The Power of Influencer Marketing for Video Game Developers
20/04/2021 Written by The Game Marketer
Why influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is fast becoming one of the most important and beneficial avenues of marketing for video game developers. Gaming influencers have loyal fans, and therefore create niche markets and captive audiences that can be incredibly useful to video game developers. The benefits of influencer marketing are well documented with it being reported that influencer marketing ROI is measured to be 11X higher than any other form of digital marketing. In this article we will show you the importance of influencer marketing for video game developers, how it can be achieved and the benefits.
So what does influencer marketing look like in the video game industry? There are many ways that video game developers can approach influencer marketing. One is to work with a gaming influencers and create content together, or hire an individual as a consultant for the developer's team. This allows for specific expertise in two different areas of the industry, which means better understanding of what competitive advantages exist and how best to capitalise on them through various marketing strategies. One of the main forms that influencer marketing takes is that of influencers playing the game itself, whether this be in a stream, a review or 'first impressions' video or any other piece of content. When the fans of streamers and content creators see them playing a game and having fun there is a good chance that they will want to look into the game and try it out for themselves.
Where to start
So, as a game developer, where do you start with influencer marketing? Well, you need to find someone - or a team of people - that is interested in playing your game and create content about it. Finding contact details of influencers or their management teams is usually quite easy to do, and the best place to start is by reaching out for an open dialogue with them about your vision for the potential partnership, and making sure to focus on the benefit that they will see as well as the benefit that you will see. There are many ways for video game developers to approach influencer marketing:
An influencer might be involved in the development process, either through playing beta versions of the game, hosting Q&A sessions with developers or by being kept in the loop with the development process
The developer might offer virtual currency or rewards for an influencer who plays their games. This means that when an audience watches them play, they will also know why they're getting something out of watching. It's not just because they enjoy seeing others have fun; there's actually more incentive than usual since these streamers get some sort of reward from being involved.
You can sponsor an influencer and let them use your game to promote themselves.
The company might offer an influencer a free copy of their game in exchange for the right to advertise that they're playing it on social media or streaming it live
Game developers can also send copies of games out ahead of release so reviewers can find coverage before launch day comes around. This is something you'll see more often than not with indie titles, where getting someone to write about a smaller game isn't always easy if there's no other reason for anyone to cover it besides being excited about the title itself, and is a good way for indie games to get their name out there ahead of release.
The success of influencer marketing
We have seen the influencer marketing blueprint work very well in recent years, with many games being skyrocketed to major success mainly due to the relationships they have been able to build with influencers. The marketing benefits that you get by partnering with an influencer really depends on the type of game and influencer, but they can be massive when done right. Platforms like YouTube and Twitch are two major avenues for video game developers to reach out to potential customers in order to increase their influence over those who will either purchase or play games That being said, it is important for developers to not just want a sponsorship from one person and then move on after getting what they wanted; good partnerships have been built over time through dialogue between initial contact and eventual partnership. The key to successful influencer marketing lies in the maintaining of good relationships with influencers, keeping them happy and engaged with your game.
You might be wondering just how beneficial influencer marketing can be for game developers. It has been reported that influencer content generates 8X better engagement on social media than brand content. This is because influencers are able to maintain a level of authenticity in their content that brands will never be able to. If a fan of an influencer sees their favourite influencer engaging with a game organically they will be much more likely to check that game out as opposed to seeing an advert or sponsored post about a game. The result of good influencer marketing? Content that resonates with your target audience and drives engagement, which in turn leads to success for developers!
Some ideal ways for developers to take advantage of influencer marketing are partnerships with content creators who draw a large audience, or involving them in some way. Developers could run competitions and offer prizes where the winners can get their hands on early copies of games before they release – this encourages followers to enter and spread word-of-mouth about your game! Alternatively, you could request that influencers play your game while streaming live on Twitch or YouTube which will provide detailed feedback as well as an engaged community watching from home. What really makes influencer marketing so powerful is the ability to do it quickly and cheaply compared to traditional advertising avenues like TV commercials. Across the board in marketing more and more companies are turning to influencer marketing and heralding it as one of their main sources of advertising, and nowhere is this more true than in the gaming industry.
In summary, the benefits of influencer marketing are there to be seen. It is a sure-fire way to get your game out there, and if done correctly will provide you with an engaged community of followers who are eager for more. There are countless examples of video games that have seen major success on the back of successful influencer marketing campaigns. Influencer marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most pivotal avenues of marketing for gaming companies; with influencers' fan bases growing and becoming ever more passionate, now is the perfect time to start influencer marketing, and it just might be the thing that will get your game noticed and bring your game success.