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Brands To Watch
December 10, 2021
min read
Elsie Bernaiche

Is ASUS the king of gaming?

Who is Asus ?

Asus is a Taiwan-based multinational computer phone hardware and electronics company that makes notebooks, netbooks, motherboards, graphics cards, and other hardware that appeals to gamers in particular. 

Where do they appear?

YouTube: 1397 Thought Leaders, 54,194 mentions

Podcast: 45 Thought Leaders, 346 mentions

Newsletter: 32 Thought Leaders, 92 mentions

Blog: 26 Thought Leaders, 429 mentions

In the past year, we have 8554 total unique pieces of content from 783 influencers. About 95% of this content is organic, mostly gamers mentioning their preferred gaming hardware and recommending ASUS organically to their followers. 

The #1 type of video where ASUS is being organically mentioned is the Let’s Play, a SUPER popular video format where the gamer records themself playing and explaining features of the game. We have around 5,900 videos from 66 YouTubers mentioning ASUS since 2007. In the past year, they’ve been mentioned on 525 Let’s Play videos from 28 gamers. 

They first appeared in digital content on YouTube in 2006 on the channel Stuff - they take a look at ASUS early version of a smart phone… talk about traveling back in time!

Fortunately their brand image AND technology have evolved since 2006. In 2008 we really see ASUS starting to re-brand to appeal to the gaming community, as they began making gaming-specific products like controllers and graphics cards built to support new video games. 

Naturally, ASUS is featured in review videos highlighting the functionality of the hardware and OS. We are seeing 5,615 videos from 516 tech and gamer YouTubers going back to 2009:

Interestingly, ASUS is mentioned on multiple international channels across German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish speaking YouTubers. They are mentioned 34882 times on gaming channels and 14243 times in technology-oriented content. 

How do they appear?

ASUS is not really promoting itself within this content. While this much volume in organic mentions indicates a successful brand, it indicates how ASUS may be missing out on revenue by not structuring more formally sponsored content for consumers to access.

For example, most videos are linking ASUS parts and peripherals to Amazon or other e-comm sites. There are currently 1,448 videos from 194 YouTubers that are linking directly to Amazon to purchase the ASUS product. While we know that ASUS is certainly sharing revenue with Amazon on these sales (great!), they’re not maximizing profitability on these organic mentions. With a sponsored link in the caption, they could be driving 100% of all impressions directly to their site, where there is less likelihood for their product to appear next to competitor brands and consumers are not able to purchase 2nd-hand or lightly used items from a 3rd party as is permitted on the Amazon platform. 

ASUS has in a few cases provided their hardware to a content creator on YouTube free of charge for them to review. However, the click-thru link is still driving revenue to a different company, in this example the sponsor of the video N2XT Store:

In fact, ASUS products are being discussed next to other brands almost 1500 times on YouTube. Searches of “sponsored by” and ASUS reveal that ASUS is discussed in the content but not the actual sponsor. That’s nearly 219 Million impressions generated from content mentioning ASUS that are being driven to brands or sites other than ASUS.

How do they compare to their competitors?

SteelSeries is also exploding on YouTube, as we are seeing with gaming trends in general. Of 126 total content producers they’ve been sponsoring this year, 106 of them are YouTubers. Interestingly, SteelSeries isn’t appearing as frequently across “Let’s Play” videos as we are seeing with ASUS, with only 31 YouTubers making Lets Plays that mention SteelSeries. 

However, SteelSeries is capitalizing on all the content they’re appearing in - they’re sponsoring tons of newsletter and YouTube content with direct links to their site, even offering 12% off if you enter your referral’s discount code in the checkout.

From this activity, SteelSeries has gained 42Million impressions from just 13K mentions on 382 YouTube gamer channels. SteelSeries has some pretty heavy overlap with ASUS, being mentioned in the same content 7,775 times on 211 of the same YouTube channels. From SteelSeries top 100 YouTube channels, we get nearly 2000 mentions of ASUS, showing how both brands appeal strongly to the same audience. Both brands are leveraging this attention in different ways, however, and ASUS is missing out by not sponsoring in this space. SteelSeries is scooping 100% of the impressions available on these overlapped channels right now. 

Here’s a look at how SteelSeries may be scaling up their activity over time:

We are seeing that they’ve tested the most on channels where they only sponsored 1-3 times. However, they have 7 channels showing at least 10+ mentions, showing that they’ve hit on some good relationships. They continue to test more heavily towards the beginning of their fiscal year from what we are tracking. 

So what does this tell us ?

Generally, ASUS products have succeeded in the tech and gaming communities and as a result have driven organic traffic through the roof.

Organic mentions are the ultimate goal of any brand - you’re expanding audience reach and brand awareness without spending a single dollar of your media budget.
However, as we can clearly see with ASUS, organic media doesn’t always translate to a positive ROI. Oftentimes spending some of that media budget on sponsoring content in spaces where your brand is ALREADY being mentioned organically will increase conversion rates and click-thru and drive overall revenue growth from those channels. You’re maximizing the amount of attention your brand already has and ensuring that every available impression is being driven to your site, where your chances of making a sale goes up dramatically and you get to control the consumer environment.

We’ve estimated that ASUS has 219M available impressions they could capture if they invested in sponsoring their top YouTube channels, those that are mentioning ASUS 800+ times over the course of at least 2 years, and still being mentioned within the past 5 years. That’s a crazy opportunity to collect on sales without having to necessarily establish new relationships with content producers or grow brand awareness.

We will continue to track ASUS to see if they begin to explore this strategy and what results they get - stay tuned! 

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