Influencer marketing has reached almost every industry and gaming is no exception. Twitch (the world’s largest live streaming platform), YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming provide the biggest stages for gaming influencers, with members streaming themselves and being paid big money to do so. With 48% of gamers admitting they prefer watching gaming videos to playing them, there’s a strong case for gaming studios to include influencers in their marketing strategy.
Since it became a professional discipline in 1997, e-sports have gone from strength to strength, today followed by millions of viewers on Twitch, the number 1 streaming platform for video games. Whether they are YouTubers or professional gamers, gaming influencers have a growing impact on their communities. Some of them have become real marketing assets for video game developers and distributors, as they increasingly turn to influencers’ services.
As we already know, nurturing leads is one of the most important aspects of both inbound and outbound marketing. This is precisely what influencers are doing by engaging with their audience, making them an excellent investment for every business. The latest influencer marketing trend that video game developers can and often use to promote their games are the “Let’s Play” videos. In a nutshell, these videos are the new and modern take on game reviews.
They have nearly completely replaced the outdated written game reviews; they present the audience with a new and exciting way to find a game to play. After all, graphics, sound effects and music, and an immersive storyline are something that’s rather hard to portray with text alone. Most often, video game developers would reach out to influencers and offer them a chance to try and test their alpha/beta version of the game. The influencers would then simply play that game, voice their opinion, and suggest possible improvements while simultaneously providing viewers with a great insight into the upcoming title.
As we mentioned earlier, gamers follow influencers for a reason, and one of the most obvious ones is that they enjoy the content the influencer’s creating. In other words, they enjoy the type of games the influencer covers on their channel — but also the influencer’s personality, gameplay style, and commenting. This is extremely important to take into consideration because it allows video game developers to create a strategy that will increase the effectiveness of their campaign by choosing the right influencer to promote it.
After all, your goal as a marketer in the gaming industry shouldn’t be to reach as many users but to ensure that the right content reaches the right audience. Based on the latest data, most gamers are 18 to 34 years old. However, statistics also show that gamers belong to all age groups, genders, and ethnicities. In other words, gamers are just like influencers and, while some of them enjoy exploring new titles and genres, others prefer sticking to a specific type of games.
Getting to know your audience is also relevant if you plan to promote your brand via ads or sponsored videos, which are two other popular influencer marketing trends on YouTube.
We all know that ads are skippable, but deliver the right ad to the right person, and you have a potential qualified lead. As far as sponsored videos go, brands in this scenario can simply make a deal with an influencer who will then dedicate a segment of their video, or an entire video, to just talking about a certain product or game.
No matter which route you take, YouTube is undoubtedly an excellent platform for businesses in the gaming industry to promote their brand and drive sales — and the platform’s numbers are an excellent testament to that.