Developing a game is challenging, but properly marketing it will truly test your mettle. How difficult is it to get your game noticed? Here’s a glance at the competitive landscape:
One thing is certain — it’s harder than ever to stand out. But as the video game industry continues to flourish, so too have new pathways forward. Influencer marketing has emerged as one of the most viable methods to gain an edge over competitors. Pitching your game to content creators on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and other sites can help propel success. All you need is the proper knowledge and networking skills to forge result-oriented connections.
Let’s look at how collaborating with the right influencers can help boost your game’s revenue.
Image courtesy of Mediakix
When evaluating influencers, consider spheres of influence — the total sum of their outreach. Quantify it by follower counts, total views, likes, and shares. The larger these numbers are, the larger an influencer’s sphere of influence.
Follower counts and influencer tiers can fluctuate by platform, but this chart breaks down the general relationship between the different levels on YouTube.
Image courtesy of Mediakix
As a developer, you might want to pursue top influencers. These include some of the world’s biggest household names; think social media stars, sports icons, and even leading brands.
Understand that these influencers are much harder to approach and secure partnerships with — than smaller content creators. They are usually inundated with requests, making it easy for your message to slip through the cracks, and they will most certainly be expensive to work with.
With this in mind, it’s probably not viable to pursue influencers like Ninja or Shroud. Indie and mid-tier developers will find that smaller influencers are more targetable and easier to engage. Plus, their price level can be crucial when you’re just getting your game off the ground.
Image courtesy of Branch & Bramble
As a mid-tier or indie games developer, when looking for influencers to promote your game, those with roughly 100,000 or fewer followers can be the most approachable and most cost-effective. They are known as “micro-influencers,” but their potential to drive your game sales is anything but small.
Micro-influencers generally appeal to audiences seeking a more personal or relatable figure than, say, a multi-millionaire, full-time YouTuber or Twitch streamer. While professional gamers offer high production and entertainment value, a micro-influencer can often provide more genuine content along with more frequent and more direct engagement to their audience, resulting in longer-term, authentic loyalty. This means that their audience is even more likely to respect their opinion and check your game out for themselves.
Image courtesy of Medium
Since micro-influencers have inherently smaller audiences than others in their ecosystem, their compensation models can scale accordingly. In other words, they have the potential to convert their audiences into your audience, for much less.
Influencer endorsements can rapidly vault your game to popularity, so it’s crucial to find the best content creators to promote your games to the right audience.
Compatibility is everything. You need to dive into each influencer’s content, presentation style, and audience to decide if they will be a good match for your game.
Choosing the wrong influencer can be detrimental — especially if your budget is small. Without proper research, you might discover that an otherwise popular influencer has posted offensive material in the past or that they tend to hate the type of game you’re releasing. Partnering with them could make your game look bad by association.
Seek out influencers who play — and enjoy — games similar to yours and have produced content that resonates with the majority of their audience.
The right fit can generate much more buzz around your title. Influencers who click with your game will share it online and spread the word to their audience, who will then tell their friends about it. A particular influencer’s opinion may just be the nudge that gamers need to try out your game, leading to more conversions.
You want influencers who are trustworthy and reliable. Influencers are businesses with their own branding, and their reputation matters to their audiences and everyone in the broader video game streaming and content creation ecosystem.
Perception directly impacts an influencer’s pull. Edelman’s 2019 Brand Trust Survey echoes this: 63% of consumers trust influencer opinions more than what brands say about themselves. That’s not all — 58% of people have made a purchase in the past six months due to an influencer’s endorsement. Respondents all claimed that relatability was twice as important as popularity when making these decisions.
Image courtesy of eMarketer
Those statistics are vital as you vet your influencers. Look for those who have established tight-knit communities, as small to mid-sized influencers often do. This ingrained trust will go a long way toward popularizing your game; when you build a strong relationship with those influencers, their audiences will trust you more as a developer by association.
Learn more about effectively integrating influencer marketing strategy into your game’s marketing in our next blog post.
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