Long time has passed since video games were a passion of geeks and schoolchildren. Today, people of all ages and lifestyles enjoy gaming, while some of them are streamers and real eSportsmen who earn money playing.
Maybe you also want to earn money with video games? Even if you are not a professional gamer, you still can do that successfully as an affiliate marketer. But how to start? Which peculiarities does the Gaming vertical have? How to launch a potentially-profitable campaign? These and other questions were answered in today’s overview.
General gaming market tendencies
Okay, let’s start with numbers and forecasts from Statista. Below you will find the stats on the global video game market value from 2020 to 2025 in the USA. We took this GEO as one of the most fruitful – as of 2022, the USA accounted for 28 percent of global gaming market revenues, ahead of second-ranked Japan with 20 percent. Here are the stats 2017-2022:
So, it’s growing. As Statista claims, in December 2021, total video games revenue was more than 7.55 billion U.S. dollars. No wonder – December and November is the time when people usually buy Christmas gifts, so during this time, gaming software and hardware become even more popular than ever.
And which games are the most popular nowadays? Again, according to the same Statista research, due to increased internet accessibility and latest technologies, people are switching from one-player games to:
- Multiplayers – when numerous players from all over the world join the game to compete. Examples: Fortnite, Dota, Warcraft;
- Social networking – again, games for multiple online participants, where they communicate and find new social contacts. Examples: Roblox, Among Us, Second Life;
- Mobile games – they actually make 51% of all the worldwide revenue, being ahead of PC and console games. Examples: Fruit Ninja, Pokemon Go, AFK Arena.
However, even though the USA is one of the most fruitful GEOs in the Gaming vertical, it is not the only one. For example, to make our research more objective, let’s check out the worldwide statistics:
European and Asian gamers can make a great competition to American ones, as you can see from the statistics above.
How are Gaming offers classified in affiliate marketing?
As there is no “official” classification of affiliate Gaming offers, we will try to pinpoint some of their types for your convenience:
eSport can be a great niche for affiliate marketing. Even though promoting such offers as DOTA or CS:GO competitions is hardly an option, there is another way – some offers allow users to make donations for a favorite team/gamer. This is where Gaming and iGaming interlap, eSport has a huge growing audience:
For a beginner affiliate, desktop games are a great choice – they are associated with less competition than mobile, so basically you should consider them for your campaign.
Yes, those profitable, but super-competitive mobile games that are not too recommended for newcomers. Everyone plays mobile games, but to start making money from them, you will have to compete with the real monsters of the niche.
Romantic stories are really appropriate for affiliate marketing. Even though they make a small percentage of the advertising market in the whole, they make a significant part of the Gaming vertical. For that reason, in this layer, offer owners are used to cooperating with affiliates and it’s much easier to work with them.
Indie projects are getting more and more popular lately. Most of them are owned by solo-developers or small teams, that is why they are rarely promoted by means of large and costly marketing campaigns. In most cases, indie projects cannot boast of considerable budgets, but affiliate marketing stays accessible for them. Another type of games you should keep in mind for your future advertising campaign.
These are games for paid subscriptions – another popular offer type in affiliate marketing. Mostly, such offers include a simple registration form to complete and therefore – get access to mobile games.
Today, we will discuss mostly desktop Gaming offers and see which types exist, discover how they work and how to promote them. Dive in! And watch for updates not to miss our future material on mobile games!
How to choose the right Gaming offer?
Since the affiliate marketing Gaming industry is very crowded, you can easily start with well-known projects.
The idea is that well-known games are already popular – they have a fan base and numerous users might be interested in playing something trendy, say GTA, Apex: Legends, or Fortnite. This means that a huge part of work is already done for you.
As for the offer flow, in general, there are two types:
- Online browser game (super-easy): pre-lander > landing page (registration) > email confirmation > sign in > game start
- Downloadable game (complicated): pre-lander > landing page (download) > installation > registration > email confirmation > game start
Even though the second flow type has higher payouts, the first one is easier and more widespread. And more recommended by PropellerAds.
Which traffic source to choose?
Your traffic source heavily depends on the offer type and gaming content you promote. Choose wisely:
- Advertising networks
Definitely, the best traffic source for Gaming offers. Your main task here is to make sure that your targeting settings and creatives are set up wisely. Advertising networks can help you make your offer visible around the juiciest environments, like thematic websites, where your target audience is most likely to be.
Mind this: If you want to promote a dating game, make sure that the advertising network of your choice allows such products. Many of these games include adult content, which might be prohibited (like in PropellerAds, for example).
- Social networks
Social networks might be another traffic source for your Gaming campaign. However, be aware that these platforms usually have strict regulations and far from every game would be accepted by moderators.
Talking about precise networks, at Facebook you need a written permission from Meta to start advertising Gaming offers. Also, you will have to find your own strategy to make your offer accessible to the Facebook audience.
As for Instagram, it can also be a potential traffic source, but actually it cannot boast of having too much Gaming traffic, because the local audience rather has a bit different preferences. The best social network to try promoting Gaming offers might be TikTok – the local young audience react to fresh trendy games actively.
- Influencer affiliate marketing
Maybe, the most complicated, but still efficient way to promote Gaming offers is cooperation with industry influencers, like streamers. All the advantages of influencer marketing are obvious, considering the super-relevant already gathered audience that has trust in their idols.
Your potential audience – who are they?
Again, we want to share some statistics regarding the gaming industry as a whole. Let’s see what was happening in the niche lately (around the world, by age and gender):
So, as we can see, you can easily target both women and men – the stereotypical idea that guys play more games than girls was not confirmed by the stats. The same is true for the age – almost all age groups are potentially suitable. As we can see from the statistics, you can easily target people of 18-54 with no significant risks, while the most active are male users of 18-24 and 35-44, while there is no dramatic difference in genders and age.
Of course, some specific offers, like dating games, are more relevant for the male audience, while hairdresser simulators – for female users, so you should also consider some of these peculiarities.
Let’s take a look at the most profitable slices for Gaming offers launched on Onclick (the most efficient format for thins vertical) at PropellerAds:
|Windows – PL||884 039||1 056|
|Windows – KR||6 518 265||719|
|Windows – US||1 050 720||374|
|Windows – CA||1 400 639||165|
|Windows – DE||915 548||252|
|Windows – JP||676 594||92|
|Mac OS – US||176 437||207|
|Mac OS – JP||385 723||147|
The top ones are PL (Poland), KR (South Korea), US (the USA), CA (Canada), DE (Germany), and JP (Japan). As you can see, most top GEOs perform well on Windows desktop, but in Japan and the USA Mac OS is also popular (desktop, as well).
Choose the platform regarding your offer type and niche. If you promote desktop games, you can start with Google Chrome, a king of browsers for most GEOs, but check your particular one and consider the preferences of a chosen audience.
By the way, PropellerAds is already working with the leading gaming corporations, like Wargaming (World of Tanks), Plarium (Raid, Mech Arena) and InnoGames directly and recommends you promoting their offers, because it has proven performance on our traffic. And we also plan to start cooperating with Nexters and Funplus companies in the near future, so bookmark our blog to keep updated – we will definitely share our experience with readers.
How to craft winning creatives?
The pack of creatives for your Gaming campaign might include the following elements:
- Appealing artwork
Of course, Gaming is so much about visuals and game designers devote enormous efforts to creating catchy characters, weapons, and landscapes. Whatever ad format you work with, make sure to use the most stunning illustrations you can find.
Avoid using misleading pictures, like characters of another game or wrong stylistics (say, it’s not a good idea to use an anime character for a banner if the game doesn’t contain any). Of course, to make your creatives even more intriguing, you can verge away from the game theme just a bit, but unsound provoking and misinformation is a no-no.
Crafting a pre-lander for your Gaming offer might be a really good idea because this is exactly the place where you locate your most appealing texts and tempting pictures that illustrate the universe and characters of the game you promote. Make sure that your pre-lander shares the style with a landing page.
Here are some examples of pre-landers:
These pre-landers work great to engage users in the game; either they start with choosing their gender or signing up to get an exclusive character. This is where pre-landers can be efficient attention hooks, so make sure to include one into your campaign.
And if you strive for simple additional monetization, you are welcome to install ProPush Tag to your pre-lander and start getting more!
- Landing pages
These are pages usually included in the offer by its owner. Logically, landing pages serve to convert visitors into players. They also contain arts, brief descriptions, and the brightest characters/scenes from the game.
And now let’s discuss some general recommendations for your gaming creatives.
Refresh your creatives
Even the most beautiful creatives might not be very efficient, especially if you don’t refresh them properly – they simply get dull, and people stop noticing them. Users might click your ad if they see it for the first time, they can also click it for the second time, but it’s not very likely that they will continue clicking more and more. Make sure you refresh and test new images + messages all the time to reach the best results and stable profits.
Make everything look consistent
The style and colors of your creatives should coincide with the landing page and the game itself, of course. Visual consistency is important for the Gaming offers like for no other vertical. Make sure that your pre-lander and banners match the landing page visuals and, of course, clearly refer to the game you are promoting.
Make your texts as short as you can
As we already mentioned, Gaming is all about visuals, which means that you should pay special attention to graphics and reduce the amount of text. This is one of the main peculiarities of the vertical – even your landing and prelanding should include videos and artwork with short comments where needed.
So, indeed, Gaming is a very promising vertical, and we do have tons of top-quality, relevant traffic at PropellerAds. If you are hesitating about whether to launch a Gaming campaign or not, our answers – it is really worth trying! And, to sum up, here are the potential settings for your campaign:
- GEO: KR, PL, US, CA, JP, DE
- Platform: Desktop/Windows
- Ad format: Onclick/Popunder
Don’t forget about an appealing pre-lander and a couple of tested creatives sets.
Good luck with your Gaming campaign!
Let’s discuss the Gaming vertical in our cozy Telegram Chat! Welcome!