Exploring the differences between earned influencer programs within the gaming industry.
Author: Jennifer Zall, Head of Creator Programs at Gamesight
Navigating the world of long-term influencer partnerships in the gaming industry can often feel daunting. With various terms and strategies, it's easy to get lost in the maze. This guide aims to be your compass, offering a clear and concise breakdown of the four primary types of gaming influencer programs. Whether your aim is to elevate a single game or an entire franchise, this guide is tailored to help you identify the program that best aligns with your marketing goals.
In game marketing, terms like "Creator Program," "Ambassador Program," or "Affiliate Program" are sometimes used interchangeably, leading to confusion. A clear understanding of each is crucial for an informed influencer marketing strategy.
The primary objective of a creator program is to establish and grow a vibrant community of creators. Its key characteristics include leveraging a diverse group of creators that encompass a wide range of creator sizes and demographics and providing an open application system for creators to demonstrate their fit.
Creator programs are best suited for publishers, developers, or brands with multiple game titles, or large game IPs requiring ongoing support.
- Boosts baseline content quality. Average concurrent viewership for Gamesight run programs typically increases over 70% among in-program creators.
- Facilitates gathering community sentiment and feedback.
- Expands audience reach across various game titles and genres. In-program creators exceed typical streamer output by over 50%.
- Promotes diversity and inclusion.
- Amplifies marketing effectiveness through additional communication channels.
- Higher commitment translates to increased costs.
- Longer time frame to observe returns due to the need for sustainable growth and engagement.
- Managing a larger group of creators can complicate NDAs and embargoes, though this can be mitigated by activating smaller groups for sensitive topics.
While still growing a community, the main goal of an ambassador program is to build close relationships with influential community thought leaders. This approach engages a select group of influential creators for feedback and messaging, often involving early access opportunities to products or services. These opportunities sometimes require non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to maintain confidentiality and exclusivity.
Ambassador programs are best suited for games in development, including early access titles, ongoing multiplayer titles, or unreleased titles with large followings and high expectations.
- Gathers valuable feedback before public release.
- Drives positive community sentiment and thought leadership when targeted effectively.
- Might not yield as significant a content increase compared to a full-scale Creator Program.
Also known as "Support A Creator Programs", the focus of an affiliate-style program is to encourage creators to sell game copies or in-game items. Creators earn commissions through codes, links, or storefronts.
Affiliate programs can effectively supplement a creator program, particularly if the latter already offers substantial value to its participants. Additionally, integrating directly into the game itself can significantly enhance the effectiveness of an affiliate program.
- Low lift after initial setup
- Results vary. Depending on their audiences, creators may or may not make a meaningful impact on their income from these programs, even if they are putting substantial effort into promoting.
- The term “affiliate program” often has negative connotations among creators, as it is often perceived as exploitative.
- Usually attracts smaller creators, as larger ones seek more equitable partnerships with guaranteed pay.
- Creators may lose interest if they don't see substantial benefits.
Key Mailer/Redemption Service
Key mailer services provide creators with easy access to game keys or codes distributed via email or online key redemption platforms. A key mailer service is suitable for limited budgets or short-term focused titles, particularly single-player games with limited replayability.
- Cost-effective with minimal effort.
- Effective during major marketing campaigns.
- Offers only short-term engagement.
- Requires additional marketing to reach creators effectively.
- Doesn't foster long-term relationships with creators.
Matching the Right Program with Your Goals
The key to success is aligning the right program with your brand and marketing goals. From the community-oriented Creator Program to the focused touch of an Ambassador Program, each has a role to play in your strategy.
At Gamesight, we specialize in tailoring our approach to the unique narrative and goals of your game. Our team of expert campaign managers and our advanced influencer database enable us to provide insightful and strategic guidance. Let us help you find the perfect fit for your game marketing needs.
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