Industry leaders from Armadillo Studios – EveryMatrix, Relax Gaming, Evoplay & Gaming Arts discuss the increasing importance of influencers/streamers in the gaming industry.
How important are influencers/streamers as a marketing medium for game manufacturers?
They are very important. Getting the word out and advertising your product to the correct audience is becoming difficult and expensive in this increasingly competitive market. There is simply too much content coming out, so using your marketing budget wisely to reach your audience and differentiate your message is paramount. This is where streaming and influencers come into play. By some standards, this is still a brand new marketing channel, especially for the iGaming sector – but it is likely the most effective and (if used correctly) accurately targeted channel currently in existence. It reaches the end user directly – be it a user already familiar with the content (in the case of specialized streams) or demographics not yet exposed to the content (in the case of more generally oriented streamers).
What do game manufacturers look for in a streamer/influencer?
We can’t speak for every studio out there, but game developers should look at three main things when choosing a streamer or influencer. First, it’s important to look at the platform used, as some streaming platforms have limitations on the type of content that can be shown. Then, it’s important to understand the streamer. Ideally, it’s someone who’s specialized in the product, that can give feedback and do a reasonably accurate and enjoyable presentation. Or it can be someone who’s specialized in multiple products or content types and has a large following so that they can put the game in the front of many eyeballs. Finally, we need to look at the cost – depending on the popularity of the influencer or streamer, budgets can expand and we must ensure that the benefits are worth the invested amount.
Do B2B suppliers employ streamers/influencers directly, or do they rely on streamers/influencers to cover their games organically?
As suppliers of B2B content, we would be really happy if streamers organically picked up our products, but the reality is that the more successful a streamer becomes, the higher the percentage of sponsored content. Employing a full-time streamer is perhaps not something we would consider, especially as a B2B provider. Our products cover a lot of markets and languages, so our marketing needs to take that into account. A better approach is to maintain active relationships with multiple influencers/streamers and target the marketing efforts based on required coverage, product or market specifics, and local regulations.
What do B2B suppliers have to do differently with streamers, as opposed to operators and affiliates?
An operator (and to a lesser extent, an affiliate) has a very well-defined audience. Their goal is not to advertise an individual game, but multiple, to promote the platform and user experience as a whole. Sometimes, the focus ends up on specific games (for example streaming during a tournament or for particular player acquisition offers), but that is usually incidental. In the case of B2B suppliers, things are a bit different – we need to cover bigger markets and appeal to larger audiences. We cannot efficiently target the end-user directly, so we need to cast a bigger net. Short sponsored streams with established streamers in multiple markets and languages are one way to do that. Alternatives are extensive reviews or instructional streams by specialized streamers with large international followings.
The original version of this interview was published by Gambling Insider under the title The importance of streamers.