How to Promote a Game on Steam with Influencer Marketing

by Game Marketing Genie, on 23-Jun-2020 10:42:56

Celebrities often endorse products, from handbags to video games. Whether at an event, on TV, or splashed across social media, these endorsements translate into big earnings for their partnered products. However, it's actually not the big-budget A-list stars that have the most impact. 

Social media stars with thousands of followers interested in specific niches get the best bang for your buck. This strategy benefits many industries, particularly gaming companies, which have access to some of the best influencer platforms. 

So, since you clicked on this article, you're probably thinking, "Okay, I've got a Steam game (or I'm developing one); how do I promote it with influencers?" Well, settle in because we'll cover exactly how to do that.

Why influencer marketing?

Today's younger audience trusts advertisements less than previous generations did. Among millennials, only 1% are ready to put their faith in ads, according to Forbes. Additionally, many people on the internet now use a free ad blocker, meaning they will not see your advertisements. Spending money on ads alone is not cutting the cake anymore. Marketers need something more powerful to market their products and create an impact on their audience. This is precisely where influencer marketing is showing its prowess. The concept has taken the marketing world by storm as more and more businesses choose to work with influencers.

Influencer marketing is also considered a form of collaboration. You find someone popular who resonates with your target audience. Then you work with them to promote your game, create content, and increase sales. One of the significant benefits is that it gives you a ready base of your target audience to take advantage of. You can market your products to the influencer's audience, who already trust their recommendations. As a result, you have more chances of conversions to boost the sale of your game.

According to Tomoson, every dollar spent on influencer marketing brings back a return of $6.50. This is particularly true for brands that work with micro-influencers, who have anywhere from 1,000 – 50,000 followers, as mentioned on Atisfyre's blog. But it doesn't stop there. Not only do you benefit from reaching out to their audience, but the influencer is also able to grow their authority and generate stronger loyalty from their fans.

Influencer marketing also has a number of other benefits:

Get quick exposure: Collaborating with influencers helps you market your game to a large number of ideal audiences. You can generate returns within days and get your game selling. 

Building trust: Customers today don't trust ads or too much self-praise from brands. They trust people they know and believe in. This makes influencer marketing an ideal platform to build trust. More people will be ready to consider your game if someone popular says it's great.

Generating reliability: Honesty is a prerequisite of being an influencer. You can't get thousands or millions of followers by telling lies. As a result, people find opinions of influencers reliable. You should make a good game that people love to play for getting most returns out of influencer marketing.

Still not convinced? Find out more about why influencer marketing is essential going forwards in Why Influencer Marketing Is Crucial For Your Brand.


Figure 1. Influencer Marketing Trends. Source: Influencer Marketing Hub.

Give early access with Steam keys

Steam keys are a great way to approach influencers. You can distribute keys right after you put your game onto Steam and hand them out to the people you'd like to try it out first. Think of it as a free pass for influencers to try your game. 

Giving out keys is a much better approach than contacting influencers with half-finished builds. They can play the entire game before its release date and check out all the features to tell their audience. You can start handing out keys for your game's alpha, beta, or pre-release version. Steam will give you a key once you upload your game. 

However, you do need to ensure you have a workable version free of bugs or issues. Nobody likes a buggy game, and having too many problems can lead to a bad review from the influencer. So, always test your game correctly and make sure it's bug-free before handing out Steam keys.

How do you reach them to give them keys?

Pitch on social media

Social media is a great place to find influencers in your niche. You will need to start out by researching your target audience and finding the right audience for your game. For this, you can use social media platforms like Reddit, Instagram, or Facebook. Ideally, go for platforms where you think your target audience frequents. After you find your target audience, look for influencers who cater to that audience. 

Check the number of followers and reputation of the influencer before sending your game keys. You will need to put in some effort and approach influencers with the best you’ve got. Tell them why you are passionate about your game and what it offers to gamers. You can attach screenshots, create stories, or make short videos to make a perfect pitch. Reach out to as many influencers as you can to increase the chances of getting more mentions and reviews.

Social media apps on phone

Use emails or other contact channels

Emails work well to connect with influencers. However, you will first need to get the emails of your chosen influencers. This will require in-depth research and will take up a great deal of time. Once you do that, work on creating an appealing pitch. You should include all the critical information about your game without appearing pushy. Include a competitor analysis to show what makes your game stand out. 

Your pitch should also address why your game is perfect for the influencer's audience and what benefits they get. Remember to include a few lines on why the influencer should work with you. Focus on the USP of your game and the opportunities it offers to gamers. Also, don't forget to write an attractive email subject line. Once you develop your pitch, save the information on a spreadsheet. This will help you create a database of influencers and similar products for future reference.

Gmail on computer screen

Aim for personalization

Don't go cold emailing your chosen influencers with a generic message! The influencers will discard your message and won't bother giving your game a look. Constantly personalize your messages and address influencers by name in your emails or communications. You must clarify to the influencer how your game matches their audience. Unless the game appeals to the audience, they won't review your game. 

So, work on developing a fitting pitch that aligns with the preferences of the influencer. Include interesting screenshots and videos to make your pitch more appealing. Write a great description of your game that transports the reader into it. Describe the game's experience and how it is unique from your competitors. Finally, include a few lines on how you and your chosen influencer can mutually benefit from the collaboration. Make it all about them!

Three women standing in sunflower field

Don't be discouraged by a lack of response

Any influencer marketing strategy needs patience. Approaching influencers is still like cold-calling your customers to generate leads. You must be patient and wait for a response when they're ready. However, don't get discouraged if the influencers don't respond. Like cold calling, you must also deal with refusals or no-replies here. But that doesn't mean you should give up. Instead, work to improve your pitches and personalize the message to the influencer's interests and preferences. You may need to dig up the profile of your influencer or watch some of their videos to get some inspiration. 

Make a point to wait 2 — 3 days after you email or contact an influencer with your message. If you don't get a reply, improve your message, and try again. You can even approach the influencer on a different channel where they are more likely to be available. Consider approaching as many influencers as you can to improve your success rate. Keep your efforts consistent!

We have another post dedicated to building a great strategy for influencer marketing. Read 7 Steps for Creating a Good Influencer Marketing Strategy to learn more. 

Positive message on book cover

Making it count with influencer marketing

If your marketing strategy doesn’t include influencer marketing, then you’re losing opportunities to convert. But if you don’t have the expertise, then you won’t be able to make your influencer strategy succeed. Get everything you need to know about video game influencer marketing in our ultimate guide here: The Definitive Guide to Influencer Marketing!

Video game influencer marketing is what you need to create hype to sell your game. However, navigating the nuances of influencer marketing may be quite challenging without professional guidance.

Our product, Atisfyreach, is your one stop full-service platform for influencer marketing campaign creation and long term growth. Tap into 10 million+ influencers with our AI-driven self serve platform today to help connect you with the right talent.

Topics:Influencer MarketingVideo Game Marketing StrategyVideo Game MarketingDigital Marketing StrategyInfluencer Marketing StrategySteam Games

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