Co-founder and CEO of SocialPubli, an award-winning influencer marketing platform with 200,000+ opt-in influencers across 35 countries.
A massive audience. Millions of eyeballs glued to screens. Captivated listeners taking in every word and completely immersing themselves for hours at a time. It sounds like a marketer’s dream. I’m talking about the gaming industry, which continues to grow (with the potential to be a $300 billion industry by 2025). And according to our team’s research and experience, it’s the perfect fertile ground for influencer marketing to thrive.
Covid and social distancing triggered a boom in gaming—both playing and viewing. As people looked for ways to distract themselves and connect with others, about 55% of them picked up video games during the first phase of lockdowns. Twitch became a destination for many, with daily platform viewership in the United States more than doubling during the first quarter of 2020.
What do you need to know as a brand leader in order to tap into the potential of gaming influencer marketing?
1. The typical gaming audience is probably different from who you think it is.
Many marketers adhere to old-fashioned stereotypes of gamers—you know the kind I’m referring to. However, the actual participants in the gaming world are more diverse than you might expect. The industry has expanded and now engages people of all ages, backgrounds and genders, with slow but ongoing growth happening across various demographic groups.
MORE FOR YOU
That means you have a wider option of influencers to connect with and a better opportunity to find one whose style and audience fit with your brand. (I’ll get into brand fit further below.)
2. Advertisers are eagerly jumping into the arena.
When gamers upped their time online, brands jumped in, too, taking advantage of the captive audience. More than 80% of the content creators we surveyed in a recent poll reported seeing an increase in ads while gaming.
Although gaming companies have led the advertising charge, there has been an influx of new brands from nongaming industries that are now exploring the gaming world. We’re seeing creative partnerships happening in electronics, beverages, food, music, sports and fashion fields. For example, you might spot Louis Vuitton skins on League of Legends; Gucci goods in Animal Crossing; and Chipotle promos in Roblox. Even KFC launched its own joint gaming/chicken warming console.
These brands are spending money to advertise but they’re not necessarily tapping into the power of influencer marketing just yet. Some of the biggest-name influencers may have deals and sponsors, yet in our recent survey, we found that the majority of creators (around 60%) are only doing a few campaigns a year, demonstrating that the gaming influencer space remains ripe with untapped opportunity.
3. Twitch reigns supreme.
The biggest opportunity for brands looking to enter this space right now through gaming influencer marketing is live-streamed gaming, especially on Twitch.
We’ve found that Twitch is the undisputed leader in the world of online gaming with 56.7% of respondents listing it as their favorite platform, followed by YouTube (32%) and Facebook Gaming (11.3%). The site receives 31 million daily visitors and was used to stream more than 1 trillion minutes of gaming in 2020.
Streamers (gamers who stream content) on Twitch have audiences that can range from the hundreds to large communities of thousands of people. Becoming acquainted with Twitch is mandatory for brands seeking to connect with the gaming audience.
4. Your brand has to find its fit.
One of the most interesting things about gaming influencer marketing is its flexibility. You’re not bound to a single format. Instead, brands have opportunities to work with influencers by sponsoring their e-sports teams or sponsoring tournaments, collaborating on products or creating interactive activities (like G FUEL’s in-app affiliate partnerships).
If you’re a marketer considering whether to step into the gaming space, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
• Who am I trying to reach?
• Why am I trying to connect with this audience?
• Where are they spending most of their time?
Do not approach the gaming community as a monolith or with a “bigger is better” mindset. As on other social platforms, you don’t have to have the biggest celebrity influencer promoting your products in order for you to develop an impactful campaign. Instead, research the influencers who might be in your niche. The size of their audience matters less than their engagement with their specific audience.
You can use an influencer marketing platform to drill down through the demographics and connect with influencers who are relevant to the potential customers you most want to reach.
Right now may actually be the best time to dive in, as you’ll have the freedom to get started and experiment before the market becomes saturated. It’s a critical opportunity to connect with and target young, tech-savvy consumers who have discretionary time and funds, before a host of other advertisers capture their limited attention span.
Gaming platforms will continue to evolve technologically, and gaming will play a greater role in the mainstream consciousness. Gaming advertising is expected to top $1 billion by the end of 2022, which means now is the time to jump in and start testing the waters to find the right influencer opportunities for your brand.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
Go to Source
Author: Ismael El Qudsi, Forbes Councils Member