What’s it like to be an Influencer Marketing Specialist?

14 May, 2021

If you’re a gamer, you’ve probably seen a lot of videos made by influencers on different websites. Maybe you’ve even wished to become an influencer yourself but don’t think you have the means to become one. The good news is that, if you’re interested in gaming and influencers, with the right skill set, there’s still an opportunity for you to be part of the industry as an Influencer Specialist. What does an Influencer Marketing Specialist do? What’s influencer marketing like in the gaming industry? Read the article to find out.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that involves partnering with influencers—people who have influence in their field, enough to encourage potential customers to get a product or service and develop brand awareness. The partnership can take the form of an influencer reviewing a product, featuring the product in their content, or some other kind of social proof.

What is influencer marketing like in game dev?

How does this work in the video game industry? What is an Influencer Marketing Specialist’s job like? What challenges do they face? What is the gaming industry like? Learn the answers to these questions and more in the following AdsTalk interview with All in! Games’ very own Junior Influencer Specialist, Kamil Jastrzębski.

What does All in! Games do?

All in! Games is a video game publishing company that releases games for PC and consoles. We also develop our own titles. The company is based in Kraków and we’ve been in the market since 2018. All in! Games’ portfolio features nearly 20 games in different genres. Our latest title, Paradise Lost, tells the story of 12-year-old Szymon, who enters a post-war bunker. The plot is unusual, as it presents an alternate history in which the Second World War didn’t end in 1945, but lasted for many more years. On his journey, Szymon discovers many secrets of the past hidden and forgotten in the bunker.

What channels do you use to promote video games in Poland and globally?

There are mainly three platforms used for influencer marketing in the game dev industry: YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Gaming. Each platform differs in presented content and, of course, in the database of creators. One of the most engaging types of content offered by influencers is live streams. They allow viewers to interact with the streamer in real time—it’s a trend that’s gaining popularity with each month. According to a Streamlabs report, the total amount of time that viewers on different platforms (such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, or Mixer) watched content was 15.63 billion hours in 2019. In 2020, that number grew to 27.89 billion. New influencers gained their publicity on those platforms last year. Many of them had been streaming for a long time, but were never so popular.

What is cooperation with influencers like?

We specify a list of deliverables, payment, the publication date, etc. Every detail is important, so we try to make our goals clear before we share them with influencers. Then the influencers begin their work—they record and publish a video, play the game live (e.g. on Twitch) or mention a discount on the game, if there is one, on their social media channels. Everything depends on the scope of deliverables. Of course, we follow and measure the effectiveness of cooperation on an ongoing basis.

We stay in constant touch with the influencers and we nurture our relationships with them, even if we aren’t collaborating on anything at the moment. New games are always appearing in All in! Games’ portfolio but all of them may not match a certain influencer and their audience, but because of that, you never know when a game that does fit the influencer will come along. A long-term relationship is worth maintaining—as a result, we know each other so we know how the influencer works, what we can expect, etc. It makes the job much easier.

You’re an influencer specialist—what are your responsibilities?

In short: I search for influencers, contact them, set the details of our cooperation, coordinate their work during a campaign, measure the effectiveness of their activities, and maintain a relationship with them.

With whom have you cooperated so far?

It’d be hard to name them all! For example, let’s look at Twitch: @Lirik, who has 2.7 million followers and on average 18K viewers per usual live stream. Another popular influencer we cooperated with is @CohhCarrnage. He has 1.5 million followers on his channels and when he streamed our recently released game, Paradise Lost, in the peak viewing time over 16K people were watching the video. Apart from big channels, we also cooperate with hundreds of other influencers, from nano to mid-tier to mega-influencers like the ones I mentioned before.

How long does a stream last?

A typical influencer’s stream is different for each platform. On YouTube streams are shorter; the creator plays part or all of a game. On Twitch streaming culture is so prevalent that streamers have set schedules and their audience knows when to expect specific streams. As for influencer marketing, the length depends on deliverables—it can be a 20-minute-long YouTube video and not necessarily a stream, or a stream that is one hour long or four hours long, if that’s what’s agreed upon with the influencer. Of course, you need to remember that the longer an influencer presents your game, the higher the cost of the cooperation, as you’ll potentially reach a bigger audience.

Is it advisable for an influencer to play a game to the end?

It depends on the game. If we take a six-hour-long, story rich game, we don’t want the streamer to show the whole story. We only want to present part of it to interest the viewers and encourage them to finish the game themselves. We advertise Metamorphosis, one of our titles, this way.

Arboria, another of our games, is a different story. In-game content is procedurally generated and each level is different, so we can expect something new every time we start the game. The same goes for our game, Fort Triumph. If the influencer plays the game for a whole session, let’s say for six hours, we know for sure that neither the influencer or their viewers will see the same level twice. Each playthrough is unique, which has an enormous, positive impact on replayability and, of course, the enjoyment of playing the game.

Do game dev influencers differ from those in other industries?

A game dev influencer is most often a gamer or a person connected to the video game industry. People who work in marketing know the great potential that lies in cooperating with influencers and in influencer marketing itself. In game dev, due to the trend, it’s worth looking for experts—this industry is not an exception. In our case, they can be either popular players or people connected to video games. A popular streamer who invites the audience to watch a stream every evening, a YouTuber who regularly records reviews about the latest video games, or an e-sport team famous for their victory in an important tournament. Whoever is chosen should love video games, have a large audience, and be passionate about what they do.

On what basis do you select influencers to work with?

In the beginning, it’s research. We usually reach influencers via suitable agencies, which gather many talents under their wing, or we contact the influencers directly. When choosing an influencer for a game, we must match their profile with the game. All in! Games is a video game publishing company—we have many titles and our portfolio is diverse when it comes to genres. If I’m preparing a campaign focusing on a family-friendly game, aimed at a younger audience, I will look for channels which record materials with similar content— friendly and easy to approach.

You should also take your budget, usually fixed, into account. Depending on the channel’s size, each influencer has a different price. It can start at five dollars and can go up to more than ten thousand dollars or even a few hundred thousand dollars. There are many factors. For example, there’s the influencer’s engagement rate, which is determined by the audience’s activity, their average number of viewers, the frequency of new videos on their channel, the length of their content, etc. They all combine to create a final assessment of the potential of working with any given influencer.

What does the price depend on?

The price usually depends on the number of viewers they can potentially reach. The number of YouTube subscribers is often looked at to estimate a price, but it’s a bad practice. A person who has half a million subscribers and another influencer with the same number of followers can request different prices for collaborating. The price is also influenced by other factors, such as their nationality, the language they use to communicate with viewers, and obviously, their real number of viewers. It’s better to make a habit of checking average video views rather than be motivated by the number of subscribers.

How do you measure the effectiveness of collaborating with an influencer?

Any campaign that involves influencer collaboration must utilize tracking links. These are links to our games that are unique to a specific influencer, made for them to use on their channels. The links appear in the influencer’s chat window, stream title, and video description. Thanks to access to  data such as visits to a game’s store page, we can measure important KPIs for the campaign, e.g. CTR which translates into sales. 

We check if traffic on a game’s store page increased after an influencer stream using Google Analytics as well as data which are characteristic of the game dev industry such as wishlist numbers. Some stores offer the “Follow” option, so that a user is updated about discounts or other changes. There are even platforms created exclusively for the collaboration of game devs and influencers that generate ready reports. 

Measuring the effectiveness of influencer cooperation is very important, just like in any other marketing campaign.

How do you use the credibility of creators for the benefit of the brand?

The credibility of influencers is very important in the game dev industry. Influencer marketing is about subtle product placement. Part of choosing a credible influencer is making sure that they’re the right fit for a particular game. If we were to choose a person known for playing RPGs to promote a family-friendly co-op, their audience likely wouldn’t be as interested in the content. Their promotion of the game would also seem very obvious rather than a natural recommendation and could take away from their credibility as an influencer. We should also remember that cooperating with credible, famous influencers supports our own brand awareness as well. Authenticity is essential, that’s why the basis for choosing the right influencer is solid research.

This article originally appeared on AdsTalk.pl (in Polish). You can find it here.

Are you interested in a career in game development? Check out current job openings at All in! Games here:

Was the behind-the-scenes work of an Influencer Specialist in gaming what you expected? Are you an Influencer Marketing Specialist yourself and want to share your experience too? Join the discussion on our Discord.

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