Every successful business relies on reviews.
In the past, it was word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or family.
If you wanted to go to the movies on the weekend, you’d pick up the local newspaper and read what film critics had to say.
In today’s digital world, it’s online reviews that people turn to when needing advice on purchasing decisions. By focusing your marketing efforts on acquiring more of the right reviews, you can grow your business without funneling more money toward expenses like paid ads.
The big question is, how do you improve your online reviews or even get people to leave reviews that lead to more sales in the first place?
Below, you’ll find everything you need to whip your online reputation into shape, from which review platforms to focus on to how to ask for reviews that’ll actually make a difference to your bottom line.
Online reviews play a crucial part in the success of your business. Eight-seven percent of consumers read online reviews to decide what to buy, where to stay, and which restaurant to visit.
If you’re neglecting your reviews, you’re operating with a major hindrance.
You need to aim for reviews on the review sites that are going to convert. These sites should be well-known and make it easy to leave reviews.
So, where do the most influential reviews occur?
In most cases, the big four are Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Yelp.
As you can see, these sites have a combined average of just shy of 370 million visitors each month.
They’re also suitable for any business (except for Amazon), which makes them one of the digital lifelines of many local businesses.
If you’ve ever searched something like:
“Restaurants in New York” or “hairdressers near me,” you’ve seen this pop up in the results.
Google uses distance and location ranking to deliver optimized search results. It helps users find the best and nearest solution and shows rankings and reviews to help make a decision.
In other words, getting your business’s website optimized for local search is one of the best ways to get more customers without any aggressive marketing campaigns.
How do you get onto Google My Business?
You need to create and verify your Business profile. Once it’s set up, you can control how your business shows up in search, including contact details, opening hours, etc. You’ll start appearing in Google’s listings for your business category.
Next, you want to work on getting reviews. The more 5-star reviews you have, the higher your business will appear on the Google My Business search results.
Bonus: I have an in-depth guide on further optimizing your Google My Business to increase your sales (including how to avoid the No. 1 mistake businesses make).
Amazon was one of the first online retailers to allow reviews. Starting in 1995, it’s become one of the most important places for consumers to validate a purchasing decision.
Imagine you wanted to buy a smartphone tripod, and there are two brands on Amazon. One has multiple one-star ratings, while the other has an average of 4-stars.
Which one would you pick?
You’d most likely pick the latter because you feel more secure in the value of the product.
You’re not alone.
A study from Bazaarvoice found 39 percent of U.S. shoppers relied on reviews the most when online shopping to make an informed decision faster.
If you sell products on Amazon, you need to focus on getting reviews. Not only will it help consumers trust your brand, but it will boost your search results rankings with Amazon’s A9 algorithm. The higher you appear on search, the more visibility you have, and the more sales you’ll make.
Failing to be on Yelp means you won’t be successful, especially if you’re a locally-based business.
If you want proof of Yelp’s success with local businesses, look no further than the laundry list of Case Studies on their website.
Yelp does require a little more of a hands-on approach than Facebook, though.
That’s because it weighs some reviews above others. Yelp is unique as it always tries to display the reviews that it deems “most helpful.”
While you may disagree that a one or two-star review could be helpful, Yelp has a fair process in place.
How does this work for you?
The simple answer is you need to get as many high-quality reviews as possible. Doing so will bring all of those well-reviewed benefits we discussed earlier.
While you can’t directly ask for reviews on Yelp, as that breaks their terms of service agreement, you can ask people to “check you out on Yelp.” Any format of that works just so long as you don’t ask for a review.
Your best bet for positioning on Yelp is actually just personal pushing.
Set up your Yelp profile, claim your business, and display the sticker they send you in a prominent location.
Then, when you’re interacting with customers and receive positive feedback, direct them toward Yelp.
You can even include the Yelp badge on your website or email signature. It will encourage new visitors to check out your reviews and possibly even remind them to review you themselves.
Facebook is another platform that works for almost every type of business.
Whether you’re offering a service or a physical product, you can leverage the power of Facebook Reviews.
To get more reviews, all you need to do is set up a Review Tab on your business page, make sure it’s easy to find, and you’re good to go.
Here’s how to do it:
Go to your Page’s Settings tab, scroll down to the Edit Page section to where it says “Reviews,” and turn them on.
Not all Facebook’s Pages display reviews, so you’ll need to look at your Template options.
Just above where you turned on your reviews, you’ll see an option to select your Template.
Look through the options to find one that suits the type of business you have. Or, just opt to go with the default “Business” version.
When you’ve picked a template, scroll down to make sure reviews are supported.
You’re now set up to receive and display reviews on Facebook.
Now that you’re everywhere you need to be to get reviews, let’s look at a few techniques you can start implementing to win high-quality social proof quickly.
People love free stuff. Getting something for virtually nothing feels like a reward. You can tap into this emotion by incentivizing your audience to leave you a review.
Offer a discount code on a future purchase, Amazon gift card, or cold, hard cash. Not only will it boost your brand’s positive reviews, but it inspires customer loyalty.
You want to stay on top of your online reviews. It will help you find your raving fans and disgruntled customers before things escalate and damage your reputation.
You can manually monitor your reviews or invest in software like Podium or Birdeye.
Both platforms monitor conversations around your brand and send you instant, daily, or weekly email updates about what your customers are saying about you.
Businesses screw up. It happens to everyone, but how you handle it will define your brand.
Don’t ignore bad online reviews. Respond as quickly as possible and focus on solving the problem.
Approach each case Disney’s H.E.A.R.D. Technique:
By using the H.E.A.R.D. approach, you can potentially save the relationship and prevent losing the customer for good.
With the cost of acquiring a new customer seven times more than retaining one, it’s in your best interest financially to address negative reviews as quickly as possible.
You don’t need every single customer reviewing your product or service.
You want your top fans. The people who love your products have had incredible results with your business and are getting real value from your service. These customers write powerful reviews that can sway someone on the fence to sign up for your latest offer.
Here’s how to identify the right customers for reviews:
Don’t let your best reviews collect dust in your inbox or on Yelp. Put them to work!
You can use reviews as testimonials and add them to your:
You can go one step further and highlight reviews by sharing them on your:
For stellar reviews, you can turn a customer’s success into an in-depth case study. Case studies are valuable pieces of content that can help your sales team sell your offering and demonstrate to clients how your service or product can change their lives.
One of the biggest faux pas you can make is asking for an online review at the wrong time.
For example, if you ask customers weeks or months after their last interaction with you, you’ll get a lackluster response (if you get one at all).
The reason? The client has to dig up memories long after it’s happened.
Your best reviews come from clients when the experience is fresh in their minds. It will make it easy for them to write a review and recall all the details of what made the experience special.
Here’s when it’s usually a good time to ask for a review:
The best and most popular review sites are Google My Business, Amazon, Facebook, and Yelp. However, you should investigate review sites within your niche. E.g., authors should focus on GoodReads for book reviews, and companies should look at Glassdoor for employee reviews.
Online reviews are critical because it impacts your company’s reputation and bottom line. It’s also a Google ranking factor, meaning reviews can boost your business up the search engine results and increase site traffic.
If you have too many bad reviews, it can influence people not to buy your products and services. Similarly, good reviews foster trust, help consumers feel confident in their purchasing decisions, and increase sales.
According to a BrightLocal study, 87 percent of consumers read online reviews.
Online reviews are a vital method of winning new business in every industry. They’re seen by almost everyone and play heavily into your success both offline and online.
Successful reviews may not happen overnight. Think of it like any other process in your business. It takes work, but it sure feels good when you finally get there and start seeing the customers roll in from it.
What hacks do you use to get positive online reviews for your business?
If you’ve been looking to score the top spot or even the first page on Google, here’s one secret to improving your position: have a great content strategy.
Your content strategy should focus on producing quality content, engaging with your audience, and measuring your successes and failures. Don’t simply churn out content for content’s sake.
Let’s go over what a good content strategy contains and how to create one.
Great content is created for a specific purpose, and this purpose needs to be clearly defined. Ask yourself if you are creating content to boost brand awareness, generate leads, convert users, attract past customers, improve search ranking results, or something else altogether.
Once you have clearly defined your goals, you can determine if a content strategy is actually the best way to achieve them.
Don’t assume that content is the best option in every situation.
For instance, content might be of little use in converting users at the bottom of the sales funnel; however, it could be invaluable in bringing users onto your site in the first place, by boosting brand awareness and organic lead generation.
Different segments of the sales funnel warrant different types of content. So, you will need to decide what content is most appropriate for a person to receive at a given time. That way, you will have the right conversation with the right person at the right time.
HubSpot provides some useful information on the types of content that are needed in different parts of the sales funnel. The company divides the sales funnel into three key areas, and then lists the appropriate content asset types for each in the graphic below:
Your content strategy will only be effective once you know who your target audience is.
Valuable information can be gleaned by checking what types of sites your prospects are already visiting, which content they engage with, and which social media platforms they share content on.
This can be done by enabling Google Demographics and Interests for the types of sites prospects engage with and Google Analytics for the content they engage with, as well as by calculating which social media platforms your users will be on from their demographics.
Understanding what content works best and where can also be useful in the long run. Facebook has made it increasingly difficult for small business owners to increase their reach without paid adverts. However, video content seems to thrive on the platform, with video content “generating 1200% more shares than text and image-based content combined.”
Understanding your audience, and how they act will help you narrow down your content strategy, without feeling like you need to have eggs in hundreds of baskets. Content creation on social media works well for B2C businesses, but not so much for B2B businesses.
It’s a sad fact that the Internet is full of content that shouldn’t even exist. A lot of content is either plagiarized from elsewhere, is simply reposted or doesn’t provide any real value. Most people don’t see 99 percent of this useless content because it doesn’t appear anywhere near the top of SERPs.
To avoid having your content lost in that pack, create content that: stands out, is unique, has a distinct voice, and, most importantly, offers genuine value to readers.
The more specific you are and the more you focus on your niche, the greater your chances of establishing yourself as an authority in your field, whether your readers are looking for information or entertainment.
Measuring the results of your content marketing efforts is one of the most important aspects of developing an effective content strategy. Churning out content without analyzing your user feedback is akin to having a phone conversation on mute. You need to know what your audience liked as well as what they didn’t like, and why.
Here are some of the most important metrics to understand:
This is the first layer of information you can gather when people view your content. As previously mentioned, and as shown in the screenshot below, you get this data from Google Analytics by clicking on Behavior > Site Content > Content Drilldown. You can sort by different factors such as:
With this data, you can find answers to questions like these:
Did you craft a blog post that brought on a huge spike in traffic? Did your users spend more time on a particular piece or genre of content? Did a piece of content garner a large number of comments or shares on social media?
Sharing on platforms like social media can be a great metric for judging how engaged your audience is. Ask yourself what types of content are being shared, who is sharing, which platforms are being used, and, most important, what content is converting. Below are the steps for how to find what content is converting:
Then you will have a report similar to the one below (assuming you have goals set up):
Here, you have three important metrics:
Conversions: This shows you the total number and amount of conversions. They are from every traffic source, not only social.
Contributed Social Conversions: In order for an assisted social conversion to register, a visitor must have visited the social media site once, though they may have used another traffic source before the last part of the conversion.
Last Interaction Social Conversions: Visitors are attributed to this group if they came from social media and completed the assigned goal in the same session.
Once you have this data, it will yield insights into the style of content that needs to be created in order to get conversions. Also, you will be able to decipher which social media platforms are working best. (Take into account that some niches encourage sharing more than others, so compare your performance with those of competitors with a similar user base.)
If your content is part of a sales funnel, ask yourself which part of the sales funnel you are creating the content for. Content needs to be tailored to the specific audience at each segment of a sales funnel.
Your content could be either attracting or leaking leads, so monitor its performance and identify areas that could be improved to stop users from dropping out of the sales funnel and areas that could generate new leads. The quickest and easiest way to track leads is to use goals in Google Analytics.
The easiest type of goal to set up is a URL destination goal. Here are the steps:
3. Click the “Set up goals” button.
4. Click the “+NEW GOAL” button.
5. Select “Template” (shown in step 7 below).
6. Type in a description for your goal (shown in step 7 below).
7. Select “Destination”, and click the “Continue” button.
8. In goal details, you need to add the URL of the goal you want to track. The whole URL is not needed, just the final path. For example, to track www.example.com/thankyou.html, input only /thankyou.html.Here, you will have two optional details:
Value: It is possible to assign a value to the goal. For example, if you are selling a product for a specific price, you can add it here.
Funnel: It is also possible to track a specific part of the sales funnel by adding it to the goal.
9. Click save and that’s it: you’ve set up a goal.
10. To view goals once they are set up click Conversions>Goals>Goal URLs
You should see something like this:
For most businesses, content generation ultimately should boost revenue. Therefore, if your content strategy is revenue-based, you will need to find ways to measure the amount of revenue your content marketing has generated.
Below are the steps for how to find the amount of revenue your content has generated:
You should have something similar to this:
This will allow you to assign a value to a piece of content. If the content isn’t performing as needed, then check out this article on how to increase engagement with content.
To summarise, here is a picture that visually represents the four content marketing strategy metrics outlined above:
While data analysis can be an immensely useful tool, it gives you only black and white figures on a spectrum that encompasses a lot of subtleties. Access the rest of that spectrum by really listening to your customers. Your customers need to know they are being heard on social media, so ask them for feedback and suggestions and engage with them regularly.
Also, speak to other members of your staff to get a better understanding of the needs of your customers. Sales teams and help staff who are speaking to your customers on a regular basis are better positioned to have thoughtful insight on how customers perceive your business. Then, reaching out to your customers and responding to their feedback enables you to gather valuable data, whilst also showing them that their opinion matters.
Virgin provided an excellent case study by showing how they utilized big data. They incorporated search terms used on the web, people being followed on social media platforms, and views and interests expressed online.
Using the data below, they dug deep and incorporated it into their communications, successfully giving audiences the right message at the appropriate parts of the customer journey. Find out more here.
Here is a flowchart of the results:
A sound content strategy and targeted content creation make up only the first part of the equation. The final part is amplification of the content.
To amplify your content, determine the places your audience are frequenting online, and then publish on those channels to reach them.
Ultimately, you’ll need to think strategically in order to identify all the resources available to you and truly harness the power of employees, customers, and influencers that can help you amplify your content.
Content strategy involves content ideation, content development and publication, editorial calendar planning, process and system creation and oversight, writing, editing, on-page SEO, and a host of other activities related to content management.
A content strategy framework is an outline of how you plan to create content. A framework might include your audience, keywords you will target, how often and when you will publish content, and who will create the content.
If you want to rank high in Google, you need quality content. You also need good content so when people visit your website, they want to convert. Sloppy or visually unappealing content may turn off your potential customers.
The first step to creating a content strategy should be to define your goals. From there, you can make decisions about what your processes should look like, who your target audience is, what your publishing schedule should be, etc.
As you can see, creating a great content strategy isn’t rocket science, but it can be quite challenging to implement.
Expect to encounter roadblocks and go through lots of trial and error. Once you have a recipe for success, though, all you’ll have to do is rinse and repeat to see the kind of audience growth you’ve always dreamed of.
Using our step-by-step guide will push you in the right direction to creating a great content strategy, whilst also making sure you are paying attention to key metrics that can make or break the success of your content. Remember: starting your content strategy on the wrong foot is guaranteed to waste your time, and publishing your content on the wrong platforms for your audience means you won’t generate the leads you desire.
There’s a lot of planning behind content strategies that means you can’t just write great content and call it a day.
Does your team have a content strategy in place? If so, how thorough is it?
People tend to connect with news sources they trust. As an author, you could be that news source.
However, building a large following is not easy in a world where so many voices are clamoring for attention. That’s why you need to leverage all resources available for you to stand out from the crowd.
One way is to claim your Google News author knowledge panel.
Google News author knowledge panels are information boxes Google displays at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) when a user searches for an entity. An entity can be a person, business, organization, or event.
Information that appears in your author knowledge panel is pulled from Google’s Knowledge Graph.
This is Google’s data bank, which features a system designed to understand facts about entities on the web and how they relate to each other. Knowledge Graph gets information from several different sources across the web, including (among others), reputable websites, Google My Business (GMB) profiles, Wikipedia, and social media.
Whenever source information changes, Google also automatically updates the author knowledge panel. To display the knowledge panel, search engines:
A knowledge panel features content such as:
Giving users a quick glimpse of who you are and what you do is essential in helping you build a solid online presence.
Verifying your author panel account is one way that can help you reach your marketing goals. Here are a few reasons why you should invest time and effort in verifying it:
One of the most significant reasons you should invest time and effort in verifying and managing your author knowledge panel account is that it helps boost SEO. When people search for a query related to you or your brand, the first thing they’ll see on the SERPs is a knowledge graph featuring information about you and your business. Of course, increased search visibility results in increased traffic to your site and, ultimately, an uptick in revenue.
Another reason to verify your author panel is that it’s a great way to increase brand visibility. Because knowledge panels occupy a significant portion of SERP real estate, they offer unmatched brand visibility. Knowledge panels display all kinds of media, giving you incredible branding opportunities. From your name to your social media handles to key website pages, you have an opportunity to present searchers with all branding assets in one place.
Reviews play a crucial role in establishing your online currency. Unfortunately, not everyone will leave positive reviews about your brand or products. Negative reviews can tarnish your image. This is where an author knowledge panel comes to the rescue. Since it appears right at the top of SERPs, it helps establish trust with users, helping you with your reputation management.
Search engines are all about providing users with the best possible user experience (UX). Verifying your author knowledge panel helps do this. Fortunately, you also get to benefit from the positive UX as it helps drive traffic to your website.
Now that you know what an author knowledge panel is and the many advantages of verifying yours, you need to know how to verify it. Claiming your knowledge graph is critical as it gives you more control of the information displayed in your panel. Let’s dive into how you can authorize yours.
To verify your author knowledge panel, you first need to create a Google account if you don’t have one. To do this:
A Google account is one of the ways Google uses to verify your identity and your association with the entity whose knowledge panel you want to manage.
The next step in claiming your author knowledge panel is to search for the entity whose knowledge panel you want to claim. This could be yours as an individual or an organization’s knowledge panel.
The knowledge panel will appear at the top of the SERPs.
Once a knowledge panel featuring you or your organization is displayed, scroll down to the bottom of the panel. If no one has claimed that particular knowledge panel, you’ll find a “Claim this knowledge panel” button.
This will take you to a window where you will be asked to verify your author knowledge panel.
Clicking “Get Verified” will take you to a page where you’re asked to verify your identity using one of your social media profiles.
After successfully signing in, you can now start managing your author knowledge panel.
What happens when you search for your entity, and you don’t appear in a knowledge panel?
This usually happens when there isn’t enough factual information on the internet for Google to verify and add to its Knowledge Graph. As a result, it can’t generate an author knowledge panel.
You now might be wondering, “How do you build enough critical mass in Google’s Knowledge Graph for Google to recognize your entity?”
Wikipedia is one of the trusted sources Google turns to when gathering information for its Knowledge Graph. One reason for this is the strict guidelines Wikipedia has put in place to ensure all pages published on the platform are accurate and contain no bias. Therefore, being featured on the platform hooks you up to one of the most reliable sources of information on the internet.
One of the best ways to be featured is to build Wikipedia backlinks. The easiest way to do this is by looking for and fixing broken links on Wikipedia. Use a tool like WikiGrabber to find pages that have broken links or need a reference.
Another way is to reach out to an independent Wikipedia editor to create a page for you or mention you on other pages.
Granted, getting featured on Wikipedia can be quite an uphill task. If you want an easier route, you can consider Wikidata. This is a data bank that feeds structured data to Wikimedia projects. Since Google shut down Freebase, their open-source repository that powered the Knowledge Graph, it also relies on data from Wikidata.
Knowledge Graph also pulls information from websites. To leverage your website for building the necessary critical mass you’ll need, you must:
Investing in an optimized website and well-structured content is an essential step to getting information about yourself pulled into the Knowledge Graph.
Another way to build up enough critical mass to give search engines enough factual knowledge about you is to get featured in reputable publications. A few effective ways to do this is by:
The more you appear on the web, particularly on reputable and relevant sites, the higher your chances of appearing in a knowledge panel.
Social media has become more than just a way to keep in touch with family and friends. It has become one of the ways you can prove your identity online. That’s why optimizing your social media profiles and being active is a great way to increase your Knowledge Graph.
Creating content that your audience will interact with and share will help boost your online presence, powering your Knowledge Graph.
Getting into the Knowledge Graph is essential to the generation of your author knowledge panel. Do everything you can to ensure you give search engines enough factual data about yourself.
Doing so will ensure that you are recognized as an entity worthy of a knowledge panel. Also, make sure to keep “feeding” the Knowledge Graph with updated information. This is essential in ensuring your knowledge panel is populated with the latest data on you.
Before we wrap up this post, let’s briefly answer some of your burning questions concerning author knowledge panels.
While you can’t create an author knowledge panel for yourself, you can get one by being recognized as an entity by Google. You do this by increasing your Knowledge Graph on Google.
To find your knowledge panel, search for yourself on Google. A knowledge panel featuring all kinds of media and information on you will be generated.
Managing your knowledge panel involves you claiming and verifying your knowledge panel. Doing this grants you access and the right to manage your knowledge panel.
Once you have claimed your knowledge panel, you can edit the information it displays by clicking on the “Suggest edits” link. Note, however, that you can only do this when you’re logged into your Google account.
The author knowledge panel is a great feature that makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for on the internet. If you can harness its power, it’s also a great way to power your marketing strategy. From driving traffic to your website to brand awareness, claiming your author knowledge panel is a great business move you can’t ignore.
Remember, keep creating content on various reputable platforms to provide Google’s Knowledge Graph with current information to display in your author knowledge panel.
What has your experience with claiming your author knowledge panel been like?
Twenty years ago, I had no idea we would be talking about eSports marketing. eSports was somewhat of an underground industry coveted by the most loyal fans. Today, eSports is a booming industry ripe for the taking by smart but strategic business owners who understand their audience.
eSports is the projected 1,790 million dollar industry taking hold of Millenials. It’s competitive gaming where groups assemble teams and play against each other as they would in any other sport. They hold tournaments, and many professional gamers have large followings on gaming platforms like Twitch.
Until recently, only brands like Red Bull and others associated with gaming were able to get in on eSports marketing. Things have quickly changed. Now, you have businesses from all niches, including Mercedes and Coca-Cola, wanting to get in on the action. Is it the right fit for your business? It might be.
Why would a B2C business want to choose eSports marketing over another strategy? First, marketing in eSports allows you to reach a dedicated and engaged audience. The people who follow eSports are invested in it; they interact with professionals from the industry, and they take the sport seriously.
Second, the cost of advertising is still relatively low due to the lack of competition. There aren’t many ads, and many of the big-name competitors haven’t reached the market yet, which means there are opportunities for smaller businesses to come in and display ads at a low cost. How do you use it?
Now that you understand the power of an eSports marketing strategy, you need to know how to implement it. In the following sections, I’ll break down actionable steps you can take to promote your business to the eSports market.
Investing in an in-game ad can be a unique, but powerful strategy. This is one sure-fire way to separate yourself from the competition, gather precise data about your audience, and help increase your brand awareness.
Keep in mind that the depiction of the average gamer isn’t always accurate. People think that gamers’ ages skew much younger than they do. There are a lot of stereotypes, but the average gamer is actually 34 years old, owns a home, and has a family. Plus, more and more women are gaming, as well.
Another advantage of in-game advertising is there are a number of display options.
The example above from the Madden football game from EA Sports shows a GMC ad as if it was a real game. In the NFL, companies often sponsor certain segments of the game. In this case, the auto manufacturer GMC sponsored the “moment of the game,” which is a highlight of the best play of the game.
You can also display your ad on virtual billboards and sidelines in games such as Madden, FIFA, and MLB The Show which are all part of the eSports world.
Dynamic ads in eSports are unique because they are only seen by viewers, and not the players. This presents an opportunity for you to reach a highly targeted audience because you know and understand the demographics of the people watching the sport. Much of that data is easily available to whoever wants it.
For example, the popular eSports game, “League of Legends” uses dynamic ads in one of their battlefields. As players move through the battlefield, they’ll continue to see the game as-is. Meanwhile, viewers of the game are seeing advertisements increasing brand awareness for those who advertised.
To implement an ad like this, you’ll need to contact the advertising and public relations teams of whatever game you want to advertise on. This is where the research and knowledge of your audience comes into play. Certain games have different audiences.
For example, I’ve provided the names of a few different games in this article so far. We talked about Madden and League of Legends. These two games have a completely different audience with unique interests. It’s up to you to understand these games, even if you don’t play them, because that’s how you’ll target the right people.
Like any other industry, there are influencers. This strategy opens the door to more possibilities because you can piggyback on the following and audience of the influencer across a variety of platforms. If the influencer is on TikTok and Instagram, you’ll be able to take advantage of that audience as well.
One of the reasons influencer marketing and gaming go hand-in-hand is because it’s engaging. These professional gamers actually talk to their audience, they engage on Twitch, they talk during their streams, and their audience respects them.
Streaming has become social media for eSports, so by partnering with an influencer and getting them to promote your brand, you’re increasing brand awareness and also using the respect the gamer has earned to boost your brand.
One great example of this is Bang Energy drinks. You’ll find these everywhere throughout the eSports world, but the advertisements seem so natural. It could be as simple as a gamer drinking it with the logo facing the screen for an hour. It brings awareness to the brand and influences the people who love that gamer to support it.
Partnering with an influencer could be as simple as getting a shoutout during live videos. There’s no cut-and-dry way to implement influencer sponsorship. You need to reach out manually to big names in the industry until someone gets back to you.
Another eSports marketing strategy is to sponsor a team. What does that mean exactly? It means that you’re responsible for some of the team’s expenses in exchange for the publicity. Companies that sponsor teams often get their logo on uniforms or the teams agree to consume their product exclusively whenever they’re on camera.
As you can see in the above image, Red Bull, Puma, and Twitch are all sponsors of this team because their logos are on the uniform.
This strategy is popular in sports of all kinds (even Little League) and is used to drive brand awareness. Will anyone see that shirt and immediately go out and buy a case of Red Bull? Probably not, but you’re keeping your brand fresh in the minds of people who purchase the product and that’s what larger companies pay for this type of advertising.
If you’re a smaller company, I wouldn’t recommend this method because people may not know who you are. An ad where you can briefly describe your product or service would do better. The companies that advertise this way are already well known and want to remind consumers that their favorite brands support eSports.
Static advertising is the opposite of dynamic advertising. Rather than changing, these ads remain in the game forever and display to both players and the viewers. There are a few different ways for this to work.
One strategy is with fictional brand advertisements. Think about “Buzz-Cola” from The Simpsons. Even though they call it a different name, we all know what reference they’re making so it serves its purpose.
You don’t have to choose such a subtle ad though. Some games such as racing games will display full billboards of ads for real companies. These static ads do not change no matter what happens in the game, and generally don’t require an internet connection.
Games like Fortnite, for example, have constantly changing dynamic ads because they are played online. A static ad would not require a connection and would likely be found in a story mode that is played offline.
To get your brand in the game, you’ll have to contact the marketing and public relations department—-and you’ll also need a pretty hefty budget. It takes a long time for development, and there isn’t a solid way to measure the results of a static ad, since you can’t track impressions.
Advergaming is one of the most extreme eSports marketing strategies. This is when a game is specifically created with the intention of promoting a brand or product. Do you remember when Burger King came out with “King” based games for the Xbox years ago?
If your brand uses advergaming, you’re putting your business front and center. However, there are a few clear concerns with this strategy.
First, for you to have any success, the game has to be fun to play. If the game is a flop, no one will play it and you might as well have flushed the money down the drain.
Second, you’re relying on the marketing and promotional efforts of the company. Chances are, you’ll only be able to get a smaller engineering company to sponsor your game.
Third, it’s going to cost a lot of money and take a lot of time because you’re producing a game from scratch. There’s probably a reason why Burger King only did this once.
The target market is men between ages 18-34 and primarily people located in Asian-Pacific countries. These individuals make up as much as 57 percent of eSports viewership. In recent years, female eSports viewership has increased quite a bit, with 20-30 percent of the audience made up of women.
According to esports.net, dynamic in-game advertising is the most affordable route, because you’re paying per 1,000 impressions. The price depends entirely on the game, niche, and target audience.
Static advertising can cost anywhere between 25,000-50,000 dollars depending on the game. The cost is so high because it requires the creator of the game to actually develop an in-game advertisement for your brand from scratch.
Advergaming is the most expensive option and can cost as much as 500,000 dollars depending on the game, target audience, and extent of the advertising. You’re essentially producing a game from scratch that is built around promoting your business.
Total, brands spent around 364 million dollars on eSports advertisements and sponsorships in 2020, and that number is expected to increase to 634 million by 2023. As demand increases for advertising space, so will the price.
The main types of eSports marketing ads are dynamic ads, static ads, and advergaming. These ads require you to work directly with the creators of the game rather than the eSports teams. If you’re working with the players and teams involved with the sport, you’ll likely do influencer marketing or sponsorships.
All brands could benefit from some form of eSports marketing. It’s just important for you to use the right one for your business and goals. For example, a small business without a ton of reach wouldn’t likely benefit from endorsements and sponsorships because people don’t know who you are. Instead, you’d want an ad that allows you to describe your offering.
If you’re considering hiring an eSports marketing agency to help you, why not see what we can do for you? eSports is a booming industry among both young and old generations.
Keep in mind that younger generations are finding entertainment in different ways. Streaming continues to grow, and, as a result, these people enjoy watching their favorite streamers the same way that older generations liked watching their favorite talk show host.
To be successful, you need to take advantage of growing marketing trends, and eSports is right at the forefront of it all.
How do you plan to take advantage of eSports marketing? Do you think it’s all hype?