The gaming industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors today. In 2020, there were 2.44 billion video game players worldwide. As of 2023, the number has approached 3 billion.
What’s more, the market revenue worldwide will reach $396 billion by the end of 2023 and is expected to come close to $533 billion in 2027
The industry has already witnessed transformative shifts, such as the rise of mobile gaming, virtual reality, and cloud-based gaming services. Alongside the industry growth, we clearly observe significant changes in its marketing strategies.
In today’s new landscape, 9 out of 10 game marketers stake on influencer marketing as a powerful channel that brings exceptional results.BuzzGuru, The Ultimate Influencer Marketing Report
The rise of gaming influencers has been remarkable: they are the second most popular type of influencers in the USA (36%) after music influencers (38%). At the same time, gaming creators reach a unique global audience: a high share of their followers (12%) do not follow any other influencer type. Surprising, right? Collaborations with creators allow game developers to target their audience accurately. That is why they aim to work with creators. Besides, influencers’ impact goes beyond mere advertising, as creators establish trust and credibility, driving high performance and elevating the gaming experience for players and developers alike.
Let’s find alternative ways (besides working tips and traditional sponsorships) for gaming influencer partnerships to gain momentum.
Ambassadorships & In-House Influencers
Сollaboration ideas with influencers depend on the genre of the game. For example, for a PC FPS shooter, besides the usual integrations, reviews, and streams, one of the good option is ambassadorship: when the influencer creates a series of gameplay videos each month for a period of 6 months and makes the game a part of their core content on their channel.
At the same time, at Famesters we have discovered a working life hack that brings tangible results. A gaming brand identifies small to medium-sized creators already actively playing similar games on their channels. Through negotiation, the brand proposes creating a dedicated channel solely focused on advertising their game. In this case, an influencer spends time playing the game, creating content, and advertising it, becoming an almost in-house creator for the gaming brand. Compensation for an influencer can be offered in the form of a monthly fixed fee, along with revenue sharing or a cost per acquisition (CPA) model, for attracting active players through the influencers’ referral links. This approach allows the development team to have an exclusive channel dedicated to promoting their game, with a performance-based payment.
Today, influencers have the opportunity to become an integral part of the gaming environment itself. Their involvement extends beyond simple promotional activities. Now, they offer invaluable insights, suggestions, and actively contribute to creating in-game assets, such as characters, skins, or even entire landscapes, working closely with developers. These unique creations can be sold or traded within the game’s marketplace, offering players a whole new level of immersive experiences.
But why is it worth trying? Through in-game collaborations, creators go beyond their usual roles and become valuable contributors to the game development process. A good option for hyper-casual or casual games here is to integrate the creator’s content or persona into the game itself rather than just integrating the product into the influencer’s content. This can be achieved by incorporating the influencer’s own image or recognizable characters from their content as updates within the game. In this type of collaboration, the influencer would receive compensation in the form of a fixed fee and revenue sharing for attracting users to the game, in which they are also involved.
Virtual Meetups and Events
This collaboration involves gaming influencers to virtual meetups, events, and tournaments, where the influencer becomes a special guest or host. This type of collaboration brings a wide spectrum of benefits for gaming brands, including increased brand exposure, audience engagement, and fostering community relationships. In addition, this type of collaboration provides unique experiences, such as live-streamed gameplay sessions, Q&A sessions, exclusive sneak peeks of upcoming releases, or interactive challenges. This way, influencers can showcase the game, share their experiences and insights, and engage with their audience in real time. These events also serve as a revenue stream for influencers and gaming brands if ticketed.
These events also allow brands to gather valuable feedback, conduct market research, and gain insights into the preferences and interests of their target audience.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) represent a unique implementation of blockchain technology within the gaming industry. Influencer-NFT collaborations offer game players exclusive digital assets that hold value within the gaming ecosystem.
This approach enhances an overall gaming experience: influencers work closely with gaming brands to create and release limited-edition NFTs. These NFTs can take various forms. For example, they could be exclusive in-game items, character skins, or even unique artwork inspired by the game. The NFTs can be auctioned, creating hype around the game and providing another revenue stream for the influencer while also driving engagement and sales for the gaming brand.
Virtual Reality Collaborations
Influencers partner with gaming brands to create VR content that showcases VR games, products, or experiences. Through this partnership, companies have exciting new opportunities to connect with more people and position themselves as industry leaders in the quickly expanding VR gaming sector.
On the other hand, gaming influencers can explore exciting new possibilities by embracing the immersive and interactive features of VR gaming. By leveraging VR technology, influencers introduce their audience to the world of VR gaming and provide insights, recommendations, and reviews.
Influencers may use this technology to engage their audience and build stronger relationships with followers by live-streaming VR gameplay and conducting virtual events and competitions All in all, these collaborations increase brand awareness, drive player engagement, and establish influencers as trusted voices within the VR gaming community.
The gaming industry’s surge is compelling brands to innovate new ways to connect with their target audiences authentically. At the same time, this evolution empowers influencers to contribute to game development while brands leverage their credibility, ultimately enhancing player experiences and reshaping the gaming landscape. What new developments will emerge in the near future? Let’s stay updated!