Video games are as mainstream a hobby as they come in today’s cultural landscape, and influencers are emerging as power brokers within this landscape. This is thanks to the devoted fan base they carry with them. These fans watched 8.8 billion hours of video game live streams in the first quarter of 2021! This was an almost 180% increase over the same year.
Games properly paired with affiliate or influencer marketing give access to a wildly diversified range of consumers, communities, subcultures, and crossover interest groups. A recent BusinessOfApps report on the mobile gaming market showed that 74% of American mobile gamers would watch an in-game advertisement in exchange for an in-game benefit. Intriguingly, the study discovered that younger gamers were more tolerant of ads.
Figure 1: Gamers are willing to watch ads within games for perks. Source: Amra&Elma
Let us dive deeper into what a brand needs to maximize game influencer marketing’s potential.
Where To Find Affiliate Networks And Influencers For Games
Manual influencer discovery
The simplest place to start is by looking for games similar to yours. A quick search will turn up influencers and fans who have promoted products through games with positive comments, animated streams, or other encouraging content.
You may then narrow your search to find the creators who best meet your micro-influencer criteria and check how well their content performs in terms of total views and engagement. You’ll soon have a better idea of the influencers who might work well for you.
Influencer marketing platform database
Finding influencers for game affiliate marketing isn’t complicated because so much information is available through blogs, gaming websites, and YouTube. However, brands can outsource the work to influencer marketing platforms to reduce the time commitment needed to search, vet, and onboard influencers.
Through platforms like Atisfyreach, you can access influencers based on your preference. They link brands with gaming influencers to raise brand exposure, encourage app downloads, and improve app store rankings. In other words, the platform will do the heavy lifting of searching through databases for you rather than you having to search the internet for them.
Key Challenges Of Game Influencer Marketing
Identifying the audience
When marketers think of gamers, they usually have a stereotypical image in their minds. However, post-pandemic research has revealed that the gaming community’s actual members are more diverse.
The industry now appeals to individuals of all ages, socioeconomic statuses, and genders, with gradual but steady expansion occurring across various demographic groupings. This gives you more influencers to connect with and a higher chance to identify one whose following and style complement your business.
Competition from advertisers
When gamers increased their online activity, companies followed suit, capitalizing on the captive audience.
In a recent survey, more than 80% of content creators responded that the number of advertisements they view while gaming has increased. There has been an infusion of new brands from non-gaming industries exploring the gaming world. However, gaming brands are leading the advertising drive.
Creative collaborations are emerging in technology, beverages, food, music, sports, and fashion. Although these brands are investing money in advertising, they may not yet be leveraging the power of game influencer marketing.
Twitch is, without a doubt, the market leader for online gaming. 56.7% of gamers say it is their preferred platform, followed by YouTube (32%), Facebook Gaming (11.3%), and Google Play (11.3%).
The audiences of streamers on Twitch can range anywhere from hundreds to thousands of viewers. Getting comfortable with Twitch is necessary for marketers looking to connect with the gaming audience.
Finding a niche
You should ask yourself these questions if you’re a marketer considering entering the gaming industry:
- Who am I trying to persuade?
- Why am I attempting to engage this audience?
- Where do they spend the most time?
Avoid viewing the gaming industry as a single entity or with the idea that “more is better.” Like other social media platforms, creating an effective campaign doesn’t require having the top celebrity endorse your products. Instead, do some research on potential influencers in your niche. Their follower count holds less weight than how well they interact with their target audience.
Using an influencer marketing platform, you can explore the demographics and connect with influencers relevant to your ideal buyer.
Benefits Of Affiliate And Influencer Collaborations
A well-run game affiliate marketing campaign can increase sales, brand recognition, budget for more projects, and positive partnerships. In a recent Nielsen survey, 66% of participants stated they believe internet user reviews. Readers trust information from an affiliate who blogs about your game and includes a link to it in their sidebar. When a YouTuber plays your game live streaming, it encourages viewers to think the game is enjoyable and worth buying. Their enthusiasm and degree of curiosity are sincere.
Figure 2: Trust is a significant factor in online buying behavior. Source: Marketing Charts
With an influencer, your game is suddenly endorsed by someone other than you, instead of merely promoting your studio’s name, blogging on your website, and marketing your own game.
Effective game advertising adheres to one fundamental principle: go where the gamers are. It makes sense to emulate what gamers are doing if they watch Let’s Play videos on YouTube and read blogs connected to gaming stores and development studios. Since there aren’t many prospective customers on a platform or outlet, advertising a game won’t result in many sales. Whatever the challenges of working with influencers and affiliates, they are much outweighed by the benefits.
How To Create Gaming Affiliate And Influencer Marketing Strategies At Scale
Setting and accomplishing goals
You must establish what success in your game looks like to ensure that your influencer marketing investment is worthwhile. You should set specific targets as part of your influencer marketing plan.
Are you looking to build awareness for your games? Or perhaps you want to work on player loyalty. Maybe your goal is turning your audience into players by getting them to buy, download, and/or sign up for your game.
While putting conversions first is crucial, keep in mind that efforts must eventually result in more purchases. Additionally, set objectives that you can monitor using reliable data. After all, you can’t know if you’re accomplishing your goals if you don’t have reliable information.
Choosing platforms and content
The location of your micro-influencer might have a significant impact on your strategy. Influencers produce a wide range of content for streaming platforms, including game reviews, live-streamed game playthroughs, and everything in between. All major platforms have live streaming and standalone video uploads, with captions that influencers use to insert affiliate links or other trackable URLs. You can use them to gain credit for referring site traffic or game purchases. Additionally, some have unique features. For instance, Twitch includes “Twitch Drops,” in which streamers and developers collaborate to distribute game keys, digital products, discount vouchers, beta access credentials, and more to attract gamers to games.
It’s essential to weigh your alternatives when deciding what kind of content would be most effective for your game, especially when you plan to scale your game affiliate marketing.
Choosing, finding, and approaching influencers
It’s crucial to keep your approach in mind when selecting influencers. Establish ideal influencer qualities first. This influencer will typically have a sizable following, produce content with a high engagement rate per follower, consistently publish new content, love games similar to yours, and have a following in the area where you intend to launch your game. You can choose more precise parameters, such as their availability, from there.
Think about your content strategy and whether or not particular influencers will be able to offer it authentically. Different influencers appeal to diverse audiences as each has their own distinctive personality.
You can then find influencers manually or via an influencer marketing platform that fits your criteria.
You’ll need to figure out how to contact each influencer after you’ve listed the one to help promote your game. Bulk results from dealing with multiple micro-influencers can be excellent. This could include collaborating with dozens or even hundreds of them, depending on your game’s financial constraints and your studio’s marketing prowess.
Ask influencers for recommendations on what kind of content will work best with their audiences and treat them like collaborators. Find out what has worked when they have teamed with similar studios or games. Their advice could spell the difference between mediocre and extraordinary achievement.
Provide clear, detailed briefs outlining all expectations and terms of the agreement. When both parties are on the same page, the campaign will progress without bumps or clashes. That translates to continued collaborations and trust in the future.
Make sure you set up processes to collect performance data before you launch your content. For instance, if your goal is to get 10,000 website visits for your game, make sure to give your micro-influencers a trackable link to go along with their post so you can track the traffic they sent your way using analytics software, such as Google Analytics. The more you go through this process, the more insights you gain, and your game influencer marketing initiatives will improve over time.
Compensation and long-term relationships
Focusing on high-quality video content, such as video reviews, live streaming, and Twitch Drops, which have standardized remuneration methods, such as revenue sharing with affiliates, and sponsorship for influencers, is a wiser approach when it comes to attracting gamers.
The crux of the matter is to ensure your micro-influencers feel valued and respected with appropriate compensation, regardless of the reward methods you select for them. At the end of each campaign, you can give your influencers satisfaction surveys to ensure they feel appreciated.
How To Get Started
Making room in your game promotion strategy for affiliate and influencer marketing is a good idea, and it’s also becoming a norm. Live streaming and influencer content have emerged as essential tools for game marketing. This makes it important that you reach out to influencers and affiliates if you’ve thought of creative ways to advertise your game.
When it comes to advertising your gaming brand, Atisfyreach helps brands scale their influencer marketing initiatives quickly, whether ten or 100s of influencers you are working with. Our AI-based platform assists brands in end-to-end influencer marketing solutions that save time and resources and make data-backed reporting easy.