In mobile marketing, gaming apps are the leaders of the pack when it comes to finding new channels, optimizing strategies and using creativity to increase app users. Promoting a gaming app is like doing mobile marketing on “hard mode”; it’s a competitive vertical with very little margin for error. Which is why, while many mobile apps are just beginning to plan their first influencer campaigns, many gaming app marketers have already been there, done that, and know what works for them.
The expert marketers at four leading game publishers below share their top tip for making influencer marketing work for app promotion. Check out their insight taken from their working strategies for mobile app game influencer marketing.
Set up a performance-based influencer strategy
“At IGG we have created a performance-based influencer strategy. A few years ago influencers were not very popular for app promotion. Because of the high fixed price, marketers skipped over them and focused instead on going after CPI. But now that influencers have begun to understand the Mobile Universe, they recognize the opportunity, which means they are more willing to invest in generating real results and challenging their audiences to help them grow. It’s become a win-win situation for mobile game marketers and influencers.
Use influencers that fit your app audience
My number one tip for making it work is to really understand your target audience. Not all gaming apps are the same, and similarly, each gaming influencer has unique characteristics. If you hire a gaming influencer, make sure the gaming target really matches. Fifa, Minecraft, Fortnite, Pokemon… they may seem the same to some marketers, but the audiences they attract can vary extremely between all of them.” – Gina Tost, Marketing and Operations Director at IGG.
Negotiate a fair price and create a list of goals
“Influencer marketing has been one of our favorite UA source for the last 3 years. We’ve run several campaigns and tried out many different ways of working with influencers: be it working directly with them, connecting through an agency, or using one of the many marketplaces available out there. Although not all of these campaigns have been successful (which is true of all UA campaigns), the ones that are good can be extremely successful.
My best tip for anyone who wants to run this sort of campaigns is to negotiate a fair price and to create a list of minimum goals the campaign should achieve. You want the influencer to be motivated to ensure that your sponsored content does well, and make sure that it meets a previously agreed upon benchmark that you know you will be happy with.” David Cremades, CMO at From The Bench S.L.
Influencers might not work for older demographics
From her time in Gazeus Games: “Influencer marketing hasn’t really worked for us, but it was important for us to test the channel and find out why. At Gazeus Games we focus mainly on a classic card and board game portfolio; games like Dominoes, Mahjong, Canasta, Spades, and Euchre. This means we cater to a niche that skews older, in some games targeting 65+.
Because the major influencers for games are in YouTube, Instagram Stories and Snapchat (and TikTok is another recent addition that has been growing) it’s pretty hard to target an older demographic in those places: what our tests confirmed is, they simply aren’t there in abundance. We also attempted to use blogger influencers, but even still they didn’t usually cater to older audiences.
All that being said, a lot of gaming companies have been having success with influencers, especially free to play games with a low barrier of entry. I am a fan of using providers such as Matchmade, to help find the best influencers and do more data-driven campaigns. Infleux was one of the fastest-growing channels according to AppsFlyer’s index, which is a testament to how much influencer marketing is growing in the market as a whole.” –Paula Neves, CMO at Gazeus Games.
An influencer agency can save you a lot of time
“Influencer marketing for games can be a bit of a hit or miss- you have to try out quite a lot of them before you find the right content. There are three things you need to do before starting any influencer activities:
1. Analyze your player base, get as much insight as you can about the demographic and their preferences. This will give you a general idea of what kind of viewers you would like to engage.
2. Think not only about the numbers (which may sound funny coming from an analyst!) but also about the audience’s perceptions. If an influencer has millions of views but all the videos they do are about, for example, League of Legends, their viewers are unlikely to appreciate a video about your game. Unless the influencer is a content marketing genius, which happens as well.
3. Consider non-gaming influencers as well. To do it right, return to point 1.
4. And, last but not least, I would recommend using an influencer agency. This, of course, depends on your budget and goals, but it is usually a more efficient way of running an influencer campaign. Be sure to get your KPIs right and track them yourself, sharing them with the agency, so that they can adjust their activities accordingly.
My best tip for making influencers work is to get the uplifts right (which is a topic so big it would need an entire article to address). But a quick tip: Think about not only the number of views, but also the organic uplift and build a solid baseline in order to estimate it.” –Anna Yukhtenko, Games Analyst at Hutch.