The video hack gaming brands are using to build player loyalty

Gaming recaps give users a sense of achievement and remind them of their love for the game

The video hack gaming brands are using to build player loyalty

User acquisition is important, but building a successful brand requires more than attracting users to your product – it requires maintaining their loyalty and retaining their business.

In this guest post, Idomoo director and sales and gaming account manager Mike Pidgeon discusses how brands can successfully maintain player loyalty and heighten their retention numbers through the use of personalised gaming recaps.

In the gaming industry, engagement is king. Lapsed players, though, pose a constant threat, especially as pandemic-related restrictions ease up. In 2021 alone, brands saw a three-point decline in gamers. To make matters worse, the cost of player acquisition is on the rise, making retention that much more essential.

So how can brands win back players? By reminding them of their love for the game. The challenge is that the approach needs to be scalable and exciting, just as immersive and visual as the games people play.

Top gaming companies have found a solution: show players their biggest and best moments from gameplay, ranging from epic battles to the friends they’ve made along the way. And put it all in an attention-grabbing highlight reel that’s fun to watch and easy to share.

Lots of brands are already doing this — Hi-Rez, Ubisoft, Fortnite and Playdemic among others — and getting great results, sparking deeper engagement with current players and even reaching new audiences.

Recapping the player experience

For the new generation of players, experience is everything. But who are they? Accenture surveyed 4,000 gamers and found the stereotypes that gamers have long been associated with are a thing of the past.

Here’s what today’s players look like:

● They’re more diverse. Nearly half (46%) identify as women, and nearly a third of new gamers identified themselves as non-white.
● They’re younger. 30% of new gamers are 25 or younger.
● Players place a heavier emphasis on the social side of gaming. Three quarters say more of their social interactions take place on a gaming platform.

More and more, gaming is about community. Yet along with the personal achievements and real connections made online, players expect a next-level digital experience. Part of what works about these personalised recaps is that they hit both needs.

Just as no two gaming experiences are alike, no two recap videos are the same either. By combining player stats with gaming footage, gaming companies celebrate each player as the individual they are.

Combining data with video is slow if you do it manually, but brands use Idomoo’s Next Generation Video Platform to make it scalable — videos for millions of players around the globe that can be ready to launch in a matter of days. This montage of gaming videos gives you an idea of how it works.

Recap videos are often a year in review, but they can just as easily cover just one season or span multiple years. Ubisoft, for instance, sent millions of players a five-year personalized recap to kick off Ubisoft Connect. But engaging lapsed players isn’t the only goal. Personalized videos can congratulate players when they hit a certain milestone or invite them to a new challenge.

But whatever the case, these videos all have the same ultimate objective: extending the player experience beyond the game while keeping it personal.

Personalized gaming videos in action

Personalised gaming recaps really took off during the pandemic, but they're still going strong. Brands will send videos to lapsed players who have lost interest post-pandemic, rekindling their love of the game. They showcase all the fun the player had on their journey when they played and then spotlight all that’s been released since the player dropped off. That’s another way every player’s video can be different — there’s differing content to showcase depending on when they left the game.

This approach excites players and inspires them to come back for more. In one global campaign, the videos sparked a staggering 17x player re-engagement.

One of the most recent campaigns was by Plarium, celebrating this year’s third anniversary of Raid: Shadow Legends. Plarium noticed an increase in daily active users in the days following the launch, and they doubled Twitter share rates as fans posted about their video, tagging #3yearsRaid. Even better, players received a referral link along with their personalized video that they could share the game with friends. This led to 100% more referrals.

Give it a watch below — but remember this is just an example. Every video, like every player, is different.

Available in five languages, each video told its own sweeping story of the viewer’s journey within the game. It chronicled their legacy with high-quality visuals, narration and player stats, including over 150 data points. It even showed them how they compared to other players, unlocking insight into their performance.

“This year’s campaign exceeded our expectations in terms of player engagement, referrals and creating a massive buzz on social media,” said Sergey Bragilevsky, Director of Growth at Plarium. “We are always striving to provide unique experiences for our fan base, and Idomoo helped us accomplish this.”

Results from similar gaming recaps include:

● 10x higher engagement
● 68% higher sales
● 5x uplift in social sharing

As expected in the world of gaming, videos can be interactive, too. Players can click to purchase weapons and skins or download recommended games, all straight from the video. This leads to direct ROI, like an 88% conversion rate for one anniversary recap video.

Taking social media by storm

As you can tell, a key part of every campaign is social media. In their survey, Accenture found gamers spend around six hours a week interacting in online gaming communities, and that doesn’t include the eight hours spent watching or taking part in live gaming streams.

Social media is very much a part of how gamers connect, so every recap campaign should have a social media component, whether that’s a dedicated hashtag or links from the video to make it easy to share. Since videos can be interactive, players can click directly in the video to share it with their favorite network.

Because the highlight reels are personalized, they’re a fun way to let gamers brag (or sometimes laugh) about their performance.
Some brands are taking social sharing to the next level by leveraging user-generated content. Essentially, players can choose what they want included in their showcase video and then click to generate the video, all in real time.

CCP Games, for instance, sent EVE Online players this customisable video.

By handpicking the moments they’re proudest of, gamers could easily create a video they would want to share with friends and followers.

This kind of word-of-mouth marketing is key to boosting brand reach. Imagine you’re scrolling through your newsfeed. You notice a friend has posted the video above. It’s short. It’s engaging. It’s trustworthy — 80% of consumers say UGC highly impacts their purchase decisions. After you watch it, you check out the site to see what all the hype is about. For CCP Games, shareable videos like these have led to a 66% uplift in visits to their recruitment page. Those visitors become loyal players. They eventually receive and share their own personalized videos. And the cycle continues.

The future of video for gaming brands

Personalised highlight reels are just the beginning for advanced video technology in the gaming space. Today’s consumers, across demographics and industries, demand videos and 62% of customers now want more videos from brands.

Brands are already taking video to the next level with features like user customisation and advanced interactivity. But younger demographics, who make up a key part of today’s gaming audience, will continue to demand more. The latest research shows Gen Z is 59% more likely to want video interactivity and 69% more likely to want video customization than other generations.

If any industry is ready to take on advanced video tech, it’s gaming. And a personalized, customizable, real-time video is one way brands can build loyalty in an increasingly competitive landscape and wow players by celebrating the games they love.

Edited by Lewis Rees regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.