What You Need to Know about Video Game Influencer Marketing Research
by Game Marketing Genie, on 24-Sep-2020 09:41:44
Influencer marketing is a significant part of the marketing world, and it's only growing in popularity. From Instagram and YouTube to Twitch and other niche channels, brands partner with famous online personalities to reach their followers and promote their products. The rise in the popularity of social media has accelerated the interest and investment in influencer marketing. By 2023, influencer marketing spending in the US alone is expected to reach $4.6 billion. This is a massive jump compared to 2021's $3.69 billion!
Figure 1: Influencer marketing spending. Source: grin.co
And it has increased and is continuing to do so! But there's more to this popular method than you might think. In extreme cases, if approached incorrectly, influencer marketing can waste your budget and even ruin your brand image.
This guide will help you navigate this tactic and understand the most essential part of building a solid influencer marketing strategy.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is the collaboration between brands and famous individuals for brand/product promotion. Influencers usually have passionate and committed followers in a particular niche, so businesses benefit when the influencer shares their content or mentions them on their posts. This exposure puts brands in front of their target users in a natural and meaningful way, increasing visibility and boosting sales.
Figure 2: Beats headphones. Source: Athlon Sports
When you see Beats by Dre headsets, you might wonder why they are trendy, but it's because every celebrity, from LeBron James to Serena Williams, has appeared in ads saying how cool they are. Brands increasingly work with such individuals to market their products because they influence their followers. We live in a social-first world, and influencers give brands the social proof needed to reach new audiences.
While this example uses celebrities, influencer marketing strategies don't need stars to be successful. The best campaigns involve niche micro-influencers and industry experts who engage passionately with their followers.
This is a great tactic to use if you're wishing to grow your gaming brand. Read more on our sister company blog Atisfyreach in 5 Ways To Use Micro-Influencer Marketing To Grow Your Business.
As a marketer, it's essential to understand your audience correctly to ensure you choose an influencer who will help you connect with users who are likely to be interested in your products/services.
Your audience is the most important part of your influencer marketing strategy
To succeed in influencer marketing, the first (and most important) thing you need to do is learn about your audience. It's essential to be specific. The clearer you can define your audience, the easier it will be to find relevant influencers for your marketing campaigns.
Take time to outline specific details about the people you want to connect with through your campaigns. Create buyer personas for people who could be interested in your game, detailing their demographic segmentation and interests. Don't forget to define their online behavior, as this will make it easy for you to know the platforms where they spend most of their time.
You can craft the best message and choose the best messenger with a refined understanding of your ideal audience. You will know the top personalities your target users follow that you can collaborate with for game marketing.
Too many brands start influencer campaigns without proper planning, creating misaligned campaigns with minimal impact on product sales. Working with an influencer marketing agency will help you avoid this predicament by helping you understand your audience to ensure your brand message and audience interests are aligned.
Now that you know your audience is the most important part, let's consider why you need to understand them.
Why are they so important for influencer marketing?
Here are some of the reasons your audience is so crucial for your influencer campaign.
They are your reason for existing
Your audience is the reason your business exists in the first place. As a developer, you will be out of business without the people who want your game; as such, everything you do should be based on their interests. They drive revenue for your brand; without them, you will have nothing to offer.
Your influencer marketing strategy, and your digital marketing strategy, should reflect the needs of your audience. You should advertise on the platforms where they spend most of their time and choose the top influencers they follow for your marketing campaigns.
They help you define the goal of your influencer marketing campaign
Most influencer marketing campaigns have brand awareness, conversions, subscribers, and audience building as objectives at a high level. Without knowing your audience, you cannot set a goal because you will not know who to target with your campaigns.
Your marketing will lack direction, and you will find yourself switching between tactics to attract players to no avail. Clear audience insights make it easy to set the goals you want to achieve with your campaigns. You will also know what to monitor to measure the success of your campaigns.
We have explained the different ways to measure success for your campaign on our blog, 4 Ways to Monitor Your Gaming Influencer Campaign’s Success.
You need to truly understand them to make your marketing work
Understanding the target audience for your game is a crucial step in planning a successful marketing campaign. Don't make assumptions about the people you are trying to reach but instead conduct in-depth research to identify who they are, where they are from, their interests, and how they behave.
An exact target market points you to people who are interested in what you have to offer. You will also know the platforms you need to be on to make it easy for them to find you and the influential people who could spread your message.
You need to find the right fit influencers that will connect with your audience
Social media users trust influencers' opinions, making it a great marketing strategy. More than 60 percent of respondents said that they feel their favorite influencers are honest about their beliefs and views, giving them the credibility to market products.
Figure 3: Views on influencers. Source: Marketing Charts
The right influencers to market your products are those who share your audience. The sponsored content must appear authentic to help you build natural connections with your audience. This is only possible when you choose popular influencers with users in your industry. Engage influencer marketing experts to help you find the right influencers who will help you reach a bigger audience and build trust for your brand.
They help you make your influencer marketing campaign connect
People buy from people, and collaborating with an influencer adds a human element to your marketing. People are becoming immune to advertising yet very receptive to the products pushed by the influencers they trust and admire.
Figure 4: Subaru and influencer. Source: Meet An Owner - Subaru
Most influencers get paid to promote products, but before they go to their audience with recommendations, they need to believe in the product and the brand to make the campaign genuinely connect with the audience. Subaru achieved this when they enlisted the help of Devin Graham, a YouTuber with 5 million subscribers, to increase its reach among millennials. His promotional video helped launch the #MeetAnOwner campaign that drew millions of likes on social media and improved its sales by 10 percent that year.
Create buyer personas for specific advertisements to narrow your focus to a group of people with shared characteristics, hobbies, and interests. This exercise will make your marketing manageable as it would be easier to identify relevant personalities influencing your users’ buying decisions. You will also know the best platforms to run your campaigns since your buyer personas will show what social media sites are popular with your target users.
They have relevance to your investors
When approaching investors, your business plan should show how your business intends to connect with your audience. Investors want to know that you have a well-defined target market for your game and you can identify the right-fit influencers who can help you meet your brand goals and ultimately drive sales.
If you cannot do this, investors will abandon you for your competitors who have a proper plan of connecting with their customers. Engage a game marketing agency to develop a marketing plan that will help attract investors for your game.
To make your budget count
A proper understanding of your target market also supports the wise utilization of marketing funds. This is because you will know how much to pay to connect with your audience on their preferred platforms. If your target users spend most of their time on YouTube watching live streams of their favorite games, you will be able to identify the top streamers to collaborate with for a campaign and how much they charge to feature your game on their streams.
Many opportunities will appeal to you when running an influencer campaign, but when you know who you are targeting, you will only spend money where and when it makes sense.
Making it count with the best gaming influencer marketing agency
Want influencer marketing ideas? Get everything you need to know about video game influencer marketing in our ultimate guide here: The Definitive Guide to Influencer Marketing!
For your influencer marketing campaign to be successful, you need a good understanding of your target audience. The tighter you can define your target market, the easier it is to find relevant influencers for your campaign.
But if you want to skip the research and create influencer marketing strategies with the click of a button, you're in luck!
The team at Game Marketing Genie noticed that businesses were struggling to find and work with the right influencers, which is why we're proud to introduce Atisfyreach - an influencer marketing platform for brands driven by data, AI, and machine learning. Atisfyreach is quick to set up and can match you with thousands of influencers in a fraction of a second.
Want to redefine your influencer marketing campaigns? Sign up to Atisfyreach now!