Gamefluencers - Who Are They and Should Your Company Work With Them?
February 18, 2023
The first step to generating sales for your small business or startup? Finding customers! But there's a catch: today's digital world has both enhanced and complicated your ability to connect with potential buyers, giving you additional tools to deliver your message but also fracturing the potential audience.
How can you take advantage of the modern media landscape while making sure your message reaches the right segment of the market? Working with gamefluencers offers an excellent opportunity for many companies.
This article will explain who gamefluencers are and why more companies are working with them. Meanwhile, if you think this strategy represents a good fit with your business, we'll also outline how your company can find the right gamefluencer for your brand.
Who are gamefluencers?
Companies have long turned to celebrity endorsers. From actors to athletes to musicians, the connection between commerce and culture has always been close. However, with the rise of gaming and online video sharing platforms, the ranks of these influencers has added a new category: gamefluencers.
This term applies to people who have gathered a significant online following playing video games. They represent a diverse group, from broadly popular influencers with tens of millions of followers to more niche gamers with a very targeted following.
Generally speaking, this group favors a younger audience, with 21% of people aged 18 to 24 saying they follow a gaming influencer. In total, 12% of men and 5% of women follow at least one of these gamefluencers.
21% of people aged 18 to 24 [say] they follow a gaming influencer. In total, 12% of men and 5% of women follow at least one of these gamefluencers.
To understand why this trend has entered the broader cultural consciousness lately, you first need to understand the rise of online gaming as a spectator sport. Start with eSports. The market for this segment has reached nearly $1.4B in 2022. Compare this figure to less than $1B in 2020. Meanwhile, the total is projected to grow to almost $1.9B by 2025.
Beyond the growth of gaming generally, gamefluencers have also benefited from the expansion of platforms that facilitate a connection with their fans. These include services like YouTube, Twitch and Discord.
Looking at Twitch specifically, the platform had an average of 2.78 million concurrent viewers in 2021. This represented a 31% increase compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the total number of Twitch hours watched in a year rose from 200 million from 2012 to almost 23 billion in 2021.
Benefits of working with gamefluencers
Given the reach some gamefluencers have and the unique entry they provide into certain hard-to-reach demographics, they can offer excellent branding opportunities. A collaboration can help you on multiple fronts at once. Here are some of the benefits you can expect from teaming with the right gamer:
Target Your Branding
Growing your small business gets easier when you have a dedicated fanbase. A gamefluencer provides the perfect conduit to this goal. After all, their careers are based on the strategy of cultivating a close connection with enthusiastic fans. Through these partnerships, you can piggyback on their efforts, achieving higher brand visibility with exactly the demographics that matter most to your small business.
Reach Specific Audiences
Looking to build a connection with a specific audience? Working with a gamefluencer can provide a high-ROI way to touch base with potential customers that might be difficult to reach with traditional advertising. Meanwhile, on a longer-term basis, you’ll nurture strong brand loyalty with the gamfluencer’s fanbase.
A close connection with specific gamefluencers gives you significant flexibility. Depending on the situation, you can negotiate substantial control over how your offerings are presented. This customized approach will contribute to consistent brand engagement.
Risks of working with gamefluencers
While the market for gamefluencers has expanded significantly in recent years, there are risks to keep in mind. For this, the example of PewDiePie is instructive.
This Swedish gamer represents one of the most popular in the world, boasting more than 100 million subscribers on YouTube. In terms of demographics, he appeals to a largely younger audience. Specifically, about 44% of his audience is between 18 and 24, with 28% coming from 25-34 year olds.
However, many companies tied to this high-profile gamer have faced a bumpy road in recent years. PewDiePie has faced criticism for comments he's made on his stream. This underlines the pitfalls of tying your brand to a specific personality. To protect yourself, and to get the most out of your investment, it’s crucial to choose the right partner.
How to find a gamefluencer for your brand
Say you decide to move ahead with a gamefluencer strategy. That only represents the first step in the process. The details matter a lot as you attempt to get the most out of this form of partnership. With that in mind, here are some steps to help you find the ideal gamefluencer for your brand:
Set Your Branding Goals
Before turning to gamefluencers to expand your customer base, look at your overall branding strategy. Consider where this method can fit into the larger process of expanding your brand. At the same time, define the message you want to send. This will help you target the specific gamers best suited to push your objectives.
Understand Your Audience
Once you have set your overall brand strategy, look closely at your target audience. Gather as much information as possible and mine that data for as many actionable insights as you can. This way, you'll know the right gamefluencer strategy to pursue to capture your ideal customers.
Create a Budget
You'll have a wide choice of what gamefluencers to partner with. The cost will depend on their levels of followers. You can recruit a team of smaller gamers and build an audience along with them. Or you can gravitate towards larger names — as long as you are prepared to pay the premium that requires.
Narrow the Field
Once you've structured your goals and decided on a strategy, it's time to seek out specific gamefluencers who match your objectives. Start with a long list of your options. From there, narrow the field to those who fit your plan. This will give you a workable catalog of potential partners to consider.
Learn Everything You Can
From your short list of candidates, launch a comprehensive research project. Look into their content and read whatever secondary information you can find. This individual will become tied to your brand. As such, you want to make sure that they make an ideal fit with your goals and values.
Build a Collaborative Relationship
After selecting the right gamefluencers for you, build a close connection with them. You want to nurture a collaborative relationship. From the beginning, work with them on content and messaging. This way, you will receive the best long-term value from the association.
Track Your Results and Continually Evaluate Your Strategy
Be ready to adjust your approach over time. Gather data about how well the gamefluencer connection is working. Use this information to tweak your approach and determine how you want to develop the strategy for the long haul.
Using gamefluencers to expand your brand
High brand visibility, strong brand loyalty, consistent brand engagement. These are all things that can help your small business or startup find and retain customers. These are also things that gamefluencers can help your company achieve.
[Gamefluencers cultivate] a close connection with enthusiastic fans. Through these partnerships, you can piggyback on their efforts, achieving higher brand visibility with exactly the demographics that matter most to your small business.
You just need to determine whether this strategy represents a good fit for your startup. Look at your target audience and weigh the risks of particular brand ambassadors before moving forward. To get you started on the process, you can use the information provided here to decide whether partnering with a gaming influencer is right for you.