Fresh out of 2015, Influencer Marketing continues to gain momentum. YouTube Influencers are now seen as part of a ‘viable launch marketing strategy’ for apps, according to big players such as Simon Hade, COO of Space Ape Games. We’ve also seen top social networks such as Twitter attempting to monetize their on-site Influencers. Last year they acquired Niche, a platform connecting brands with Influencers, to tap that revenue stream. More interesting perhaps, is the fact that Twitter decided not to push paid ads into Vine and Periscope, their video platforms. Both are in their relative infancy, so it may simply be too early to broach the subject – or Twitter could be contemplating Influencers as the sole advertising path for these ventures. Beyond that, Influencer Marketing promises some respite from ad blockers; which is somewhat of a storm on the horizon for the ad tech industry.
In Part One and Two of this series, we covered both how to find the optimal Influencer and make superb content alongside them. Yet if your Influencer’s fans are now forming a loyal user base for your app, how can you capitalize on this opportunity further? Here’s some ideas that we are exploring with our Influencers:
1 – Insert a digital duplicate of your Influencer into a game (or better yet, create a game around them).
YouTube mogul Pewdiepie is (unsurprisingly) one of the first to play around with this concept, launching ‘PewDiePie: Legend of Brofist’ last September to rave reviews and reaching the top spot in the App Store in only two days. Yet designing your own branded game is not a small undertaking, which is why we’re currently seeing launches from more established Influencers. Starting with ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’, which raked in $130million to date (no one said that living Kim’s life was cheap), the trend continues with the recently released ‘Katy Perry Pop’ and ‘Kendall and Kylie’. Yet while this highlights the allure of living the high life for a day, it also showcases the potential for games with real characters in the mobile world. Especially when, like Kim, you happen to coordinate your real-life holiday in Mexico with an in-app vacation to the same spot. Will reality gaming be the next generation of reality TV? We’re waiting with bated breath.
2 – Don’t stop at one, create a series.
Would you post on Facebook only once? Like any social media channel, YouTube requires a long-term strategy, one that ensures a consistent message and continuity. Take the famed game developer Social Point, who promoted their Dragon Play game with a sequence of three videos through Smosh Games. Utilizing prime posting times – two videos uploaded on Fridays a week apart and a follow-up on the following Sunday – they managed to reel in over two million views. They created a tutorial by simulating the game play with real-life characters, and even included a behind-the-scenes video that allowed characters to slyly explain how to download and play the game on mobile. Through well-executed timing, content and continuity, Social Point showed exactly how a complete series can offer more impact than a single video. Plus, YouTube’s mobile Subscription Tab supports video series with a feature that highlights new subscription content to users.
3 – Experiment with new platforms.
While YouTube and Instagram may be considered more established when it comes to Influencer Marketing, there are plenty of intriguing opportunities to be found in platforms such as Vine and Snapchat. For instance, Dunkin’ Donuts turned to Influencer Logan Paul to promote their app on Vine, and managed to gather almost 5 million loops (views) from a six-second video in which Paul throws some donuts around. But this isn’t as simple as it sounds, there’s a special breed of Influencers who can work with the time constraints of both Vine and Snapchat, and whose talent lies in getting to the punch line of their video in a few seconds flat. While these platforms are standalone marketing channels, they are not mutually exclusive. Ideally they would be used in conjunction with a YouTube campaign to attain some serious cross-promotion.
Throughout this series we recognized that the advertising world continues to be saturated with mass marketing messages, and that users are craving authenticity. Influencers are a driving force for a new form of advertising that’s both relatable and effective. Interested in working with one? Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss all the possibilities.