For the uninitiated, finding and engaging an indie gaming influencer can seem like a daunting task. And well—it totally is. But that shouldn’t stop aspiring developers and future big-shots from putting in the time and effort of enlisting indie gaming influencer spread the word about their game.
Why it’s tricky
Finding influencers isn’t tricky at all. They are everywhere, clogging up social feeds and performing offensive stunts (and triggering YouTube policy changes that negatively impact the majority of creators). But it’s considerably more challenging to find influencers with appropriately-sized followings. If you are a first-time solo dev with no notoriety and no past successes to attract big influencers, you’re not likely to gain the attention of PewDiePie.
And to be brutally honest, there aren’t that many champions of the indie scene. And the indie gaming influencers that are out there are happy to work with you, provided you can supply the thousands of dollars their services command. Keep in mind, that’s actually a great deal compared to PewDiePie himself who—despite making controversial statements that cost him gobs of subscribers—can realistically charge $10,000 or more for a single sponsored post. And that’s a pretty conservative estimate.
For small devs, the tricky part is finding the right influencers for their needs.
As with any awesome concept, marketing gurus and data analysts have taken the small-influencer marketing concept, labeled it, and distilled it down into pure numbers-driven profit garbage blah blah blah. You know what I mean. Big companies are starting to seriously examine the effectiveness of recruiting small “micro influencers” to promote their products. Why? Well, there are a few reasons.
1. They’re cheaper
Yes, big influencers can cost tens of thousands of dollars. But compared to traditional advertising (Google Ads), the value is much higher. It’s worth it. Micro influencers are the same, but smaller. Companies will sometimes recruit a panel of micro-influencers in their field to promote and endorse their products. Indie game influencers are pretty scarce, but there are enough of us to make a footprint.
2. They’re more effective
Those data nerds I mentioned earlier have proven some interesting points about influencers. One of which states that Twitter users are almost as likely to make a purchasing decision based on an influencer’s recommendation as they are a friend’s. Which makes sense. Influencers tend to be transparent in their opinions and are usually pretty genuine in personality to attract an audience and keep them engaged. So they are probably trustworthy too, right?
The same study showed that Twitter users are almost twice as likely to make a purchasing decision based on an influencer’s tweet than a brand’s.
3. They’re more manageable
Rather than feeding input into a spreadsheet and trusting Google or Amazon to advertise your product appropriately, micro influencers are approachable and can be easily contacted by email. They can provide stats and data to back up their efficacy and prove their value. And since they know their audience intimately, they can often suggest changes and strategies that Google Ads cannot.
Indie game influencers, in particular, can be easy to please. But don’t expect them to work for free, or for free products. Sometimes they will, but they have bills and need to eat just like you.
How to pay an indie gaming influencer
Once you find your indie gaming influencer, you should start thinking of your goals. What do you think will be best for your game? How can you get more eyes on it? And is it more eyes you want, more sales or something else? This is information you’re going to want to know when you approach your indie game influencer. They may know how to engage an audience, but they don’t know how to read your mind.