Esport Marketing: 11 Powerful Strategies in for Rapid Growth in 2023 (+Examples)

Esport marketing is a booming industry! You need innovative and powerful strategies to stay ahead of your competition and develop a successful Esport marketing campaign. 

North America has the second-largest Esports gaming market, with nearly 70% of Americans being gamers. By 2021 already, the Esports market reached over $300 million. 

So with all this interest in Esports marketing, the question begs: How do you engage users and provide a unique experience tailored to your audience?

We’ve researched the top 11 Esports marketing strategies that world-recognized Esports brands and companies have tried and tested.

We also have an Esports marketing case study to show you how to apply out-of-the-box solutions for typical challenges in this space. 

Ready to learn about the best Esport marketing strategy to engage your consumers, skyrocket your brand and multiply your revenue? Let’s get started! 

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    Esport Market in 2023 Overview

    Before you decide to choose an Esport marketing strategy for your business, you need to understand this market. Here are some key statistics for you to consider:

    1. The global Esport audience is forecasted to experience a year-on-year growth above 8.7%. (Newzoo)
    2. By 2027, the global Esports market is estimated to be worth over $3,574.9 million. (GlobeNewswire)
    3. Between 2020 and 2021, the Esports market increased by 50%. (Statista)
    4. China has the largest Esports and gaming community. (LEVVVEL)
    5. Most consumers in the Esport market are aged 16 and 24 years. (FinancesOnline)
    6. The top Esports game is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has generated over $15 million. (Esports Earnings)
    7. 80% of sponsorships in Esport marketing comes from gaming hardware and the peripherals industry. (LEVVVEL)
    8. As of 2021, 55% of Esport users were male, and 45% were female. Females in the Esport space increased by 45% over the following year. (Statista)
    9. The gaming market is currently the largest sector in entertainment, valued at more than $145 billion. (INTHEBLACK)
    10. League of Legends is the most streamed Esport game with over 348 million hours. (PlayToday.co)

    Source: Tommy Clark

    11 Powerful Esport Marketing Strategies & Examples

    1.Understand, Target and Segment the Right Buyer Personas

    You need to understand and target the right customers for Esport marketing. As we’ve shown you, this market is overflowing with opportunity. It’s vital to know your target buyer to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly. There are tons of various Esport games in the market, and not all consumers like the same games.

    To give you an idea, these are the category of games Esport consumers like:

    • FPS: First Person Shooter
    • Player vs. Player (PvP)
    • Real-Time Strategy (RTS)
    • Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)
    • Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG)

    Determine which category of games your target audience prefers and cater to them. Doing this will also help you network with Esport teams your audience is interested in. You’ll have an improved and well-rounded idea to captivate your audience. But there’s more to defining your target buyers for Esport marketing. Here’s a breakdown of the steps you need to take to define who your ideal gamers are:

    1. Understand what their gaming motivations are. Gaming motivations are broken down into six categories. This includes Social (competing against or working with other team players), Achievement (completing milestones and progressing), Action (pretty self-explanatory), Mastery (completing challenges and using strategy), Creativity (designing and discovering) and Immersion (fantasy and story-oriented gameplay). The best games fuse two or three motivations for an enthralling experience and to engage gamers who prefer different motivations.
    2. The kind of  gaming experience your players like. When talking about gaming experience, consider aspects like do you want players to feel challenged, excited, nervous scared or will they have to make tricky choices based on how they interact with the world. You need to tie your gaming person in with your motivations. For example, if you choose Action, Social and Mastery as your motivations, your gaming experience could be a group of players surviving in a world full of monsters and creatures, forcing them to work together to progress to the next level.
    3. Finally create your buyer personas. After the two stages above, you’ll have what you need to start putting your buyer personas on paper. Include their desired gaming motivations and experience and demographics, like age, location and active social channels. It’s ideal to have between two and three gaming personas.

    “In 2022, the global esports audience will grow +8.7% year on year to reach 532 million”

    Newzoo

    2.Source the Perfect Esport Marketing Influencers

    Esport marketing influencers are crucial if you want to gain brand awareness and traction. Consumers in the Esport marketing environment, like other marketing spaces, trust influencers. These influencers also have large followings of targeted users you can penetrate. 

    When looking for the perfect Esport marketing influencers consider these questions:

    • Are the influencers active on the same channels as my consumers?
    • Should I use micro or macro-influencers?
    • Do the influencers following consist of my ideal buyers?
    • Does the influencer have a lot of social credibilities?
    • Are these the people I can trust to be the face of my brand?

    It’s crucial to figure out those questions. As much as influencer marketing can help a business, it can also break one. Remember, if your influencer makes an insensitive or unethical statement while promoting your brand, this could stain your reputation. Consider the best gaming influencers and the top Twitch influencers for your brand. 

    But finding the best influencers for Esport marketing can be quite a hassle. Use the best influencer marketing research tools to help you, or use these top Esport marketing influencers as inspiration:

    Peter Dager (A.K.A PPD)

    Peter Dager is a popular Esport marketing influencer for Dota 2. He would be considered a micro influencer with over 160,000 Twitter followers and over 36,000 Instagram followers. However, these are impressive figures for an Esport influencer and understanding how Peter interacts with his audience will give you a clear idea of what to look for in an influencer.

    Matthew Piper (A.K.A FormaL) 

    Back in 2017, this Esport marketing influencer won the Call of Duty Championship and cashed out with over $220,000. On Instagram he has more than 76,000 followers and these gamers love Matthew because of he’s a master at strategy and action games.

    Salehi Takhasomi (A.K.A KuroKy)

    Pretty much everyone knows this Esport marketing influencer in the gaming community as he has over 250,000 Twitter followers. Plus, Salehi has generated more than $5.2 million in Esport gaming earnings. Like Peter Dagger, this influencer is a Dota 2 pro.

    3.Find and Optimize The Best Social Channels

    Although you may want to execute your Esport marketing strategy on various social channels, using only a few is better. Focusing on too many channels will prevent you from mastering your engagement and reach on the ones that matter. 

    To pick the best social channels for your Esport marketing efforts consider:

    • Which platforms your competitors aren’t active on.
    • Which platforms your consumers are active on.
    • Which platforms better support the type of Esport games your consumers enjoy.

    The best social channels for Esport marketing are:

    • Twitch
    • YouTube Gaming
    • Hitbox
    • Gosu Gamers
    Esport marketing stats
    Source: Walls.io

    Once you’ve chosen the social channels you want to build a following on, you need to consider optimization strategies. While you must personalize these strategies to your social channels and audience, here are a few general tips to follow:

    • Be consistent with your engagement efforts.
    • Interact with your audience and mention users that constantly share your brand and engage with you.
    • Run A/B or multivariate tests to determine which content works better for each platform.
    • Determine the best times to post and create a social media calendar to streamline and automate your strategy.
    • Stay ahead of trends on each platform to post relevant and timely content.
    • Interact with other accounts so you can build a professional network and possible partnership opportunities. 

    4.Start an Esports Team

    An Esports team is a group of gamers who share the same values, play the same games, and engage similar users. Esports teams typically stream when they play games together, and this helps all of them as they can access one another’s followings.

    You don’t need to be a huge brand to start an Esports team. And if you want to make it easier for yourself, you can approach an already established team. There are tons of Esports teams on Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and a few other channels. 

    Esports marketing teams
    Source: eCharts.com

    Once you find or create an Esports team, they’ll advertise your brand through paid sponsorships. If you want to source team members for your team, use social channels like Twitch Facebook and Reddit

    If you want to start an Esports team, these tips will help you.

    • Choose one game and master it.
    • Decide on the geographical location you want your team to represent. It’s best to start out with small towns as huge cities come with more completion.
    • Choose a unique team branding that helps you stand out.
    • Source and vet the best Esport team players for your team.
    • Create a team infrastructure that complements the strengths, weaknesses and abilities of your team members.

    Starting an Esports team does take work, but with the right approach, team members and branding, you can have a successful Esport team in no time.

    5.Consider Partnerships

    Esport partnerships are pivotal for new businesses. Partnerships allow you to reach a wider audience and gain credibility for your brand (if you choose the right partners). You can create partnerships with various entities in the Esports marketing space, including:

    • Esports influencers
    • Esports marketing agencies
    • Esports investors
    • Esport event organizers
    • Esport teams
    • Other professionals interested in the Esport marketing space

    There are two main types of Esport partnerships and these are:

    1. Endemic Partnerships: These partnerships with brands that sell products or services that are related too and complement Esport marketing.
    2. Non-endemic Partnerships: Being the exact opposite of endemic partnerships, non-endemic partnerships are when brands who aren’t remotely related to Esport marketing partner up with Esport marketing teams.

    Partnerships have played a significant role in how the Esport market blew up. Currently, Esport marketing sponsorships have brought in over $634 million for this sector. Mercedes Benz, Coca-Cola and T-Mobile are the biggest Esport marketing sponsorships in the world.

    6.Plan and Execute Team Events

    Digital events work to excite your audience. There are many Esport team events you can host like:

    • Podcasts: Podcasts are a great way to show a personal side of your Esports team to your audience. You can speak about trending topics, common challenges players have for specific games, or any fun topics you know your audience will enjoy.
    • Mini Tournaments: Everybody enjoys watching healthy competition, and that’s why mini-tournaments are common for Esports teams. To host a mini-tournament, choose a game that your audience loves watching your Esport team play, divide your team and have them compete against each other. To add more spice to the mix, brainstorm a super exciting reward for the winning team or member.
    • Team Meetings: Similar to podcasts, streaming your Esport teams’ meetings shows human elements to your brand. Your audience can get an inside scoop on your plans, what your members contribute and how they interact with each other when they’re not streaming games. 

    For any team events you choose, never forget to promote them on your social channels. How you promote your events relies on which event you want to launch. For example, you may announce your team meetings more often than create excitement around a mini-tournament or vice versa.

    If you want plan an Esport event for your team, these tips can help you:

    1. Create and immersive and interactive experience: You’re not planning traditional, in-person events, you’re planning an Esport marketing event! Use innovative, bold and immersive elements to bring your audience into your event. You want them to feel like they’ve stepped into a new world, a world tailored to them by your brand.
    2. Leverage influencer marketing: We’ve gone over the power of influencers, so I’m sure you can understand how influencers will help promote your event. Having large companies, and favored influencers spread the word of your event will help you engage much more people.
    3. Promote Community Engagement: Whether your event is to pit teams against each other or have them work together, make everyone feel a apart of something bigger. Who doesn’t love comradery!
    4. Maximize the Role of Technology: If you want to make all of the above possible, don’t shy away from technology. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality are what you should be using to make your Esport marketing event unique.

    7.Leverage Podcast Marketing

    We briefly explained this above, but podcast marketing can be valuable for Esports marketing, so it deserves more detail. Users in the Esport space aren’t only engaged by an influencer or Esport team’s streams, but they get attached to the people too. 

    Let’s take a gaming influencer like PewdiePie, for example. This influencer has maximized his following through sharing personal and professional growth with his audience. Users have seen PewdiePie rise up the ranks, creating an emotional connection between the influencer and his followers.

    Now consider this same concept for your brand and your consumers. If you keep your consumers informed about what you’re doing and want to do, they become invested in your brand. 

    Podcast marketing for Esports marketing
    Source: Nielsen.com

    8.Host Social Contests and Giveaways

    As we mentioned, everybody loves healthy competition, and who doesn’t like freebies? Social media contests are proven to create buzz and interest for your brands. Don’t overlook this for your Esport marketing efforts. 

    Create a fun social contest for your audience, and promote it well before the contest launch date. Ensure you choose a prize that’s easily accessible, convenient, and tailored to what your target audience will like.

    If you want to give away freebies, you can do this through your social content or separately. When brands do this separately, they often give freebies to influencers. If the influencer likes your product, they’ll mention it on their live stream or social channels. 

    When you host social contents or giveaways you need to:

    • Understand the rules of the social channel you use. Different social channels have different regulations for freebies and social contests. It’s vital to understand these rules to prevent breaking policies that could put your social account at risk.
    • Determine a fair method to choose the winner. It’s best to avoid picking your winners yourself unless your social contest calls for that. However, this is very rare. Get software to help you choose a winner based on your social contests’ guidelines and entry rules.
    • Always announce your winners. Imagine participating in a social contest only to not find out who won. That sounds like a scam doesn’t it! Be sure to have a huge announcement for your content winner to avoid seeming fraudulent.
    • Have a big rollout. In the days or weeks leading up to your social content, promote it everywhere. Have influencers talk about and use your social accounts to get people talking.
    • Mark the end of contest. Besides announcing the winner, you need to mark the end of your content. Doing this ensures people know they can’t enter and will grab the attention of those who didn’t know about it (they may look out for the next one!). Also, thank all the contributors and content entrants.

    9.Invest Video Marketing

    Video marketing will help your Esports marketing efforts as users in this space often enjoy immersive and interactive content. Think about it, your target audience is gamers, so they need content that engages them the same way their games do. Be experimental with your video marketing strategy and play around with virtual reality and augmented reality elements.

    Video marketing for Esport companies
    Source: WebsitePlanet.com

     

    10.Use Data and Analytics

    Data-driven approaches are the best approaches in any marketing strategy. Always ensure you track and measure the right data on your social channels. Making this effort will give you the following key information:

    • Are your users engaged in your posts?
    • What content is engaging your users the most?
    • When are your users most active?
    • When have you experienced the least amount of activity?
    • What are your conversion rates?
    • How many followers do you gain vs. lose over a specific time?

    Before looking at your data and analytics, set goals for yourself. You should check your data and analytics two weeks later to determine whether your goals were realistic or not. If not, modify what you want to achieve, so it’s SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound. 

    “The Global Esports Market size is expected to reach $3,574.9 million by 2027.”

    GlobeNewswire

    11.Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts

    Successful, accurate, consistent, and tailored content marketing is the mothership of all marketing strategies. Your content is pretty much the medium between your business and its followers. To refine your content marketing efforts use these tips:

    • Use quality over quantity. Your content should be relevant, impactful, and valuable to your audience.
    • Avoid inconsistency. Don’t post one day, and then one week later, and then two days later. Determine a schedule, measure it, modify it and stick to it.
    • Listen to what your audience has to say about your content. How your audience interacts and engages with your content will determine whether you’re on the right track or not. Always use the feedback you get from users because of this.
    • Share user-generated content. Creating content is one of the most challenging components of content marketing. Make this easier for yourself and share positive content created by your users.

    If you don’t know much about content marketing, you should 100% look for someone or people that do. Content marketing isn’t something you want to cheap out on because this determines how well you engage and understand your audience. 

    Summary: 11 Powerful Esport Marketing Strategies

    1. Understand, Target and Segment the Right Buyer Personas
    2. Source the Perfect Esport Marketing Influencers
    3. Find and Optimize The Best Social Channels
    4. Start an Esports Team
    5. Consider Partnerships
    6. Plan and Execute Team Events
    7. Leverage Podcast Marketing
    8. Host Social Contests and Giveaways
    9. Invest Video Marketing
    10. Use Data and Analytics
    11. Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts.

    The Top Esport Marketing Case Study to Learn From

    Riot Games 

    Riot Games is one of the top Esport marketing companies. This case study will reveal how this brand used an innovative approach to solve a common problem in this market. 

    The Challenge

    Riot Games hosted a global championship for League of Legends but lacked the correct Esports marketing strategy and infrastructure to keep up with the demand. Tons of fan sites started popping up and taking the limelight off Riot Games by delivering news and live streams that Riot couldn’t. Ultimately, this Esports marketing company had to turn the tables around and act as a hub for both news and live streaming for this championship. 

    The Solution 

    Riot Games decided to seek help from AMP Agency, a renowned Esport marketing agency. This agency created an Esports marketing strategy that went beyond driving engagement for championship tournaments. Instead, this strategy aimed to keep Esport marketing fans invested in Riot Games every day of the year. So, AMP agency developed a platform to support news, live streams, player and team information, and video-on-demand content. 

    The Results

    Thanks to AMP agency, Riot Games was able to keep League of Legends as one of the top multiplayer online games globally. These are the four key performances Riot Game benefited from:

    • Over 32 million viewers supported the League of Legends Championship
    • Between 2013 and 2015, League of Legends monthly users grew by 80%
    • Between 2014 and 2015, League of Legends monthly active users increased by 18 million

    Conclusion

    Esport marketing is growing rapidly, and your brand needs to use the best strategies and approaches to stand out from competing Esport marketing companies.

    While both men and women represent consumers in the Esport marketing agency, and there are thousands of influencers to help your brand, you need to understand your target audience first.By using the best Esport marketing strategies we’ve outlined for you, you can gain traction and engagement for your brand in no time. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do you promote Esports?

    The best strategies for Esport marketing include understanding and targeting the right audience, finding and optimizing the best social channels, and starting an Esports team. For more of the best strategies Esport marketing companies should use, and the top Esport marketing case study, read this article.

    Are Esports growing?

    Yes, the Esport market is growing. The year-over-year growth for Esport marketing is predicted to be over 8.7% and over one year, between 2020 and 2021, Esports increased by 50%. Read this article for more key statistics on how the Esport marketing is growing and the best strategies to make a mark in this space.

    What is the target market for Esports?

    Most gamers in the Esports market is between 16 and 24 years. Males make up 55% of the Esport market while women make up 45%. However, the presence of women is growing in the Esport marketing as female gamers increased by 45% in 2022. This article reveals how to leverage the top strategies for successful Esports marketing.

    References

    Global Sport Matters: In Esports, the U.S. Still Lags the Rest of the World. Why?

    Newzoo: Newzoo’s Global Esports & Live Streaming Market Report 2022 | Free Version

    GlobeNewswire: Global Esports Market to 2027 – Rising Number of Esports Events With Huge Prize Pools is Driving Growth

    Statista: eSports market revenue worldwide from 2019 to 2024 and Distribution of video gamers in the United States from 2006 to 2021, by gender

    LEVVVEL: Esports statistics for 2022: an in-depth look at the industry

    FinancesOnline: 75 Significant Esports Statistics: 2022 Market, Viewership & Investment Growth

    Esports Earnings: Overall Esports Stats For 2020

    INTHEBLACK: Surprising stats behind the meteoric rise of the esports economy

    PlayToday: The World of eSports: Wild eSports Statistics (Infographic)