Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing in which a notable or highly respected person in a niche uses their authority to advertise and sell products on behalf of a company or brand. This set of people goes by the name Influencers, and they are mostly celebrities and content creators.
The first few years of influencer marketing have three types of influencers which are celebrities, macro-influencers, and micro-influencers. The macro influencers are social media content creators or bloggers with 100K and more followers. And the micro-influencers are those with 1K to 100K followers. They are not celebrities but are popular for sharing content, tips, and how-tos of a particular niche which could be fashion, cosmetics, or electronic gadgets.
However, recently, a new bunch of people have just joined the market known as gaming influencers. These are content creators (streamers) that became famous by playing and streaming games to their followers on YouTube, Twitch, or Facebook. The top game influencers are PewDiePie (YouTube), Ninja (Twitch), TFUE (YouTube), and many more.
Is the game influencing new?
Gaming Influencing can be considered a new child to influencer marketing because the gaming industry itself just got popular recently. Thanks to the pandemic, most people were forced to stay indoors and physically away from their friends. Therefore, most people fall into gaming to pass their time and enjoy the moment.
As a result, the video game industry’s size and market value increase rapidly. Just in 2020, the total revenue from the PC gaming market skyrocketed to 37 billion U.S Dollars, and that of mobile gaming was 77 billion U.S Dollars. More streamers also joined the industry within this period as they noticed its explosion and the business opportunities therein.
Moreover, unlike social networks and blogging platforms that have been around for decades, most platforms where people stream their gaming content came in within the last ten years. Twitch, which could be considered as the oldest, was established in 2011. YouTube gaming came in 2015, and Facebook gaming in 2018.
Meanwhile, aside from the likes of PewDiePie and Markiplier that have been in the gaming streaming business in the early YouTube years, most gaming influencers gained their popularity within the last few years. Ninja began to gather his huge community of game audiences in late 2017. Yes, gaming Influencing is the new big thing.
How does gaming influence work?
Gaming Influencing works pretty much the same way as Traditional influencing. A content creator with a great interest in gaming would sign up for a channel on a streaming platform, which could be Twitch, Facebook gaming, or YouTube gaming. Then, the creator will leverage its creativity to garner huge followers, both on the streaming platforms and social media.
The goal is to build a large and loyal fan community that looks up to the content creator for gaming tips and general lifestyle advice. Once it’s achieved, the influencer goes in search of partnership and advertisement deals. Also, it could happen the other way round- companies reaching out to the influencer with advertising deals.
The influencer, after much consideration, can make a deal with a brand. And most often, their role in the partnership is to advertise the brand and its products to their community of followers and subscribers. Also, this could lead to developing and owning a product with the company, just like Tyler Blevins with the Ninja and Adidas sneaker deal.
Why do brands and businesses use gaming influencers?
Are you wondering why any company would hire a gaming content creator to push their sneaker or cosmetic products? The following are reasons companies and businesses are chasing gaming influencers for endorsement deals.
It increases reach and traffic.
Gaming influencers usually have their subscribers and followers in numbers of millions. So, businesses that partner with them are guaranteed to get more customers and followers. Besides, their contents are usually interesting and engaging. It’s easier for gaming influencers to endorse products during live streaming without any fear of losing the audience. And that’s because game viewers are usually glued to their screens, always eager for more.
Gaming is an ever-growing industry.
Gaming has come to stay, and the industry will keep on growing and expanding. Statistical results showing the number of gamers by demographics revealed that there would be about 3.24 billion gamers across the globe in 2021. Besides, the number is increasing daily.
The amazing thing is that consumers of this industry’s contents and products are both young and old. According to a survey conducted in the United States of America, it was found that 7% of about 150+ million gamers are above 65 years. Also, 20% of U.S gamers are below the age of 18 years, and the largest share of the population falls between the age of 18-34 years.
Whatsoever it’s you sell, your company’s potential buyers and customers are on Twitch, Facebook gaming, and YouTube gaming, both male and female. All you need is a gaming influencer to present it before them.
Gaming Influencing is engaging.
No other form of influencing competes with gaming influencing on engagement level. It’s the most engaging type of influencer marketing. It can be likened to a commercial within a movie or a commercial within a football match. Gaming audiences are patient, and they are ready to spend two to four hours on the go, streaming their favorite game.
This implies that most, if not all, of the audiences, will take notice of your brand or products during the live streaming. And just during the live stream, a brilliant influencer could engage them to the point of purchase. Besides, gaming influencers often have a good relationship with their audiences. So, they hear their tips and also their endorsements.
Differences between gaming influencers and traditional influencers
Traditional and gaming influencers have a lot of things in common. But these are the few differences between them.
Social media influencers usually capitalize on textual and image content. Only a few of them use videos to educate and enlighten their followers. However, the case is different for gaming influencers. The main content format is video. Anyone going into gaming must be comfortable with the making of videos and talking with a large number of viewers via live streaming.
Traditional influencers’ content could be educational blogs, how-to’s, and product/brand reviews. Gaming influencers’ contents are usually tutorials, live playing of games, video games/console reviews.
A significant number of the traditional influencers upload their content and endorsements on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Traditional influencers usually spend their time and resources building and keeping their followers on social media. Only a few of them still use their blogs.
Twitch, YouTube gaming, and Facebook gaming are the platforms for gaming influencers. They have their fan base on these live streaming platforms. Also, a good number of them have a social media presence. So, a company that chooses a gaming influencer will cover more ground.
Aside from the number of followers and the engagement rate, another factor that determines the cost for influencers is the type of content they use. Social media influencers often make use of text and images; therefore, they spend less on the creation of content. Gaming influencers, on the other hand, mostly utilize motion content which takes more time and resources to create.
Moreover, most game influencers use both streaming and social platforms for their campaign. Therefore, it’s expected that the cost for a gaming influencer will be more than that of a traditional influencer.
Traditional influencers are usually restricted to one or two niches. Social media influencers are usually known for one field, which could be electronics, fashion, foods, or whole-body well-being. They usually make content around their chosen niche and, therefore, could only endorse products and brands that fall within the niche.
Gaming influencers’ contents are always about games, but they can endorse products of other industries. They can make deals with beauty companies, electronic brands, footwear businesses, and many more.
In traditional influencing, there’s a big celebrity advantage. Celebrities are people who are famous for being in the musical, sport, or entertainment industry. These people often use their influencing power to convince their fans into buying a product or patronizing a brand. Due to their popularity, they usually have huge followers on social media that listen to them and crave their lifestyles.
Celebrity advantage is not really common in gaming influencer marketing. All the popular gaming streamers started from scratch, which implies that they got their fame by years of producing quality content.
Gaming Influencing is the new real deal of endorsement marketing. The gaming industry is huge, with billions of customers across the globe, so there’s a big profit-making opportunity for businesses. Meanwhile, streamers could also tap into this system and make lots of deals and money by producing and sharing quality game content.
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