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How to Incorporate Gaming Influencers into Your Next Campaign
You can do all kinds of marketing campaigns to get eyes on your products, but one of the most popular marketing strategies on the rise is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is expected to reach $16.4 billion in 2022 alone, with its growth attributed to social media platforms.
While some brands think of YouTube or Instagram influencers as the only ones to partner with, another group with an even more extensive reach with the potential to keep your products and brands relevant – gaming influencers. Gaming influencers have an astounding global reach because people love video games, which is a significant part of building communities.
The data proves that the intersection of gaming and influencer marketing is here to stay. The result of this is a growing demand for live content. According to a YouGov study, in Q3 2019, 4.3 million channels on Twitch broadcasted live content, while it “nearly tripled, reaching 11.4 million channels” in Q2 2021.
So, why is influencer marketing effective in gaming spaces? Authenticity.
Their Audience Trusts Them
One of the primary reasons why people return to gaming influencers’ channels on Twitch, YouTube, or TikTok is that gamers build community-centered brands that retain a loyal following. Also, social media has made people closer to content creators because creators have opened up to their viewers enough to build authentic relationships.
This authenticity isn’t always found in other categories of influencer marketing because it’s not relatable to a broad audience. However, gaming covers a spectrum of price range, age, and genre.
Although you might want to reach out to major gaming influencers to kickstart your marketing campaign, you don’t have to pick the most prominent influencers to do so. Smaller creators, also known as micro-influencers, still make an impact on their audiences.
Micro-influencers “receive way better engagement and a balanced reach” compared to big influencers, says Chandraveer Singh of Social Pilot. One of the reasons why micro-influencers are so effective is because they have the time to talk to their audience intimately in chat directly. This “Community Room” area, as Skillsearch calls it accounted for “754 million hours in Q1 2021, a huge 44% increase from the previous year.”
So as gaming transformed into spaces for creativity, community, and career-building, it’s also grown on several platforms. There’s Twitch, where millions of live viewers are watching content at any moment. According to Twitch Tracker, an average of 2,645,000 concurrent users with 829 billion minutes watched this year. While YouTube understands its platform as a space where viewers watch gamers because they want to feel included, especially for female gamers who find inclusivity meaningful. And then there’s the newest platform, TikTok, where an even younger demographic watches shorts of original content. Werner Geyser of Influencer Marketing Hub says that the “largest group on TikTok are people aged between 16 and 24. They make up 41% of the total user base.”
Success for Non-endemic Brands
Even if your brand’s products or services don’t intersect with the gaming industry, you can still work with gaming influencers. Gamers are people, too, using products that reflect their style and needs. For example, according to this article by Glossy, Twitch became a rising platform for beauty brands, with Hero Cosmetics reaching out to Twitch gaming streamer Seum to promote its products while live streaming a game.
As such, gaming influencers can create unique content for your marketing campaign. One example is from a Forward Influence explainer that looked at SSSniperWolf’s partnership with Boohoo a few years ago as the intersection of gaming and fashion. The opportunity to promote comfortable and fashionable clothing for someone who plays games for hours is a simple way to sell clothes and promote a fashion brand.
Besides having gaming influencers and streamers creating content that integrates brands, there are other unique content opportunities available, including but not limited to:
- Channel Sponsorships
Unboxing videos do well with viewers as well. The popular YouTube creator, iJustine, is known for doing tech unboxing videos on her channel by walking viewers through everything they need to know. An unboxing campaign can be done live on Twitch, as some streamers prefer, or it can live on a separate channel such as YouTube.
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Next are channel sponsorships. A popular Pokemon challenge creator, Mah-Dry-Bread, discussed his experience with Khimyra, a clothing brand, in one of his videos with a genuine love for their clothes (without a partnership). Now brands such as Khimyra or Surfshark VPN are sponsors in his Pokemon videos after an outpour of support and business from his viewers. The sponsorship method has a longer life span since brands can continuously work with the creator, and “you develop an advantageous partnership [with the influencer] while also feeling genuine to their audiences,” says Ismael El-Qudsi at Entrepreneur.
Finally, brands can also participate in giveaways or discount codes that can do a great job of generating new leads. For example, NZXT partnered with Ninja, a popular streamer, on a custom desktop computer with Ninja’s custom colors and logo on it. He helped “direct traffic from Twitter to NZXT’s website, instantly boosting website traffic.” Wendys and Uber Eats did something similar where every order from Wendy’s Never Stop Gaming Menu comprised 5 Twitch streamers’ favorite Wendy’s meals exclusively on Uber Eats, giving viewers the chance to win thousands of prizes. At the same time, Gucci Beauty’s #ForeverGuilty campaign was a branded island to promote its fragrances on the popular game Animal Crossing New Horizons (pictured below is Kang’s tour of the island).
Steps for Success with Gaming Influencers
There are a few things to remember once you are ready to start creating a marketing campaign with gaming influencers. First, it’s essential to understand your goals for the campaign. Is it sales, raising awareness, promo, or are you trying to enter a new market? Once you answer that, “it will be more effective to kick off on your strategy by honing in on your brand’s needs,” says Jenn Chen Sproutsocial.
As you’re working with influencers, you’ll want to choose the right gaming platform because each one has its strengths, and targeting consumers where they spend most of their time is vital. Twitch is great for live streaming and chatting, YouTube is excellent for short and long-form videos, while TikTok is very successful at buzzy, quick content.
Since there are different gaming influencers from esports, RPG, retro, and even gaming news, there are plenty of options to find the right influencer for your campaign. Plus, you can develop different tactics with different influencers if you’re targeting several groups. You’ll also want to make sure that you pick the right influencer. If you wish to have video content, choosing a streamer who doesn’t make videos outside of live stream highlights won’t help you accomplish your goals. Similarly, if you want someone to create cosplay content with your product, you should pick a gaming influencer known for cosplay or sketches, including Cloudiemcdoom.
The next task is to do a deep dive into the language the gaming influencer uses and who they are personally. It’s critical to do this because authenticity with the influencer is just as important as it would be with the viewers you hope to reach. So ask yourself what other partnerships this influencer has had in the past. What products do they use or talk about in their streams or social media?
After deciding your targets and goals, the gaming platform, and the content creator, the last step is to onboard your influencer. The best way to do this is by giving them talking points if they’re demoing the product or service live to ensure they hit essential points. This, however, doesn’t mean you give them a script. To keep it authentic, you just want touch points for the influencer so they can do what they do best – create. Finally, give the creator control. By micromanaging the creator, you’re likely stifling creativity, so brands that want to succeed will need a looser grip on content creation.
How We Can Help
We’ve discussed the importance of audience authenticity, success for non-endemic brands and the steps brands can take to succeed in a marketing campaign. If you’re ready to take the next step and incorporate gaming influencers and gaming audiences into your next marketing campaign, drop us a line, and we can help you navigate the process successfully.