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  • Writer's pictureMoeed Akhter

5 Ways Influencer Marketing Has Shaped the Gaming Industry


Fortnite, Valorant, Apex Legends & Minecraft - what do some of the most popular online titles in the gaming industry have in common? The answer lies in the strategic applications of influencer marketing. The acquisition of passionate individuals who have a strong impact on a brand’s target audience is a key objective for many specialists at Clark Influence. We would love to highlight 5 notable ways Influencer Marketing has shaped the gaming industry in recent years.



 


Increased Reach & Awareness

Influencer marketing has expanded the horizons of gaming content by collaborating with influencers across vast platforms (i.e Twitch, TikTok, YouTube). This has enabled games to reach a broader and more diverse audience than traditional marketing methods.


At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals found themselves keen on Riot Games’s new first-person shooter: Valorant. Branching away from their mainstream title League of Legends, this title gave Riot a great opportunity to tap into the first-person shooter audience. Specifically, Riot targeted streamers who had a large following in the CS:GO, Call of Duty and Apex Legends community. In collaboration with the Twitch streaming service, Riot launched their closed beta exclusively to streamers in Canada, Europe, Russia, Turkey and the United States. But how did this lead to a successful influencer campaign? Twitch users were incentivized to (Twitch, 2020):


  1. Register for a Riot account.

  2. Link their Riot account to Twitch

  3. Watch Valorant streams for a chance to earn Closed Beta access to the game.


The results? Fans of influencers watched 334 million hours of Valorant content on Twitch within the first month of the collaboration. Riot was able to optimize its marketing budget by offering an incentive to viewers of Twitch streamers, and hence earned a win-win to all parties involved (Grubb, 2020).


A key takeaway from this collaboration is that audiences are more likely to take action on a campaign through incentivized engagement. This strategy is adjacent to methods in loyalty marketing, but far-more connected to the brand’s product. Unlike loyalty points or discount codes, players are able to receive exclusive access to the game, inviting their friends to view Twitch streams along with them. On April 7th, 2020 - Valorant hit a peak of 1.7 million concurrent viewers on Twitch (Grubb, 2020), a further attestation to this intelligent collaboration.


At Clark, we are continuously researching collaborations similar to Riot and Twitch to help enhance our influencer strategy. Ready to take your game launch to the next level? Let us research, onboard, and brief influencers on a powerful strategy that will optimize your target audience and give more to the players.



Authentic Criticism

What is the best way to learn about a game’s worthiness of your time and money? Reviews!


However, criticism can often be a subjective narrative. Where many individuals check outlets such as IGN, Gamespot, Metacritic, or Kotaku as a place of learning about a new game, influencers have a similar sway to the game’s target audience.


Looking back at the surge in popularity of Among Us during COVID - the involvement of twitch streamers such as Pokimane, XQC and Ninja (Ratic, 2023) lead to daily active players of 60 million in October 2020, and $50 million of overall revenue in 2020 (Curry, 2020).


Whether stationed on YouTube or Twitch - viewers love to hear opinions by those who are passionate and enthusiastic about video games. This is a form of media that can be consumed, interacted with, and critiqued at many stages of its development, offering an incentive to both game developers and influencers for feedback. Who wouldn’t love to play games for a living?


New to this industry? Here are popular authentic creators to look out for:


At Clark, we understand that authenticity is a valuable component of fostering engagement and reach. With numerous collaborations being opened with creators around the world, gaming influencers are a great vector of delivering a campaign strategy that guarantees more engagement. Let us work towards creating a successful and strategic collaboration!


Community Engagement


Gaming influencers can help build communities of like-minded players. This engagement fosters discussion, collaboration and interaction amongst players which enhances the overall gaming experience and ongoing game consumption. With strengthened engagement, there are opportunities for marketing collaborations and sponsorships to expand a product’s reach and deliver on a specific niche of the market.


This is more apparent when gamers tend to view influencers as fellow enthusiasts rather than promoters - creating a more genuine and reliable connection. Unlike traditional advertising, influencer marketing thrives on a foundation of trust.


At Clark, community engagement is an area of expertise routinely revised by our specialists. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a community thrive after deploying successful campaigns!


Brand Loyalty


Influencer marketing opens doors to numerous sectors that can resonate with a niche audience. Gamers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that resonates with their favorite influencers, creating a lasting connection and enhancing the brand’s reputation within the gaming community.


Looking back at the Pewdiepie x G Fuel collaboration - there became a significant correlation between G Fuel and the gaming community. As of July 2023, Pewdiepie had around 111 million subscribers, and collectively engaged 29 billion views on his YouTube platform (Statista, 2023). He is recognized as a pioneer of the “Let’s Play” genre on YouTube, and hence admired and recognized by the gaming industry worldwide. Pewdiepie first partnered up with G Fuel at the beginning of 2019 - even landing his very own shaker cup and then later a new G Fuel flavor “Wild Lingonberry-infused Tonic” (Koepp, 2019).


This campaign is a mere example of the many possibilities of gaming influencer collabs. At Clark, we are dedicated to performing research that encapsulates projected success. Whether it’s promoting a new game, or partnering with gaming influencers - brand loyalty is a worthy objective of your marketing budget.


Global Market Penetration & Cross-Cultural Appeal


Video game communities are rampant in every part of the world. Influencer marketing is a catalyst for enabling global penetration within the gaming industry - allowing developers to reach audiences across diverse cultures and regions. With an international reach, brands can transcend language barriers and facilitate content on a global scale.


Notable examples of games that have benefited through this strategy:

  • League of Legends: partnership with K-POP groups in South Korea to boost visibility and massive popularity in the region (Bodegon, 2020).

  • Genshin Impact: received global spotlight by partnering with influencers in different countries, founding a multilingual marketing approach (Shchur, 2023).

Gaining an entry into international markets can be a challenge for any emerging brand. Influencer marketing enables companies to expand the reach of their chosen segments by narrowing down influencers that allow for global penetration. At Clark - our tools, resources and connections enable a global reach for campaigns, narrowing down countries where brands are surging with popularity.


The impact gaming influencers have had on the industry is an attestation to effective marketing strategy. Clark Influence understands the dynamic between gaming influencers and their respective community - big or small. We wish to empower companies to harness the potential of this market and tap into its diverse opportunities. By creating authentic connections between influencers, brands and communities - we ensure that campaigns resonate with target audiences, fostering genuine engagement and trust.


 

References


Bodegon, K. (2020, October 2). Everything to know about Riot Games’ virtual K-Pop group K/DA and their debut EP, ALL OUT. Bandwagon. https://www.bandwagon.asia/articles/riot-games-league-of-legends-k-pop-k-da-ahri-akali-evelynn-kaisa-true-damage-seraphine-collaboration-all-out-debut-ep-2020


Curry, D. (2020, December 17). Among us revenue and usage statistics (2023). Business of Apps.


Grubb, J. (2020, May 13). Valorant and Twitch build symbiotic relationship of success. VentureBeat. https://venturebeat.com/business/valorant-twitch-symbiotic-success/


Koepp, B. (2019, October 16). PewDiePie finally reveals first G FUEL flavor. Dexerto.


Ratic. (2023, June 23). How influencers and streamers affect game popularity. Medium. https://medium.com/@ratic_io/how-influencers-and-streamers-affect-game-popularity-1979227d5e8f


Shchur, A. (2023, January 12). Genshin Impact phenomenon and its marketing strategy HC.Games. HC.Games. https://hc.games/genshin-impact-phenomenon-and-its-marketing-strategy/


Statista. (2023, January). PewDiePie subscribers 2023. Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/681070/pewdiepie-subscriber-numbers/


Twitch. (2020, April 2). We’re teaming up with Riot for the VALORANT closed beta. Twitch. https://blog.twitch.tv/en/2020/04/01/were-teaming-up-with-riot-for-the-valorant-closed-beta/


 

Clark Influence, an agency of enthusiasts who will be able to accompany you in the great adventure of influence


We will put your brand and your products in the hands of the best ambassadors. We will create impactful concepts with influencers so that your communication makes an impression!


If you would like us to find you talents capable of embodying your company via a turnkey influence campaign: contact us! We would be happy to send you a service offer.

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