How can you elevate your influencer marketing efforts and build a great strategy to work with YouTubers? At Matchmade, we work with game studios and influencers all the time, and here’s some advice based on our experience from over 150 campaigns. (Thanks to Futureplay‘s artists for the beautiful background image! Check out their game Idle Tuber Empire.)
1. Define your influencer marketing goals
As with any marketing strategy, start by defining your goals also for your influencer campaigns.
Let’s look at four potential targets for your influencer marketing efforts: generate awareness, get installs, build community, and reach new geographies. Once you know what you want to achieve, turn that into a metric goal, and negotiate your influencer deals accordingly. For example:
- Awareness = N views. You could aim at a fixed fee + CPM deal. You want to get views for your game, so incentivize accordingly.
- Get installs = N downloads. We recommend a fixed fee + CPI-based deal to ensure you get both a good video and also a push for downloads. Make sure you set up tracking and attribution properly. You can also expect a boost in organics. (Psst, Matchmade supports most 3rd party data partners and we can track the performance of your influencer campaigns on our dashboard).
- Build community = N engagement per video. Aim at a fixed fee deal for a campaign that includes several videos. The campaign isn’t about downloads, but quality and consistency.
- Reach new geographies = N views in select countries. Negotiate a fixed fee + CPM deal to incentivise high-quality video and also drive viewership through your influencer-made content.
When you’re getting started with influencer marketing campaigns, we advise you to sponsor 3-5 channels with similar audiences and content so you can figure out how much one pair of eyes is worth for you. Once you have some more data and an understanding of results, you could aim to make all future deals on a CPM-basis, as it’s super simple. Now, finding relevant influencers with the right audience-mix is critical. Which brings us to our next chapter…
2. Search for influencers with purpose
Finding the right influencer for your campaign is usually the most time-consuming part… But, matching your game with the right content creator is what will ultimately drive your campaign to success.. or peril. So don’t rush it! Search through YouTube, watch videos and search again. Here’s some advice, looking at the same hypothetical goals as above:
- Awareness: Look for 1-2 big YouTubers, or a handful of mid-sized ones. Get familiar with the other games the influencers features and make sure your target group matches with the influencer’s audience.
- Get installs: Relevance is key. Look for YouTubers with complimentary titles, and audiences that match your game’s target group. You can even look beyond gaming-only channels. Targeting soccer-moms? Go for women’s lifestyle. Targeting adventurous men? Consider adrenaline sports, and other outdoorsy channels.
- Build community: look for YouTubers who make videos about games with similar audiences. Directly competing titles might not work, as communities tend to be fanatic over their games. Look for complimentary titles, and even lifestyles. Search for small YouTubers who already play your game and help them grow.
- Reach new geos: Search for YouTubers based on where their audience is located. As YouTube is very international, and the world is a multilingual place, expand beyond your first language. Change your search terms into language your game is localized in to find e.g. Finnish or Argentinian YouTubers.
Psst: Matchmade automates the search process by analyzing all gaming content on YouTube (2.5M channels, 250M videos, 20K games) to intelligently match games with the relevant YouTubers – and we’re happy to help!
Double-psst: be strategic when basing your search on demographics because not all influencers with the same demographics also share the same niche. In other words, if you are promoting a shooter game, promoting it on a football channel would not be as successful as doing so on a shooter channel, even though both channels reach similar demographics.
3. Reach out
The scary part: emails and twitter dms! We won’t write a you guide on how to email or tweet, but here’s a few things to remember when it comes to influencers specifically:
- YouTubers are busy – keep it short and get to the point
- Think of YouTubers as small media empires – be respectful as they are experts of their audience
- Show you care about their channel. Ask yourself how does your game suit their audience?
- What can you offer them outside a sponsorship? (Promotion on your social channels? Cross-promotion? Regular videos? In-game featuring?)
Triple-Psst, many influencers work through managers and agencies, Matchmade partners with several of them.
4. Let go of control, freak!
Once you have found your influencer, reached out to them and agreed on a campaign, let them do their magic. It’s scary to let go of control, we know. But the best results on YouTube happen when the influencer is allowed to be themself. In the end, that’s the reason they have subscribers and people watch their videos. Give clear advice on what the call-to-action is, and what the one-liner of your game is… Then. Let magic happen. If they suggest a specific time of the day that would be best to showcase your masterpiece, take their word for it. At the end of the day, they know when their audience is tuning in, AND how to communicate with them effectively.
Something to think about is if you want a dedicated video about only your game, or if a shoutout in an upcoming video makes more sense. We can advise case-by-case!
5. Measure the influence
As you’re spending money on influencer marketing, you want to analyse what worked, how it worked, and what didn’t work. Not only is measuring the performance of your influencer marketing campaigns critical for estimating your ROI; but the results will also be useful for the influencers to understand. Plus, you can learn and optimize for future campaigns. One thing to keep in mind when measuring the impact of your campaigns: pay attention to a boost in organic downloads.
Quadra-Psst: The Matchmade dashboard tracks real-time performance of influencer campaigns and we support most 3rd party data partners.
There you have it — these are the 5 things you need to know if you want to execute an effective influencer marketing strategy. Thoughts? SHARE ON SOCIAL! Tweet at us: @matchmadetv and email us firstname.lastname@example.org.