Game influencer marketing can be one of the most effective ways to engage with the gaming audience, especially for brands looking for creative ways of reaching new markets. The gaming industry, with its large, global fanbase, presents attractive opportunities for businesses to increase brand awareness through sponsorship and marketing.
With the right tools and strategy, you can engage gaming influencers to carry out successful campaigns, get exposure, and improve your metrics. Here’s a complete guide to forming game influencer partnerships for your brand.
Who Are Gaming Influencers?
Gaming influencers are online content creators whose passion and performance in the gaming field have earned them a loyal audience. They typically operate primarily on one or more major social video platforms, such as YouTube or Twitch.
Like talented content creators and influencers in any field, a gaming influencer is a trend maker and thought leader in the dynamic and fast-moving sector. Gamers who advertise and talk about their gaming lifestyle through live-streaming and game reviews are frequently hired by gaming companies for marketing campaigns.
What Makes Influencer Marketing Special for Gaming Brands?
You cannot deny the influence of gaming on mainstream culture. For marketers looking to reach new and diverse audiences, online gaming offers exciting opportunities to generate massive brand exposure.
A gamer’s audience + influencer marketing projects = a winning strategy
It opens multiple creative avenues
Game influencer marketing is unique because it provides a variety of rich opportunities and creative platforms that are often overlooked in the larger world of influencer marketing. For one, marketers can break free from an “Instagram first” approach. Gaming influencers and the platforms they work on open up a new approach to greater engagement and audience connection.
Authenticity at its best
Even in its most basic form, gaming influencer marketing allows for direct, energized, and passionate product demonstrations. In addition to offering multiple formats of short, medium, and long-form gameplay content in both pre-recorded VOD formats and live, streamed broadcasts. Also, the live nature of the influencer’s content is real, raw, and authentic, precisely what the gaming audience appreciates.
High potential for Twitch and YouTube marketing
If you are yet to become accustomed to Twitch, gaming influencer marketing is just the thing to get started. The platform provides many creative options for real-time audience interaction, community involvement and engagement, and a variety of special virtual events, tournaments, panels, collaborations, and presentations.
And the gaming influencer marketing options on YouTube are virtually limitless. They range from simple (but well-targeted) gameplay demos for the right audiences to live-action productions, documentary content, in-game storytelling series, creative reviews, and beyond. Again, how gaming influencer marketing can convey, elicit, and relay key messaging to the right, engaged communities depends on your budget, creative vision, and insight. You don’t have to be a gaming company to take advantage of it.
Boons of Working with Video Game Influencers
1. The ever-growing gaming industry
The gaming industry has experienced a massive boom in recent years, with the popularity of both casual and competitive gaming skyrocketing. This has impacted influencer marketing, with an increasing number of brands looking to collaborate with gamers to reach this large and engaged audience. Influencer marketing in games was worth $2.5 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $4.4 billion by 2022, according to Business Insider Intelligence. Several factors are driving this growth, including an increase in the number of people playing games, the rise of streaming platforms such as Twitch, and the growing spending power of gamers.
Figure 1: Growth of gaming influencer marketing infographic. Source: Amra & Elma
2. Increased reach and traffic
The thing about video game influencers is that they have a talent for engaging audiences during streams. Why? Because audiences will return for more if the content is entertaining. This will help you build a loyal community of followers and customers.
The format of influencer marketing campaigns allows brands to increase awareness due to the innovativeness and creativity involved in game streaming — and you don’t even need to be a gaming brand!
3. Capitalize on the influence
Game influencers are on-screen for extended periods in front of their viewers. These viewers are familiar with and enjoy watching their videos.
However, what influencers say about a brand or even a random subject will likely impact the audience. Gaming influencers can influence how audiences buy products and how they perceive products, so partnering with the right one is essential.
Working with gaming influencers will expose your brand to new audiences. This can help you grow your following and convert them into customers.
4. Drive audience engagement through multiple touchpoints
Gaming influencers can impact your customer’s journey, from the launch of a new game to downloads and purchases and, finally, promotional marketing activity. Numerous opportunities and touchpoints for gamers offer great potential for customer acquisition.
Get pre-registrations for your game’s launch through an influencer. A strong buzz before the game goes live can be highly beneficial.
Your influencer can introduce the game with better results than a standalone pre-launch promotion on the day your game goes live. For instance, your ad could include visuals of your influencer playing your game.
If your game is releasing new features or versions, influencers can try them out before your audience makes the decision to invest.
Seasonal or holiday celebrations
Depending on the type of game, your audience may be more available to play at certain times of the year. If this is the case, an influencer can assist you in maximizing this trend.
How To Use Gaming Influencers
Before beginning your game influencer marketing campaign, start with the following steps:
1. Get clear on your goals/intentions
When it comes to influencer marketing, most advertisers have two main objectives:
- Increase brand awareness
- Expand the number of sales
These two objectives are not mutually incompatible. You can combine them or start with one and then move on to the next once you’re comfortable with influencer marketing.
However, it is critical to understand the distinction between them and determine which is more important. When you begin strategically, you are less likely to be tempted into flashy partnerships that may not best serve your intended audience. At the same time, you’re better able to find influencers who are a good fit and pick associations that make sense.
2. Dispel myths about the gaming community
Many brands still believe in outdated gamer stereotypes. On the other hand, the actual gamers are more diverse than you might expect. The industry has grown to include people of all ages, backgrounds, and genders, with steady growth occurring across various demographic groups.
For example, more gamers are between the ages of 35 and 44 than those under 18. Women are active gamers and now account for nearly half of all gamers (45%), even though the average gamer is a little more likely to be male (Statista). Furthermore, game preferences differ across professional groups and genders. As a result, it is critical to research your target audience.
Figure 2: Women are also active gamers and make up half of all gamers. Source: Newzoo
Once you know who’s playing where, you can assess their worth as a marketing target and identify the influencers who appeal to each.
3. Create the right types of collaborations
Find the partnership options that are the best fit with your target audience to build the right influencer marketing campaign. Here are some examples:
Reach out to your team’s die-hard fans with targeted messaging. You may reach a smaller audience, but you are becoming more aligned with their aspirational purchasing power.
In the last decade, the global eSports industry has grown at a rapid pace. Several brands and companies are forming partnerships and signing sponsorship agreements with publishers, eSports teams, tournament organizers, and celebrity streamers. From Premier League football clubs like Wolves and Schalke to artists like BLACKPINK and automobile giants like BMW, Tesla, and Mercedes-Benz, many have had some eSports or gaming collaboration.
Tournament sponsorship gets you in front of many people, but it can also be expensive for smaller brands. Doritos, for example, has stepped in and sponsored industry-leading tournaments, gaining hours of captive eyes and ears drooling after their product.
Figure 3: Doritos Bowl is a premiere event in the gaming community. Source: PR Newswire
The 2021 Doritos Bowl was one of the year’s premier events and was streamed live on Twitch. The winning team received a year’s supply of Doritos, a shiny trophy, and a share of a $175,000 prize pool. Swagg, itsHafu, lolTyler1, and iiTzTimmy, four gaming titans and Twitch content creators, drafted teams of 20 to compete in a one-day melee featuring five different games.
Gaming influencer partnership
Got a new launch coming up? Promote your products and services by collaborating with a streamer or gaming influencer. This could include them using your products or mentioning them during their streams. You form a beneficial partnership while also appearing genuine to their audiences.
Influencers have multiple places to promote your brand. These partnerships can be valuable if you work with a popular gamer on various platforms while they are still growing their presence on new networks.
4. Add value and think long-term
Consider how your brand can contribute and add value, just as you would with any other influencer activation. Brands that look for synergies and consider giving and contributing stand out more positively and have better results with their campaigns. Their promotions are intended to foster connections and mutually beneficial relationships with their audience and their influencer partner.
Gaming Influencers, A Powerful Resource In Influencer Marketing
Gaming influencers provide impressive engagement and assist brands in reaching a young, diverse audience. The popularity of eSports and the rapid growth of platforms such as Twitch have increased their reach even further. Gamers are often passionate about their hobby and are more likely to respond to marketing messages that appeal to their interests.
Finding gaming influencers to collaborate with can take time and effort. While many gaming influencers are available, only the right fit will get you closer to your goals. But using an influencer marketing platform like AtisfyReach makes it much more manageable. Our AI-powered platform enables brands to recruit influencers, scale their influencer marketing initiatives and run campaigns seamlessly.