Working with the Top Influencers: Possibilities and Pitfalls

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Regardless of the social platform, partnering with the top influencers can do wonders for your game. Should you have the available budget to do so, their partnership allows you to capitalize on their huge reach, influence, and charismatic personality.

Put simply, when you’re working with a larger budget you can realize bigger concepts with top influencers. You will expose yourself to great possibilities, but also pitfalls that don’t necessarily exist with smaller influencers.

The Possibilities

There are many factors that contribute to a channel’s success, with one major contributing factor being their ability to make extraordinarily creative and engaging content.

As a channel grows, their access to resources that help execute larger than life creative concepts also increases. Promoting your product in a video, that goes beyond the usual scale of the channel and thus can be expected to drag a lot of viewer attention, be it via special stunts, events, etc., will pay off via the extra reach. This is true for German gaming YouTuber Ungespielt, who created a video promoting Summoners War where he integrated the game into a spectacular trip on which he went flying via jetpack.

Another example of an influencer going above and beyond the normal Let’s Play, was when Gameinfluencer partnered with German YouTubers Der Heider and Klengan to compete in a showdown hosted in Amsterdam. Both influencers were flown to Amsterdam for a Nvidia Shield face off and attended the launch party for the new console. They both created separate videos for their own channel, both of which were part travel vlog and part Let’s Play.

Next, if driving community engagement is an objective, then you should explore the possibility of developing a special contest with a popular channel. Interactive contests have proven to result in higher user retention and greater brand buzz; plus the big channels have the power to easily draw in huge numbers of participants.

Dan and Phil, for example, hosted a contest in partnership with The Battle Cats where they invited their followers to design and submit their own “Battle Cat” character.

With over 3,000 submissions, increased installs and retention, the contest proved to be an outstanding success for the publisher.

Another enticing possibility of working with a big influencer is that there is a greater chance of his or her video hitting trending lists.
Thanks to aggregate “Top” and “Trending” features on platforms like Twitch or Twitter, big influencers who already receive high view rates often see their videos go viral whenever their content makes it into a top list.

Twitch, for instance, categorizes the most-watched games on its homepage under “Top Live Channels,” which gives the game extra visibility and pulls in more and more viewers.


The Pitfalls

While the possibilities of working with top influencers are bountiful, pitfalls do exist. Although through proper due diligence and knowledge of the nuances that come along with their partnership, these unexpected and hidden dangers can be avoided.

With top influencers the process of completing a contract often is extensive.

Though the process of executing a final contract can be time-intensive, it’s vital to be meticulous in its’ creation. It’s wise to consider all of the elements — e.g. exclusivity, user acquisition rights, cross-channel promotion, etc. — you hope to receive from the partnership before even approaching the influencer as there’s likely a cost associated with each. Knowing what you want from the outset makes the process more straightforward.

A second pitfall can occur when you’re toeing the line between the influencer’s need for creative control and what you, as the brand, need to see or hear in the video. To avoid this pitfall, it’s recommended that a detailed video brief be created covering the “dos and don’ts” when promoting the game. Allow the influencer to use the brief as a guide when proposing and finalizing his or her video concept.

And lastly, influencers are human so it’s possible that they could make a public statement or act in a way that could harm your brand should an association exist. Before putting all of your eggs in one basket, complete a round of due diligence so that you have a deep knowledge of who you’re working with and what they stand for. Moreover, it’s advised to have a character clause in the contract to protect yourself from any irreparable harm.

Open New Doors

While their partnership can be costly, top influencers can do a great deal for your game in terms of branding, community growth and more. Before moving forward, we recommend carefully considering the possibilities as well as the pitfalls to ensure that the cooperation pays off tenfold.