Who decided that gaming was for guys? Because personally, I grew up playing Playstation, Nintendo and the occasional computer game (Sims). I loved it and still do.

However, the narrative somehow got pushed into the male atmosphere and it was somewhat uncommon to see girls in the gaming world.

With this in mind, Saads Abrahams from media update spoke to Busisiwe Masango-Steenkamp from Goliath Gaming about the importance of marketing e-sports and gaming for women.

How has the marketing approach for e-sports and gaming evolved specifically to target women over the past few years?

With the rise of social media, I have seen a number of female gaming influencers collaborating with well-known brands.

We have seen many gaming companies and organisations include more females in the gaming community, like FIFA, including women's teams in the game.

What unique challenges and opportunities does marketing to the female gaming audience present compared to marketing to male gamers?

  • Underrepresentation: Female gamers have often been underrepresented in the gaming industry — both as players and in marketing campaigns.
  • Stereotypes: Gaming is largely seen as a male hobby.

  • Awareness: It can highlight the challenges women face in the gaming community.
  • Inclusivity and representation: It can build a community-led to inspire younger women and make them feel part of the gaming community.
  • Growth opportunity: This space of gaming has the potential to grow. Women are getting more involved, and this means even more opportunities for brands and marketing campaigns.

In what ways can marketers address gender stereotypes in gaming while promoting products or events to women gamers?

A way I would love for us to address gender stereotypes is by challenging stereotypical gaming themes.
Get women to play games that are usually played more by their male counterparts.
Get more female gamers to collaborate with male gamers to create content that encourages diversity and acceptance between both genders.

This content can also educate the viewers on the importance of addressing toxic behaviour in the gaming space towards women.

What role do diversity and representation play in marketing e-sports and gaming to women, and how can marketers incorporate this in their strategies?

Diversity and representation play a crucial role in marketing e-sports and gaming to women. It not only helps in breaking down stereotypes and fostering inclusivity but also expands the potential audience base, leading to increased engagement.

How can one leverage social media and influencers to connect with and build a community of female gamers?

Create interesting and engaging content with influential female gamers and content creators.
Hosting events can generate interest and hype. Organise contests and giveaways targeted at the female gaming community. These promotions can encourage engagement, attract new followers and build excitement around your brand.

What are some effective strategies to encourage more women to participate in e-sports events as players, content creators or spectators?

Provide a place or platform where they can better their skills — by hosting tournaments centred around women in the gaming community (as Sam "TechGirl" Wright, Goliath Gaming and I did earlier this year in the form of "Play FIFA Like A Girl").

Have a couple of well-known women in the industry at these events that can guide and motivate them. Have a workshop that comes with mentorship programmes where female players or industry professionals can guide and support aspiring women in e-sports.

How can marketers ensure that female gamers are represented authentically and not just as a token gesture in marketing materials?

Show support and celebrate the achievements or millstones made by women in the gaming community — it's important to make long-term commitments and investments in growing the community.

What steps can one take to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for women within the gaming community when running marketing campaigns?

Communicating with and among women is key. It's important to educate the people involved in the campaign.

Provide a safe space for women to voice their concerns and opinions without being stereotyped. Make sure that the environment is toxic-free by monitoring all social media platforms. [Check out amaSocial]

How can one handle the balance between addressing female gamers' unique interests while avoiding gender-specific stereotypes in marketing content?

Generate a campaign that will allow you to do some audience research; this will help in knowing what female gamers like and their preferences.

Don't stick to one game — let the ladies have a variety of games and genres that appeal to different interests (but avoid pigeonholing women into specific game genres based on stereotypes).

It's important to involve and showcase all women from all walks of life. Spreading positivity is also key.

How do you see the future of marketing e-sports and gaming for women, and what do you believe will be the key areas of focus moving forward?

The gaming industry continues to grow and evolve; the future of marketing e-sports and gaming for women holds great potential.

will be key moving forward, like the importance of supportive gaming communities and meaningful collaborations with brands and female gamers.

What are your thoughts on the importance of marketing to women in the gaming industry? Let us know in the comments section below.

Want to stay up to date with the latest news? Subscribe to our newsletter.

If you enjoyed this piece, then take a look at Content creation in the gaming industry: a Q&A with Thulani Sishi.

*Image courtesy of Canva.