Did you know game publishers earn an average of $6.50 for every dollar they spend on mobile game influencer marketing?
Yep, some even earn up to $20 for every dollar spent.
If done right, collaborating with influencers to promote a mobile game can be incredibly successful. It’s no secret that this is a very lucrative marketing technique.
In this article, I’m going to show you a simple, step-by-step process you can follow to win at mobile game influencer marketing. You’ll learn how to define your target audience, choose an influencer, define your budget, and more.
I have also included a list of what not to do when it comes to mobile game influencer marketing.
A Step-By-Step Guide for Successful Mobile Game Influencer Marketing
Want to create a successful influencer marketing campaign that will put your game on the map? Follow these 5 simple steps.
1. Define Your Goals and Target Audience
As with any marketing campaign, well-defined goals are crucial. You also need to know exactly who you’re targeting. Otherwise, you’re shooting in the dark.
These questions will help you determine your goals and identify your target audience.
- What do you want to achieve with mobile game influencer marketing? Is it user acquisition? Better game awareness? Increase user retention or engagement? Something else?
- How will you measure and track the main KPIs?
- What is your influencer marketing budget?
- What is your USP?
- Who is your target audience? (Define their gender, age, location, interests, habits, income, education, etc.)
- What social media platforms do they use?
2. Choose a Relevant Influencer
This is the hard part – choosing the right influencer to promote your mobile game. It’s not simple to navigate the sea of influencers and those who want to be one.
In fact, 61% of marketers find it hard to find a relevant influencer, according to Mediakix.
Here are a couple of tips that will help you.
First of all, since you’re trying to market a mobile game, you should look for influencers in the gaming niche. Chances are, they’re experienced gamers who know what they’re talking about. Plus, you probably share a similar target audience, which is also important.
Where to Find Gaming Influencers?
Well, there are a couple of different routes you can take.
There are influencer agencies that can help you find gaming influencers that fit your requirements. However, you can also search manually and contact influencers directly, which also works.
Your best bet is to focus on platforms like YouTube and Twitch when searching for gaming influencers. According to research by Google, 70% of teenage YouTube users report YouTube stars are more relatable than traditional celebrities.
You might also want to look on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok, depending on your target audience. (According to the State of Influencer Marketing survey, 79% of marketers consider Instagram to be the best channel for finding influencers).
Also, many influencers post content related to a specific gaming niche. For example, some influencers play only strategy games on their channel so a puzzle game will not fit in.
Additional Tips for Choosing the Right Gaming Influencer:
- Consider micro-influencers. (Even though they have fewer followers, they get 41 percent more engagement than mega and macro-influencers.)
- Check the influencer’s target audience and demographics. (Ask for screenshots of their social media analytics page)
- Ensure the influencer creates top-notch content and posts regularly. (Does their content provide value to the followers?)
- Check the engagement on their social media profiles. (Does their like-to-follower ratio seem good?)
- Notice whether they have a great relationship with their audience. (Do they communicate with the audience and start conversations?)
- Assess the influencer’s storytelling and content creation abilities. (Can they make people excited about playing your game?)
- Consider whether they’re a good fit for your brand. (Does the influencer have similar values?)
- Who are the publishers this influencer collaborated with in the past? Are they your competitors?
- Does the influencer follow the rules of sponsored and paid posts?
- Ensure the influencer has authority in the gaming niche and can actually influence his/her followers. (More than 60% of users trust advice from their favorite creator.)
- Be respectful to the influencer. (According to Crowdtap, 54% of influencers report they will only work with brands that show them respect.)
If you want to check out some examples of gaming influencers, go to the list below. Keep in mind, these are mostly macro-influencers.
List of Famous Gaming Influencers and Thought Leaders
- Jim Sterling
- The Game Theorists
- Smosh Games
- The Black Hokage
- Brett Nolan
3. Define Your Budget and Setup a Payment System
In order for both you and the influencer to be happy with the collaboration, you need to define a budget beforehand. It will help you avoid issues or misunderstandings later on.
To give you an idea of how much it could cost, 90% of influencers charge $250 or less for a paid post. 53% of micro-influencers have never posted a paid post and are likely to promote brands for free. This is a great opportunity for indie developers and small game studios that don’t have big marketing budgets.
Simply contact micro-influencers and propose a collaboration – to get free promotion, all you need to do is ask.
Also, you need to be clear about the payment model. Many influencers offer a fixed price, but that’s not the best option for mobile game publishers. A better way is to arrange to pay the influencer based on the results.
For example, you can offer a CPC, CPM, or even a CPI payment model to the influencer. That way, you pay according to the achieved results, which is fairest.
4. Give Influencers Some Creative Freedom
Here’s where many game publishers go wrong when collaborating with influencers – they try to control every single aspect of it.
Of course, you should set up clear goals and expectations as well as give the influencer some guidance. However, you should not dictate everything from the copy to the creatives.
Here’s the thing, people want to see authenticity and credibility when influencers promote any product. Users know when brands are trying to control what the influencer is saying and how they’re representing them.
That’s why you need to avoid being a control freak. Let influencers use their storytelling abilities and creativity to showcase your game in the best way possible. They know their audience much better than you.
The results will be more authentic, and their followers will appreciate that.
5. Focus on Acquiring High-Quality Users
The beauty of influencer campaigns is that they make it easier to acquire high-quality users. This should be one of your main goals.
High-quality users can be defined in several different ways.
Most commonly, this term refers to users who, after installing a game, keep playing past the first day, week, or month, i.e., those who retain well. Moreover, high-quality users are those who are engaged, i.e., play every day, have long sessions, playtime, etc.
Because of that, it’s easier to monetize high-quality players, whether through in-app purchases, in-app ads, subscriptions, or a hybrid monetization model.
Fans of gaming influencers tend to be high-quality players. They’re not occasional players but regular or committed gamers, i.e., they play several times a day, take gaming very seriously, and don’t mind spending on games. These are the users you should aim to acquire with your influencer campaigns.
6. Track and Analyze the Results of Your Mobile Game Influencer Marketing Campaign
The final step is tracking and analyzing the results of your campaign. If you have set up your goals and KPIs correctly, it will be easy to measure what worked and what didn’t.
For example, analyze how many installs you got as a result of the campaign. Did you acquire engaged users or users who just downloaded your mobile game and never played it again? Did you see an increase in in-app purchases or ad revenue?
If you haven’t noticed any measurable results, chances are your mobile game influencer marketing campaign didn’t work. It’s time to identify where things went wrong and start all over again.
In case you got results you’re satisfied with you should consider spending more money on influencer marketing. Whether it’s collaborating with the same influencer or finding several new influencers.
Examples of Successful Mobile Game Influencer Collaborations
When Brawl Stars first launched in 2018, no one could have predicted how popular the game would become. Before the launch, the game’s developer, Supercell, decided to create an innovative influencer campaign. They teamed up with 10 Youtube mobile influencers and gamers. All of them streamed videos of themselves playing the game.
The developers wanted to get people to register even before the game launches. The results were impressive: 5 million registrations after the first video was launched.
Why did it work so well?
Their strategy was not to focus on the world’s most popular influencers. They focused on their niche and included influencers that already played their other games. Some of the influencers that took part were MOLT, Orange Juice gaming, and Powerbang Gaming.
A completely different approach to mobile game influencer marketing comes from Vainglory 5v5. This multiplayer action game partnered with one of the most subscribed YouTubers – PewDiePie.
In this case, PewDiePie included his fans in the gameplay as well. He did this via Youtube’s Let’s Play video formats that records multiple users playing a game while enabling a voice-over commentary.
This partnership was also never explicitly stated in the video itself. In the video, he did not explain or talk about the game features. His approach was letting the fans decide if they like the game based on what they see. The only mention could be found in the description, where it said: “brought to you by Super Evil Megacorp”. Additionally, the description also included download links.
Up to date, this video got 2,2 million views.
Coin Master’s Celebrity Campaign
Coin Master’s campaign is another example of a well-executed influencer partnership.
They tried a different strategy to influencer marketing by hiring celebrities who have nothing to do with gaming. Granted, the point was to show that anyone can and should play Coin Master. The target audience in this case were not the classical gamers – Coin Master aimed at anyone who had previously heard of any of their chosen celebrities.
Celebrities in question are Jennifer Lopez, Khloe Kardashian, Cardi B, Emily Ratajkowski, and many other big names from the music and movie industry. While, for example, the Kardashians is not the most loved name in the celebrity world, they are one of the most well-known families in the industry.
By choosing these famous people, Coin Master aimed for attractive, eye-catching ads. This strategy is interesting because people still don’t consider “standard celebrities” as influencers, while today, influencer collaborations bring huge profits to those famous people.
Coin Master came up with many different kinds of ad scripts for this campaign. The video ads showed celebrities talking about the struggles they face in the games, just like any regular player would.
Moreover, the ad copies were full of emojis, which can usually cause negative feelings in social media users, but it still worked out in their favor; it was noticeable. With this campaign, Coin Master really proved that the KISS principle always works – Keep it Simple, Silly.
Mobile Game Influencer Marketing: What Not to Do
Now let’s talk about some things you should not do. Here are the don’ts of mobile game influencer marketing.
- Don’t choose an influencer based solely on their follower count
- Don’t guess who your audience is, research it
- Don’t focus just on making money, getting more visibility to your mobile game is also important
- Don’t take control of the entire creative process – let influencers do their magic
- Don’t choose influencers with fake followers and low engagement
- Don’t set unrealistic expectations – acquiring millions of users solely through influencer collaborations rarely ever happens
- Don’t spend a fortune on an influencer simply because they’re famous
- Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket – use paid advertising along with influencer campaigns to maximize your reach
- Don’t be afraid to change things up – if a collaboration is not working, move on
Final Thoughts on Mobile Game Influencer Marketing
It’s easy to see why mobile game influencer marketing works. People want advice from their fellow gamers. Plus, they want to see a real person playing or commenting on the game before they install it.
That’s why it’s the best promotion your mobile game can get.
It’s no wonder that as much as 93 percent of marketers use influencer marketing. 90 percent of them consider it to be effective. Some of them see a return of $20 for one dollar spent, which is a huge ROI.
To achieve that, you need to choose the right influencer and establish a great collaborative relationship. It’s the only path to a successful mobile game influencer marketing campaign.
Now it’s time for your thoughts and comments!
Tell me what you think about using influencers to promote your mobile game? What do you think is the most challenging thing about it?
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