Influencer marketing strategies done right help smaller companies contend with games supported by bigger budgets in a competitive landscape. But success is not guaranteed.
Influencers as a marketing strategy is more popular than ever, especially in the mobile gaming space. For small- and mid-sized companies with small- and mid-sized budgets, influencers can be valuable tools in the marketing toolkit for developers who are often priced out of performance marketing channels dominated by larger-scale advertisers.
The most impactful influencers are often already fans of your game and enable you to reach an audience extremely relevant to your game in a more native way, and an audience that may be more difficult to target via traditional marketing strategies. Additionally, as your marketing budget scale per campaign increases, influencer marketing campaigns can actually offer lower CPI versus traditional unit-based/performance acquisition.
But in this arms race between companies around partnering with the most influential influencer, the formula for success is an inexact science.
Be Mindful of the Pitfalls
The flood of mobile game marketing into the influencer space has led to poor experiences for some companies (as well as gamers), leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many, via campaigns often lacking in strategy and execution, which generally results in campaigns with low ROI.
Making matters more challenging, bad actors on the influencer side of the equation capitalized on the demand for their online reach, charging more and more per campaign, making ROI difficult for many, since the majority of campaigns require five-figure minimums. As well, the glut of demand has led to influencers signing up to promote games that were a complete mismatch to their audience demographics, leading to poor campaign conversion and/or low-quality installs.
How to Succeed in Influencer Marketing
Yes, there are land mines to sidestep (there always are), but a well-conceived and executed influencer marketing campaign can be incredibly impactful.
Seriously Case Study
Consider Seriously and its mobile game, Best Fiends. For its “Race Against Slime” campaign, Seriously put together teams of YouTube influencers who competed against each other to defeat the most Slugs (the antagonists) in the game. Players were then able to join one of these teams with the same mission of defeating the most Slugs.
This initiative turned into an exciting opportunity for fans and players to compete alongside and against some of their favorite influencers. All defeated Slugs, both from influencers and players, counted towards the team’s overall total. In the end, the winning team was rewarded with real money that was donated to its charity of choice, which was selected ahead of time by each team.
Quidd Case Study
At Quidd, whose app offers collectible stickers, GIFs, and tradeable cards for games, TV shows, movies, and YouTubers, influencer content (stickers, GIFs, etc.) is created within the app, making it a much more relevant experience for both the influencer pitching the app and the fans watching.
Space Ape Games Case Study
Due to the number of mobile games entering the influencer marketing space, companies need to be more creative and innovative in working with influencers in the future to stand out to both gamers and the influencers themselves.
One standout example is Space Ape Games, who integrated influencers into its Fastlane game by making the influencers the actual characters of the game.
Upping the Ante
Peak Games recently raised the influencer stakes (costs and otherwise) significantly when it announced its $100 million partnership with Ryan Reynolds. This star-power variety of endorsement melds performance marketing and influencer strategies.
The arms race continues.
How are you succeeding with influencer marketing? Write to TMGA at firstname.lastname@example.org.