Influencer marketing isn’t slowing down. Global market value doubled between 2019 and 2021 alone, growing from 6.5 billion to 13.8 billion U.S. dollars. The industry is scaling rapidly, and international campaigns across foreign markets present an appealing opportunity for video game brands to take things to the next level. While the U.S. unsurprisingly represents a significant chunk of the global market, influencer marketing in South-East Asia is estimated to reach $2.59 billion by 2024. The LATAM influencer marketing landscape is also showing immense growth with Brazil leading this trend.
Local influencers are essential to establishing brand trust and increasing awareness in these foreign markets. They offer immediate access to strong, authentic connections, not only to their passionate audiences, but also other influencers in the space you might want to partner with. Plus, leveraging these existing relationships allows you to forge a positive brand image from day one, saving resources and time in the long run.
In this article, we’ll discuss how exactly local gaming influencers can help advertise your video game, plus highlight two case studies for context on how gaming brands implement influencer campaigns.
How regional influencers help promote your video game internationally
It’s easy to talk about taking your influencer marketing campaigns global, but an entirely different thing to strategize and do it. Global campaigns naturally consume resources and budget, so it’s critical to know exactly what regional influencers provide and to optimize your entry strategy accordingly.
Influencers create unique content for a specific demographic. It’s likely you’ve established a template approach of working with domestic influencers and developed knowledge around what’s successful and what’s not.
While this knowledge isn’t irrelevant when working globally, blindly copying your strategy and expecting success isn’t going to work out. Comparatively, local influencers have years of expertise to know what their specific audience will be interested in and whether your plans will resonate with them or not. Entering new markets through local influencer marketing immediately makes your brand feel genuine to audiences—you can then start to build other marketing channels on top of this foundation.
Speaking of feeling genuine to audiences, regional influencers allow you to gain trust in foreign markets; this will be a critical component to your success. Influencers are trusted by their audiences—often unconditionally. Influencers engage their followers in your target regions, helping you build trust and awareness early which can continue to grow and compound as you scale up your operations in a particular region.
A key component of the authenticity influencers provide is language. Influencers help brands to communicate with audiences in the language native to them. This means nothing is lost in translation when it comes to your brand mentions; providing your influencer has been briefed accordingly, they won’t say something that might be culturally offensive or comes across as unnatural. In fact, given local influencers are often very relatable figures in their own culture, your brand will be communicated in a way that feels relatable too, opposed to more traditional approaches we talked about earlier.
Video game influencer campaign case study: AFK Arena Release
AFK Arena, a mobile RPG card game from Chinese publisher Lilith Games, came to CloutBoost with the ambitious goal of hitting the Top 50 free games list on Apple’s App Store and Google Play in the U.S., one of the most competitive markets—particularly as an overseas publisher.
To achieve the publisher’s goal, CloutBoost recruited six YouTube macro-influencers to present AFK Arena to an audience of more than 16 million. The partnered influencers created 60-90 second brand integrations highlighting game features they liked the most, including a unique artistic style and strategic gameplay. This content was amplified on the influencers’ social platforms and supported by a giveaway to boost conversion rates and drive game downloads.
Despite fierce competition, the international influencer marketing campaign was an overwhelming success reaching over 18 million viewers.
Creating content that was clear and consistent across the video integrations, social content, and supporting giveaways was heavily emphasized throughout this influencer campaign. We focussed on the delivery of two key messages:
- Game accessibility: easy and fun gameplay from your mobile device was communicated in all influencer integrations. This presented AFK Arena as an accessible game to all; a game you can make huge progress in without having to sit at a keyboard and grind away for hours.
- CTA: we clearly encouraged users to download the game immediately and be the first to play it.
When it comes to international markets, clear communication throughout your campaign (from you, to an agency, to the influencers you partner with, to your audience) is more important than ever.
Video game influencer campaign case study: Pokemon Go Travel
Pokemon Go is a great example of marketing a Japanese game internationally. The game has been a global phenomenon since its release, but to revitalize the game and promote new content the team announced a new campaign: Pokemon Go Travel.
Pokemon Go Travel recruited gaming influencers across the world, including the Americas, Europe, and Asia, to participate in the Global Catch Challenge in Japan. Partnered gaming influencers traveled to Japan to learn about Japanese culture, explore the country, and share their experiences on social media—all while playing Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go took a different approach to their global influencer campaign: the brand used global influencers to travel the globe (in the spirit of Pokemon’s story) and engage with Japanese culture. Although Pokemon Go is a product of an established, historic franchise, they still utilized global influencers to connect with their local audiences in a way which was true to the brand.
Global influencer marketing represents an authentic, engaging way for you to enter or re-energize foreign markets. Local influencers connect with their audiences in ways that a default international approach to marketing cannot. From feelings of relatability and trust to speaking the native language, local influencers allow you to establish foundations in a country as you look to build a multichannel strategy around it.
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