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3 tips for Marketing to Gamers on National Video Games Day

Every other generation there seems to be a new art form that rises to prominence and respect or is at least trying to. In the fifties through the seventies, it was comic books after they forwent the Comics Code Authority. Through the twenties and forties, it was the film Citizen Kane and others like it that proved the artistic worth of film. On National Video Games Day, we celebrate that art form to now be video games. The best thing about this medium is that they’re more popular, more successful, and have more marketing potential than the mediums that came before. Gamer text marketing capitalizes on an art form and a group of enthusiasts. often ignored.

Just how massive is the video games industry?

The video game industry rose to a $134.9 billion market value in 2018, as reported by GamesIndustry Biz. That’s money made across games sales, game console sales, subscription services, PC storefronts, digital content, and of course, mobile games. This industry has marketing opportunities for everyone, whether it’s to increase profits or avoid the loss of some. Gamer text marketing is not something anyone should skimp out on.

The hype is real for this fanbase!

Remember in the old days when parents might wait outside toy stores to get a present just before Christmas? They would stand in the freezing cold at the chance to get the toy their kids had been asking for all year. In the digital age of Amazon and the death of toy stores like Toys R Us, this doesn’t happen anymore. But in the industry of gaming, it happens all the time.

The gaming community and video game marketing are built around hyping their customers up for months, sometimes years before release. People will wait on physical lines and digital ones to secure their pre-order of a game or gaming console.

Marketing tip #1: Feed the gamers.

When the day comes for the game to come and the hype is at a fever pitch, do you know what gamers don’t want to do? Make dinner. What do they want to do? Play their video games, but they still have to eat.

A gamer eating pizza after a successful attempt of gamer text marketing by a pizzaria.
Gamers got to eat.

It’s a calculated and criminal mistake for any fast food restaurant, pizza delivery chain, and any others in the food industry to not market themselves the week a Call of Duty game comes out. When people spend their whole week waiting for that one game, you should be telling them to stop by your restaurant to pick up dinner. After gamers have locked themselves into their rooms to finish Grand Theft Auto, they should be ordering a pizza from you instead of cooking. 

The release of a big game is a momentous event for gamers. Sending a text about a discount on fast and easy food takes full advantage of the occasion. When known franchises like Madden and Battlefield are coming out for a midnight release, you should be sending out texts. And don’t stop, continue your gamer text marketing into the weekend when most people have the time to play. A big game release should be better than a holiday for your fast food restaurant because they last far longer than one day.

Marketing tip #2: Clothe the gamers.

Like comic books, video game merchandise is huge, and few merchandise items are bigger than clothes. Gamers are always looking to dress in the logos and designs of video game franchises and characters. They love it so much, there’s a sub-community of people who make props and realistic costumes to look like video game characters.

Outside of stocking up on licensed stuff for your clothing store, you can advertise outfits that let people dress as their favorite heroes and villains. You can market and capitalize on gamers’ power fantasies directly. And at a glance, it may seem impossible with video game characters not exactly dressing like normal people. Except that’s wrong.

This is Playstation mascot Nathan Drake, and his easy to copy wardrobe is an excellent start for gamer text marketing.

Sure, there are famous video game characters like Mario & Sonic, who no one would or could dress up as outside of a costume party.  But what about Playstation mascot Nathan Drake? He wears a shirt and khakis.

Mortal Kombat mascot Johnny Cage wears a three-piece suit. Another Mortal Kombat alum, Sonya Blade, dresses in a blue leather jacket and cargo pants. They don’t wear costumes.

Lara Croft is an example of a character who clothing stores can copy if they were to use gamer text marketing.
Can’t raid tombs with a cold

Video game icon Lara Croft? Now she wears a tank top and cargo pants in the warm climate, and a normal winter coat in the cold. You likely already have the ability to put Lara Croft’s outfit on a mannequin from the stock you have. 

With so many video game characters dressing like normal people nowadays, you can put normal clothes on a mannequin and gamers will recognize it. You won’t have to mention a character’s name or franchise, gamers will recognize the outfits you send their way. With social profiling on the Mobiniti application, you should know who among your subscribers are gamers. You should be marketing to them.

Marketing tip #3: Avoid being ignored by marketing to gamers during competing big release days.

New video games come out every week, but only a few garner the attention of millions. The few that garner attention can do so for months after release. Those same games can garner money from added transactions attached to nearly every game nowadays. That’s attention and money they’re taking away from your business for an extended period of time. Despite that, games rarely garner more money and attention than on the day of their release.

Gamers’ excitement is at a fever pitch and you can take advantage of that. The best thing about anticipation is also the worst thing, its waiting. Advertise to them as a way to waste their time as they wait for the big release coming up. Get as many sales as you can before you risk losing them.

Make no mistake, if other entertainment mediums like movies suffer around the release of video games, your business will too. October is a big month for movies. It’s a bit less so now that the biggest video games are choosing to launch in late October too.  

An example of a game that made a lot of money and drew a lot of attention from the movies that came out that weekend.
Deadly in-game and in money gross.

On October 27th, 2017, three video games came out, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Super Mario Odyssey, and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus. That same weekend, blockbusters like Blade Runner 2049, Geostorm, Jigsaw and more all underperformed. Two of the three games saw record-breaking sales for their franchises. 

Blade Runner 2049 and Jigsaw were highly-anticipated sequels which were expected to be big successes as they went after different audiences, yet they still failed. To say that the video game releases on that day solely caused these films’ decline would be silly. But to ignore the fact that people only have so much money and time is even more silly.

Remember, the average video game is $59.99 before taxes. The average movie ticket is $9.01 before taxes, both in the U.S. Your business’s entertainment is likely to be similarly priced to movies. This makes you feel competitive against a large chunk of change like $60.  You’re likely not.

An average video game costs less per hour of entertainment than most mediums. Assassin’s Creed: Origins was entertaining with new content long after Blade Runner 2049’s theater run ended. 

No Text Should go to Waste

Gamer text marketing is about supplementing and supporting a group of enthusiasts’ biggest hobby. Supplementing isn’t competing, sending text messages to gamers when a new Call of Duty is out wastes your text messages. Mobiniti wants to make sure all of your text messages count. Sign up for Mobiniti now – no credit card required, no commitment, no start-up fees, get 100 free SMS messages to try, and start texting NOW!

Christopher Knighton joined the marketing industry in 2019 through an internship with Mobiniti. He brought his experience as an author of over half a dozen novels available on Amazon to work as a Marketing Specialist for the company. He writes marketing content for our numerous accounts, posts, and endeavors. He currently lives in Scranton, PA, and has a strong passion for writing and consuming content, on the page and on the screen.

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