Connecting with Game Enthusiasts for #E32016 and Beyond

By ‎@EvelinaAchilli‎

With #E32016 right around the corner, now is the time for gaming industry marketers to level up and make important connections with gaming enthusiasts. Gaming enthusiasts are a valuable market segment, especially when you consider there were nearly 84 million gaming Tweets in 2015, averaging 230K every day¹. In fact, gaming’s popularity is anything but a game as 65% of Twitter users say they play video games² and 55% of those users say they regularly play console games.

It’s no wonder, then, that the conversation spiked significantly during E3 2015 to an average of 740K Tweets per day.

This popularity translates to purchasing power in that 85% of Twitter gamers spend money on video games vs just 76% of non-Twitter gamers³. In addition, Twitter gamers are 1.25X as likely to spend over $100 on video games per year than non-Twitter gamers:

Connecting with Game Enthusiasts for #E32016 and Beyond

This group is also 1.2X as likely to buy video games for consoles:

Connecting with Game Enthusiasts for #E32016 and Beyond

Gaming audiences like to stay up to date on all the latest equipment as well. A whopping 78% of them researched a game or console as a result of following a gaming handle⁴. Of these followers, 81% own a console and 53% bought one in the past 12 months. Nearly 40% of them intend to buy a gaming console in the next year.

How can you take advantage of that behavior to reach gamers at their moment of highest engagement? And, how does all this passion for gaming translate to action leading up to #E32016? Our 2015 study of eight key game titles uncovered a distinct pattern around the conversations, the majority of which E3 drove⁵.

Follow these best practices to connect with gamers on Twitter:

Build anticipation prior to trailer drops.
There is a major spike in game title conversations on the day of announcements/trailer drops which generally happen together and around E3. Conversation during the day of trailer drop parallels that of the ultimate game release—and is nearly as big in scale.

Connecting with Game Enthusiasts for #E32016 and Beyond

Use these moments of connection and receptivity to make a splash with creative ways to announce and preview your games. Some ideas include:

  1. Use Native Video to publish trailers and gameplay demos, as it gets 2.8X as many retweets than external links⁶
  2. Use Snappy TV to create and share content in real time including game play highlights, scratch reels, GIFs & Vines
  3. Use Periscope to live-stream the action from the show floor (it elicits a 27% more emotional response vs online norms⁷).
  4. Take advantage of Periscope features like “Save to Gallery,” which lets you save your video for longer than 24 hours or Sketch, an easy way to draw directly onto live video in real time to highlight specific elements in your feed. You can even broadcast live with a drone.

Tap into and drive the conversation between trailer drops and game releases.
While advertisers spend most around game release, the months after the trailer drop present the biggest opportunity. On average, 30% of annual game conversation occurs during the months between trailer drop and game release, but advertisers allocated only 16% of annual spend to those months. Ride this wave of anticipation and excitement by planning your content strategy accordingly.⁵

Use a conversational tone.
By talking to gamers in the way they talk amongst themselves, you’ll boost brand credibility and make it more likely for them to want to engage with you.

Leverage game play for your content.
Game play makes for highly engaging content and because you’ve already produced the assets needed to generate the content, they’re readily available. Our study found that of those with a heavy interest in gaming:

  1. 53% interact with trailers/videos of game play
  2. 51% interact with tweets featuring screenshots of game play
  3. 44% interact with bonus content, e.g., behind the scenes, exclusive game play²

Amplify your TV campaign with Twitter
A Promoted Tweet campaign makes a strong complement to your TV campaign because:

  • 2 in 3 gamers are on Twitter while watching TV⁴
  • 75% have searched for a brand/product seen on a TV ad⁴

Activate your gaming brand on Twitter to reach your core audience. And there’s no better time to do it than during the live #E32016 event, when your target audience is at their most engaged, pursuing their passion, and looking for new aspects of gaming to discover.

Looking for more insights into effective Twitter marketing practices to accomplish your brand objectives? Check out the Insights pages on marketing.twitter.com.

This post was co-authored by Gleana Albritton (@MsGlea)

¹Crimson Hexagon conversation volume trend 1/1/15 - 12/31/15
²Twitter Insights Survey, January 2016
³Twitter Insights Survey, January 2016; Non Twitter Users: Decipher, March 2016
⁴Nielsen Twitter Deep Dive 2015, USA, survey of Video Game Handle Followers
⁵Twitter analysis of conversational data pulled by Converseon, December 2015
⁶Twitter Internal, 2015
⁷Twitter Live Video Research, Neuro Insight, 2015