With the new year right around the corner, the GameInfluencer team has begun reflecting on the upcoming influencer marketing trends as they relate to gaming and what opportunities they present.
Here’s an outline of the top 8 trends we predict will dominate 2018.
1. Games on Non-Gaming Channels
Gaming brands will expand their reach via non-gaming channels. With gamers and non-gamers alike juggling varied interests across multiple devices, it’s critical that brands think outside the box when determining whom to work with. By partnering with “non-traditional” channels, gaming brands have the opportunity to reach entirely new customer segments. Pet Paradise Bubble Shooter did this when they integrated their game into typical family vlogs and cooking videos, resulting in a huge organic uplift.
2. Brands will Invest in E-sports Ventures
Tournaments provide gaming brands the opportunity to foster a stronger sense of community and healthy competition amongst its users. When done well, player loyalty increases as does the likelihood of installs of spectators being introduced to the game for the first time. Tencent recently hosted a successful Arena of Valor tournament at Gamescom 2017. Not only was there a huge live audience, but there was also 20,000+ viewers on the Twitch stream.
3. Influencer Licensing
While licensing the likenesses of celebrities, TV and movie characters isn’t new, doing so with influencers certainly is. Licensing established influencers into a game is effective in attracting an influencers’ unique fan base. Furthermore, integrating influencers into the overall marketing strategy is key. Doing so not only creates a deeper partnership but also has a direct impact on app store rankings and installs as users recognize and support when an influencer is truly passionate about the game they’re promoting.
At launch, Fastlane: Road to Revenge partnered with 21 influencers by featuring them in the game. The selected influencers, who had a combined subscription count of more than 50 million, created dozens of videos driving genuine excitement and quality installs once the game had launched.
4. Using Influencers on Other UA Channels
Repurposing video content created by influencers or integrating influencers in advertisements for non-influencer user acquisition channels, such as Facebook Ads, is another trend we predict will dominate 2018. These so-called User Acquisition Videos showcase games and drive installs in ways that typical gameplay videos or static images cannot. Fastlane: Road to Revenge further integrated the aforementioned 21 influencers into the below UA-focused campaign video titled “Get in the Fastlane!”
5. The rise of VR
With that said, the preference for video content is driving the development of more interactive and engaging video categories. We expect 360 videos, VR and projection mapping will take over 2018 influencer video content. Below is an example where JoshDub reviews Alchemist Defender, a strategy-based VR game.
6. Brand Ambassadors
Recently more and more publishers have begun to realize the benefits of long-term influencer partnerships. Partnering with the right influencer on multiple occasions communicates his or her sincere dedication and passion for the game and truly validates the influencer as an official Brand Ambassador for one or even multiple titles of a developer. Shadowverse, for example, has continued to work with the biggest card gaming influencer, Kripparrian, over the course of nearly a year. Kripparrian has released multiple in-depth Let´s Play videos on his YouTube channel accompanied by regular livestreams on his Twitch account.
7. Fake Influencers
With Influencer Marketing being established in the marketing mix of every big company, more and more people see an opportunity to make easy money – hence the rise of “fake” influencers. The unfortunate truth that followers, views and clicks can be purchased sets brands up for failure when searching for the right influencers to work with. Background knowledge is key when deciding if the ascent of a new social media star can be attributed to his content or if, indeed, the success was pushed with money.
The GameInfluencer Database contains a broad range of background data on every influencer, that makes this decision easy and guarantees quality campaign results.
8. KPI Measurement
And finally, as brands expand their influencer marketing strategy and budget, KPI and ROI measurements will become even more vital. At GameInfluencer we recognize the importance of measuring such indicators and therefore precisely track and analyze campaigns in order to deliver value to our clients.