If you’ve run an influencer campaign before, the data found by Google Play will probably reaffirm what you’ve already learned: it’s more effective than your tracked data reveals.
The data and findings gathered from the Google Play study was originally presented at the Google Playtime 2018 event series, which is hosted biannually in Berlin and San Francisco. The event series is the perfect forum to gain firsthand insights from experts.
Google Play collected data from different games, tracking the results and impact of macro and micro; gaming and non-gaming influencer campaigns via the Google PlayStore. In total, they looked at 120 videos which collectively had a reach of over 50 million.
Their goal was simple: They wanted to understand the value and size of the non-tracked majority of people who do not use the tracking link to download the game but still download it later.
We broke down the biggest revelations from their research.
Tracked installs only account for a fourth of installs on average
When creators upload a sponsored video to YouTube it usually includes a trackable link in the description. And while game developers/publishers hope that users download the game using that link, that’s not always the case.
Most users download games without using the provided link, says Francesco Crovetto, a Business Analyst at Google Play.
It turns out that when running an influencer marketing campaign, there are on average of 4 times more installs beyond what is seen through the tracking link, with a potential maximum of even 10 times the tracked amount.
Who is this non-tracked majority? They are people who have watched the video and didn’t click on the link, but still downloaded the game later. Maybe they watched on mobile and then waited till they had Wi-Fi to download it. Or maybe they watched on PC and then downloaded the game with their smartphone next to them.
There is a ripple effect to other games of the publisher’s portfolio
What the tracking link also cannot show is the ripple effect which influencer marketing has on the other games in the publisher’s portfolio, said Crovetto.
Similar games will get installs even if they’re not shown or mentioned in the video. This means that the benefits go far beyond the one game you’re marketing.
Google Play found on average 1 in 10 people will download another game in the same publisher’s portfolio.
Targeting matters: Find influencers with the same core audience of your game
It’s important to zero in on your key audience when doing influencer marketing, but also to zero in on your own goals for the campaign.
If you want to drive installs, then you have to focus on your key audience. If you’re targeting the wrong group, the results will not be as impressive. To drive installs you must find a channel which matches the game’s audience.
But if you want to drive spend, keep in mind that users between 24 and 49-years-old are three times more likely to make a purchase, and when they do buy, they spend more on average than their younger and older peers, said Covetto.
Working with the same influencer results in download fatigue
If you’ve found an influencer you like, you can be tempted to keep working with them again, but this can result in download fatigue, says Tobias Knoke, a Partner Development Manager at Google Play.
“If you work with the same creator again within the time period of a year, the second video will have on average two times less installs compared to the first video,” he said.
The solution is to call in the experts and use an influencer marketing agency.
Using the same influencer again can be helpful if you’re trying to reengage users, but if you want to increase downloads, it’s best to work with an agency that can find you similar influencers to work with.
There is a lot more to influencer marketing than strictly performance. Though the Google Play sought to quantify the value and reach of influencer marketing, it also highlighted that influencer marketing can help create more long-term benefits beyond installs. Ultimately, if you want your game to have longevity, communities of gamers who share a passion for your product can help drive that.