The internet has turned marketing into a multifaceted concept. Once reserved for commercials and magazine ads, we now use things like blogs, video content, guides, and so much more to push our product. This is especially true for esports brands and teams. Nowadays, if you want to keep your brand or event in the spotlight, you’ll need to go the extra mile and pick up some content marketing practices.
As you read ahead, you’ll get to know the basics of advertising your brand in the 21st century and walk away with:
- An overview of content marketing and why it works for esports
- The top channels for esports content marketing (including sponsored content)
- Fresh content marketing tips for esports brands (including influencer collaborations)
What is content marketing, and why is it great for esports?
To know how to use content marketing, it definitely helps to know what content marketing entails. If you’re part of an esports brand, chances are you’ve partaken in some form of content marketing but maybe didn’t know. Thanks to the advent of the internet and the growing popularity of blogging and social media networking, content as an esports marketing tool is on the rise.
But, again, to use content marketing, you must understand the breadth of what it covers.
Content Marketing 101
When we discuss content marketing, we’re talking about a broad means of marketing that includes, but is not limited to:
- Blog posts
- How-to guides
- Social media posts
- Books / e-books
Ultimately, if it’s something informative you can create and push out to a target audience, it can fall under content marketing. The end goal is to craft a message or story that will draw in even more attention to your esports brand or event. Your content should say something about your brand or try to connect to the customer directly.
It’s important to remember that esports is a rapidly growing industry. By 2021, esports is estimated to grow to 300 million active viewers, which has spurred talks over adding a category to the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.
Considering the video game industry spent decades solidifying itself as a viable means of entertainment akin to movies and books, this is a big deal. But that means you’re going to have to strive harder to create esports marketing that appeals to a vast audience.
Content marketing is at the core of esports
As the industry grows, esports brands will have to find new and creative means of advertising to stand out among the crowd. Content marketing allows for this sort of “outside of the box” thinking. In fact, it practically requires it. When you put your focus on content, you create a long-term advertising stream that’s going to be most effective in building up your audience.
Of course, a large audience will bring some degree of success, but building a fanbase, surprisingly, isn’t just about exposure to a target audience. The more fans you have, the more likely you will draw in big advertisers, which is where your growth will increase rapidly.
The endgame with content marketing should always be to grow, and the best way to do that is to show advertisers that viewers find worth in your esports brand.
Content marketing tips: the best channels for esports
You may have some of the best content ever crafted, but if you put it on the wrong channel, it’s going to fizzle to nothing. While there are dozens of different channels available for esports marketing, there are a few that outshine the rest.
Social media networks
It seems like everyone is on social media these days. Between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms, there are nearly 4 billion active users. That has considerable potential for building your target audience with content, so long as you use each platform properly.
For example, images with a direct, informational message can thrive on Facebook, while success on Twitter usually comes from an abundance in posting.
Social media allows you to share content from your other channels while creating unique messages that may not require a larger campaign or website framework to reside in.
Blogs and industry websites
Blog content is a versatile means of esports marketing. You can post anything from how-to guides to a recap of your team’s big win the night before, complete with embedded video to entice viewers. Blogs should be informative about your brand, the esports industry, or gaming to give your followers a reason to click and read.
When shared on your social media sites, your blogs can reach a broader audience and draw even more attention.
Know of a video game or esports website that will host a piece of content about your brand or event? You can quickly improve your search engine rankings with this kind of partnership. A site can sponsor videos and written content, it just depends on the layout and format.
With sponsored content, you can expect to reach a larger audience, receive a better return on investment, and, since you’re featured on a previously established site, you’ll be perceived as more trustworthy and worth following.
Websites like IGN, Gamespot, PCGamer.com, and Kotaku have featured informational sponsored content in the past.
As an esports brand, you absolutely want to consider a streaming service. Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and even TikTok are among the most popular options, with lesser-known services like Caffein, Owncast, and Mobcrush sneaking onto the market relatively recently. Twitch alone sported about 1.4 million concurrent viewers during the first quarter of 2020.
Through these platforms, you can push unique content that directly engages your audience, including how-to videos and marathon streams.
When you build your audience, you can push content marketing directly to them through email newsletters. This allows you to directly reach your audience to share news and updates about your esports brand.
A newsletter will allow you to determine if your esports marketing is engaging enough as you can measure if your audience is paying attention or clicking through.
Fresh content marketing tips for esports brands
Once you have decided on the content marketing channel you wish to pursue, it’s not simply a matter of churning out a blog or throwing together a video. There are some things you should keep in mind to ensure you’re pushing the best content for your esports marketing.
To help you along the way, we’ve put together the following content marketing tips for esports brands.
Know your esports keywords
Since algorithms change all the time, it can be difficult to keep up with proper search engine optimization. However, you should have set keywords for your written content. That is a pretty steady constant since the dawning of SEO.
The keywords shouldn’t overtake the purpose of the piece but should be naturally integrated into your content. Research keywords ahead of time and choose them based on how they’ll fit and their search volume.
Generally, the higher the volume, the better — but at the end of the day, it’s best to focus your energy on providing high quality and accurate information that best answers your target audience’s search query.
Keep an eye on your content KPIs
Key performance indicators help you determine how well your content is working. Is it scoring views? Are people sticking around to read more? Does certain content receive more attention? By watching the KPIs of your social media networks and blog posts, you can see everything you need to know about the success of your esports marketing.
Be informative and offer real value
If you want your audience to engage with your content, you have to give them a reason. Produce posts, videos, or blogs that tell them something about your esports brand, the industry, or an upcoming event, and you should see more people responding to your content.
Collaborate with gaming influencers
Video game influencers are essentially the celebrities of the industry. They’re the names that everyone knows and follows. By working with influencers and developing a content marketing plan that they’ll distribute to their audience, you will, in turn, build your audience. Influencers can promote your brand in a stream or be part of a social media campaign that will make your brand more trustworthy and appealing.
Help change the world
Your content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be all about your esports brand. If you latch onto a charitable cause, such as the Extra Life gaming marathon that supports the Children’s Miracle Network, you’re likely to draw in a bigger audience. Some reports even say that 64% of people are more likely to back a brand that supports a nonprofit or environmental cause.
Getting started with these esports content marketing tips
Knowledge of the many content marketing tips at your disposal is only half of the battle. What you know means nothing if you don’t act on it. Whether you’re considering using game influencers to craft your esports marketing or you’re going to tackle it yourself, now is the time to choose how you’ll increase the visibility of your esports brand.
To take the next step in your content marketing decision, contact Loopr for budget-friendly marketing that will amplify your content marketing strategy through sponsored content placements.
Can’t get enough of this stuff? Check out our video game PR case studies to learn how we’ve helped indie game developers and esports brands just like you.