CreatorIQ helps brands and agencies run influencer marketing campaigns at scale. Discover creators, build a private network, manage campaigns, and report beautifully.

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How NBA2K Delivered the Top Influencer Post For the Gaming Industry

by Chris Nathan

24 November 2020 18:09pm

Esports officially went mainstream this year, with audiences on platforms like Twitch surging 47% and celebrities like Lebron James are investing in the space. Now, global esports revenues are destined to reach $1.1 billion in 2020, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

This presents a huge opportunity for brands, who are trying to forge relationships with the highly-coveted gaming audience. Gamers, after all, are the next-generation of sports fans. But a large portion of the gaming community consists of tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Zers, who are often not wild about being bombarded with traditional ads.

That’s why both endemic and non-endemic brands are leaning into activations with gaming influencers, who can usher them into the space and introduce them to the community in ways that make sense for the ecosystem overall. But what brands are actually doing it right?

This month, CreatorIQ’s Share of Influence report uncovered the global gaming brands that are capturing attention and gaining influence. For the report, CreatorIQ processes billions of posts and tens of millions of creators, which considers the volume of creator activity, the realness of creators’ audiences and the performance of content. Here’s what we saw in October:

Overall, the gaming industry generated 116,000 sponsored posts from 23,000 creators with 348 brands sponsoring content. While PUBG led the way for influence with an SOI of 10.53%, NBA2K delivered the most engaged sponsored post via a partnership with the Golden State Warriors.

The post, which featured players Damon Lee and Juan Toscano-Anderson playing NBA 2K on the big screen at San Francisco’s Chase Center, sparked 399.4K likes, 2K comments and reached an estimated 2.2 million people on Instagram.

Picking the Right Creators

Creators with smaller audiences often command a better engagement rate than macro-influencers, but NBA2K strategically picked larger players like Lee and Toscano that exceed industry averages. Damon Lee has an 8.4% engagement rate, which CreatorIQ qualifies as excellent, and Juan Toscano Anderson has an engagement rate of 12.99% (“exemplary”).

NBA2K’s ability to identify and engage influencers with superior engagement rates played a massive role in gaining them the top post of the month. This is undoubtedly an integral part of all influencer marketing campaigns, but brands need the right tools to effectively surface these sorts of metrics — whatever they may be — especially when it comes to introducing your brand to new audiences.

Methodology: Share of Influence considers the volume of creator activity, the realness of creators' audiences, and the performance of content (views, likes, comments, shares) for each contender brand. These three measures make SOI a powerful representation of a brand's influencer marketing presence and impact. SOI uses data from the core CreatorIQ platform, which processes tens of millions of creators and billions of posts. Every verified creator on Instagram and every creator with more than 50K followers is included, along with millions of smaller creators across multiple social platforms.


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