The wave of influencer marketing has existed in the video game industry for a very long time. As it has become an even bigger practice globally thanks to brands like Fashion Nova, Gymshark and many more, companies have decided to start testing the waters in gaming. While it’s been great to witness more of them getting involved in our industry, we still see a lot of brands making the same mistakes that result in them either leaving the space or cutting marketing spend for streamers.
That is the exact reason I’m writing this. As someone who’s worked in influencer marketing and knows many talented individuals that do the same, I think a lot of the pitfalls these companies encounter can be easily avoided. If you’re in a position where you’ve been tasked to build a strategy so your company can advertise with streamers and you’re not too familiar with how that process works, this article/brain dump is for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you embark on this journey:
1. Understand the Give and Take
If your initial email template contains the line “We would love to send you some product to try on stream and shoutout on twitter if you like it”, just be mentally prepared for things to not go as planned. I’m sorry if this throws out your entire strategy for influencer marketing that you’ve been planning for the past month, but it had to be said.
More content creators are making a good living from their brand than you may think. Don’t go into conversations thinking you’re doing them a favor or that they “need” you. Most understand that you are benefiting way more from of a twitter shoutout from them than they are by getting a free headset from you.
2. Short Term Contracts can be Your Friend
While it’s important to get fans used to seeing your brand alongside their favorite streamer over time, it’s also important to recognize that streamers aren’t taught how to sell, nor is it guaranteed that your brand will fit perfectly with their audience. Short term partnerships give you flexibility to pivot.
Last year I faced a situation where this practice helped tremendously. An account had been passed along to me to manage for a streamer that had built a very impressive audience for themselves (around the 10,000-15,000 avg. concurrent viewers), but they never followed through on their deliverables (advertising on stream, promoting on social, etc). Yes, they were getting paid well, and yes, everything they needed to do was laid out very clearly for them. Despite our efforts (and constantly being told things would change), it just wasn’t working. Thankfully we had only committed to a sponsorship of a couple months, and once the contract expired we shifted our resources to another individual (with a much smaller following) that took full advantage of the opportunity.
So unless you’ve been handed a blank check from your CMO and were told to lock in one of the top 10 streamers on the platform for 2 years, I highly recommend short term contracts off the jump to see where your efforts are best spent.
3. Give Creative Freedom to the Creators
Scripted content may keep things organized, but organic promotion is generally more effective around here. Influencers understand their audience better than you do, so you need to be okay with letting them take the reins.
A great example of someone using their creative freedom would be when DrDisrespect created a promo video in his pool for his new G FUEL flavor. This was all Doc’s idea, and as you can see, it’s pretty clear that it paid off.
One of the quickest ways to sabotage your own influencer marketing strategy is by micromanaging talent to the point where they no longer have their own voice, and they’ve become the voice of the brand. When you reach that point, all authenticity (one of the most important aspects of influencer marketing) is lost.
I hope this brief snapshot of common mistakes to avoid in this business has helped. At the end of the day there is so much potential in this market for so many different brands to succeed if they execute correctly, and the sole purpose of this article is to help them do exactly that. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message.