Vegas casino gaming influencers, gamers who live-stream themselves competing at popular online casino video games, are becoming an increasingly important part of the gaming ecosystem. Influencers create content and stream it on streaming platforms such as Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Gaming where their followers can watch and interact. Some influencers stick to one preferred game and stream via one service while others play a variety of games on different platforms.
The industry is paying close attention to gaming influencers who have the power to popularize games, other players, streaming services, platforms, products and each other.
Changing the Industry
Multiple companies have opened to help businesses attract and guide gaming influencers whose job it will be to advertise their products and/or services. These gaming influencers will be tasked with establishing the company’s online presence. Through their competitive gaming live-streams, give-aways, game reviews and tutorials the influencers become brands’ spokespersons, enhancing their online presence and leading them into their place in the online marketplace.
Communicating with the gaming industry involves a different kind of marketing. Whereas TV watchers will tolerate having a show interrupted for a commercial and online surfers will put up with pop up ads that have targeted their likes and dislikes, gamers and viewers would boycott any product that dared to interrupt the gameplay.
That’s where the gaming influencers come in. The influencers integrate information about the products that they are promoting into their streams. An influencer might be selling a specific console as part of a review of consoles or promote a certain game within a gaming tutorial. Even having a can of a soft drink visible during a stream along with a link that invites viewers to order a case can be a successful marketing tool.
Becoming a Gaming Influencer
A gamer doesn’t just “become” an influencer. S/he must put him/herself in a position that will make him/her a desirable commodity to brands that want to market their products through influencer marketing
- Gamers are advised to build a personal brand for themselves. This includes finding a niche within the gaming world. A player might find that s/he is skilled at doing montages, challenging viewers, giving tutorials or walking through new games. The player can effectively build a meaningful community establishing a segment within the gaming market which then attracts brands that want to work with that individual.
- The more fans and followers, the more a brand will want to work with you. Before you go looking for a brand for which to market, build your community. Once you understand your audience’s interests and can demonstrate a strong base of viewers and subscribers, you’ll be more valuable to the brands that you want to represent. One of the most useful techniques towards building a community is the chat function which allows you to stay engaged with your fans.
- Learn to analyze your reports. There are a number of tools that you can use including Twitch Tracker for Twitch users, Facebook’s Tracker Gaming, YouTube Looker, StreamElements Stream Report, Social Blade and Firebase. These tools provide you with needed data about your revenue, chats, new subscribers viewers and followers, etc that will allow you to refine your streams so that you become an attractive influencer to brands who may wish to engage your services.
- Stream regularly to allow your target audience to learn that they can count on seeing you on a regular basis. Through a consistent presence you will enjoy more influence among your followers while inconsistency will make it hard for your community to form a relationship with you which will make it harder for you to function effectively as an influencer.
- It’s a good idea to build relationships with other influencers, especially those who operate in the same niche. By demonstrating that you’re part of a gaming community you’ll boost your reputation and visibility. Your audience will be more likely to take your suggestions if they see you as a versatile, forward-thinking streamer within the gaming ecosystem. In addition to interacting within the streaming service platform, consider becoming an active participant in other forums including Twitter, Reddit and Facebook Gaming. By networking with other influencers you will make yourself known as a knowledgeable member of the gaming community which can then help you identify new brand sponsorship opportunities (and help brands find you).
- Think outside of the box. It may seem reasonable to consider that, as a gamer, you should be promoting gaming-related brands but the opportunities are much wider than that. Companies such as GUESS, PSD Underwear, Doritos, KFC, South Park and UberEats are marketing through gaming influencers. You can partner with non-gaming brands and become more valuable to a wider audience.
- Maximize your exposure, cross-promote brand sponsorships on additional channels. You can Tweet links to a livestream, post your Twitch feed on YouTube and do other cross-channel promotions as you make yourself more visible to a wider audience and more valuable to brands who might want you to promote their products and services.
Working as an influencer obligates the individual under guidelines set out by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The FTC mandates that any person who receives anything of value for influence exerted, including free or discounted products, must be transparent and may not use their influence for purposes of deceptive advertising.
Influencers may not misinform or hide the fact that they are receiving gifts in exchange for their marketing activities. An influencer who does not follow these guidelines may be liable for fines.
A number of states also legislate influencers. California is leading the country in this effort by labeling influencers as “gig-economy” workers – in effect, independent contractors. The Screen Actors Guild, which is the union of performers and entertainers, takes influencers as members and has published guidelines for influencer members.
Gaming influencing is a new, growing phenomena in the world of online marketing. The strategy offers benefits both gamers, marketers and the viewing public.