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What influencer marketing can learn from the gaming industry

By Adam Ward, Senior Strategist



The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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August 23, 2019 | 5 min read

The gaming industry is full of sweaty, overweight and basement dwelling males, right. Not any more.

Controller coffee

For the last three years I’ve been looking into how influencer marketing should be seen as an incredible performance tool.

The research I was conducting in this space highlighted that the gaming industry (online & mobile specifically) was the Holy Grail of influencer based performance marketing.

What was even better was that beyond the Dorito dust and energy drinks, it is easily translatable to the majority of industries that are look to drive trackable ROI and growth from influencer campaigns.

Unlike the more generalist vlogger - gamers are specific to a niche - which is the ultimate cheat code for the marketers who have been harnessing influencers for their campaigns.

Those marketers who have taken advantage of this chancel have been able to do is translate this billion dollar industry into a guaranteed growth and revenue stream for their businesses.

So how has this been possible?

Data means money!

The first thing they did was acknowledge that it’s all about the money - data driven money.

Data is not a new thing to the gaming industry - nor should it be for any industry for that matter. However gaming has always been one step ahead, as well as ensure data is at the heart of strategy and optimisation.

Like a living matrix, every strategy is developed by understanding every piece of data available. This allows them to create an encyclopaedic view of their consumers and optimise their strategy to deliver a the greatest ROI possible.



Gaming companies don’t just optimise on completion of a campaign, because their campaigns never stop. By tracking their customers’ activities constantly they are able to understand the long term impact of campaigns and create a detail view of customer life time value - something that is too often overlooked when it comes to influencer campaigns.

This allows them to understand what type of customer you are and adapt future campaigns accordingly.

For the gaming industry, data isn’t the final boss, it is the loading page to success.

Know your audience at every touch point

The second major principle of the gaming world is the respect they have for the players who make all this happen. They know the impact they have on success and failure and act accordingly.

Creators understanding their audience, their passion for a game or genre. When gaming publishers work with creators they also gain trusted access to this - special type of communication that is not obtainable through other marketing channels.

In addition to contributing to the content, smart brands and gaming publishers are leveraging creators and putting them at the heart of full marketing strategies, from user-pasted acquisition to continued game play and ongoing purchases.


Unlike the majority of influencer marketing, the gaming industry understands that it’s not just an acquisition tool.

Every consumer touchpoint is an opportunity to continue to your relationship with your audience and continue to grow retention and your revenue streams.

Integration is stronger than partnership

The gaming industry is also pushing the boundaries of what partnerships can really be in terms of true revenue and growth generators.

Space Ape Games took this approach when they wanted to increase traffic and player numbers for their game, Fastlane: Road to Revenge. They added 20 of the gaming industries most popular YouTubers to its game, giving players the chance to race against them and ultimately engage in a new way.pasted-image.tiff

This activation was one of the main reasons they were able to triple their game revenue.

So, what can brands in other sectors learn from this?

Data is the money

Most influencer campaigns spend too much time in beginner mode. It may all look good but it’s not really doing much. Data is the money maker and whether you’re using it to inform your strategy and understand your audience - it’s key to driving growth and long term business success.

Think about the 360 marketing process

Influencers can do more for you than just raise awareness. They can play a role in helping the continued engagement with your brand, as wells being a tool to continue to generate revenue from consumers.


Although there is more of this happening, brands need to start seeing the right influencers as a tool that can drive maximum revenue when you fully integrate them into your business. From product ranges to being the face of your brand, influencers can and should be more than just a single social post.


Content by The Drum Network member:


Influencer Marketing, Powered by Science.

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