Influencer marketing, gaming, and livestreaming make a flawless trio. The influencer marketing industry is all set to reach $9.7 billion by 2020. The global video game industry is expected to reach $138 billion by 2021 and the video streaming market size is expected to cross $184 billion by 2027. You can’t ignore these numbers.
The leading gaming influencers have millions of followers and they earn a lot more than you can imagine. Ninja, who is the leading gaming influencer, has more than 15 million followers on Twitch and he earns $500K+ per month from his paid Twitch subscribers (this doesn’t include sponsorship earnings and earnings from other livestreaming platforms). He signed a deal with Mixer where he will be paid between $20 and $30 million for a multi-year contract.
Well, you can’t beat Ninja or some of the other popular gaming influencers like Shroud, Riot Games, Syndicate, and others, but if you are into gaming – it's never too late to become an influencer on livestreaming platforms like Mixer or Twitch.
This guide covers all the steps and techniques you should take to get started and become a gaming influencer and get paid for what you love to do.
The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Gaming Influencer on Livestream Platforms:
1. Create a Live Streaming Strategy
It all begins by defining clear goals and objectives of your livestreaming strategy. What exactly you want to achieve, how you want to do it, what should be your posting strategy, how often to stream, what tools to use, etc.
Your livestreaming strategy will define the path you'll follow. It will make your content systematic that keeps your audience hooked.
Here is how to create a live streaming strategy to become a top gaming influencer:
Step #1: Define Objectives
Set long-term goals with a focus on your priorities. Lets consider a hypothetical example where your long-term objective is: To become a gaming influencer on live streaming platforms.
This goal is great but it isn’t specific and lacks different aspects of a great goal. An easy approach to creating goals is known as SMART. A SMART goal is:
Refer back to the hypothetical example and let's convert it into a SMART goal. This is how it should look like: To have 2 million followers on Mixer in 2 years.
This goal is specific, you can measure it easily, it is achievable because getting 2 million followers might seem tough but it is achievable, it is realistic, and it has a time frame of 2 years.
You can create multiple long-term goals, but it is recommended to start with one. It will keep you focused.
Step #2: Define Plan to Achieve Objectives
You need to define the plan of action to achieve your long-term goal. Simply setting a goal won’t work. You need to create an actionable plan with exact steps to reach your goal.
This is the step where you'll create short measurable actions that will eventually lead you to your objective. Create monthly goals to achieve your objective. Refer back to the hypothetical example, here are a few actionable steps for your guidance:
- Get 10K new followers every month
- Create a streaming calendar
- Promote yourself on gaming forums and Facebook gaming groups
- Create and run 2-3 marketing campaigns every month
- Create a website and blog
- Publish one blog post on your blog every week
- Create a YouTube channel and an account on Twitch
- How often to livestream on other platforms
- How to generate revenue and monetize your followers/subscribers
- Payment platform, invoicing tool, marketing tools, etc.
These are just the basics. You need to create an action plan for pretty much everything you have to do to achieve your objective. The more detailed and granular it is, the better. The best thing is to create daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals.
Step #3: Measure Performance
It is challenging to create a strategy and plan of action accurately. You'll make mistakes. You have to tweak your weekly and monthly goals several times after reviewing your performance.
If you fail to achieve your monthly goals, don’t panic rather see what went wrong and why you failed. Find issues and fix them. You can find issues by constantly monitoring performance and taking necessary steps to resolve issues.
For instance, if you notice that the number of followers on your Twitch account is decreasing drastically, you need to find the reason. It could be due to low streaming frequency, negative marketing, or poor video quality. Get to the root cause and fix it.
2. Choose a Gaming Niche
Don’t be a jack of all trades, master of none. Perhaps the most important rule is to choose a gaming niche. A niche will help you build your brand, differentiate you, and you can laser target your audience.
The best part: You won’t get distracted. You'll know what exactly you have to do.
According to The Influencer Marketing 2020 research report from Business Insider Intelligence, influencers are categorized in two ways: Reach and Niche. Your reach depends on the number of followers you have. As a new influencer, you will have minimal followers so your reach will be limited. A niche, on the other hand, makes you stand out from the crowd. Instead of playing different games and publishing all types of videos, stick with a single game and excel in it.
There are several niches you can choose from:
- Game reviews
- Game walkthroughs
- Team matchups
- Game type (action, FPS, MMO, strategy, etc.)
The granular your niche is, the better.
3. Develop Yourself into a Brand
A brand is defined as the way how a company or individual is perceived by those who experience it. It is more than a symbol, design, or logo, a brand is the recognizable feeling it evokes in the user.
You need to transform yourself into a brand if you want to become a top gaming influencer. The easiest way to develop yourself into a brand is by differentiating yourself from the rest of the gaming influencers. And how do you do that?
By defining your brand’s Unique Selling Proposition. It separates you from your competitors. It is something that you do better than your competitors.
The USP will guide your strategy and it will help you stand out from the crowd. If you check out the top gaming influencers on YouTube, you'll see that they have done two things:
- They have developed themselves into brands
- They have defined their USPs clearly
VanossGaming is popular for montage-style videos, Markiplier is known for his exuberant gaming commentary and comedy, and Jacksepticeye focuses on let’s play videos and has selected a green theme (brand color) for his channel.
When you have established yourself as a unique brand, you'll catch eyes quickly, and businesses will contact you even if you don’t have enough followers.
4. Build Your Audience
An influencer is nobody without followers. Your audience is your asset. These are the people who get inspiration from you, play games you mention and talk about, and you influence their buying decisions.
You need to build your audience in two ways:
- Grow your audience (quantity)
- Engage with your audience (quality)
Growing your audience starts early. When you are new on a livestreaming platform, you must focus on getting as many followers on your livestreaming account as possible. Why?
Because that’s how gaming influencers (or other influencers) get attention and attract business. An influencer is defined as someone who has the power to influence the buying decisions of others and has a following in a niche. The more followers you have, the more influence you'll have.
In terms of marketing, the number of followers is the basic criterion used to separate influencers from non-influencers. So, the first step is to grow your audience quickly. Get followers. Here are some actionable techniques to gain new followers on any livestreaming platform:
- Write catchy stream titles
- Use relevant keywords and hashtags
- Share your channel with friends and family
- Use social networking sites especially Instagram to promote your channel
- Talk during livestreaming. Don’t sit silent even if nobody is watching
- Stream a lot in those early days
- Use tools to up your marketing and streaming game
- Create your website and a blog to promote your channel
Once you have enough followers, you need to engage with them. Engaged followers are more likely to follow your recommendations and you'll have a significant impact on their buying decisions. Here are the best techniques to better engage with your followers:
- Use social media. Check this list of social post ideas to keep followers hooked
- Focus on the chat. It should be your priority
- Choose a character, brand color, brand theme, and core values to stand out from the crowd
- Run contests
- Use top-notch streaming equipment like mic and camera
- Ask questions in the chat
- Select moderators who actively participate in the chat, engage with the followers, and maintain decorum
- Create a Facebook group to take engagement to a new level
- Use email marketing tool to send a weekly newsletter to your subscribers
- Use the livestreaming platform’s analytics to better understand your audience
- Use audience analysis tools like Twitch Tracker and SocialBlade
Your audience should be at the center of whatever you do. If they don’t like something, don’t do it. If they don’t like a game, don’t play it. The idea is to devise your streaming strategy based on follower’s feedback. Put your audience in the driving seat.
5. Network, Network, Network
Networking with other influencers in your niche and other gaming niches will help you in getting to the top. If you have differentiated yourself, networking with gaming influencers in your niche won’t harm your brand.
However, if you haven’t established yourself as a unique and distinct brand, networking might ruin your brand. This is one of the many reasons why creating your brand is essential.
So, what does networking do?
It has several benefits: Gaining new followers, authenticity, sponsorship opportunities, and learning.
For instance, JackSepticEye went from 2500 YouTube subscribers to 1.5 million subscribers in a year when PewDiePie included the channel in the top ten in a shoutout competition. This is the video that he posted after the mention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhjYqLgJnUA
A simple mention like this can change your fate, right?
There are several ways to network and connect with other gaming and non-gaming influencers:
- Play games with fellow influencers especially in your niche. Gamers do it a lot and it is one of the best ways to grow your audience
- Reach out to fellow gamers on livestreaming platforms and ask for a collaboration
- Reach out to companies in your niche such as headgears, laptops, smartphones, clothing, and you just name it. All types of non-gaming companies use gaming influencers, so it never hurts sending emails
- Participate in competitions, contests, and events arranged by other top gaming influencers such as PewDiePie
- Participate in gaming competitions and events like eSports World Convention
Becoming a gaming influencer on any leading livestream platform will get easier when you know what you have to do and how you have to do it. Follow the steps mentioned in this guide and you'll be all set to become a gaming sensation.
It will need time, of course.
You have to be consistent. It might get tough at times. There will be a time when you'll have to stream with zero subscribers, and you might have to talk when nobody is watching your stream. Don’t stop. That’s how all the popular gaming influencers have done it.
There isn’t any shortcut. Don’t look for one.
Once you'll have decent followership, partner with a few influencer marketing agencies that will help you connect with the right companies for sponsorship. You can also find businesses to partner with and grow your brand.