Partner network influencer compensation options

May 31, 2021
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Expand your mobile game business to PC and web to reach new players.

Word-of-mouth can be a developer’s single most effective sales tool, but in an ever-changing world, it can also be unreliable. That’s why working directly with influencers can literally be a game-changer. Their fans trust them implicitly, giving them extreme credibility, and they create engaging content. These connections build lasting impressions, while exposing their audience to new choices… like your game.

Learn how you can use Xsolla Partner Network to collaborate with and compensate influencers to get the word-of-mouth your game needs to compete in the modern marketplace, wherever you want.

WHY YOU SHOULD WORK WITH INFLUENCERS

From indie to AAA, games can see a massive popularity and sales boost when the right influencers share them with their audiences. If their fans are engaged, they’ll  follow affiliate links to buy a game at their storefront of choice and use Creator Tags to support their favorite influencer.

If you’re not already marketing your game with influencers on social media or streaming platforms, it’s time to start. We can help make it a lot easier.

There has been an increase in the number of professionals who find influencer marketing to be effective for driving sales in 2020. Image courtesy of LaunchMetrics

Audiences often join communities centered around games that their favorite influencers have played, or are currently playing. This means that when you work with an influencer, you can access their wider — potentially growing — communities, helping to drive sales long after your game debuts. As long as an influencer has longevity, your collaboration can continue.

If you’ve never promoted your game with an influencer, we cover the basics — including influencer types, metrics, and ROIs — in a beginner article that can help you get started.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ADEQUATELY COMPENSATING INFLUENCERS

Influencers work in an extremely competitive marketplace, so focus on transparent, results-based compensation to ensure that your relationships and wider reputation stays strong long term — and on any budget.

WHAT IS PARTNER NETWORK?

Partner Network is a tool that connects players, influencers, and developers. It features an expansive database of more than 5,000 collaborators, and more than 50 affiliate networks from 40 (and counting) countries and territories. Additionally, developers can invite any other influencers that aren’t already on the partner list to join, and Xsolla will reach out and onboard them.

With Partner Network, you can generate the necessary tracking links and promo codes, and accurately attribute sales and other metrics for optimal analytics and performance reports. The dashboard can track the number of referrals, successful transactions, generated gross and net revenue via referrals, and the revenue you have shared with influencers. Partner Network can handle transactions on your behalf, automatically paying out when established milestones have been reached.

PARTNER NETWORK COMPENSATION MODELS

Working with influencers and adequately compensating them is essential for your marketing campaign’s success, but there’s more to consider than money. You’ll need to determine what type of compensation will work the best for you and what type will work for your influencers.

Partner Network provides developers with four options to compensate influencers. Each model is designed to give developers the best choice for their current circumstances. One of these different compensation models may work better for you, depending on what stage your game is at, the level of integration you can allow, and your budget.

Based on those factors, you’ll have the choice to interact and compensate influencers via a revenue-sharing model, an incentive-based model, or a combination of the two.

REVENUE SHARE FROM ATTRIBUTED GAME AND IN-GAME PURCHASE

In this compensation model, developers share revenue with specified influencers based on successfully referred sales.

Benefits include:

  • No upfront costs — you compensate influencers based on their performance.
  • Complete transparency — you set the percentage for the revenue share you are willing to pay to influencers up front. Influencers who choose this program agree to your partnership conditions.
  • Pay for results — all influencer payouts are made based on automatically-generated performance and payment reports based on your specifications.
  • Global influencer management and analytics from a single dashboard.

Implementing this model requires integration with Xsolla Pay Station. Review our full documentation to see how this option can work for you.

Even if your game is free-to-play, you can use this compensation model as long as in-game purchases are possible, with authorization, through your online store in a web browser. See this store as an example.

REVENUE SHARE AND ATTRIBUTED SALES THROUGH DIFFERENT PLATFORMS

With this model, developers can attribute sales to influencers using a Creator Tag – a unique code for tracking user behavior and sales data on many different platforms:  Steam, the Microsoft Store, the PlayStation Store, Nintendo’s eShop, Stadia, and more.

Benefits include:

  • No upfront costs — you decide what percentage of each purchase you are willing to pay the influencer based on their performance. Influencer payout is estimated based on the revenue generated through attributed direct sales or in-game purchases, such as skins, weapons, or emotes.
  • Complete transparency — you establish transparent relationships with the influencers through performance and earnings reports that are tracked with the help of a Creator Tag.
  • Ongoing partnerships — you focus on building long-term relationships by earning influencer loyalty, while Xsolla handles regular payouts and the corresponding accounting.

Using this model requires adding an attribution system to track sales, keep local records and send this information via Xsolla Creator Tag API. To start using this compensation model, contact an Xsolla expert.

SPONSORSHIP

With the sponsorship model, developers decide how much to compensate a given influencer based on certain conditions, metrics, and milestones.

Benefits include:

  • Сontent compliance — you negotiate with influencers on a content plan that will best fit their audience preferences. The influencer creates content about your game, and delivers your agreed upon  messaging.
  • Your game, your rules — you decide your program budget and invite only the influencers you want to work with.
  • Global influencer management and analytics from a single dashboard.

Using this model rewards influencers with a set maximum budget for the development of specific content and messaging about your game. Influencers rely on authenticity to connect with their audience, and it is important to work closely with them to make sure both of you are satisfied with the final result. Review our full documentation to learn how you can integrate this model.

COLLECTIVE REVENUE SHARE

This model is designed to help you build a community around your game, empowering influencers to create and distribute content with a clear incentive: the bigger community they build around your game, the more they earn.

You can apply different metrics that would be relevant to specific media platforms and types of content influencers produce, and compensate them fairly based on their performance. For example, it can be content engagement time, which ensures maximum exposure to potential players. This model uses the revenue from your game’s gross sales rather than a determined budget or attributed sales.

Benefits include:

  • Effective metrics for a particular platform — this model allows you flexibility in choosing the right metrics for measuring the efficiency of influencer performance across different platforms
  • Budget control — if needed, you can approve or adjust the compensation budget for each influencer, after receiving automatically calculated influencer earnings
  • Your infinite story of success — you can manage as many influencers as you need to successfully promote your game while building beneficial ongoing relationships
  • Global influencer management and analytics from a single dashboard — set and pay out individual performance bonuses of any amount you choose.

For best results: help your influencers help you

No matter which compensation model you choose, the performance of your influencer campaigns will ultimately depend on how well you select — and work with — your influencers. Focus on their needs, their relationships with their audiences, and continuously reevaluate how you can help them maximize engagement. Strong, transparent communication and fair compensation will go a long way to helping them help your game.

CHOOSING COMPENSATION MODELS

With four compensation models to choose from, Partner Network offers diverse influencer campaign options. To help you choose, we’ve created a quickstart guide that details the features of the different models side by side. You can view a full rundown of the compensation models in one simple chart right here: Guide: Influencer Compensation Models.

Now that you know the various compensation types available through Partner Network, you’re ready to start marketing your game with influencers, compensating them properly, and getting the most bang for your buck.

HOW TO GET STARTED

Ready to grow your game with influencers?

Xsolla Partner Network makes it easy to build successful influencer programs from scratch on a single, easy-to-use platform. Connect with and compensate influencers around the globe with complete security.

Sign up to join Xsolla Partner Network or email us at business@xsolla.com today to create and manage performance-based programs with influencers, affiliates, and more.

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New to Xsolla? Get started by registering for a Publisher Account.

Already an Xsolla partner? Log in to your Publisher Account or contact yourAccount Manager to chat about the best Influencer marketing strategy for your game.

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