Instagram shares a common appeal with video games, in that they are both visual mediums that appeal to social-savvy millennials. Emarketer predicts that by 2019, nearly two-thirds of all millennial smartphone users will use Instagram and a recent study by Newzoo suggests that 65 percent of eSports enthusiasts actively use the platform as well.
For the big launch of its PlayStation 4 Pro, Sony took to Instagram Stories on Wednesday evening to share videos of the long, cheering line and launch party culminating in the opportunity for some to purchase the new console at midnight. Sony even took the time to highlight Joey, a fan who was first line for the PS4 when it launched in 2013 and showed up first again for the Pro on Wednesday.
Instagram’s ease of use help keep gaming brands “in the know” and able to react in real-time. When the latest video trend in the #MannequinChallenge started making the rounds this week, Titanfall 2 answered the call with its own “frozen in time” video that garnered over 11,000 views in just two days.
Naturally, the most obvious way for gaming brands to use Instagram is by promoting games through organic and sponsored posts. Last fall, game publishers accounted for more than one-quarter of Instagram ads and Facebook’s targeted options make it easy to get messages in a gamer’s feed. Blizzard ads were spotted this week offering discounts in honor of BlizzCon, as well as an organic post for Watch Dogs 2 as part of its “Selfie Reveal” campaign—allowing users to “data mine” their own selfies for what “Big Brother” might see.
While AAA console titles interact with fans on the platform, mobile game publishers have found tremendous success thanks to Facebook’s targeted ads. A week before the launch of SuperFantasyWar, Nexon created an ad campaign on Instagram to raise brand awareness and encourage pre-registration. The sponsored post resulted in 20 percent more registrants than targeted and a 5.2 times link click rate, all while enjoying a 37 percent decrease in cost-per-click.
Influencers play an important role for gaming brands, too. Bejeweled created a hashtag called #shinyplace and enlisted the help of Instagram stars like David Lopez and Koya Webb to promote the game. According to AppAnnie, Bejeweled’s ranking rose 520 places after the app’s Instagram campaign.
Gamers gotta game, and a whole lot of them are on Instagram looking at gaming company profiles or products. According to Instagram Advertiser statistics, 50 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business, 60 percent say that they learn about a product or service on the platform and 75 percent of Instagram users take action such as visiting a website after looking at an Instagram advertising post. Custom hashtags and Facebook metrics make this social media platform an effective place to measure return on investment and keep those players engaged.