When it comes to getting your game out there, influencer marketing is definitely one of the best, if not the best, ways of doing it. Working directly with streamers gets your game out to thousands of fans who are all keen to follow their favorite content creators and jump on the next big thing.
We’ve seen countless games succeed thanks to streamers, with new titles dominating Twitch, YouTube, and more, exposing the games to hundreds of millions of viewers. A great example of this is Fall Guys, an Arcade style battle royale that blew up on Twitch, with a peak of over 700,000 viewers and a consistent average of over 200,000 concurrent views for two weeks.
If your game can get popular on a platform like Twitch, then you’ll see hundreds of streamers playing it, without even having to pay the majority of them. All it takes is the initial popularity.
However, in order to get that initial boost, you’ll need to choose the right streamers to promote your game. It’ll be easy to notice if the content creators you pick aren't right for the game, so you need to make sure they are a good fit, and here’s how you can do it.
How to find streamers and content creators
First things first, you need to know where to actually look for streamers and content creators. Luckily, this step is the easiest. There are many different websites dedicated to showing off influencer content and stats, as well as the actual websites like Twitch and YouTube where you can simply browse who’s live.
One of the best options is to use our very own Lurkit. You can head over to our games list, which will show you all of the most popular games at the moment. From there you can click on a game, head to the streams tab, and check out a large list of live influencers.
Alternatively, you could work with an influencer marketing agency. These are somewhat new talent management agencies that specialize in streamers and content creators. You can simply tell them what you need and they’ll do most of the work for you, collecting a list of influencers, reaching out to them, and letting you pick who does what.
The main drawbacks of using an influencer marketing agency over finding influencers yourself are cost and availability. First off, the agency will charge an extra fee for doing most of the work, as should be expected. The main disadvantage, however, is that many agencies have exclusive partnerships with streamers and other content creators. This means you may have to reach out to multiple and pay a large amount in fees or miss out on some key influencers you would like.
Using these methods is a great way to find influencers, but there’s more to it when it comes to actually picking the right ones.
What to consider when picking streamers and content creators
Now that you know where to look for influencers, it’s time to talk about what you need to think about when choosing them. There are many different factors that come into play here, so let's take a look at them one by one.
Genre and category
First and foremost, you need to take an in-depth look at what kind of games the influencer streams. This needs to be more than a simple glance, as streamers often switch games around, so it’s important to look at their overall choices of games.
This is probably the most important factor to consider, as it directly relates to your game. For example, if you’re planning to launch a new FPS, there’s no point contacting influencers that only play MMO’s or card games.
Their fanbase won't be interested in your game and they probably won't be either. Even if they are, the impact they’ll have is much smaller than a streamer who actually focuses on shooters.
You can dive even deeper and look at the exact types of games they play. Looking at the FPS example again, if you’re launching a tactical shooter, it may be more worthwhile to find influencers from similar games like CS:GO and Valorant, rather than the battle royale type from Fortnite and PUBG.
Viewership and KPI’s
It’s also very important to consider the stats when choosing influencers. Of course, getting the correct influencers with the right market and audience is vital, but at the same time, you also need influencers with enough viewers to make a difference.
When it comes to viewership, there are a few key performance indicators, aka KPI’s, to consider. The most important stat is average viewers (or CCV). This shows you how many viewers a streamer pulls in on average over a certain time period. It’s vital to take a look at both short term and long term CCU to see if a streamer is consistent and track their overall progress.
Meanwhile, other stats like hours watched and followers gained can be a little hit and miss. They are still an important indicator to see the general strength and growth of a channel, but they can be influenced by things like hosting, where streamers send their viewers to another channel after their broadcast has ended.
Total followers is another stat that is important, but can be very misleading. Of course, having a big follower base is important, but it isn’t a huge indicator of how much viewership an influencer has at the time.
It’s very possible for some streamers and content creators to have tens of thousands of followers, but draw in less viewers than other influencers with many less followers. This is due to a variety of reasons, for example, an influencer could have been huge a few years ago, gained a ton of followers and stopped creating content. If they returned after a long break their follower count would still be huge, but their active viewer count would be very lacking in comparison.
Last but not least, you need to consider the activity of an influencer. You want to choose influencers that are active and stream consistently, so you can maximize the amount of time that users are viewing your game. Activity is generally measured by hours over a time period, with the biggest influencers having a schedule akin to a full-time job, streaming for at least 30 hours a week.
You should also consider the times they stream to ensure you hit a certain target market, like North America or Europe.
As you can imagine, the more average viewers, the more it will cost to hire an influencer to promote your game. The costs vary widely based on what you want them to do and person to person.
The type of audience an influencer has can be a bit tricky to find, but it is doable. There are a few things to consider here, such as content type, channel art, and games played.
First off, you can easily flick through the VoD’s of an influencer to see what kind of content they are producing and how it relates to the type of audience they have. The key giveaway will be a warning, as channels that feature mature content automatically prompt a mature warning content.
Other than that, you can judge it by how the streamer acts and what they say, for example avoiding curse words.
Channel art is another indicator of the audience type. There are so many possibilities that it’s impossible to list them all, so just look at the art and judge who it would appeal to. There’s often a certain theme that gives a good idea of what kind of audience the streamer has.
Last but not least is games played, this is another solid indicator, but best combined with the others. The games a streamer plays give you an idea of their fanbase, for example, Fortnite is mainly popular male teens.
Social media presence
This one depends heavily on your marketing strategy and can be either vital or a bonus depending on your aims.
Social media is a huge part of influencer marketing and most content creator’s lives. It opens up a huge area to promote your game outside of just streams or videos and can be a huge benefit to getting your game out there.
For example, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, one of the biggest streamers out there, has a massive following on YouTube. He tops out at 24 million subscribers on the platform, but only 200,000 or so of those tune in at a time during his broadcasts.
Meanwhile, he has 14.8 million followers on Instagram, the numbers of that aren't so clear, but we can safely assume many of those check out his posts every day. Now imagine that your game is not only promoted to those who manage to tune into his broadcast, but also up for all of his 14 million followers to see for days, anytime they want.
That’s a lot of extra eyes on your game. Once again though, using social media will usually cost more, so remember to take everything into account and weigh your options.
Now you’re ready to look for influencers to promote your game! Remember to keep an eye on these five categories and don’t be afraid to take your time. Finding the right influencers can be tough and time-consuming but it is vital.
It’s very easy for fans to spot when something’s off with their favorite streamer, so having someone who is really passionate about your game will go a long way. Don’t be afraid to reach out to influencers and have a chat either, it’s a good way to learn more about them and even if you don’t work with them this time, you could build a good relationship for the future.