Ask and You Shall Receive…Video Game Market Research
Ask and you shall receive? What does that even mean? Before writing this off as a religious overture, hear me out here. A video game marketing professional, I find this critical. As in critically important for anyone in video game publishing. And even more important for anyone making video games.
Allow me to explain. Like any quantitative minded marketer, I think of the world as a funnel. As in One. Big. Funnel. Borrowing something that my team had created some couple years ago, check out the following.
More aptly, if you are in the business of making video games, you are already familiar with the game development framework or process. No matter how you slice and dice it, it roughly breaks down into:
I. Concept –> II. Pre-Production –> III. Production –> IV. Launch –> V. Live Service/Maintenance
Needless to say, a marketer isn’t necessarily a ninja in agile product development. Nor a 6-degree black belt in financial planning and forecasting However, allow me to illustrate. HOW CAN video game market research benefit a video game? Literally in each of Concept, Pre-Production, Production, and Live Service/Maintenance stage? And I will use a random video game example to make my point. Disclaimer: I deliberately selected games that I did NOT work on. Translation: no Nondisclosure Agreements signed OR violated here. But if you are in the business of making video games, keep reading.
But regardless, I hope you walk away with a solid understanding of how video game market research helps increase your ODDS of the commercial success of YOUR game.
Let us begin.
I. Video Game Market Research: Concept Validation
Before writing a single line of code, the developer needs to assess market opportunity and the Total Addressable Market. To get at the answer, we may get creative. Assume the developer is thinking about building a card battle game with strategy and RPG.
7 Questions to Ask a Video Game Marketing Agency or Publisher
A video game marketing professional, I get asked these questions. A LOT. When to work with a marketing agency? What about full-service shop – all things video game publishing? Especially by indie game developers. Both by actual paying clients, and by prospects. To someone new to making video games, these topics are easily misunderstood. Esoteric.
To tell the truth, I have lost count. A former brand director with an AAA video game developer-publisher and head of marketing for an early social game developer, I have been pitched a LOT. As in dozens of times each year.
Developing and marketing a video game? AND to have it become a chart-topping hit on the App Store, Steam Store, or Google Play Store?
It is a lot like being in the boxing ring with a Manny Pacquiao, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, or Muhammed Ali…in his prime. The odds are against you. No ifs, ands, and buts about it. Do not forget that for one single second. But if you ask a strapping young lad named Cassius Clay in 1964? At least you are going into the ring with a shot at immortality.
Two possible outcomes really.
Get them right? And your game has the rightful chance at GREATNESS. Be the next Super Mario, Angry Birds, Halo, or Assasins Creed.
Get them wrong? And your game will die on the vine. Like a concept aircraft, that never ever lifts off the runway.
1000 Dreams Fund for Girl Gamers to Catching Pokemon 6′ Apart
A video game marketing professional, I’ve been following both gaming and eSports. Now, more than ever. Which video game studio is being agile and nimble? How exactly is the video game industry transforming and adapting? Dean Takahashi of Venturebeat just reported what we all suspected. Newzoo had adjusted its 2020 eSports revenue down again. Again. From a forecast of $1.1 billion pre-COVID in February, to $1.059 billion in April, again to $973.9 million in July, and now to $950.3 million.
With the pandemic raging still, the attendance of eSports events notwithstanding, along with sponsorship dollars and merchandise sales. What’s the silver lining?
That the Video Game Industry and eSports Are Positively Resilient
A shining example of agile evolving gameplay to accommodate social distancing? Why, Niantic and Pokemon Go of course. COVID sucks. Social distancing is unnatural. Wearing masks everywhere is bothersome. Not to mention people cannot see facial expressions, a fundamental way we communicate through body language. These suck. Get it.
Video game marketing, at least retro video games, is a lot like rebooting an old movie. This much I’ve found to be true. How exactly? Segmentation-Targeting-Positioning still matters. In fact, a LOT. Let’s take a close look how. Let us use Wreck It Ralph as an example. The 2012 Disney hit racked up $497 million at the box office worldwide and another $130 million in domestic DVD sales. The budget? All of $165 million per Wikipedia. What does my math say? 3.8X ROI. Even before international DVD sales and rentals! Personally I love this movie. Both for its “life lessons” teaching moments for us parents. And for the healthy nostalgia to bring back fond gaming memories… And not to mention inspiring a new generation of Generation Z and Generation Alphas to the gaming world.
What did Wreck It Ralph Do Right to Reach Its Audience? Let’s Find Out
First and foremost, who is (ARE) Wreck It Ralph’s target audience(s)? First there are the gamer dads and moms.
Demographically Precision Targeted at Dads and Moms 35-55
First, gamers aged 8 to 18 between about 1980 and 1999 would today be as young as 30 and as old as 58. What are those games we loved? This “Golden Age of Video Games” gave us such fan favorites as Qbert, Asteroids, Pac Man, Donkey Dug, Tapper and more in the 80s. As well as early PvP competitive games, whether FPS shooters like Quake, Doom, Duke Nukem (like I love as my personal video game GOAT greatest of all time) as well as 1v1 PvP combat action titles like Streetfighter and Mortal Kombat.
A fan and student of the video game industry? Then you would recognize many instances of crossovers. Retro video games crossing over and being made into a new animated or live action movies. As well as examples of video game reboot of an older movie or TV IP, being reimagined on a game platform.
Understandably the games we played, like the music we listened to, bring us back to simpler days and memories. I’d venture to say the Disney studio team did a thorough job of market research and consumer insights. Wonder why? First, to pinpoint which retro video games had the highest “awareness” and positive “favorability” among the target Dads and Moms. Second to laser focus on the precisemessages and creatives, to best activate our deep-rooted emotions of nostalgia and euphoria. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.
A Healthy Dose of Visual “Memory Lane” Nostalgia for Aging Dads
Even during the “Wreck It Ralph” trailer debuted September 2012, this much was clear. Anyone who grew up with the arcades of the 80s and 90s recognizes the video game icons of the day.
Visual associations of Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Qbert, Streetfighter, and More Stimulate the “Gamer Dad” Brains in under 150 seconds
If you paid close attention to the movie’s launch trainer, you’ll notice it included a barrage of visual associations:
“Hero’s Duty” the title of which reminds us first-person shooter fans of “Call of Duty”
Gameplay of Fix It Felix (from the 2D retro pixelated layout, to the large oversized monster – aka Ralph – wrecking and destroying a red brick building that must be fixed – reminds us of “Donkey Kong”
Visuals of Pac Man and Miss Pac Man
Street Fighter good and bad guys from Bison and Zangief to martial artists Ken and Ryu
Cute and lovable Qbert and simple mindless fun of Tapper
One can defensibly argue the awareness and discovery and emotional appeal to the gamer dads and moms is sufficient to ensure both pent-up demand, viewing intent at the box office. One that translated even after the game was released to DVD and rentals, into significant DVD sales and rental revenue again.
But what about new consumers? What about Millennials or Gen-Z who did NOT grow up with these games from the Golden Era?
Exploring New Worlds and Meeting New Friends? Associations of life stage changes, encouraging Gamer Dads (and Moms) to Introduce the Movie to Their Kids.
Here Disney does something really clever. Needless to say, the Disney brand convinces the aging gamer dads and moms that the movie is safe and appeals to families with kids. More importantly, what do dads and moms want more than anything in the whole wide world?
He’s Got One Chance to Play the Hero. Emotional Appeal to Gamer Dads to Be the Hero to Their Kids
The next message really hits home for parents. Wreck It Ralph was said to be nine feet tall. Vannelope von Schweetz was all of three feet six inches tall. The sheer size difference and the humorous exchanges between them? Something that reminds many dads, gamers or not, of the relationships between ourselves and our kids. This emotional appeal to dads truly pulled at the heartstrings.
In clear large captions, Dads and Moms are reminded this was a Story for Everyone.
When watching this trailer for the first time, a lot of dads felt inspired – that this was a “Must See” with the family and kids. Whatever the nature of that relationship may be, Dads and Moms were seeing themselves in the shoes of Wreck It Ralph, to fill in the blank of how the story directly appeals to them (think personalization and user-generated content.) Of course we had to see how the story ultimately unfolds. Just in case, any doubts remained?
But how would it appeal to the kids? No retro video game or movie reboot would be complete, if it didn’t successfully create appeal to multiple demographics. Right?
What about the “Kid” and “Generation Alpha” appeal? Here the Disney studio team went a completely different direction. Retro and Reboots mean nothing to someone who was never exposed to the intellectual property (IP) the first time.
The kids are instead treated to “Retro Is the New Cool” in the movie. Just as the little girl with glasses was playing with Hero’s Duty and accidentally saw the clearly out-of-place, from-another-bygone-era Wreck It Ralph in the game, the kids of Gamer Dads can expect to see:
Visual 3D Rendered Colors and both Environment and Character Art Popularized by Pixar, with a Speed of Storytelling that Generation Alphas Find Familiar and Expect
Beautiful 3D Models and Animated Characters with fully rendered and vibrant colors.
Unconvinced? Look at the prominent shading in vibrant colors on the face of Sergeant Calhoun. As well as the vivid rendering using millions of colors.
Another Legal Drug that Kids Absolutely Adore – Sugar and Sweets
While Generation Alphas knew little to nothing about retro video games, there’s one thing they CAN and DO love. When asked if he or she loves candy and sweets, the exception are those kids who say NO. The subliminal message here? Do you love candy and sweets? If Yes, you will want to watch the visual eye-candy that IS this movie.
Oh, and the fan art like the Deviantart creation of all of the Wreck It Ralph retro video game chararacters, in one place? User Generated Content and celebration of a Disney reboot of not one, but a combination of beloved video game characters and content in one place. Brave, Disney. Can we say, loved by Gen Z and Generation Alpha?
Like movies, like video games. Like I said, when marketing retro video games? There are a LOT of lessons learned from the movies… and vice versa. Deja vu. Reboot!
Describing the recent uprising of online dating apps as ‘remarkable’ is nothing but an understatement. Experts say that nearly 28 million people are going to use them by 2022.
And this statistic only talks about the United States.
Apps like Bumble, Tinder, Match, Hinge, OkCupid and others are quickly taking over the world. There are SO many lessons marketers can learn from them, especially to improve FTUE, or first-time user experience.
In this post, we are going to list out the top lessons one can learn from the success of online dating apps.
Not just that, we are going to help you understand how exactly you can implement them in your upcoming or existing digital marketing strategy.
So, stay with us till the very end!
8 Lessons Worth Learning From Tinder and Bumble
1. Find and Focus on Your Niche
What’s the golden rule of marketing?
It is: ‘Don’t sell anything if it’s not a solution to the customer’s problem.’
Utilizing this golden rule in the world of online dating apps is very simple.
You have a dating app that people who are single will try to use to develop a meaningful relationship with another person.
The ‘problem’ is that people are single, and that is something they want to change.
To make sure your solution reaches the right people, you will have to THOROUGHLY research your market. This is essential because it will lead you to your target audience.
This will mostly involve LASER targeting. In this, you mostly try to target a narrow market, find a profitable position, and try to compete with other players.
An extensive survey conducted by Hinge shows that the biggest problem customers have regarding online dating is about the superficiality of the apps.
This made Justin McLeod (the founder of Hinge) design an online dating application that focused on helping users create deeper connections.
2. Tap into The Unpredictable Award Phenomenon
Gamification of dating experience has been very well documented over the past five years.
Many users on the app are NOT looking for a date. The whole ‘swiping through the profiles’ thing is quite fun for them.
They use the application only to have entertainment. Gamification of the dating experience can be used to create anticipation among the users.
The best way to understand this is by connecting it to the concept of unpredictable awards.
Here, the users’ level of excitement can be regulated using algorithms that come up with little surprises each day. By doing this, the users are constantly engaged.
Most online dating applications tend to lose customers because of bad FTUE. This happens when users install the app, sign-up, get disappointed, and leave.
Just in case you have a poor FTUE, gamifying the dating interfaces using elements like tap-to-like, shake-to-refresh feed, etc. can help you compensate.
3. Make Marketing More Personal
One of the biggest marketing trends that companies around the world are looking to take advantage of is personalization.
Personalization is a useful strategy that gives marketers an opportunity to collect more personal data from their target audience.
This can go on to affect the way companies promote their products and services. The basic design of their products can be inspired by the concept of personalization.
Coming back to dating apps, one of the most common things you will find is that they will ask for your basic personal information.
It is important for them to know your age and location so that they can shape your user experience to perfection.
If you are looking to use personal data in your content marketing strategy, you must take lessons from these online dating apps.
The application of data analysis and interpretation will also help you improve your application’s FTUE.
4. User-Generated Content – Let Users Speak
The surge of online dating apps and the simplification and gamification of online dating has had a great impact on how millennials approach online dating.
People could say the most important impact of gamification is that they have helped get rid of the shyness around the concept of dating.
This has allowed users to share their online dating experiences on various online platforms. In other words, they are helping marketers with user-generated content and consumer insights.
One of the main reasons why they are so successful with user-generated content is that the marketers go out of their way to hijack a viral story.
Apps like Bumble even have created a form that allows users to share their stories on their experiences.
Talk about taking social listening to the next level!
5. Effective Influencer Marketing
Creating blog posts for video content around your online dating app is one of the BEST ways to generate buzz for your product.
But, that’s an organic way to promote a product online. It works, but it takes time.
This is one of the reasons why influencer marketing has been a go-to marketing strategy for marketers of online dating apps.
Because the content related to online dating is interesting to fans of content creators.
Hinge, an online dating app, makes the best of user-generated content and influencer marketing to create SUPERB social media campaigns. The marketers at Hinge have been working closely with popular meme accounts to create organic posts that bring in definite results.
Influencer marketing is crucial in the marketing of many apps and brands. By creating content that is very much relatable to the general public, it generates a sense of authenticity in the target audience.
This is because your application is going to compete against almost 2 MILLION other applications for visibility.
According to statistics, the average Apple user spends almost 33 minutes per month on the App Store. This data was for the United States back in 2018. Since then, the time spent on the App Store has likely gone up.
Although this is a lot of time for marketers to improve their products’ visibility, they cannot rely on users to find their way to the product through the app store.
Battle Royale games like Fortnite, PUBG and Apex Legends might have been at the top for a very long time. However, many new battle royale games are getting attention in 2020.
Waiting in the wing are many unique and amazing games which are giving us their own takes on the genre.
Few of these games have already been released. Others are still in development. Today, we will take a closer look at the best battle royale games of 2020.
Now, without any further delay, let’s get started!
First up, Spellbreak is going to be one of the biggest Battle Royale games of 2020. The game is being developed by Proletariat. And man, fans all over the world are HYPED up. Not surprisingly, Spellbreak is bringing something completely new to the table. It’s going to be completely different from other battle royales like Fortnite and PUBG. You’ll have to cast different kinds of spells to get the upper-hand on your enemies.
In terms of perspectives? Spellbreak is in the third-person. Its gameplay, you ask? Quite positively diverse. You’ll have to craft certain builds and use different combinations of spells in battle. The game’s artstyle is very vibrant. Naturally its cartoonish graphics fit perfectly with the setting of this game. You can jump in a new game solo… Or try to survive in the hollow lands with your friends.
Long-awaited, this title is going to get released for Windows, PlayStation, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. In my opinion, this game is a 4 out of a 5 and I am very excited to play it.
Drumroll please… Another upcoming battle royale game, Blazing Sails is going to be huge in 2020. Published by Iceberg Interactive and developed by GET UP GAMES, Blazing Sails is going to be a massively multiplayer online game. The objective? You and your friends have to protect a single pirate ship.
Players will create their own pirate avatar and build their own ship to become a part of the battle. The core loop? You will have to navigate through the lands and seas to collect amazing loot, resources and weapons. As you survive at sea, your ship will be upgraded. Once it gets damaged in battle, you will have to fix your ship. Like the other games on this shortlist, Blazing Sails is going to have very vibrant and cartoonish graphics.
Blazing Sails is going to be available exclusively for Microsoft Windows. But what about CONSOLE players? Unfortunately, console players won’t be able to get a taste of the deadly ocean yet.
I would personally give this game a 4 out of a 5. Because it looks extremely intriguing, I am excited to try it out.
What about fans of medieval warfare? Bar none, Valhall is going to be the most REALISTIC battle royale game of 2020. In this game, you will experience the true brutality of the Viking era. Valhall is being developed and published by Blackrose Arts, and gamers all over the world are hyped for this release.
As for the gameplay of Valhall? Extremely complex. With minimal HUD on the screen, the player will get to switch between first-person and third-person perspective. While I am certain this hybrid perspective has been tested with players via consumer insights and playtesting, only time will tell if players like or love this. Or not.
Playing as a Viking, you will have different weapons at your disposal. These include an axe and a long-bow. However, the long-bow will NOT have a crosshair. Why does that matter? Well, newer players are going to have a very hard time and be challenged by a steeper learning curve. Developers at Blackrose Arts have tried to make this game as realistic as possible.
The trailer suggests you will be able to play with your friends. This multiplayer co-op in the battle royale genre is going to take you for an INSANE rollercoaster ride. If you wonder about the graphics of this game, not to worry. They perfectly complement its breathtaking gameplay elements. With lifelike graphics, there will never be a dull moment in Valhall.
Currently it’s being developed exclusively for Windows. For console players, I suspect a PlayStation and Xbox port might get released in the near future.
I am quite excited to try this title out and would give this a 5 out of 5.
To much fanfare, Hyper Scape is the new big battle royale game by Ubisoft. Released recently on July 12th 2020, the game is slowly gaining a lot of attention.
Hyper Scape is extremely fast-paced and does not go easy on new players. Set in the first-person perspective, it has amazing parkour elements. Players can jump from wall to wall and slide to go faster. Because of its fast-paced gameplay, you need an exceptionally good aim to dominate.
Hyper Scape has Fortnite-like graphics, but the gameplay is completely different. For the battle royale fans who like fast action, this game is going to be a very exciting play.
Hyper Scape is currently in beta and is only available on Microsoft Windows. Xbox and PlayStation versions of this game are being worked on as we speak. Let’s just hope that the game also comes with cross-play.
If you ask me, I liked the game. But, I think that the movement needs to be a little swifter, as aiming is too hard in this game. I would give it 3.5 out of 5.
Call of Duty Warzone
Last but definitely not least, let’s talk about one of the most popular games of 2020. Call of Duty Warzone is Call of Duty’s take on the battle royale genre. Not surprisingly it has managed to get a lot of attention. It will remind some of you of PUBG. But this game experience is completely different
While an extension of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, to play this game does NOT require the purchase of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Call of Duty Warzone has extremely realistic graphics, and the gameplay is very intense. There are tons of weapons to choose from. And perfecting aim takes a lot of practice. 150 players take part in every match of Warzone. You’ll be glad to know, dying doesn’t kick you out of the match. Instead you are given a second chance in the Gulag.
Call of Duty Warzone is available on PlayStation, Xbox and Windows. Personally, I loved this game, but it can be a little harsh for newer players. I’d give it a 4 out a 5.
Roblox and Minecraft are two spectacular sandbox games. Both occupy a segment of the video game industry that is targeted at young kids aged 7 to 12. Both loved by millions of gamers all over the world. Quite similar to each other, they often get compared to each other by gamers. Both games combine education with fun. What does that leave me as player? Something truly unique and interesting. Whether in terms of Art, UGC (User-Generated Content) or gameplay, the list of similarities run long. Both of these games go head to head against each other. For good reasons.
Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at the rivalry between these two titles. I will compare all of the different aspects of both of these games and let you decide which game is better.
Now, without any further ado, let’s get started!
Minecraft is currently the best-selling game in the entire world. Make that over 200 million copies sold as of 2020. Developed by Mojang, Minecraft gets about 126 million active users every month.
Set in a blocky world, Minecraft is a very quirky game. You can literally create anything in this game or go out on adventures with your friends. This game is perfect for single-player or multi-player gamers.
Art-Style of Minecraft: Blocky Cartoonish World with Immersive Realism
Like I said above, Minecraft is set in a blocky world. One in which the art-style is quite unique and interesting. Everything has a cartoonish-touch in this game. Yet it still manages to remain realistic and immersive. From gorgeous castles to a pixelated piece of art. You can basically create anything in this game.
Minecraft’s Gameplay: Awesome Survival or the Sandbox of Your Creation
The gameplay of Minecraft is extremely diverse. You can do whatever you want. This game can take you on an awesome survival adventure. Or it can be the sandbox of your own creation.
When you jump into survival mode, you will have to survive in the harsh world of Minecraft by gathering resources and finding food and shelter. Enemies appear at night. You must defeat them in order to survive.
In creative mode, you are given infinite resources and the ability to fly. You can basically create anything in this game, even a working computer. There are tons of materials in the game which replicate real-life properties.
The online gameplay of this game is something completely different!
When you interact with other players, you get a whole new list of game-modes which have been created by the community. There is a lot of UGC in this game which is just waiting to get explored. You can also interact with other players online and make some new friends. Or you can just invite your real-life friends. And play for a long game of Minecraft.
Monetization: Minecraft Marketplace but NO Shortcuts
Want to make money using Minecraft? Then you might be in for a long ride. Making video games and money from Minecraft is not very easy as compared to Roblox. Though, there is the Minecraft marketplace where the users can sell their content to earn some bucks.
It might be a little tough to start making money through this game. But it is still totally possible.
Unlike Minecraft, Roblox is a completely free game. One which can be enjoyed by anyone quickly and easily. Roblox currently has 115 million active monthly users. What separates Roblox from Minecraft you ask? Roblox is more than just a game. Roblox is a simplified game-development platform which is extremely fun and engaging. A very creative and fun game, Roblox can get ANYONE hooked.
Since Roblox is free, its creators generate revenue thanks to in-game microtransactions. By using good old-fashioned market research and consumer insights, a young creator can find the market appetite for his or her game content.
Roblox’s Art Style: Cartoonish but Much More than Blocks
The art-style of this game is pretty cartoonish, but it doesn’t follow a blocky theme like Minecraft. The world of this game looks quite beautiful, and it is filled to the brim with mysteries that are waiting to get explored.
Gameplay: UGC is the backbone of Roblox!
Roblox is more than just a game. It’s a gaming platform where you can basically enjoy any genre of games. The games on Roblox were created by gamers for gamers. The possibilities are endless. You can play the Roblox version of Call of Duty. Or should you so choose, enjoy a Roblox Minecraft.
UGC is the backbone of Roblox!
Roblox is not a single-player game. Instead it can only be enjoyed together with the community. You can just play with your friends. Or you can play with other people online. There are about 40 million games currently available on the platform, which have been created using the Roblox developer tools.
Do YOU want to try out different games and socialize with tons of people online? Then Roblox is the game for you.
Monetization: Roblox Can Help Anyone Generate an Income for Themselves!
Monetization is a major factor which might make you want to try out Roblox instead of Minecraft.
Like I said before, in Roblox, the games are designed BY users. You can create your own game on the platform and generate revenue from it. The games themselves are free. However, the user can earn money through microtransactions. Robux is the virtual currency of Roblox, usable by gamers to purchase different items. Whenever a gamer uses Robux to buy an in-game item, Roblox keeps a small cut and gives you the rest. A HUGE selling-points for Roblox.
Conclusion: Minecraft for Single-Player or Social Fun. Roblox to Make New Friends or to Try Your Hand at Coding & Content Monetization
Minecraft and Roblox are both breathtaking games. Both worth checking out. The ONE that you end up spending most of your time playing depends on your own preference.
Just looking to have a fun single-player adventure? Or simply trying to have some fun with your friends, then Minecraft is what you should be playing.
Looking to make new friends online? Then definitely give Roblox a go. Want to try your hand at coding or even earning revenue from your creation? Then Roblox is the game for you. Not only is Roblox more educational than Minecraft, Roblox can introduce young gamers to the world of coding or game content monetization.
Both of these titles are extremely fun and filled to the brim with endless possibilities. Personally, I prefer Minecraft as I really love its approach towards creativity.
TikTok for Mobile Video Games: 7 Keys to Activating Gen Z
So, you have decided to make your mobile video game popular on TikTok. It’s a decision that you just cannot go wrong with. Just take one look at TikTok’s numbers quarter over quarter.
TikTok is unknown territory for most mobile video game developers. Consider the sheer popularity of this social media platform however? Make sure your mobile video game marketing strategies includes TikTok. Period.
The majority of the TikTok population is Generation Z. It is crucial for the mobile video game developers to understand the intricacies of TikTok. Most importantly, how to genuinely capture the attention and activate Generation Z.
This is exactly what we are going to cover in this extensive TikTok guide for mobile video game developers. So, without further ado, let’s dive in. And figure out what it takes to activate Generation Z in 2020.
What is the Generation Z?
Generation Z is often referred to to the generation that was born between 1996 and 2010. In other words, the generation that follows the millennials. Digital natives raised on the internet and social media, Gen Z is a must for any marketer. It is important for the video games industry to understand the characteristics, traits, values, and trends that can help them develop in-depth statistics of Generation Z. About their screen and social media consumption, social behavior, interests, communication style, psychographics, and more.
In the United States, Generation Z is said to be the largest consumer demographic. Finishing college by 2020, they will be entering the workforce starting next year. How can you attract the attention of this generation on TikTok? Well, for that you have to dive deeper into TikTok’s consumer insights to create meaningful marketing strategies. All to activate and influence this soon-to-become largest cohort of consumers.
7 Keys to Successfully Activate Generation Z
Here are some of the best ways for video games developers to come up with a solid TikTok marketing strategy to attract Generation Z. Let’s discuss them in detail.
1. Generation Z’s TikTok Usage Patterns
Why has Tiktok grown so quickly with Generation Z? First because Tiktok was designed to satisfy their constant need for more content. It emphasizes on short-form video content and makes the platform easy to use.
Additionally, Tiktok has successfully fired up Generation Z’s desire for entrepreneurship and becoming an online creator or an influencer. Generation Z experiences little fear or friction before creating content. Content that will help them build an audience of like-minded people.
Generation Z uses social media platforms like Tiktok, YouTube, and Instagram to show the best version of themselves. Contrary to popular belief, this is more related to projecting self-confidence rather than insecurity.
2. Gen Z Vs. Millennials: TikTok Usage Pattern
It is very important to factor in the TikTok usage pattern of millennials and Generation Z. 42% of the 13-16-year-olds use TikTok which shows that the social media platform is gaining momentum among young teens who are very much into mobile video gaming.
Almost 40% of the total TikTok population comprises the Generation Z. Millennials make up the rest of the users. When it comes to content creation, Generation Z is way ahead than millennials. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to “consume” content on the platform.
3. Social Causes/Purposes Gen Z Uses TikTok For
With so much information going around on the internet, Generation Z is very much into showing their concern about different socio-political issues in and around the country.
What does this mean exactly? They are very much against turning a blind eye to issues. Whether about racial injustice, or inequality or about gender bias and more. And their inclination towards speaking out against injustices can be found across Tiktok.
For example, the #blacklivesmatter had over 6 billion views on TikTok. Instead of creating dancing and lip-sync videos, which is what TikTok is made for, Generation Z uses the opportunity to raise voice against injustice.
This behaviour pattern can be used by mobile video game developers to attract the attention of Generation Z. Creating content in support of social causes and purposes can bring you closer to your target audience.
4. Personal and Relatable Communication Style
Millennials and Generation Z are unforgiving when it comes to being manipulated online. They have been on the Internet and social media platforms for a long time. They clearly know exactly when you are hitting them with fake content.
Using Tiktok to attract the attention of Generation Z through insincere content and highly aggressive sales copy? Forget it. Not gonna work. Your entire focus should be about making your content and Advertising more personal and relatable.
Google claims that almost 26% of Generation Z expect retailers to provide a personalized buying experience based on the customers shopping patterns and preferences. Needless to say, authentic voice, genuine ratings and reviews for your mobile app or game is key. This is true whether to attract Gen Z’ers on Tiktok, or as part of your mobile game’s overall app store optimization strategy.
Therefore, make sure the content you publish on Tiktok is what your target audience is looking for. Want to create an impressive brand personality in the minds of your target audience? Start by giving them what they want.
5. Creating Snackable Content in Bulk
To succeed on TikTok, you will have to invest in creating short snackable content with a major focus on video. One of the reasons why we recommend you create search content is because the average attention span for Generation Z is reducing drastically.
While the average attention span for the millennial generation stands at 12 seconds, the same for Generation Z is a mere 8 seconds. Well, this is even less than the attention span of a Goldfish. So, what’s the reason behind this plummeting attention span?
The most common reason that also has been well documented for the significant reduction in the attention span of Generation Z is the growth in the number of digital platforms. Generation Z often finds themselves using many digital platforms simultaneously.
How exactly? Generation Z can be found to be using 5 digital platforms simultaneously- at the same time. The shorter attention span is also the reason why Generation Z hates non-skippable ads and pop-ups.
Targeting Generation Z with video ads? We highly recommend using a shorter format. TikTok, therefore, is a great social media platform for you to share your video content.
However, you must invest in creating more and more content for your target audience. Make it easier for them to remember your brand. But, this should not be an excuse to create low-quality content. Your video should be extremely entertaining and high quality at the same time.
6. Taking Privacy Protection Policies Seriously
Generation Z is quite concerned about privacy protection. Almost 88% of the Gen Z population ranks privacy protection at the top of their list when it comes to consuming content on the web.
Less than one-third of Generation Z claims to be comfortable sharing personal information online. But 61% believe they can do it without any concern with brands they trust.
How do you do that? Want to gain the trust of your target audience on TikTo? First, you have to step up. Be 100% transparent when collecting user information from Generation Z. Be wholeheartedly committed to keeping data safe and secure.
7. Ability of Micro-Influencers to Rule Generation
Need a helping hand? Partnering with micro-influencers who are popular in your niche can play a huge role in making your brand successful on TikTok. Influencer marketing has always been a powerful marketing tactic. And the potential size of the population you can attract when done right? Positively HUGE.
There are many popular Gamers on TikTok. Influencers create highly entertaining sometimes niche content for their audience. Generation Z population is very much inclined towards gaming, especially with the eSports revolution. There exists a great, under-utilized opportunity. One for you to create your OWN highly-targeted audience on this social media platform.
But why are video platforms so successful? One of the reasons why influencer marketing works on video platforms like TikTok on YouTube is because almost 70% of the teenage population easily relate to online creators than traditional celebrities. Online creators are simply more relatable and trustworthy. Aka One of Us.
Therefore, invest in micro-influencers on TikTok. Invest in them to help them help YOU. Influencer marketing is a relatively expensive marketing technique but it can bring you exceptional results in a short amount of time, when done right.
We have shared in-depth information related to the latest TikTok statistics for Generation Z. Always remember to take a more personalized approach in the decision-making process. Video game developers understand what the young generation likes. It is equally important to have a one-on-one discussion with their marketers.
Come up with groundbreaking marketing strategies. Be authentic, be real, personalize communication, and give Generation Z what they want – in short snack-able video format. Respect privacy, and be transparent. When needed, seek help from trusted micro influencers. Help them help YOU.
We hope this piece of content brought great value to you. If it did, feel free to subscribe to our weekly newsletter as we bring all the latest updates from the world of online marketing. Have questions? Put them down in the comments section and we will reply as soon as possible!
THAT THE WHOLE VIDEO GAME COMMUNITY IS HYPED UP FOR!
A new frontier pushing the envelope in the video game industry, the PlayStation 5 next-gen console is coming this holiday season. Gamers all over the world are hyped up! A huge PlayStation live event took place recently, which further intensified this hype. The event showed us the physical hardware of this long-awaited console, and it also revealed some amazing upcoming video games. Video game pricing aside, these are the games that keep hardcore gamers like me lie awake in excitement.
The list of upcoming PlayStation 5 video games is filled to the brim with exciting titles. These games are going to show us what the next-gen console will be truly capable of!
Today, I’ll give you guys a list of the most highly anticipated PlayStation 5 games.
Now, without any further ado, let’s jump right into it!
Far Cry 6: The popular Far Cry series is returning with another major installment in 2021
This game is very highly anticipated as gamers all around the world wait desperately. In true Far Cry style. Far Cry 6 is going to be a first-person shooter with an amazing story.
The game is developed by the purveyors of gaming wizardry at Ubisoft. Fans have very high expectations from this installment of the series as it is going to be dramatically different from all the previous entries. The trailer for this game showcased some brilliant graphics, which looked just as good as real life! In this game, the players will be facing off against president Anton Castillo, who controls the entire island of Yara. This man is extremely violent, and we must fight him for the future of this island.
The players will play as Dani Rojas, who can be played as a male or female character. We don’tknow much regarding the gameplay features of this new title, but it will surely give us a more polished and refined experience as compared to the previous games.
Far Cry 6 is going to get released early next year! The exact release date is February 18th, 2021. I am extremely excited to try this new title out, and I’d give it a 4.5/5.
Project Athia: 3rd Person Adventure Video Game by Square Enix – Playstation Exclusive for Limited Time. Late 2020 or 2021.
The teaser trailer for Project Athia which was revealed at the PlayStation 5 live event was quite short, but it was enough to make an impact. Gamers are hyped up to play this third-person adventure game as it looked extremely interesting. This is going to be the next big title by Square Enix, and it will be a PlayStation exclusive for a limited time.
We don’t know much regarding the story of this title as the trailer was very short. However, we do know that the game is going to be set in a magical world, and the protagonist is going to be a female character. This harsh world is going to test the resolve and courage of our beautiful protagonist as she ventures through it.
The graphics of the game looked absolutely stunning in the trailer! We’ll be fighting against some mysterious creatures using our magical abilities.
We don’t have an exact release date for this game. However, it will be releasing late 2020, or maybe in 2021.
I am personally very excited to play this title and enjoy the amazing story. I’d give it a 5/5.
Resident Evil 8: Village is going to be the next major entry in this horror survival series. Coming in 2021.
This new title is going to be just as horrifying as the previous entry as it is also set in the first- person perspective. The game is being developed by the highly acclaimed CAPCOM studio, and it is going to be an absolute blast.
Resident Evil 8 has immensely realistic graphics which are going to show us the true extent of the next-generation consoles. The game is going to follow the story of our boy Ethan as he is again put in a dreadful situation, thanks to Chris Redfield. His whole life gets disrupted, and we must help him survive once again.
This Resident Evil title is going to get released in 2021; however, we don’t really have an exactrelease date right now. This title is going to be great, but I am personally not very excited to play it because I believe that Resident Evil works better in third-person perspective. I’d give this game a 3/5.
Spider-man: Miles Morales by Insomniac Studios. Promised to be one of the best video games of 2020.
Spider-man: Miles Morales is going to be the new spider-man game this year, and as the name suggests, this title will be solely focusing on the story of Miles Morales. This game is being developed by Insomniac Studios, and it is going to be one of the best video games of 2020.
Of course a huge rocket boost for discoverability and video game marketing. True to Spiderman fans and Marvel comic book fans the world over, the graphics of this game are going be extremely realistic. Yet still retain a comicbook look which all Marvel games are famous for. The story of this game is going to take place after the events of the previous title in the series. Just like Peter, Miles obtains spider-like abilities and fights criminals to protect innocent people.
This sequel is going to get released with the release of the PlayStation 5 console as a launch title. Fans will definitely grab both, the PS5 and this game together. I am personally quite excited to try out this new title, and I’d give it a 4.5/5.
Horizon Forbidden West by Guerrilla Games. Coming in 2021.
Now, let us talk about the most highly anticipated PlayStation 5 title, Horizon Forbidden West. This game is going to be a sequel for the highly acclaimed Horizon Zero Dawn, and it is being developed by Guerrilla Games.
The new game has amazing graphics, and the machine dominated world looks even more stunning. We are going to again play as our girl Aloy, who is going to be as badass as ever thanks to her amazing abilities. The game will feature a beautiful open-world which will be filled to the brim with mysteries. Just like the previous game, we will be enjoying a heart- touching story in third-person perspective. An open-world action RPG like this, certainly play tested and tried via multiple rounds of consumer insights and research, this is one title that you cannot afford to miss.
This game is set to release in 2021, but we don’t really know the exact release date. I am personally extremely hyped to try out this title as the previous game was one of the best titles of 2017. I’d give it a 5/5.
CONSUMER INSIGHTS VIDEO GAME GREATEST OF ALL TIME: DUKE NUKEM
Duke Nukem was and arguably always will be my favorite video game of all time. Does it have a market among battle royale fans of Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile?
The first PC game that I paid for. With a HUGE $40 of my own money at the age of 20, I chose Duke over a pub crawl or infrequent meal of tacos in college. Will brand equity aid discoverability? Consumer Insights hold the key.
Menacing flying aliens wielding rocket-propelled grenades. Shade-bespectacled foes with tusks the size of Siberian boars. Gratuitous scantily-clad young ladies dancing on stages, hips gyrating rhythmically to the electric pop background music.
The frequent drops of weapons – from rocket-propelled grenades, to shotguns, to pistols, and ammo – stimulate the mind. In pure single-player mode, it’s easy to pick up, put down, save progress. While heart-pounding exciting and exhilarating as ever, the ability to save and reattempt levels makes it forgiving.
Playing the 2011 reboot Duke Nukem Forever on my Mac this week during the coronavirus shelter-at-home, I got to relive some of my early college years. The nuclear waste and dancers still grab the eyeballs, even as I have laddered up in age.
This begs the question though. I paid an entire $40 for the full game in 1996. And again in 2020, I paid $40 for the game + downloadable content on Steam. HOW can this game be reimagined for a different revenue model – say, monthly subscription or free-to-play in-app purchases.
As a video game marketing consultant, I wondered. If I were marketing this game as a Premium-Priced 1-time Download on Steam:
What are my best options for maximizing branding (reactivating awareness) amongst existing fans of the Duke Nukem franchise?
How do I best build excitement among brand-new first-person shooter fans?
How can the game acquire and convert multiplayer battle royale games like Fortnite or PUBG?
Which messages would resonate best with each of these audiences?
Which promotional tactics do I have to maximize downloadable sales?
Is a time-limited MASSIVE discount promotion (say 50%, 60%, even 70%) the only way to crack the STEAM Store charts?
Are there media channels (whether IGN, PCGamer, or EuroGamer) that can drive measurable sales?
Should the developer choose to turn this game into a Free 2 Play, mobile games, what are some of the best content and monetization strategies?
How much time and resources should they devote to strictly Organic Discovery, like Apple or Google App Store Optimization?
Is it more advantageous to launch during the Shelter in Place campaign (i.e. in the next 4-8 weeks)?
Or does it make more sense to create “evergreen” paid media advertising campaigns, that run throughout the year?
What types of analytics and attribution are required? And can these be put in place on startup budgets, without breaking the bank?
From experience I know this much.
Consumer Insights and good old-fashioned market research are key to rock-solid brand positioning and laser-focused activation.
A combination of qualitative consumer research – targeted at the target consumer persona can answer these questions about how (1) Brand Loyalists like me and (2) fans of battle royale FPS and 3PS titles like Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, and Call of Duty can best be activated.
That and how and where the video game marketing budgets are best spent. Is it more advantageous spent on paid media on Facebook, Google UAC and the likes? Or strictly through trusted influencers through the likes of Youtube, Twitch Prime and reviewers?
These are precisely the types of questions that I help my clients (video game developers and publishers) solve, in order to maximize media coverage and measurable revenue and profits. And in a strange, inexplicable way, I relish the challenge of helping a game developer shop on startup, even shoestring budgets.
If you have a promising game project that you like to promote and burst up the STEAM Store, Apple App Store, or Google Play Store – and like to tap into the marketing expertise of someone who’s worked on both branded and original-IP games on Facebook, PC, Apple, and Android, reach out to me.
In the meantime, make sure to stay safe, play apart, but always, always “kick ass and chew bubble gum.”