Have you heard of the most popular video game on the planet right now? It’s the one with Keanu Reeves. It’s called Cyberpunk 2077.
How can a game delayed several times be the most popular video game of the holiday season? Maybe it has to do with its innovative marketing tactics before the launch in December 2020.
In this article, learn how Projeckt CD launched the most anticipated game of 2020 and how you can use their tactics in your own marketing.
Cyberpunk 2077 Breaks Sales Records in First Week
One week into its release, and Cyberpunk 2077, an action role-playing game from CD Projeckt, is already profitable from pre-order sales. Cyberpunk, headlined by actor Keanu Reeves in advertisements, should be one of the most popular selling games during the upcoming holiday season on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One/S/X, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia, and PC.
In a statement to its investors, the company stated, “estimated licensing royalties receivable by the Company in association with pre-order sales of Cyberpunk 2077 across all of its digital distribution channels have exceeded the sum.” These numbers include profits after recapturing development and marketing costs for the game.
According to IGN.com, the game was announced way back in May 2012, and pre-production began after the development of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Blood and Wine expansion in 2016.
What is Cyberpunk 2077
Announced way back in 2012 by Projeckt CD, Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world, action role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic city called Night City in 2077. Night City is described as an American megacity in the Free State of North California.
Projeckt CD describes the game as:
Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City, a megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour and body modification. You play as V, a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality. You can customize your character’s cyberware, skillset and playstyle, and explore a vast city where the choices you make shape the story and the world around you.
How Did Cyberpunk 2077 Win at Marketing
Cyberpunk brought the hype since 2012 when the game was first announced. Cyberpunk’s anticipation has been on a high since its first trailer released at the E3 event in 2018. How can you use marketing techniques to win at your own marketing in 2021?
Here are eight tactics from the Prokeckt CD marketing game plan:
Learn how Projeckt CD marketed Cyberpunk 2077 to the masses:
1. Create a Cinematic Experience
This was not just the launch of a video game. It was the launch of an experience. And experiences build brands.
Your brand is what your audience thinks of when they hear your brand name. This behavior is based on the experiences they have through interactions, perceptions, word of mouth, and expectations with your organization. You must create incredible brand experiences that will connect with your audience.
Treating their game marketing as a cinematic experience is a must for gaming companies. Studies show that the gaming industry had revenue of $152 Billion in 2020, which is more than the film and music industry combined. Gaming is the new king of the entertainment industry… why not treat it like it.
The takeaway here is… what does your audience want? To know this, you must know everything you can about what your audience loves and what they hate. His will allow you to create exciting, innovative experiences that our customers want.
As a company, we need to think of each point a customer interacts with our company. Our website… our Secretaries… our phone messaging… our applications… is each touchpoint flawless? What can you do to make them better?
One of the most valuable commodities to people these days is time. How are we respecting their time yet still delivering a remarkable experience? By continually evaluating your touchpoints and making them better. The best way to do this is to ask your customers about their experiences and approve them to amp their experiences.
2. Find Your Influencers
Influencer marketing in the year 2020 became very popular on social media and other marketing platforms. There have always been celebrities promoting products on television commercials, but influencer marketing takes that star power to another level by using their credentials to promote products across many platforms. Cyberpunk 2077 just happened to recruit a superstar actor to promote their game not only in commercials, but at events, on social media, and even be a character inside the video game world.
Reeves is best known for the Matrix trilogy, John Wick and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but in the year 2020, Reeves lends his star power to Cyberpunk 2077. His recognition brings a special presence, especially in the video game world.
Projeckt CD not only got star power in Reeves, but they doubled down by recruiting influential musicians to record tracks for gameplay and the official Cyberpunk 2077 soundtrack. Major up and coming players in the music world included A$AP Rocky, Run the Jewels, Grimes, Richard Devine, and many more artists your kids will recognize.
The Cyberpunk 2077 Soundtrack can be found on Spotify by clicking the link below:
Your company does not have to recruit a major celebrity to sell products. You probably can’t afford them. That’s why Micro-Influencers are a great tactic for small businesses and school districts.
Influencers or brand ambassadors will fill an integral role in moving forward with your marketing. I believe micro-influencers in your community will be critical to communicating your messages.
At Scrunch.com, they define a micro-influencer as someone who has an audience within the follower range of 2,000 followers up until about 50,000 followers on a particular social media channel, usually comprised of a focused passion, topic or niche market.
It is someone in your community that when they speak, people listen. When they post on social media, people share their content. They have “Influence” over a niche market or consumer. People trust what they have to say.
You can learn more about using influencers in your marketing by clicking: How to Find Local Influencers to Boost Content Engagement
3. Event Marketing is a Winner
Even though the digital marketing shift has changed many ways we communicate and promote our brand, there is nothing like face to face marketing in front of your customers.The more you can tangibly deliver your brand, the more your customers will fall in love with your products or services.
Projeckt CD utilized popular tech and gaming conferences to remind customers of their exciting product. Better yet, they let their influencers lead the presentation to build even more excitement.
How can you utilize events to expand your brand experience? One way is to create your own event, and another is to piggyback on the popularity of established conferences or expos in your community. Hosting your own event can be expensive but could have a huge return on investment if done right. It would help if you weighed your options where it comes to events. The key is to deliver an exciting brand experience, no matter which choice you make.
Focus on cool set pieces. We are in the digital world. Events can be a great opportunity to create positive word of mouth. Build selfie opportunities for your events. A big part of your budget should be building share-worthy backdrops. And, of course, major announcements should be a must. If you are hosting an event, you better have exciting news to share. Figure out what you could announce or showcase that will cause your audience to listen, and then ultimately share.
In the age of COVID-19, events can be difficult. Many companies have pivoted in the age of social distancing. Drive-thru experiences are popular. Companies are using this technique to deliver events without exposing their customers.
AdWeek had an excellent article about how companies are adapting to COVID restrictions using pop-up, drive thru events.
4. Creative Social Media
The world of social media is changing rapidly. This powerful medium is impacting the way we engage our parents, students and the overall community. Emerging trends in social media will influence how we use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and countless other platforms.
At this point, most districts are using social media as a communication tool. However, are they using it to reach the right audience?
Projeckt CD knows its audience. They certainly know the brand image they want to convey. When you see their social media posts, you know they are the Cyberpunk 2077 brand. The yellow really stands out. So do the images and videos they use. Each post… each video… looks like it is taken directly out of the game—apocalyptic looking designs with a bang of color.
They also encourage User Generated Content, fan posts, which I will discuss later in the article.
Their YouTube page matches their brand voice well. The same imagery and brand colors draw their fans to the content. They also give their audience what they want… game footage. You always want to be “On Brand.” And you always want to know your audience, so you give them the content they want to see. It is part of your customer experience.
Your brand is based on experiences fueled by word of mouth of your customers. Due to the digital shift, customers now have a megaphone and can shout to the world your shortcomings and positive experiences they have encountered with your brand.
This means every interaction, every social media post, and every person in your community talking about your schools impacts your brand. Your audience can tarnish your brand and negate every marketing campaign you have done with a few words on Facebook.
5. Fan[atic] Generated Content
Eighty-three percent of purchase decisions are based on word of mouth marketing. And when it comes to word of mouth, your audience trusts family and friends more than the brand itself. That is why it is so important to let your fans market your product for you.
Cyberpunk’s social media, especially their Instagram profile, is full of user-generated art and fans dressed up as their favorite character.
When you create a brand where your fans are willing to alter their looks and fashion sense, you know you have a winner. Every brand wants to create loyal followers. In the education world, we call these people ambassadors. Ambassadors are people who love your brand and then take the effort to let the world know their love.
Lucky for your school district or a small business, you are a local company that has a smaller geographical area to recruit from for your ambassador program. To develop a successful ambassador program, you need a solid strategy to get your representatives’ best possible outcomes.
For more information on developing Brand Ambassadors, please click here to read my article about Kendra Scott’s College Ambassador program, and why they are successful.
6. [Cool] Traditional Advertising
My best piece of advice when it comes to traditional advertising is to stay on brand. Adapt to the customer base that will see these ads, but always stay on brand. Cyberpunk’s marketing team did a wonderful job of translating what they were doing digitally to a more traditional model before launching their game.
From billboards to bus wraps to posters, Cyberpunk wanted to make sure everyone knew their game was finally launching in December 2020. Most traditional advertising still does an excellent job raising brand awareness, especially before a launch or for an event.
One word of advice… don’t try to be Cyberpunk if your brand is not Cyberpunk. Cool, creative ads usually engage an audience, but not at the expense of alienating your audience. Even Projeckt CD came under scrutiny for several posters and subway ads they posted. The backlash was not something any company wants before a major launch. Once again, know your audience.
7. Audience Related Product Tie-Ins
Do you have community members or local businesses to partner with to help launch your product or service? Is there a natural fit that makes sense? You can see from the products below; Cyberpunk chose products that would align with their audience.
From energy drinks to fashion labels to Adidas footwear, Cyberpunk made creative choices in partners that would resonate with their audience. It all goes back to knowing your audience and what resonates with them.
What makes a good fit with your product? What aligns with your brand voice and your audience?
8. Listen to Your Audience
The best advice I can give is to listen to your audience throughout marketing your product with a new campaign. Listen before you launch. Listen during the launch. And listen throughout the whole life of your product. You never know when you might need to pivot or change your game plan.
Projeckt CD has been doing this for many years but has recently been listening even harder as they churn out patches for bugs game players find during game play. Always be listening! Your customers are your biggest allies. Make them happy… always.
We know now that Cyberpunk has tremendous sales going into the holiday season. As more and more gamers get their new Xbox’s and PlayStations for Christmas, we know sales will grow even more. Much of this can be attributed to the game’s hype and promotion for the past ten years.
Now it is your turn. It’s time to build campaigns that will build your brand and build the hype surrounding your products.