TikTok’s significant investments in gaming events, initiatives, and creators have increased the opportunity for gaming brands to benefit from TikTok influencer marketing. Moreover, TikTok’s distinct culture and functionality make it one of the most complex social media platforms for many marketers in content creation. And so, brands that invest in TikTok influencer marketing have a competitive advantage.
Do you want your game to reach TikTok’s growing audience? Do you want to collaborate with gaming influencers on TikTok? Then keep on reading!
In this article, we’ll look at how gaming companies can use TikTok influencer marketing to skyrocket in popularity. We’ll go over strategies, how to manage influencer campaigns, the value of data and tracking tools, and how to amp up your efforts.
The Effects Of TikTok On The Video Games Industry And eSports
Esports teams are now equivalent to global brands. One thing they don’t have that other sports teams do is a home crowd. Social media plays a significant role in filling this void and attracting new fans for esports teams. TikTok has also discovered a new fanbase for esports, with gaming content becoming famous among its users.
Here are some examples of how the gaming industry has changed.
With its new game division transforming and integrating the world of all-star sports teams and competition-based gaming, TikTok’s parent developer and music app developer ByteDance have been foraying into gaming with the platform.
The NCAA tournament was held last spring in collaboration with the College of Advanced Sciences and the Collegiate StarLeague (CSL), an online collegiate esports tournament with a prize pool of $6,000. Collegiate players could compete for a portion of the prize money to help pay for their education. TikTok used the gaming platform to put its users in the spotlight. The company showcased these videos on the TikTok Cup broadcast (under the #TikTokCupContest) and the company’s official TikTok page.
Figure 1: TikTok organized a tournament to introduce gaming to the platform. Source: AFK Gaming
New experience during the events
Earlier gaming on TikTok mainly consisted of game clips, highlights, and news videos. However, CEO, Kevin Mayer, has stated that one of his goals is to broaden the scope of gaming and esports on the platform.
FIFA content has received over 3.3 billion views on TikTok. For example, the social network announced a partnership with FIFA 21-based esports team Tundra in October 2020. Since this first collaboration, major video game developers have established a stronger presence on the platform.
Increased interest in esports
Gen Z accounts for a much larger proportion of gaming audiences than previous generations. Only 19% of all adult demographics identify as esports fans, compared to 35% of Gen Z. This demonstrates a significant shift in how generations view sports. It is the only sport in which Gen Z fans outnumber the general public.
A new way to communicate with the audience
Esports and gaming organizations are testing TikTok, investing creative and marketing resources in it. Riot Games collaborated with TikTok to promote its original music track, “True Damage,” through a hashtag challenge in which users could upload lip-synced videos. The partnership occurred during the World Championships finals for the popular MOBA game, League of Legends.
TikTok’s developer, ByteDance, has developed a video game development unit called Nuverse, which has acquired several gaming studios and exclusive distribution rights.
A new wave of influencers
Large esports gaming brands benefit from their TikTok marketing strategy, and gamers and esports influencers are also gaining massive fan bases. Bugha, the Fortnite World Cup champion, has accumulated 5.7 million TikTok followers.
In addition, other streamers like Ninja, FaZe Rug, and Pokimane have also gained millions of followers. You can look at these high-profile TikTokers for content inspiration for your brand.
Critical Elements Of A TikTok Influencer Strategy
Before you send DMs to gaming influencers on TikTok, you must consider how you will approach a marketing strategy. Here are three key elements you need to begin with:
Who do you want to reach out to on TikTok? Learn about the TikTok demographics and identify those interested in your brand before you begin creating content.
TikTok has developed a diverse community, which includes its gamers. It is a viable platform for targeting gamers who are challenging to reach elsewhere regarding age and gender.
The platform’s users are evenly divided by gender, and its demographics are diversifying.
According to Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report, the group is:
- More enthusiastic about games.
- Likely to recommend games to friends.
- Likely to discuss games on social media.
- They are more likely to consider gaming a vital part of their social life.
Unsurprisingly, TikTok users are likely to watch gaming content, and many do so through TikTok.
Figure 2: TikTok gaming audience is more engaged than mobile gamers. Source: Newzoo
Gaming hashtags, TikTok gaming influencers, and the brands gamers represent are all gaining traction on TikTok. Naturally, you’ll want to reach out to prominent names, but don’t discount smaller creators with an engaged audience on the platform.
Also, some of the successful TikTokers work in music, entertainment, or other more “general” categories, and many gaming companies are collaborating with them.
The key is to find a creator who can seamlessly blend your product with its content and make it interesting for their audience.
Be bold and seek expert advice on what types of sponsored TikTok videos will perform best with the intended audience. Often game marketing agencies have proven expertise in devising marketing strategies, and there is no harm in trying them out. After all, they’re the ones who have spent the most time experimenting with and testing different approaches to see what works best.
Secondly, instead of sending out content that appears too corporate, collaborate with the creator to create one that is authentic and fits with TikTok’s somewhat unconventional approach.
Regarding the costs of TikTok influencer marketing, you can expect more variation between influencers, especially when compared to more established platforms like YouTube. While other platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, may be more familiar to you for influencer marketing, you may likely have to approach TikTok differently. But some of the fundamentals, such as understanding the value of various metrics, will be much the same.
TikTok Gaming Influencer Marketing Campaign Management
Selecting the creative direction
TikTok’s variety of video formats and durations allows advertisers to tailor their content to the best advantage, but the platform is also making exciting moves in the gaming space.
Understanding different TikTok formats and video durations is important, but you will only get far with a good idea about content that works. Some gaming content categories you can try on TikTok include
- Gaming Comedy Sketches
- Character creation
- Gaming Cosplay/costumes
However, posting anything resembling a traditional advertisement on TikTok would be a mistake. If the videos promoting your products vary a lot from the influencer’s usual videos, the influencer’s followers will notice and may react negatively.
Influencer brief and collaborations
A well-drafted brief ensures influencer content reflects your brand and nails the core message.
At its core, influencer marketing is similar to storytelling. But don’t try to write a script for your influencers. You must give your influencers enough leeway to tell your story to their fans while remaining authentic.
Trying to cram too much information about video scripting will undoubtedly do more harm than good. User-generated authenticity drives TikTok culture. Furthermore, you only have a limited amount of time to work with, so focusing your brief and communications on the absolute essentials of your message will result in a well-received branded video.
That being said, when collaborating with TikTok influencers, brands should try to keep things simple by sending over:
- The main goal and message of the campaign.
- Any specific talking points that must be addressed or avoided.
- Promo types.
- Payment terms.
- Timelines for content submissions and campaigns.
Contracts and payments
In addition to the brief, you provide a TikTok influencer, ensure that important details such as video length, exclusivity clauses, and how long any tracking link will exist in their bio are all explicitly outlined in your contracts. Payment details, like all contracts, should be clearly defined.
FTC compliance is something to keep in mind to ensure your brand maintains a positive reputation among relevant authorities and audiences. To reduce potential backlash, make the ad disclosure obvious with visual overlays or clear audio notices.
A solid legal document agreed upon and signed by both parties can help marketers and influencers feel secure in the partnership.
Campaign Performance Tracking And Reporting
It will be easy to pinpoint if influencer marketing works for your game if you have proof that your TikTok influencer campaigns are effective. There are several methods for measuring TikToker’s post-performance:
Provide influencers with affiliate links or product pages with unique links or UTMs. You can control how long these links remain on their profile and track performance using CTRs, website visits, sales, and other metrics.
They are ideal for attributing profits to the creator if your goal is to drive sales. Additionally, you can provide them with a download code that is unique to them. Including this allows your systems to record those who downloaded from the influencer videos.
Aside from enabling these tracking methods, keep an eye on traditional engagement metrics like likes, comments, and views. Brand sentiment metrics, such as brand mentions and user-generated content, provide additional insight into how your ad is perceived.
TikTok Analytics is only available to TikTok Pro account holders. A pro account provides TikTok analytics that regular accounts do not. Details such as when users interact with your account or view and interact with your video can help you evaluate your content strategies.
In some cases, tracking the ROI of an influencer campaign can be difficult, so many brands will use an influencer marketing platform. These platforms provide accurate influencer-driven sales data through tools such as campaign dashboards, promo code creators, and campaign reports.
The Right Influencers Can Change The Game For You
The first rule is to select the right influencers for your brand regardless of which social channels you use for influencer marketing. A good influencer can help your game way more than a viral TikToker. Once you’ve identified appropriate influencers, you’ll need to contact them and form a partnership. You must ensure that any agreement is acceptable to your influencers.
Sounds like a lot of work, right? In addition to game development, running multiple influencer marketing campaigns takes work. With AtisfyReach, you can quickly scale your influencer marketing initiatives. The platform automates critical tasks like influencer discovery, contracts and payments, and campaign management, freeing your time to develop a truly remarkable game.