working with influencers

Working with Influencers: A Guide For Small Businesses.

Influencers and content creators have become an integral part of modern marketing strategies and content marketing campaigns. If you are not working with influencers and content creators as part of your marketing you are truly missing out on genuine, quality, and engaging content.

Gaming and technology influencers and content creators use a wide range of platforms to promote their content including Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, Facebook, and even Discord. There is an impressive amount of influencers and content creators for all different genres and gaming platforms. Tapping into this aspect of marketing can give a brand access to a specific target market and purposeful content.

What are your strategic goals?

Your goals will help determine what type of strategy you take when it comes to working with influencers and content creators. Just like any other marketing plan you need to determine what the goals of this part of the strategy are. This will help you plan your offerings, who you’re approaching, and what the expectations are going to be for the campaign. Some goals of your campaign could be:

  • Brand awareness through social media coverage 
  • Increase in engagement and social media reach 
  • Website traffic resulting in a higher conversion rate 

Finding the right influencer or content creator 

Before diving into reaching out to every video game content creator you can find online with high numbers, you need to research. You want to ask yourself a few questions like “Who is the target market of  this content creator?”, “Are they the right type influencer or content creator to represent our brand and our values?”, “Is this influencer family-friendly?” and “Do they play the right games for our title?”. These questions are important, you are trusting this person with your hard work and dedication. 

Social Media

Most of your research can be conducted on Twitter and Instagram by searching for keywords and hashtags. Ideally, you want the content creator to be interested in similar products to what you have on offer. Those content creators are already out there engaging with products and brands that are competing against or are similar to yours. 

In the past, I have used Twitter to gauge interest from video game streamers. Recently I put out a tweet asking about streamers if they’re interested in a specific title to stream on launch to DM me. I was able to generate interest and put together a great group of streamers for launch week.

Twitch

There is a HUGE directory of games and topics that feature all different types of content creators and streamers. You can navigate around by topic or game however, the SEO on Twitch needs improvement so traditional searching is lacklustre. I recommend using Twitch to review live streams and VODs of content creators that you have already identified as potential candidates. You can get a feel for their personality, engagement and their community to ensure they are a right fit for your brand.

Google

There are so many awesome articles, features, and threads that come up in a simple Google search. I kid you not, I have Googled some of the most oddly worded searches to find content creators e.g. “Best food and drink streamers that are based in Australia or New Zealand” or “Streamers that like Warhammer 40K” and believe it or not I have gotten results! Don’t be afraid to put Google to good use in your search for influencers and content creators. 

Talent Agency

If you’ve got a BUDGET, there are talent agencies out there that will help you find the perfect content creator. If you need help Player 2 HQ can help you with matching you to ideal candidates for your marketing campaigns. Get in contact with us here. 

What is your offer? 

What are you wanting in return for sponsorship and/or product (giveaways are pretty self-explanatory)? Do you want a blog post and 2 social media posts? Did you want a live stream of your game for 3 hours on launch week? Determining your asks before reaching out to the influencer or content creator helps manage expectations on both ends. 

It’s important that you establish what your offer is going to be whether it’s product or monetary, or a combination of both. Remember if you are offering a product it has to be a GOOD product! Influencers and content creators have a reputation to uphold therefore they want to be representing exciting and high-quality brands and products. 

Paid Opportunity

Experienced influencers and content creators will have already established their pay rates and will present them to you once you request them. It’s ideal that you have a budget for marketing so that the content creator can be paid for their work. Remember, they are creating content for you and for themselves. If a content creator is too expensive, don’t try and devalue their work by negotiating them down. Look for a content creator that is within your budget. You want to be able to maintain relationships with creators and haggling with them is a one-way ticket out. 

Contra Product 

You can send complimentary products to the content creator to test out and create content around their experiences with the product. A product offer has the potential to create a genuine outcome for both you and the content creator.

Giveaways

Offering products to be given away live on stream, or through a social media post are a drawcard for a lot of gaming content creators. It helps them to build hype for their channel and to attract potential new viewers to their stream. If you are going to offer giveaways, work with the content creator to see what products would work best for their audience.

Approaching an influencer or content creator 

Before you reach out to a content creator make sure that you are following them on your social media channels. It shows the content creator that you are interested in their content and ready to build a relationship. You can reach out to content creators via direct message on their social media, or via an email address that they provide on their social media profiles. You should take note of the following when reaching out:

  • Use a conversational tone 
  • Avoid any subject lines or content that could mark the email as spam 
  • Include all RELEVANT information and links to your website and the product you are emailing about. 
  • End the conversation with something like “looking forward to hearing back from you regarding future opportunities to work together” 

There’s no exact formula for getting this done as everyone is different and has different ways of messaging and emailing. Relax, this is the video games industry, everyone is funny and quirky and most are open opportunities (trust me they will let you know if they are not!) 

Manage Expectations 

This typically happens once you have established a relationship and you are working together on a particular opportunity. Different influencers and content creators are going to have different expectations, and those expectations are going to be different from yours. Many content creators have potentially worked with your competitors and other brands, therefore they have a way of doing things or producing certain content. 

When communicating with the content creator, you always need to be clear about the offer that you are emailing about. Is it about sending them products to try out? Are you looking to sponsor one of their streams?. When discussing expectations remember to provide details into your “ask” (what you would like the content creator or influencer to provide for you in return for sponsorship/product). This provides an outline for the content creator or influencer to work within. 

DON’T TAKE OVER CREATIVE CONTROL! Let the content creator or influencer do their thing! 

Provide guidelines

Every company should have guidelines on how they want the brand to be represented online. When working with influencers and content creators, you want to be able to send them all the right information. This is so that they don’t misrepresent your brand or products in their content or on their social media channels. Therefore, sending them helpful information like what hashtags to use will be appreciated.

You don’t get to dictate exactly what they say as you want the content they create to be as genuine as possible and in line with their content.

Follow Up

This is a no-brainer, always send through a follow-up email or message to see how they are going or to send through your appreciation and thanks for their hard work. A little email can go a long way to maintaining the longevity of a relationship, just like with anyone else! 

Free Influencer Marketing Tools

Below we have outlined a number of different marketing influencer tools (THAT ARE FREE TO USE) to help you analyse engagement, demographics, reach, and impressions. 

Upfluence

This tool is great for skimming across social media profiles. The only problem is that if the content creator isn’t loaded in the software you will need to add them and wait for Upfluence to build results. 

Upfluence shows a wide range of statistics and demographics and compares it across different social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube). It produces engagement rate which can be helpful in determining appropriate content creators/influencers to work with. 

working with influencers

Social Blade

Social Blade delivers analytics based on the trends around that one channel. The trends gear more towards growth, views, and followers. Unfortunately, a free subscription does not give you any information on demographics. 

One upside is the comparison system where you can look at the above-mentioned trends and compare channels side by side. 

working with influencers

Influencer Marketing Hub

Influencer Marketing Hub has cool free resources including a blog, influencer definitions, and Instagram post cost generator (where you can also see engagement rate which super handy when budgeting). 

The blog / “articles” have an awesome range of news and updates that are incredibly helpful. 

working with influencers

If your business is looking to start working with influencers and incorporate them into your marketing campaigns your marketing strategy, Player 2 HQ can help you. You can reach out to us here.

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