When seeking to create content or site that will entice and draw in your viewers it can be important to find your particular niche. Gaming is a massive industry and is steadily growing larger, encompassing developers, content creators, merch makers, and the wider population of players; you have to find a way to stand out.
Finding a gap in the gaming market can be challenging, as it has to be unique enough to stand out yet not so unique that you alienate a large proportion of your possible audience. Think about different companies that reside in a similar market yet offer different experiences and products. Fast food for example, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC, Nandos, Red Rooster, Pizza Hut, and so many more reside and compete in the same sphere, offering different food items and experiences. That’s all well and good in the fast food market but how can you identify gaps in the gaming market?
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Focus On Your Strengths
What makes you unique when it comes to content creation? Are you a hilarious bastion of dad jokes and puns? Can you weave spellbinding tales from scattered lore and stories of the game you’re playing? Or are you an amazing conversationalist, able to entertain your viewers through wit and charm? When it comes to trying to find a gap in the gaming market you have to match it up with your particular strengths because not all niches or platforms are optimal for every single individual.
Much like many games take a core philosophy and add their own spin, you can find what is currently being done in terms of content creation/streaming and twist it in new and intriguing ways. Take a look at the recent Battle Royale phenomenon which has landed and spread across the gaming landscape. From PUBG, Fortnite, Blackout, Firestorm, and the newly arrived Apex: Legends, each Battle Royale game offers a different experience and appeal, drawing in particular players.
The same can be seen in the different genres of FPS games, including Call Of Duty, Battlefield, and Halo. Find a particular form of streaming or content creation that you wish to focus on and tailor it into a new approach, using your personality and unique style to your advantage.
Find Unsolved Problems And Underused Angles
Depending on your chosen medium or form of content creation, the problems you could potentially find and alleviate will vary. But essentially, you could search for content that potential fans are asking for or wondering about. Maybe you are enthralled by game architecture, sound design, or playing and reviewing indie games – create content revolving around those topics.
Even with larger AAA games, there will always be gaps and niches that you can make use of, in the form of guides, reviewing in a particular fashion that is both entertaining and informative. But where can you find these unsolved problems and the demand for certain types of content. Trawl official game forums and see what people are talking about, scour Reddit for intriguing topics of discussion, or discover difficult things in the games you play and create content revolving around them.
As opposed to waiting for a niche to present itself, you’re actively trying to find one and manoeuvre yourself into a position, allowing you to create engaging content.
Watch Your Competitors
While content creation can be incredibly fulfilling and you can partner with other creators to deliver amazing entertainment to your viewers/audience, they are also your competitors. As such, they will have their own unique personality, types of content they produce, and particular angle. A good way to carve out a niche for yourself is to study and analyse what other creators do, find out what can be adjusted or improved upon, and create new, bespoke content. To be crystal clear, this does not mean copy what other creators are doing but instead finding out a way you can do something a little better, again, highlighting your individual strengths.
Say for example, your competitors review popular games but miss key talking points you believe would get a great reception. You could possibly create your own review series with a greater focus on what other reviewers have missed. You are improving and optimising what is currently on the market. Sometimes, even your competitors can help you grow your stream – check it out in our streamer’s guide to collaboration training modules.
Make Use Of New (Or Old) Technologies
When it comes to content creation, you’re only limited by your imagination and can present your streams or videos in any fashion you wish. Take advantage of an array of different technologies that present themselves in the gaming world. Re-visit and explore old school games on previous generation consoles; Ty the Tasmanian Tiger anyone? Immerse yourself in 3D Dolby Atmos or DTS:X surround sound and play horror games where each noise has you nervously looking around. Slenderman would take on a whole new level.
You don’t have to be constrained within a series of pre-checked boxes in order to create intriguing content. Embrace your innate creativity and use your all the technologies and consoles you have at your disposal.
This requires a little forethought and observation but can deliver a huge payoff. As is the case with any real industry, gaming goes through phases where the core building blocks are still there but there is also an overarching trend. We are currently in what appears to be the tail end of the Battle Royale trend. Now, once the trend is over, it doesn’t mean Battle Royales will go away entirely, it simply means that something new and shiny will take centre stage. It could very well be that simulation Hunger-Games-esque experiences become the next big thing. Or it could be mobile games.
While it’s my no means a perfect science, especially since developers tend to enjoy keeping what they’re working on a secretive surprise, predicting the trends before they happen can be tricky. But if you get it right, it can have huge ramifications. Study gaming’s past, new or highly anticipated games that have been announced for release way into the future. Look at indie games where creativity blossoms and you discover things you didn’t even realise you wanted.
Not only will this give you ideas for video creation, streaming ideas, and a potential early foot in the next trend, you may be part of the reason the trend starts in the first place.
If you’re ever unsure about how to identify gaps in the market and have grown your stream from the ground up, then it’s time to start collaborating with other gamers or find a talent agent for your stream. Just like some sharks must keep swimming in order to pass oxygen-rich water through their gills, so too must the content creator adapt to the changing market. Whether this is a drastic change or many slight ones over time is up to you, the content you produce, and the surrounding gaming world but the fact is, you cannot simply stay the same. Sameness leads to staleness which in turn can grow into irrelevance.
If one potential market ‘gap’ doesn’t pan out or lead anywhere, try to find a new one. There is no rule to say that once you’ve made a choice that you’re stuck with it forever and the innovation will be good for your viewers and for yourself. As the Law of Large Numbers teaches, performing the same experiment a large number of times will eventually lead to favourable results.
There you have it ladies and gentlemen, a few ways to maximise your time and effort to try and identify, create, or take advantage of, gaps in the gaming market. Just never give up and always look to the horizon.