Influencer marketing is a hot topic, and it’s not hard to see why. Between 75% of brands having a standalone influencer marketing budget and 59% having a content marketing budget, more and more brands are using influencer marketing to promote their products and services.
While gaming influencers may not be as widely followed as more general lifestyle influencers, they have a specific niche that makes them valuable to many gaming or gaming lifestyle brands. On top of this, gaming influencers reach a younger target demographic that can be hard to reach through other more traditional social media platforms, tv advertising, and more.
Let’s take a look at the rise of the gaming influencer and how you can utilize gaming influencers to market your brand more effectively.
The Rise of the Game Influencer
Esports and gaming influencers should not be taken lightly. By 2024, it’s estimated that esports will have around 286 million enthusiastic fans and another 291 million occasional viewers, which leaves a large amount of room for advertising to this target demographic.
Even major media outlets, global investors, and major brands are putting their money behind gaming influencers due to the growth in popularity.
Why Brands Partner with Gaming Influencers
There are many reasons why brands partner with gaming influencers over other forms of advertising:
- Viewers engage more with influencers. Influencers have worked hard to grow their audience and are industry experts in their niche. They know all about the latest and greatest when it comes to games, so an influencer promoting your game or product to their trusting audience is a recipe for success.
- Access to a specific audience. As previously mentioned, younger demographics can be more elusive to market to, especially since they are used to looking out for obvious, blatant advertising on social media. Promoting your product through a trusted gaming influencer allows you to access your target audience and bypass the mistrust that typically comes with ads.
- Greater loyalty to influencers. Viewers feel like they know their favorite influencers and enjoy watching and learning about their lifestyles and habits. To viewers, their favorite influencer is a friend giving them a recommendation, rather than a blatant advertisement pushing a product on them. Collaborating with an influencer feels more organic and piques interest with viewers rather than feeling “salesy.”
- Receive valuable information and feedback from gaming influencers. Gaming influencers know their games well, so by giving them access to your games, they and their audience can provide you with honest feedback that can help you improve your game for others.
- Special access to the gaming influencer’s audience. Many brands will offer special deals, bundles, discounts, and giveaways through gaming influencers to promote sales. You can also hire gaming influencers to run an event or Twitch stream playing your game to boost your brand awareness and entice their audience into trying your product.
Top Biggest Gaming Influencers to Watch in 2022
So, who are the most significant gaming influencers to watch out for in 2022? Let’s break down a couple of the gaming influencers you must be aware of, what they are known for, and their current followings.
Jacksepticeye, aka Sean McLoughlin, is an Irish YouTuber who hosts a comedic Let’s Play Series on his YouTube channel. He is the most subscribed to Irish YouTube channel and even runs his own coffee company. Sean is best known for his comedic video game videos, vlogs, and reaction videos.
YouTube: 27.8 million
Twitch: 2.7 million
Instagram: 7.5 million
KSI is a multi-faceted YouTuber who creates music, plays various games, boxes against other YouTubers, and more. He has a unique style that appeals to many gamers who are also fans of rap and other celebrities, like Logan Paul and Lil Wayne, with who KSI has collaborated multiple times.
YouTube: 23.6 million
Instagram: 10.7 million
The Game Theorists
Matthew Patrick is the brains behind The Game Theorists YouTube channel, which analyses popular video game franchises, such as Minecraft and Five Nights at Freddy. His videos, like the one where he explains why Minecraft is so successful on YouTube, are popular among gamers and gaming brands looking to improve their own products. Matthew is also passionate about hosting charity live streams. He raised more than three million dollars for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in one live stream alone.
YouTube: 15 million
Instagram: 1.2 million
Ninja, otherwise known as Tyler Blevins, is well known for his extensive Fortnite skills and has gained millions of followers on Twitter, Twitch, Instagram, and YouTube. His playing with Fortnite has been so extensive that he has even had unique opportunities to make special in-game skins. Red Bull has been a long-term sponsor that Ninja has worked with consistently.
YouTube: 23.9 million
Twitch: 17.2 million
Instagram: 13.4 million
Karina Kurzawa, also known as KarinaOMG and GamerGirl on various social media platforms, is a Canadian YouTuber. She began vlogging young and launched her GamerGirl channel in 2016. In addition to her gaming channel, she also has a general lifestyle vlogging channel and a brother-sister YouTube channel featuring fun challenge videos.
YouTube: 5.9 million (on GamerGirl channel)
Twitch: 293k followers
Instagram: 706k followers
PewDiePie, also known as Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, is a famous Swedish YouTuber known for his video game and comedy videos on YouTube. He is one of the most famous YouTubers and content creators, regardless of genre. He got his start by posting gaming walkthrough videos and reviews but now focuses on more personality-based content like satirical commentary, reaction videos, and meme roundup videos.
YouTube: 111 million
Twitch: 1.3 million
Instagram: 21.9 million
Pokimane, also known as Imane Anys, is a 25 year old Twitch star known for her colossal Twitch following and love of League of Legends. She is also highly interested in beauty and games, a unique combination that most gaming influencers don’t bring to the table. This Canadian social media influencer has a huge drive to succeed, being one of two children of hard-working immigrant parents. From a young age, she has put massive pressure on herself to excel, which has clearly paid off with her work.
YouTube: 6.71 million
Twitch: 8.5 million
Instagram: 6 million