Influencer marketing has become a popular form of advertising in the gaming industry, with developers and publishers seeking out influencers who can help promote their games. However, the influencer marketing landscape differs in Asia and Europe, and several key differences are essential when looking at these two regions.
With Elsa Tung, our Head of International Account Management, we have discussed the main differences between Asia and Europe regarding gaming influencer marketing. By working closely with top brands and influencers in both regions, Elsa has gained a unique perspective on each market’s trends and challenges. In this interview, she shares her insights about influencer marketing strategies, audiences, and challenges when working with Asian and European clients.
What are the major differences between Asia and Europe in terms of preferences for video content?
Regarding video content, it depends greatly on the client’s needs and which games or apps they want to promote. When we are working with Asian brands, they prefer to see straightforward and explicit content: common, dedicated videos or integrations where the influencers describe what exactly happens throughout the game or showcase the game’s features through Let’s Plays.
When we look at European or American companies, they are keener to think outside the box. They are ready to invest in a more creative approach: recording outstanding videos and vlogs, arranging offline and/or online events, celebrating game updates, etc.
What games/genres do Asian gamers prefer?
When it comes to gaming preferences, there are many fans of MMORPG (World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy franchise) and MOBA games (Dota, League of Legends) in the APAC regions. In addition, anime titles are also trendy (i.e., One Punch Man, Genshin Impact). Even though these titles are also massively played outside Asia, European gamers are keener to explore different games and genres.
Mobile games also play a significant role in the gaming industry in Asia. In countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea, mobile games have become an integral part of daily life. This popularity has been driven by a variety of factors, including the cultural preference for casual gaming, the affordability of mobile devices, and the popularity of local game developers. Many Asian mobile titles are simple, easy-to-play games that can be enjoyed in short bursts, making them an ideal form of entertainment for busy individuals.
However, mobile games are rapidly gaining popularity in the West as well. In recent years, mobile gaming has seen explosive growth in Europe and North America, with the global mobile gaming market projected to reach $214.61 billion by 2028.
Which platforms and/or apps are mostly used by Asian consumers?
Instagram, Twitch, and TikTok are commonly used in Southeast Asia, and many brands are using these platforms for the promotion. China, on the other hand, has developed its own platforms and apps. For example, many influencers that do promotions in China use Bilibili, WeChat, and Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu).
Bilibili is China’s leading anime, comics, and games community where people can create, watch and share engaging videos. WeChat is a popular platform for influencer marketing campaigns for games. Influencers can promote games through WeChat Moments, mini-programs, and official accounts.
On Little Red Book, users can create posts about products they’ve purchased or general lifestyle topics. Other users can then comment on these posts, ask questions, or even buy products themselves through the app. Xiaohongshu users can find products through their main feed. The platform’s algorithm works the same as Instagram, showing things we might be interested in.
Instead of TikTok, Chinese consumers use Douyin. It is one of China’s biggest marketing channels and social media apps, with over 600 million daily active users. And for live streaming, there is Huya Live — one of the largest Chinese video live-streaming services.
How do Asian brands work with influencer marketing? How is their approach different from European Brands?
In Asia, there is a greater emphasis on building trust and credibility with brands, which is why long-term collaborations are essential. Brands in Asia tend to focus on finding the right influencer who can authentically represent their game or brand and has a strong connection with their audience.
In Europe or North America, there is more of a focus on creating a “wow” factor with influencer campaigns. Brands tend to work with a broader range of influencers to develop short-term campaigns that generate excitement and engagement with their audience. These campaigns are often more creative.
What are the cultural and communication differences to consider when choosing the right influencers for collaboration in Asia?
It depends a lot on the influencer’s personality and cultural background. Therefore, depending on the campaign, finding influencers with specific personalities that reflect the game and brand’s values is important.
Moreover, nowadays, virtual influencers (Vtubers) are trending and getting popular in Asia, especially in Japan. In Western cultures, a virtual character may not be well received as people are less likely to trust an impersonal representation.
To sum it all up, what are the very main differences to consider when doing influencer marketing in Europe and Asia?
In conclusion, the preferences for video content and gaming differ between Asia and Europe. Asian brands tend to prefer straightforward content and partner with influencers on a long-term basis. European brands prefer a more creative approach and focus on short-term collaborations.
Popular platforms and apps also vary in different regions. While there are similarities in the approach to influencer marketing campaigns in both Asia and Western countries, the differences in platforms, culture, regulations, and language can significantly impact the strategies used in each region.
It is important to consider cultural and communication differences when choosing the right influencer for collaboration. Understanding the local market and language can help brands effectively execute their marketing strategies and achieve their goals. The gaming industry is constantly evolving. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to stay informed and adapt to the changing preferences and trends in different regions.