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gaming influencer marketing - a breakdown

Why gaming?

The popularity of gaming has exploded, leaving audiences craving gaming content on streaming platforms such as Twitch, where the audience has grown from 1.07 million in 2018 to 3.02 million in 2021.

Gaming influencers’ live video content draws in audiences from the highly sought-after Gen Z demographic, and they drive impressive engagement on their streams thanks to the offer of real-time interactions and loyal audiences.

This makes gaming influencers a strategic partner – for brands both in and out of the gaming industry. Let’s explore precisely why gaming influencers are the perfect choice to stand front and centre of your latest campaign.

Which platform is best?

There are various platforms to consider when formulating a winning gaming influencer campaign.

Twitch is the obvious choice with around 10 million creators on the platform, so offers a wealth of talent. There are other platforms to consider, however, including YouTube Gaming, a leader for video on demand (VOD) views. Facebook Gaming is also worth noting as it has shown record audience growth at the beginning of 2021. 

That said, Twitch still comes out top when in terms of market share, representing 67% of hours streamed, compared to 22% for YouTube and 11% for Facebook.

Twitch still reigns supreme, but other platforms are worth noting if their differing features align with your campaign.

Why are gaming influencers more effective?

Streaming with the live chat function allows influencers to build a rapport with their audience, due to the promise of direct interaction, which acts as a driver for audience engagement.

Due to their close affiliation with streamers, Gen Z gamers endorse the use of advertising in gaming. 82% of Twitch users say sponsorships are good for the gaming industry and 80% of Twitch users are open to brands sponsoring a specific gamer or team, as they are glad to see their favourite streamers rewarded for quality content.

The relationships built between influencer and audience generates fans who are far more receptive to brand penetration. A recent study found that viewers watching gaming content are 53 percent more loyal than the average online viewer.

“It’s no surprise top creators with the highest reach, who continually deliver great content to their audiences, compel viewers to come back time and time again,” the study says.

In short, once a gaming audience gets a taste for brilliant content, they’ll keep coming back for more.

“It’s no surprise top creators with the highest reach, who continually deliver great content to their audiences, compel viewers to come back time and time again”

What do campaigns look like?

Gaming influencer marketing manifests itself in plenty of forms. Brands should ensure that their target audience aligns with that of the gamer’s influencer’s fanbase and general values. The best campaigns always lean on brand affinity.

Giveaways are a solid choice for a campaign, as they guarantee a high number of impressions, offering wide exposure of a product and therefore significant boost for product awareness.

Unboxing videos are also popular in the gaming industry, promoting project discovery and consideration. The anticipation of a live unboxing video and the promise of learning about a product in real time makes this format highly popular.

Another way brands can infiltrate the gaming scene is by sponsoring esports events. Brands often make promotional videos for tournaments and release specialised merchandise for players (such as Coca Cola’s Overwatch League teams bottles), which can be a great way to spread brand awareness far and wide.

Case studies

A creative example of how brand sponsorships are working with the gaming influencer includes KIA’s sponsorship of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC). The 2020 Summer season of LEC was the first to be played entirely remotely, so the importance of capitalizing on video content and social media was key.

First of all, KIA vehicles were provided to all the LEC players during the tournament. The automotive brand then sponsored a promotional music video for the league called ‘I want the LEC back’ featuring key players providing the vocals and showcasing their KIA motors during the clip. The clip has generated more than 800K views on YouTube and created further excitement and exposure for the event with gaming influencers posting reaction videos on Twitch and YouTube when they watched the clip for the first time.

Running promo codes or affiliate campaigns can be an effective means of achieving brand recognition by sharing their codes or links in the live chat, or talking about a brand during their pauses in gaming, influencers can promote brands in an authentic and relatable way to their viewers. This helps build positive brand sentiment and offers viewers an easy path to purchase.

That’s what Wendy’s and Uber Eats achieved when they teamed up to drive sales of a specially curated menu with the help of 5 top Twitch streamers. The ‘Never Stop Gaming Menu’ campaign was a unique menu of 5 Wendy’s meals created by a selection of popular streamers: TFUE, FLIGHT, itsHafu, xChocoBars, and Myth, only available for order during the 5-day campaign in December 2020. The campaign benefitted the streamers who could reward their followers with discount codes, whilst Wendy’s had a unique and instantly popular new menu to sell thanks to the seal of approval from top influencers.

How does badass use influencers?

Your favourite content creators and gaming influencers have joined our BADASS All Stars to support the next generation of Rainbow Six Siege Esport players and creators… and you choose how they compete!

Click here to find out how to get involved.