has been contributed by IGL CEO Yash Pariani. AnimationXpress does not necessarily subscribe to these views)

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