The key to influencer marketing for apps and mobile games

User Acquisition Campaigns

January 24, 2023

Growing right alongside UGC trends is influencer marketing. Mobile games especially are a great terrain for influencer marketing. With users and gamers asking for more authenticity and relatability from their favorite apps and games, it’s no surprise that influencer marketing is still booming. 

Why is influencer marketing trending right now?

There are several reasons that can explain the success of influencer marketing in the app world and its characterization as a marketing trend. For several years in a row now, users have been looking for more authenticity. 

It’s why UGCs have been gaining speed and popularity, and why TikTok is rising as well. They’re creators with whom users and gamers feel connected. With the rise of parasocial relationships, internet users have felt more and more drawn to influencers, considering them as friends of sorts.

More so, the influencer marketing market has been growing steadily for years. It’s a vital part of social media strategies now. People trust influencers, they’ve become part of the social landscape. 

Influencer marketing is sometimes considered part of “word of mouth” marketing, giving it a more authentic and relatable edge. Influencers are trusted by consumers, which means they pay attention to their recommendations and won’t doubt the brands and apps they will share. It might even make them feel more connected to them, such as by playing the same mobile game as their favorite influencer. 

Is influencer marketing really worth it?

Consumers trust influencers’ recommendations more than the brand’s social media content. Even more so, influencers are now more trusted than celebrities, according to the Digital Marketing Institute, 70% of teenagers trust influencers more than they trust celebrities, and some celebrities have made the jump to become influencers themselves (the Kardashian family being the biggest example).

Influencer marketing is now a must-have for social platforms. Amazon has even started to hire influencers to promote and use its new feature (another TikTok clone). Influencers are a sure way to get a lot of visibility toward your brand and/or product, they also help build trust around your brand.

With Apple’s ATT and the reduction of precise targeting possibilities, branding is a key element of any marketing strategy. Influencer campaigns allow you to work on your brand awareness and brand positioning, they boost both visibility and conversions.

However, marketers have various reasons for influencer marketing, it can also be a very efficient way to target some markets. Micro-influencers (between 1k and 100k followers), for example, have a very engaged audience and niche targets. These smaller influencers have been rising steadily, with a higher engagement rate (they deliver 50% more engagement, are 6.2 times more cost-effective, and drive 22% more social buzz) and a more specific audience, they are great to reach those niche audiences.

Influencer marketing is especially relevant for mobile games. According to Cloud Boost, 90% of gamers get gaming advice weekly. There’s also a strong streamer community (not solely on Twitch). Gamers, mobile gamers included, are a community-driven audience, with strong parasocial relationships with their favorite streamers and game influencers. 

Including influencer marketing in your mobile gaming strategy may be the push you need to boost both brand awareness and your mobile games’ success.

How to set up an influencer marketing campaign

1. Define your goals and target audience

The first step is not to choose the influencer but to set your goals and KPIs. What are you looking for? What do you want this influencer campaign to bring to you? 

When we asked Marion Balinoff, consultant in influencer marketing for mobile games, what the first step should be, she talked about the importance of defining your target audience before everything else. According to her, this will define “which influencers we work with, on which platform and how much we’re gonna have to pay those influencers because the price of the influencer’s gonna depend on if you’re trying to target female audiences, older audiences, male audiences, whether you want to target them on Twitch, on YouTube, on Instagram for example, and depending obviously on the country”.

Before even thinking about choosing an influencer, you need to look into your target audience. Then you can establish the best wait to reach out to them and choose your influencer. Be careful, because sometimes, the perceived audience of an influencer is not the actual one. 

2. Think about your timeline

When do you want to act on this influencer campaign? There are several possibilities: before launch, during the launch, and after the launch. Each has its own advantage. 

  • A pre-launch promotion will help boost awareness of your game, and create a buzz before launch and you can even get people to sign-up for pre-registration. It will also help build momentum around the launch and you will have some influencer content to build your online presence.
  • A marketing strategy centered around your games’ launch (or your app) will convert more conversions since the game will be readily available and help build brand awareness. This will also help create a community (which is great to lower churn rate) and allow you access to more content to boost your launch
  • Post-launch promotions will be less time-sensitive, they can help revive attention around your games (or special/seasonal events), they will help boost your game or app when it needs, and are also great to introduce new features

Moreover, you need to think about the kind of relationship you want with your influencers, will it be a one-time thing, or do you want to have brand ambassadors in a more long-term strategy. 

3. Define your budget 

There’s no standard pricing in influencer marketing. Influencers will negotiate prices themselves (or through their agency if they have one), which makes the budget question a bit tricky. 

Not to mention that install attribution is much trickier with influencer marketing, some users will directly click on the links provided by influencers (or use their promo codes), but others will come to your app later in the game. Results are more unpredictable because influencer marketing is especially great at building your brand, and results may be delayed.

More so, the budget will also depend on your campaign goals: do you want a macro or micro-influencer (not the same price), do you want just one platform or several, etc? 

If you don’t have the necessary budget for influencer marketing, know that you can always fall back on UGC advertising, which, just like influencer marketing, relies on authenticity and a human touch. 

4. Choose your influencer

The final step, in planning your influencer strategy, is to pick the right influencer. Once you’ve targeted a specific audience, and set some goals and an available budget, you need to see which influencer will check all those boxes. Be careful, sometimes influencers’ audiences are not what they seem.
For example, Marion Balinoff told us that one of the biggest mistakes people make concerning influencer marketing is to not look into audiences more specifically. Sometimes influencers may be based in a certain country, but that doesn’t mean that their audience is as well, maybe they’re in another country that speaks their language, or maybe the demographics are not exactly what you would expect. 

Once you’ve set your sights on one, or several influencers, ask about their engagement rate and ensure that their values line up with your brand. Macro influencers have a large following, but micro-influencers are extremely relevant with niche audiences and higher engagement, they also feel more authentic.

Whoever you choose, you must make sure that the influencers match your brand values and that their content will feel genuine and resonate with your target audience. 

Influencer marketing tips

  • Set your goals and KPIs first
  • Analyze the influencers’ audience and demographics to ensure you’re targeting the right people
  • Consider your brand values
  • Check if the influencer has worked with competitors previously (it’s better if they haven’t, otherwise it could denote a lack of brand loyalty)
  • Give influencers some creative freedom to ensure authenticity
  • Consider micro-influencers (followers are 41% more engaged than mega and macro-influencers)
  • Prepare a clear brief before hands with the information you want to share, and base your brief on the influencer, make it personal, show them why they are the best choice to deliver your message
  • Always negotiate the prices

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