Spending money is in Zhihu’s marketing. What are the big game makers?

Comparing Weibo, Station B, and short video platforms, Zhihu is not the focus of game marketing.

But usually pay attention to the Zhihu hot list, and we will find that the game has a sense of existence in this community. Mr. Grape counted the Zhihu Hot List data from January 1 to March 10 this year, and found that there were no less than 470 game problems on the list. In other words, during this period of time, there will be an average of 6-7 Top 50 rankings every day, coming from the pan-gaming field. Some popular products are frequently on the list here.

On March 18th, “Original God”, “King of Glory” and “DOTA 2” appeared on the Zhihu Hot List

Judging from this momentum, Zhihu may have become one of the marketing positions that game brands value. Wang Wu (pseudonym), who is engaged in Zhihu marketing, has always worked closely with Dachang. He told Putaojun, “Tencent, Netease and Ali may have specialized and long-term suppliers in Zhihu marketing.”

Weibo is a must-see for getting out of the circle. It has a wide range of users and can often cause hot spots. But what do the big game makers really want to do in marketing for Zhihu, who spends his energy on “985 per capita and annual salary of one million”?

Not seeking customers, but seeking reputation

Li Si (pseudonym) is the person in charge of a Zhihu marketing team. One of the company’s main businesses is to help game brands operate Zhihu accounts and output content on their behalf. Based on his experience, most of the marketing of game manufacturers is not for customer acquisition, but for word-of-mouth and branding.

The reason is not difficult to think of, this is a content community based on the knowledge question and answer system. “In this Q&A community, user quality and game taste are high, and it is difficult for you to convert traffic by creating topics.” Li Si said.

Not long ago, Zhihu went to the US for an IPO. According to the data shown in its prospectus: as of the fourth quarter of 2020, the platform has 75.7 million monthly active users; nearly 80% of the users are under 30; 52.6% of Zhihu users come from China’s first-tier and new first-tier cities.

In contrast, Zhihu Yuehuo is not as large as Station B; on sinking, it is left behind by Weibo and Kuaishou. For game advertisers, Zhihu does not seem to be a platform that can achieve efficient customer acquisition.

We can look at a comparison of the number of game advertisements: According to third-party platform monitoring, in the past year, the scale of game advertisements on Zhihu has not been as large as Weibo.

In the entire promotion platform, Zhihu’s game advertising is about 15-20. Compared with short videos or traditional advertising aggregation platforms, Zhihu has almost no obvious advantages for the game purchase promotion model.

“Of course, manufacturers also hope to do a good job in acquiring customers. But in Zhihu, their main marketing appeal is to make the brand gain a good reputation through the communication of core players.”

Li Si said that the KOC (Opinion Consumers) on Zhihu is a group that game manufacturers care more about. Although the number of this group is small, if even one person’s approval can be obtained, it may cause the effect of spreading downward from the top of the pyramid.

Professional comments and opinions The influence of consumers on the public is something that game brands cannot ignore.

And we found through observation that although many hot topics started on Weibo, the real discussion was on Zhihu. This mode of communication determines that brands need to pay attention to discussions and answers related to themselves on Zhihu.

For example: In the recent period of time, the “Yuanshen” linkage KFC incident became popular, which made the topic #原神# on the morning of March 8th on Weibo hot search; but the topic was only briefly on the hot search list It stayed for 42 minutes, and in the time since then, the linkage event heated up on Zhihu, attracted hundreds of people to participate in the answer, and finally boarded the hot list many times, affecting the entire network.

Li Si told Grapeman that compared to the large amount of exposure gained after being on the list, game brands may be more concerned about whether their reputation in the topic is good or bad.

The long tail effect is another reason why manufacturers are doing word of mouth on Zhihu. Compared with content platforms such as Weibo and short videos, Zhihu’s timeliness is a weakness; but its advantage is to provide different dimensions of insights and opinion output on hot topics, and this “content model” has a continuous long tail effect.

Wang Wu, who also cooperates with major manufacturers in Zhihu marketing, said that the reputation of mobile game manufacturers in the core player group is usually not high, and the big motivation for manufacturers to do Zhihu is to slowly gather through the content output of Zhihu. The core fan base, at the same time, establishes passersby.

Searching for related issues in search engines, we may have a deeper perception: when searching for questions such as “Is the King of Glory Fun?” and “Is Onmyoji Fun?” through Baidu or Google, the content derived from Zhihu often appears in the first screen search Results.

It can be seen that Zhihu’s weight in search engines may not be low. If a brand wants to gain more popularity, it needs to build a reputation on this platform. Because the answer in every topic may change the brand’s imprint in the minds of users.

Wang Wu also said that the content marketing of game brands on Zhihu may not allow related topics to appear in the high positions of search engines, but continuous investment will undoubtedly help SEO (search engine optimization).

To sum up, the reason why a game brand or product conducts word-of-mouth building through Q&A is that on the one hand, the Zhihu platform has many KOLs and opinion consumers, and their voices will have an impact on a large number of users; on the other hand , Zhihu’s content model has a long tail effect, and it can occupy a prominent position on major search engines.

Influence industry leaders and build employer brand

Game manufacturers’ marketing goals on Zhihu have another ToB-biased logic in order to increase the influence of their brands in the industry, or to lower the barriers to recruitment, or to find partners.

Zhihu marketing practitioner Zhao Liu (pseudonym) provided an observation to Grape: “Game marketers have a clear understanding of the word-of-mouth effect of Zhihu marketing. But from my actual feelings, there are many cooperations. The starting point is that the bosses of various companies will usually see and know that they want to influence this group of people.”

We have no way of knowing how many game company bosses love to watch and know. But what is certain is that Zhihu platform does gather a large number of game industry practitioners. It is not difficult to draw this conclusion. Knowing that the topic of “game development” has nearly 140,000 attentions, and under the topic, we can see many certified active answerers, from middle-level and senior-level developers or first-line developers from game companies.

According to the user portraits given in Zhihu’s prospectus, Zhihu’s current users are mainly those under the age of 30 in first- and second-tier cities. In addition, from Baidu Index’s analysis of the keyword “Zhihu”, people who are interested in the search term have a high degree of overlap with the game preference group. In other words, if the game manufacturer wants to allow its own brand to penetrate the practitioners, then this target group is likely to know.

Zhao Liu’s team initially tried to understand the marketing business, which also originated from the above-mentioned findings:

At that time in 2018, we happened to be helping to spread an RPG mobile game represented by a major game manufacturer. At that time, this product was highly rated within their company and was valued by the leaders, so when discussing cooperation, they hoped to have some marketing that can affect the Boss. Later, we discovered that Zhihu has many big names from the game industry, so we wrote Zhihu marketing into the supplementary plan, and the other party was very interested. “

In order to allow game company bosses to see the performance of their own products, Zhihu Hot List has become a target of attention from marketers. This hot list is similar to the hot search on Weibo. It is a unified content display section of the entire Zhihu site, which aggregates current hot topics and ranks the Top 50 in real time based on the popularity value. The entrance of this version is on the homepage. If you open the web terminal, the content of Zhihu Hot List will be displayed by default.

This means that if a game brand appears in the top topics of the hot list, then Zhihu users will have the opportunity to perceive its existence.

“So the demand we received is very clear, create a topic, go to the top of the list, and then rush to the top of the hot list.” Zhao Liu revealed to Mr. Putao that when they first launched this business two years ago, there was no mature process and The supplier, based on the replies from the internal members under the topic, sent the customer’s game brand to the top 20 on the Zhihu Hot List. The other party is satisfied.

With the help of the first successful case, Zhao Liu took over the promotion of a ToB conference in the game industry from the customer. Naturally, the preferred marketing platform is Zhihu, and Party A’s goal is to influence more big players in the game circle through professional content communities.

“This is a very large-scale cooperation. We extracted hot topics from this developer conference and made the brand rush to the top five Zhihu Hot List. After that, we feel that Zhihu marketing is a very good market. , Set up a dedicated team to provide services for game brands.”

Compared with cooperating with professional marketing teams, some game manufacturers or bosses have changed their minds to become KOLs on Zhihu, and build their employer brand by continuously sharing content. This is equivalent to more advanced advertising. Game brands share opinions and output dry goods, which will not affect the user experience, but can also create content value for users.

Xindong.com CEO Huang Yimeng is perhaps the most active game company boss on Zhihu. He has spoken frequently on Zhihu. Since 2012, he has left 71 answers and expressed his views on many major events in the circle. He has received more than 36,000 likes in total. What’s interesting is that Huang Yimeng’s most praised answer is about how to choose a comfortable chair. In his answer, a high praise comment was written as “Is it still hiring?”

In contrast, more game company bosses and companies have chosen to remain silent on Zhihu.

This can be a pros and cons. Inadvertently speaking on Zhihu will indeed cause trouble and arouse resentment; and to do a good job of content output, people also need to be sincere and continuous investment. But it is undeniable that in this community, good opinions and answers can resonate with potential partners and high-quality talents.

Big manufacturers are more concerned about the marketing and promotion of Zhihu

It now appears that game manufacturers have not yet formed a trend in marketing and promotion on Zhihu. The reason may be that the return is not obvious. As marketer Wang Wu said, “For the vast majority of small and medium-sized manufacturers, every market budget they spend hopes to attract customers directly and see user growth.” However, the investment in Zhihu may not be possible. Immediately in the numbers.

From this point of view, game companies that focus on Zhihu’s promotion and marketing are mainly concentrated in large companies.

“Small and medium-sized companies may also be concerned, but we have less contact.” Li Si told Putaojun that the customers they serve are mainly Tencent, NetEase and Ali. The marketing goals of these three companies are quite the same, creating employer brand and product IP.

The layout of large factories in various fields is usually extensive and rapid. It is not surprising that Tencent and Netease have invested in Zhihu marketing. But in order to further understand how big factories have accumulated on Zhihu, Mr. Putao has made a two-dimensional inventory. The first is to look at the scale of the best-selling mobile game on Zhihu.

Grape King took the iOS top 150 mobile games on March 10th as the observation object, and sorted out their attention and the number of questions on Zhihu. Then we ranked the top 30 according to the amount of topic attention.

Through the inventory, we came up with four findings.

First of all, not all best-selling mobile games will operate and generate content on Zhihu. According to Putaojun’s sorting out, in the best-selling Top 150 mobile games on March 10, only 102 products have dedicated topic pages on Zhihu, and among them, there are only 30 mobile game topics with thousands of people. The amount of attention above. This may indicate that most game manufacturers have less operations and investment on Zhihu.

Our second finding is that Zhihu users’ attention to mobile games is generally low. Ranked according to the amount of attention, the top 30 products are not produced by Tencent, NetEase or the best in the sub-category. However, for products below Top 3, the amount of attention does not exceed 100,000, and the amount of problems does not reach the level of 10,000.

For comparison, “Three Kingdoms”, ranked fourth in the table, has 120 million views on Weibo topics and 176,000 discussions.

The last finding is that the products of Tencent and Netease occupy most of the seats in the list, and most of them are the main products. This is in line with Li Si’s statement, “For Zhihu marketing, whether large companies invest in funds or resources, they are generally concentrated on large-scale projects.”

It is worth mentioning that mobile games such as chess and card games, legendary games and fishing games are almost absent from the topic of Zhihu. Li Si said, “If these games are publicized, they may be tantamount to being scolded.”

However, the amount of attention and the amount of problems that game products have on Zhihu does not completely equate to the manufacturer’s emphasis on Zhihu marketing. Wang Wu’s marketing team also provides services to manufacturers including account management. In other words, if manufacturers have official accounts and continuous content output on Zhihu, it shows to a certain extent how much they care about Zhihu.

We searched Zhihu for the names of the aforementioned top 150 best-selling mobile game manufacturers, and found that a large number of game companies did not apply for institutional certification on Zhihu, and only a few 10 manufacturers have relevant authentication accounts. There are also some accounts such as Bilibili, Thunder Game, Chuangmeng Tiandi, etc., which are still pending authentication. But even with them, the scale is very small.

Although some manufacturers have passed the certification, the content output is minimal. In contrast, Tencent and Netease are obviously more concerned about Zhihu, both in terms of the number of verified accounts and the number of content output.

Compared with the hot search on Weibo, Zhihu Hot List is easier

Weibo has hot searches, and Zhihu has hot lists. As Zhao Liu said, if you want a brand to get a lot of exposure or show reputation on Zhihu, then the hot list is the target you must fight for.

Grapemaster counted 7,334 Topics on Zhihu Hot List from January to March 10 this year, and found that at least 470 game topics were on the Top 50, accounting for about 6.4%. Calculated on average, 6-7 topics in the game circle can be on the list every day.

We also subdivided 470 game topics, and found that the popular ones on the list were relatively concentrated on four specific products, namely “Glory of the King”, “League of Legends”, “Protoss” and “Tomorrow’s Ark”. During the statistical period, the number of hot list topics for these four products exceeded 30.

At first glance, the game is not low on the Zhihu platform, and it is easy to make the list.

“But from the perspective of marketers, the failure rate of game topics on the hot list is actually very high.” One of the daily tasks of the Zhao Liu team is to produce a large number of Zhihu topics to attract users to participate in the discussion. “We will submit 4-5 waves of topics every month, but if we rely solely on organic growth, at most 1-2 topics can be on the hot list.”

But Mr. Grape felt that there should be exceptions. Like “The Legend of Zelda”, “Cyberpunk 2077”, “Original God” and “Tomorrow’s Ark”, although they are not as popular as “King of Glory”, they are also on the Zhihu hot list. Zhao Liu told Grape King that the manufacturers of these games may not have spent money on Zhihu marketing.

We once took a case to talk to the other party about Zhihu marketing cooperation. In this process, we learned that the other party may be all natural traffic on Zhihu, so they are unwilling to pay for such a thing.

As for the reason, there is a platform tonality relationship. In addition, from the other side’s point of view, two-dimensional games, whether on Weibo, B or Zhihu, are usually highly topical, and they can attract widespread attention even without deliberate marketing. This may also be the reason why the topic of mainframe/standalone is not low on Zhihu.

But more often, Zhao Liu’s team needs to create momentum for the brand through manual intervention.

According to his introduction, there are no more than four methods when Zhihu is on the hot list. The first is equivalent to long-term operation, answering brand-related questions in the form of official accounts or third-party accounts, but the disadvantage of this method is that the results are slow, and it depends excessively on the eye-catching degree of the topic itself and the quality of the content; the second It is to enrich the topic content through self-question and self-answer; the third is to sign KOC or KOL to produce answers; the fourth is to use node topics to make the list.

As far as the fourth method is concerned, “We need to invest 500,000-800,000 yuan at a time to operate.”

The money will be used to reserve account resources, topic content, and invite celebrities in the industry to participate in answering questions, and then introduce a large number of naval forces and sign accounts to cover the pros and cons to jointly create an atmosphere of heated discussion.

In the case of spending money to operate, Zhao Liuhui will use the three words “easy” to summarize the current competitive trend of Zhihu Hot List. Although the natural flow effect of hot topics in society will squeeze their operating topics from the top of the hot list, in the process, they can still meet the hard targets set by customers by continuously spreading content and heating.

“The difficulty and input cost of a hot game topic on Zhihu is much lower than that of a hot search on Weibo. And I can tell you responsibly that the cost difference between the two is more than 5-10 times.”

In his view, Weibo is a platform dominated by the entertainment industry and the main battlefield of entertainment stars. The traffic cost threshold it brings is too high. “The size of the navy and its flow control capabilities that the entertainment company behind it can mobilize is higher than that of any industry.”

Is it worth the investment of game manufacturers?

At present, the marketing and promotion of game manufacturers on Zhihu has not yet formed a trend, and only a small number of large manufacturers have taken action.

The reason why most manufacturers are indifferent to Zhihu is easy to understand, because it may be difficult to find the target user group here. Wang Wu told Grapeman an example. They operated Zhihu accounts for a certain manufacturer’s mobile game. “But the players of this game are too old. They may not even read Zhihu in reality, so we are more It’s made for outsiders.”

To be sure, building a reputation is at least one of the demands of Zhihu marketing. What we care about is whether the layout of major manufacturers in this field will produce a “big sheep effect” in the future, allowing other manufacturers to follow up?

Mr. Grape’s judgment is that there may be game manufacturers watching the wind. There are three reasons for this possibility.

First of all, the market is changing. Manufacturers are paying more and more attention to brands and reputation under the banner of high-quality research and development. Under this trend, the number of core player groups is dominant, there are more discussions about game brands, and the content model has a long-tail effect. , There is a need to fight for;

Secondly, few game companies can win over talents by relying on salary alone. They need to show their corporate culture and development values ​​to the outside world, and use content to impress people. It just so happens that Zhihu is a suitable window because it is gathered here. A large number of practitioners come for knowledge, searching and reading the topics of “how to experience working in XX company”;

Furthermore, Zhihu itself is sinking and seeking commercialization, and every platform often has a large dividend period when it starts to commercialize. For many manufacturers that have not yet entered the game, it may not be missed. A reason.

Source: Game Grapes
Original: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/oDL_Rx3RAv4GC4jvafiQLA


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