Snack Week 3: Teams and Influencers – Finding your Niche

For the third entry to our snack series, the company has given us the run down on the most effective ways to actively engage with eSports players. 
We’ve already gone through the meteoric rise in eSports and discussed some of the most prominent players in the industry.  Here we tackle the demographics of the average eSports fan, and how we can start to engage this niche in the iGaming industry.
Age and demographics
eSports fans are deemed to be younger than some of the more traditional iGaming targets – with 38% of them being in the 16-24 age group, and 35% being in the 25-34 age group.  This creates an excellent opportunity for affiliates to target an untapped audience that they haven’t before.
How do millennials interact online?
Because you are now targeting millennials, you need to consider how they interact online.  They may use different social media channels to interact with you on.  For example, Twitch is incredibly popular with this age group and specifically for eSports fans.
Other things you need to take into account is that smartphones are the most popular device with millennials, with 7 out of 8 owning one – so you need to make sure that portals are fit for mobile use.  They also tend to take into account what others think of a brand.  This could be an opportunity for you to integrate review elements to your site to make it more impactful.
Why activation with eSports is still being fine tuned 
This is a fragmented market. There are a lot of sportsbook brands that have tried to capitalise on the rise of eSports, but seem to have had limited success.
The reason for this is that they have made the mistake of merely adding bolt-on’s to their traditional betting site and are assuming that a one size fits all approach will work here.  There needs to be more work done on focusing on this niche and understanding that although this group may exhibit similar behaviours, they are a different audience.
Actively engage with streamers 
Gamers tend to use Twitch as their primary platform for streaming.  As such, it can be more challenging to establish how old their specific audience is to figure out how to engage them.
Influencer marketing is a great way to do this.  With eSports – the audience is much more engaged on social media channels. This means if you do your research on the individual streamer, ask for data on their audience analytics and track this effectively using your own tech – you can reach the correct target audience and generate higher levels of engagement.
What is your tone of voice?
Do you need to change your tone of voice to attract an eSports audience?  Paddy Power, one of the most successful operators there is, is identifiable with this demographic.  They have worked hard to create a tone of voice that is cheeky, relatable – and to be fair sometimes is on the cusp of crossing the line.
One thing that you can’t argue with is that they have incredibly high engagement levels – and that they are on point with getting younger audiences on board.
Can we learn from sports sponsorship dealings?
Betting companies pay out $330.5 million a year when it comes to sponsorship deals with sports clubs.  With the high numbers of fans watching eSports tournaments live – this could be a great opportunity for eSports affiliates and operators to jump on.  There’s no reason why the same success can’t be gained when it comes to eSports.  Make sure you create commercial partnerships with teams and tournament operators for advertising potential.
Make sure you don’t take a holistic approach as an eSports affiliate – and find your niche!

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