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Throughout 2022, influencers again played a huge role in connecting players with new games.
Streamers and other content creators were fundamental for some of last year’s indie gems, with games like Vampire Survivors owing much of their success to the work of influencers.
Securing influencers can be relatively easy for bigger publishers and popular games, but things are more complex when you’re just getting started.
So how can we indie devs and smaller studios find the right influencers to work with?
If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips to curate your list of influencers and leverage their support to promote your indie game!
Just like indie developers, content creators add a unique personality to what they do.
Audiences, platforms, trends, and other variables shape their content, spawning a ton of different formats and styles. (A quick browse of TikTok’s gaming hashtags should demonstrate this!)
As you start working on the influencer strategy for your indie game, ask yourself: “which of these platforms/formats/styles would benefit us more?” and screen creators accordingly.
You can also experiment with multiple of these formats as you build momentum throughout your campaign.
In addition to trends, personal preference also defines the content an influencer creates. This translates into influencers catering to specific sub-groups – rather than the gaming community as a whole – and attracting different audiences to their channels.
For that reason, identifying the niche and fanbase that you intend to target will go a long way in finding the right influencers for your game.
When you’re adding influencers to your list, look for people who play a lot of indies or that have played similar games to what you’re working on. It’s a lot more likely someone will cover your indie game if it naturally strikes a chord with them.
Without spending a penny, you can use free platforms such as Sullygnome to find Twitch influencers, and similarly, with YouTube it’s as simple as inputting your search terms and curating the results.
Aside from finding new creators, existing connections can also help you secure coverage for your indie game.
Influencers that have played an earlier demo - or anyone that covered one of your games in the past - might be eager to see what you have in store.
As you compile your list of influencers, look back at previous coverage and add anybody that you feel could support your upcoming campaign. You can also reach out to a few with exclusive content to further boost your chances.
On top of that, also consider tracking coverage for your game throughout its lifecycle for a better picture of your results. We spent a few words on the basics of coverage tracking in another one of our blog posts.
Influencers can really boost your indie game’s visibility, but content will only support your overarching marketing strategy if it goes live exactly when you need it to. This is often easier said than done, especially if you’re working with creators that publish across multiple platforms.
When selecting influencers for your indie game, try to learn as much as you can about their posting and habits. Look at the time-zone they live in, note how often they publish new content, and try to gauge the potential visibility each piece will get based on that.
If you’re concentrating your influencer campaign around major milestones, embargos are also a great way to ensure content doesn’t leak before a specific date and time.
More often than not, content creators learn of new games in an email.
However, now that in-person events are slowly coming back, you should try to join these gatherings if you can. See it as a great opportunity to meet new people and do some networking. After all, it’s a lot more likely influencers might react to an email if they can remember the person that sent it.
If you can’t join physical events, online showcases and social media will also help build a human connection.
Posting regularly about your game, leveraging hashtags, interacting with creator communities, and supporting your favorite influencers can all be great ways to show up on their radar!
Finding the right influencers for your indie game can be a challenge, but that shouldn’t discourage you.
Starting ahead of time, considering the results you’re trying to achieve, and following our tips can help, but there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when working with influencers.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, try new things, and you’ll find the approach that best fits your project in no time! 🙂
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