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The State Of The Gaming Influencer Industry With Jacqueline Garrett, The Founder And CEO Of GGWP Academy

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The State Of The Gaming Influencer Industry With Jacqueline Garrett, The Founder And CEO Of GGWP Academy 

Jacqueline Garrett, the Founder and CEO of GGWP Academy, has a personal connection to gaming and influencer marketing through her son, Max. At the age of nine, Max was already competing at a world level in Pokemon and signed to an eSports team. Through this experience, Jacqueline realized that communication between brands and creators could be more cohesive, leading her to launch GGWP Academy.

GGWP Academy is democratizing the creator industry by providing content creators with critical education to get paid for doing what they love. 

Jacqueline shares, “GGWP Academy was built to basically streamline that [influencer marketing] process, to automate the process, to educate both sides of the market, and teach people what it’s really like to run a marketing campaign through gaming and eSports.”

The State Of The Gaming Influencer Industry With Jacqueline Garrett, The Founder And CEO Of GGWP Academy 

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Founding GGWP Academy 

Some of Jacqueline’s earliest challenges while building GGWP Academy were coordinating with investors, building capital for the company, and being a solo founder when she didn’t have much technical experience. 

She says, “We’re actually working with the University of Newcastle to produce a new model that marketing can work off, no matter what the campaign is. If you are working with an influencer, what we’re working on right now is going to make your life a lot easier.”

One of GGWP Academy’s unique offerings is its approach to educating both sides of the market. The academy teaches creators how to become the best-in-class, drive ROI for brands, and build their personal brand and a thriving community. 

Other topics, like accounting education, ensure creators have a well-rounded education on all aspects of running a content creation business. 

Finding the Right Influencers

Currently, GGWP Academy has 13,000 content creators on its platform. 

Jacqueline shares, “There’s a very broad range of content creators on there from the gaming industry, so you’ll find some of them are very micro, while some of them are quite a bit larger. The one thing that we really focus on is the authentic link between the brand and the creator. Having a genuine and authentic link is very important to us. We’ve seen that the ROI can be affected by this.”

GGWP Academy has worked with over 60 global brands, including Logitech, Ubisoft, and EA Games.

Typically, the GGWP Academy team starts by identifying what the brand wants most as an outcome, such as sales or brand awareness. 

Once the desired result is determined, an influencer is identified for the campaign based on their education, niche, past experiences, and results. Jacqueline describes this process as being very intuitive and detailed.

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Case Study: CASIO Watches

One of Jacqueline’s favorite success stories is with an influencer campaign run for CASIO Watches’ new Pacman watch launch in Australia. 

She reveals that the campaign sold the new Pacman watches out within a week, forcing them to stop the campaign early. 

She explains, “We had chosen the right people, at the right time, with the right resources, and everything else. I guess it really is just that extra touch that we put on there, making sure that our influencers know what it is that they’re trying to do.”

Influencers being aware of specific details such as:

  • What are the deliverables?
  • How are you going to achieve them?

Knowing the answers to these questions can make or break a campaign for a brand. 

So, influencers must be aware of these goals and have a plan while creating content for the campaign, which is something that brands can help them with. 

Raising $2.1M for Games and eSports Influencer Marketing

Recently, the GGWP Academy raised around $2.1 million through crowdfunding and angel investors, including Flying Fox Ventures, Adidas’ founder Adi Dassler’s family, Euphemia, Scale Investors, and more. 

Jacqueline shares, “We brought on board a couple of great new angel [investors], which is fantastic because having the right people on the table makes a big difference when it comes to introductions to brands and expanding your footprint.”

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Jacqueline’s Advice for Brands Working with Influencers

Jacqueline recommends that brands create a strong line of communication to handle conflict effectively. 

“If a content creator is not communicating the way that you want, move on to a new content creator because, at the end of the day, if they’re highly interested and driven by your product, they want to be involved. If they’re not communicating, they’re not wanting to be involved.”

The GGWP Academy provides this strong line of communication between brands and influencers

Their soon-to-be-released talent identification feature allows you to search through content creators, hire them, pay them, and then collect a report from the creator. GGWP Academy is finalizing the automation process and testing for this feature and is excited to release it soon to continue helping brands build better lines of communication. 

As for keeping up with trends, Jacqueline shares this can feel impossible, but organizing information in one central location helps. 

Her team uses a spreadsheet to track trends, constantly updating it whenever someone sees something new. The spreadsheet is linked to Slack, and the team continually updates and assesses it for data about new competitors, possible brands to partner with, trends, and more. 

Thoughts on the eSports Industry

The eSports industry is rapidly evolving and has undergone many changes since Jacqueline’s son, Max, first got involved in 2018. 

The industry was picking up colossal momentum at the time, peaking during the pandemic. After the pandemic, the eSports industry experienced a slight dip after the pandemic, which Jacqueline attributes to how the pandemic has changed human interaction and behavior. 

She shares, “I definitely see more room for growth in terms of gaming in particular. [For] eSports, it’s going to depend on the management of that and how certain leagues and everything are managed. I think gaming, in particular, still has a long way to go.”

She also believes that gaming creators will continue to grow, primarily as more professional brands, like GGWP Academy, educate creators. Brands also continue to earn a better ROI with influencer campaigns, making it a lucrative opportunity for gamers and brands. 

Another trend Jacqueline anticipates is more gaming creators leaning into the lifestyle space. 

“I see more generalization. So, you’ll see somebody who started out as a gaming content creator, and they might turn into a little bit more lifestyle or travel, and they’ll expand their own portfolios. You won’t see everyone being so niche.”

Long-Term Plans for GGWP Academy

Jacqueline’s vision for GGWP Academy is that it’ll be used hand in hand with Twitch, YouTube streaming, and other content creation platforms. 

She wants it to be set up where “you need to be on our platform as basically that other thing that you need as part of your arsenal when you’re making content. We really want to be seen as that education lead. We want to be seen as the most advanced. There are literally hundreds of influencer marketplaces out there, but none that do the two things that we’re going to be launching later this year.”

Later this year, GGWP Academy is launching a feature that shows improvement data for creators that test the effectiveness of their education. The other feature focuses on alignment and aligning brands with the right creators.

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Amy DeYoung is a freelance blog post writer covering influencer marketing and business topics. As the daughter of two business owners, she's been fascinated by all things business from a young age, which led her to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree in business. When she's not typing away, she spends her time reading nonfiction books and mystery novels, baking scrumptious desserts, and playing with her dog.

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