How Gaming Brands Nurture their Communities
Apr 19, 2021
We have analysed the online presences of six gaming consumer technology brands to see how they engage and nurture their communities.
This analysis uses public quantitative data extracted from a combination of social insight tools, combined with the proprietary data from Socially Powerful. The amalgamation of quantitative and qualitative data forms insights for this research. Our analysis gives an indication of how a brand effectively uses social media in combination with influencer marketing relative to its peers.
6 brands were analysed in total. The primary objective was to understand how gaming accessory brands use social media to promote their keyboards and mice, and provide key insights to improve online conversations. The 6 brands were chosen based on their relevance in the European market. These brands are Republic of Gaming, Razer, LogitechG, Roccat, SteelSeries and HyperX.
1. Gaming is the fastest growing entertainment sector, meaning brands need to focus on engaging their communities
The gaming industry has experienced massive growth over the past few years, so much so that it is now larger than the music and film industries combined. In addition, the esports industry is also set to continue growing at a rapid rate, reaching around $1.6bn by 2023. Even in an already oversaturated market, new games and accompanying accessories are developed frequently, resulting in gaming accessory brands implementing community building and engagement strategies in order to stay relevant to their consumers. Some of these strategies include dedicated brand forums, reward schemes and influencer marketing.
2. Gaming community is spread across various platforms and requires different communication tools than other communities
The gaming community interacts with brands, influencers and other members differently to other communities. Community members are incredibly engaged on social media and are found across different platforms, including Twitch and Discord. Both these platforms allow brands, influencers and audiences to interact in real time by using live conversations on Discord, or live streaming on Twitch. These help the community create relationships and connect with other people and brands with similar interests. Gaming fans can be more receptive to sponsorship deals and collaborations with influencers or celebrities if done correctly, which presents brands with the opportunity to work with a wide range of influencers, streamers, esports gamers or musicians.
3. Technological advancements play a large role in acquiring loyal customers
While the primary interest for those within the gaming community is playing and/or watching gamers or esports players, a large portion are enthusiastic about technology. Technological advancements within the gaming industry play a large role in acquiring customers—from microphones and screens to mice and keyboards. By continually developing gaming products, brands are nurturing their communities by providing them with the best quality and most up-to-date products available. We have looked into how brands are promoting their mice and keyboards on social media, and what the key consumer conversations are.
4. Established technology brands have largest share of voice in brand conversations
Analysis of online conversations relating to gaming mice and keyboards show that Asus’ Republic of Gaming (ROG) holds 37% of the total conversations. ROG is followed by LogitechG, Razer, Steel Series, HyperX and finally Roccat. It is important to note that the two brands with the largest share of voice are established technology brands and so have a larger reach than just the gaming community.
5. Some gaming brands use social media to drive conversations on less popular products, while others capitalise on existing online popularity
ROG and SteelSeries both push products on social media that are less popular online, while HyperX and Roccat capitalise on existing online popularity and focus on frequently discussed products. Razer and LogitechG both have an equal focus on mice and keyboards.
6. Each gaming brand tries to actively engage its community, but with different engagement tactics
The gaming community needs to be engaged regularly and feel heard by a brand in order to remain loyal. There are four main engagement tactics brand use: influencer tribes, affiliate marketing, customer reward schemes or community forums.
7. Brands using community reward schemes receive highest conversation rates
ROG, Razer and SteelSeries have the highest conversation rates around products and also all have some form of community reward scheme, where members receive a reward for making a purchase or having an account. ROG has a community base called ROG Elite, where community members gain points in exchange for prizes—which include in-game vouchers and exclusive wallpapers.
Razer has two reward-schemes for its customers: Razer Gold and Razer Silver. Gold members receive virtual credit they can use to maximise value when buying games and in-game content. Razer silver is a loyalty rewards program where members can earn Razer Silver to redeem exclusive gifts. Members earn 500 free Razer Silver when creating a Razer ID.
SteelSeries has a community game and giveaway section, where those with a SteelSeries account are given access to exclusive giveaways and game kits.
8. Using influencer groups increases the reach of a brand, but not necessarily online conversations due to struggles leveraging them effectively
Roccat and HyperX have their own influencer ambassadors that include popular gaming influencers and even some celebrities. While these influencers and celebrities can increase the reaches of Roccat and HyperX, both brands are struggling to leverage the partnerships effectively. The influencer groups are present on the Roccat and HyperX websites, but there are very few organic conversations driven by them.
The influencers use Roccat or HyperX products in their videos, but there is no mention of the brands other than in pop-up ads on Twitch or on live stream welcome or goodbye screens. These brands are spending a large amount of money on these influencers, but none seem to be genuine ambassadors that talk about the brands organically. However, Roccat influencers offer their followers a unique discount code to purchase Roccat products with.
9. Brands have developed affiliate programs, but they are not being used to their full potential
LogitechG and SteelSeries have developed their own affiliate programs that influencers can apply to be part of. The schemes are not advertised across social media but have their own section within the brands’ websites. Affiliate influencer marketing has been proven to be very effective in driving sales and website traffic, but there is little to no evidence of influencer affiliate activity online. Developing consistent influencer affiliate activity would help drive sales, website traffic and online conversations.
10. Twitch/YouTube are vital within gaming community to keep up relevance of brands or products
The majority of the gaming community is accessible through Twitch or YouTube live streams. Brands that are inactive or post inconsistently on Twitch or YouTube receive less brand and product mentions than the brands that do. For example, Roccat doesn’t stream on YouTube or Twitch and has the lowest mentions rate. HyperX hasn’t streamed since 2020 and has a low mention rate.
11. Consistent streaming drives conversations and sales
LogitechG receives a high spike in mentions every time they announce a new panel/stream speaker for a panel event. This shows the use of streaming and influencers can raise brand conversations online. Panel events discuss a topic while playing a trending game, for example Raft or Fortnite. These events engage members of the gaming community, but also increase the reach to those who are within external communities.
Our next #CreatorSpotlight stream kicks off tomorrow at 12pm PT with @NYMG_saffista! We’ll be taking a look at Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town with an Earth Day focus as we support Plastics Ocean International.
— Logitech G (@LogitechG) April 15, 2021
ROG uses Twitch to stream Esport events and announce new products, which results in high online conversations around the brand and specific products. In addition to this, ROG uses Twitch and YouTube to host a regular podcast discussing popular topics and trends within the gaming world.
Razer hosts a monthly Razerstore live from one of its global stores promoting a different theme or product every month. It also regularly promotes its Razer Gold competitions, creating a full community circle. In addition, Razer hosts its own esports tournaments for different global regions for specific games, for example, Fortnite.
SteelSeries uploads streams multiple times a week with a different topic every week, from product-specific to cultural events (international women’s day). It uses a mix of gamers and SteelSeries employees to host, which makes the brand exclusive, but relatable.
All brands are able to program ads to specific products in live streams, which drives traffic to the online websites or retailers.
12. All brands have advanced shopping capabilities, presenting customers with easy buying journeys and options
All brands analysed have their own shoppable websites or store sections. All have developed social commerce, directing customers back to the brand’s owned website store—through shoppable Instagram posts or programmed Twitch ads. Most brands have Amazon storefronts, some of which provide Amazon-specific deals and discounts.
13. Some brands have begun co-branding special or limited edition products with other brands and influencers
HyperX and LogitechG have created co-branded products. HyperX has released a limited edition gaming headphone set and sneaker with ANTA and HyperX ambassador Gordon Hayward. LogitechG has partnered with popular streamer Michael Grzesiek, better known as Shroud, to create a gaming set including keyboard, mouse, headphones and mousepad.
1. A consistent, social-first approach with integrated activities is key for success
In order to stay relevant to the gaming community, brands must be active and engaging on all socials. They should have a cohesive strategy that covers all social media platforms, utilises influencer marketing, sponsors esports teams and is relevant within specific games. Covering each base keeps them at the forefront of consumers’ minds, which could make them the top pick for gaming accessories.
Creating consistent and relevant content adds value to audiences. Providing a variety of content including gaming tips, memes and walk-throughs gives different content to an audience, keeping them more entertained and engaged. The social-first approach should be supported by social commerce capabilities to drive sales, traffic and ease the customer journey.
2. Brands should use forums, engaging content and customer reward schemes to nurture their communities
Using reward schemes not only incentivizes customers to repeat purchase from a brand, but also increases brand loyalty online. In offering exclusive rewards, customers are more likely to review and comment about products in hope of winning a prize. This generates more sales and user generated content. In addition to this, brands should support and engage their customers with forums and engaging content. Using member-only forums creates a space where customers can discuss their favourite brand, products or trends. Keeping these forums updated with upcoming and exclusive news on products keeps customers interested and engaged as they feel they are part of an exclusive community. Giving members early access to information or product releases will drive conversations and sales.
3. Affiliate marketing presents an opportunity for gaming brands, but it is not being leveraged to its full capability
Some gaming brands have developed their own affiliate programs but are not yet using them to their full capabilities, leaving a gap in the customer journey. The gaming community is incredibly responsive to influencer endorsements and a review with a direct link to purchase makes an easy customer journey. Affiliate codes are trackable, so brands would be able to tell which products are most popular, meaning they can push those products more. Affiliate codes can also be used across almost every platform, making them a quick and easy way to promote a product.
A way gaming brands can incorporate affiliate marketing easily is by using the streamer and esports teams associated with their brand. These teams can be leveraged for content curation and drive conversations and sales around a specific product or brand in general.
If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our influencer marketing blog here.
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