In an increasingly competitive video gaming environment, many companies are clamoring for the attention of its fans. Gamers tend to be a very loyal group of consumers, latching on to a franchise or a brand and becoming loud advocates. One global game developer wanted to understand the ins and outs of their main competitor’s product production, content output, and audience to evaluate what was working and what wasn’t to connect with buyers. We researched the gaming landscape to highlight the ways that brands can utilize competitor research to their advantage.
Understand Where You Stand
Using social listening dashboards, users can hop into the driver’s seat to completely customize data visualizations. We compared five competing video game software companies, EA, Nintendo, Activision/ Blizzard, Ubisoft, and Microsoft, to uncover who was utilizing the best brand strategies. Let’s dive into some competitor research.
By looking at these first metrics, you’ll notice that EA dominates with the highest volume, interactions, and impressions compared to their competitors. We wanted to know what drove this conversation, so we investigated the contextual report for Share of Interactions to learn more.
Within the mentions tab, you can see the specific posts that drove interactions and conversations. Drilling into any of the available charts and visuals, users get a thorough understanding of not only what competitors are doing, but also details on why.
The first post that pops up is a YouTube post about Star Wars: Jedi Fallen. The gaming post has thousands of views, likes, and comments, clearly helping to drive EA’s interactions.
It is critical to keep an eye on what kind of content performed well in the past to help inform future content initiatives. The more information available to brands, the faster they can make inferences and informed decisions for ongoing strategy.
Sentiment Analysis in the Mix
Sentiment analysis is a powerful way to understand the themes provoking either customer advocacy or detraction. Using this KPI to measure the volume of positive and negative emotion for each topic, the client better understood what their customers liked and disliked about both their content and their competitors.
Looking at this sentiment analysis chart, we can see that Nintendo leads gaming companies in terms of positive sentiment, likely because of their secure user and fan base. However, EA has eeked out ahead of Ubisoft and Microsoft, which have nearly the same percentage of positive interactions. We wanted to find out what was the driving force behind this advantage.
We looked at the topic volume timeline to see when EA may have pulled ahead of the other two. There is a notable spike in volume between December 11th and 12th.
Filtering by EA only and clicking the spike in the positive timeline during December gives some insight into the mentions that created positive interactions for the brand.
We can see that posts about FIFA had the most volume for that period. This included coverage about the “Best players of 2019” and other year-end wrap-ups. Gaming fans of FIFA who received these campaigns on social media received the content well and engaged more than usual.
Now that we found out why EA overtook Microsoft and Ubisoft, we wanted to learn a bit more. The goal was to understand why Nintendo had overall the highest percentage of positive sentiment.
When looking at consistent engagement, we noticed that where EA dominates is less over time compared to Nintendo. This trend can be shown by three distinct spikes in impressions for Nintendo. Each of these spikes in engagement and interactions coincided with new Nintendo product releases and updates to popular franchises.
These findings helped our client understand the reasoning behind the different performances of the five brands surveyed. This competitor research subsequently informed the client’s timeline for releasing products. They adopted a more long-term lens for product releases and announcements to disperse the engagement over the year. The client was able to begin continually building engagement rather than experiencing sharp spikes and drop-offs with the new timeline.
Is your brand looking for a competitor research solution to optimize future business efforts? Get in touch with our team for a personalized solution that will work for you.
Need more proof that brands looking to get ahead must be conducting competitor research? Check out our use case study comparing multiple beverage companies looking to get involved in the fast-growing hard seltzer trend.