Finding the Right Place to Get the Right Gaming Influencer Marketing
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The world of gaming is booming. Consumers of all ages and walks of life have shown their willingness to invest money in games. They also spend a lot of time, both as active participants and as consumers. In 2021 alone, video game enthusiasts spent over 100 billion hours watching games on YouTube.
Did you catch this? I didn’t say “play”. They watch others broadcast their gaming exploits – talking about a captive audience.
With this growing crowd of gaming enthusiasts in mind, there is a golden opportunity for brands to jump in with influencer marketing partnerships. There is also a right way and a wrong way to do it. Here’s how brands can get it right and cement loyal customer relationships through gaming influencer partnerships.
Related: Influencer Marketing 101: A Blueprint for Running a Successful Campaign
1. Be clear about your goals/intentions
If you’re an advertiser considering the gaming space, define your reasons for getting started before you get started. Ask yourself:
What audiences am I trying to reach?
What is my end goal? Why do I seek to engage with them?
What action do I want them to take?
What value will this partnership bring to my brand?
When you strategically start from the right place, you’re less likely to be tempted by flashy partnerships that may not best serve your target audiences. At the same time, you are more able to find influencers that suit you and partnerships that make the most sense.
2. Dispelling myths about the gaming community
The worst thing you can do when entering a market is to rely on stereotypes and generalizations to develop your marketing strategy.
The gaming market includes people from diverse backgrounds in all walks of life – from age and gender to geographic location and economic bracket. For example, more players fall into the 35-44 age bracket than the under-18 bracket. And women currently make up nearly half of all gamers (45%), although most people would probably stereotype the average gamer as male.
Your gaming audience has nuances, and your influencer strategy should too. For example, just because a large percentage of women play gambling doesn’t mean you should target female gambling ads at the latest. Call of Duty Game.
Research has shown that different demographic groups can lean heavily towards certain styles of play. Women are more likely to play puzzle or simulation/strategy games, while men are more likely to play sports games and tactical shooting.
Once you know who is playing where, you can determine their value as a potential marketing target and then find the influencers that appeal to each specific niche.
Related: How Entrepreneurs Can Harness the Power of the Booming Gaming Industry
3. Create the right types of collaborations
To create the right influencer marketing campaign, find the partnership options that best suit your target audience. Examples include:
Team sponsorship: Receive targeted messages specific to your team’s passionate fans. You may be reaching a smaller audience, but aligning yourself more with their ambitious buying potential.
Tournament sponsorship: Tournament sponsorships put you in front of many eyes, but can also be very expensive. Big brands like Doritos jumped in and sponsored cutting-edge tournaments, earning hours of captive eyes and ears soaking up their message.
In-game collaboration: Creating partnerships with game developers can bring value and attract players’ attention. For example, Coca-Cola recently launched its new “Pixel” flavor as part of a Fortnite collaboration.
Gaming influencer partnership: Work with a game streamer or influencer to promote your products and services. This may mean using your products or making mentions during their broadcasts. You develop a beneficial partnership while feeling authentic to their audience.
Cross-platform collaboration: The player promotes your partnership on their other social media platforms as well as the gaming site. These partnerships can be invaluable if you are working with a player who is well-established on different platforms and continues to grow their influential presence on social networks (especially since the majority of gaming influencers still only do a few campaigns a year).
4. Add value and think long term
Another similarity between the game world and the “real” world: in reality, it’s rare to be able to walk in, start aggressively selling your product, and expect crowds to flock to you.
The same goes for the gaming community. As with any other influencer activation, think about how your brand can contribute and add value. Brands that find synergies and think about giving and contributing stand out more positively.
You’ll notice that their promotions are designed to create mutually beneficial connections and partnerships – think of games based on Ryan’s World like super spy ryan, developed for children and entirely built around an influencer and brand partnership. Or Gordon Hayward garnering massive attention online for a viral promo claiming he could ‘crush’ Lebron… to clarify, in-game League of Legendsnot necessarily on the ground.
Both of these cases involve mega-influencers, but the concept is the same whether you’re working with a high-profile celebrity or a micro-influencer in your niche. The brands involved took the time to understand their audience and cleverly crafted partnerships that delighted their existing fans, attracted new audiences and created real value.
The money that goes into thoughtful partnerships will go further and generate greater returns than brands just looking to put the logo somewhere or get a quick shoutout without a value-driven strategy.
Related: Here’s Why More Investors Are Turning to the Online Gambling Industry
The game is going nowhere and its viewership is growing by the minute. Gaming platforms are even successfully attracting the attention of other streaming and entertainment services. For example, in a recent survey conducted by our company, 68% of gamers say they use Twitch as their preferred method of streaming live sports, so they can interact with other viewers simultaneously.
To get the most out of gaming as a potential marketing channel, brands need to take a two-pronged approach to influencer investments in gaming: grow them with a long-term view while being willing to experiment. As they learn more about platforms, influencers, and their target audiences, brands will be more likely to find the right partners and create a formula for lasting success.