How to successfully manage a global influencer campaign for your game
International influencer marketing campaigns can be tough. The Internet has connected countries to an extent we’ve never seen before, but critical regional differences need to be navigated for video game marketers to find success overseas. You might choose to focus on domestic or other markets closely linked to your own to “play it safe” when promoting your game, but doing so closes the door on countless opportunities to reach new audiences.
In this article, we’ll break down some key tips you can use to run successful international influencer marketing campaigns for your video game.
Benefits of working with regional influencers
You might be wondering why regional influencers are so effective, particularly when compared to global celebrities who can also reach your target audiences back home. While global influencers unsurprisingly provide high global reach, they won’t allow you to target specific demographics based on their location.
Since you’re narrowing your targeting by default to reach those specific audiences, utilizing regional influencers will be more cost effective. To put this into context, if you’re looking to target gamers in Thailand, working with a gaming influencer based in Thailand will ensure that you’re reaching your desired audience.
Deeper connection with the audience
Effective demographic targeting isn’t the only benefit of working with regional influencers. Arguably the most important principle when it comes to influencer marketing is authenticity—that’s the reason influencer marketing emerged as an alternative to corporate, traditional storytelling that often felt shallow and false.
Known as local influencer marketing, this approach allows you to truly engage with your target international audiences in an authentic way. Regional influencers speak the local language, embody the culture of their country, and understand all the nuances necessary to localize your international brand.
Influencer marketing can be used to test how new audiences abroad respond to your game, creating a better understanding which can aid larger scale campaigns across other marketing channels (as well as a more expansive influencer campaign next time).
Given the dedicated, open communities influencers nurture through comments and live chat, you’ll be able to get a great idea of what features of your game audiences enjoy, how different cultures perceive it, and things that you can improve.
Influencer marketing campaigns can generate instant returns in the short term, but they also create value in the medium to long term. Once you have your gameplay videos or integrations created by the partnered influencers, you can begin repurposing this content in the same region they’re native to. This content will be perceived better than recycled English-speaking content. It will help you gain regional awareness, while also requiring minimal resources to create.
Check out our article on influencer content repurposing to get inspired with ideas on how brands can reuse influencer-generated content.
Challenges of working with regional influencers
While collaborating with regional influencers to boost your brand is a great strategy, you shouldn’t be ignorant of the challenges that exist.
Some of these challenges include:
- Identifying the right influencers
- Understanding the local social media landscape
- Navigating the pricing
- Dealing with local legal and payment specifics
- Language barriers
Let’s review each of these challenges in detail, and discuss the core things brands should keep in mind when planning a regional influencer marketing campaign.
Before you even begin the negotiation and execution phases of your global influencer campaigns, you need to select the right influencers for your brand. In domestic markets, this is a much simpler process; you probably already have a good understanding of who you’d like to work with already. If not, spending some time keyword searching on YouTube or other platforms can help tremendously.
However, when it comes to global markets in different languages, these strategies won’t work. You won’t be able to understand critical information like what the content is about, what sentiment it evokes, what wording is used by the influencer, etc.
Regional social media platforms knowledge
Similar to the influencer selection process, you also need to consider social platforms knowledge a prerequisite to working with influencers in different regions. While Twitch typically dominates the gaming space in the U.S, Facebook Gaming has the majority market share for certain game genres in other regions.
Similarly, if you’re amplifying your influencer integrations with their social media platforms, consider that different platforms may be more popular in those regions, like WeChat in China, for example.
As an experienced domestic influencer marketer, you probably have a firm grasp of the average pricing for different influencer collaborations in the markets you currently operate in. While negotiation skills work globally, you’ll be operating in an alien market that could potentially have drastically different market prices.
Working with influencers from different regions means you’ll be faced with different tax regulations in those countries. It’s vital to ask influencers upfront about the total amount they charge—inclusive of taxes—so you’re not surprised with any additional charges you might be caught off guard by later.
These differences will be realized in different payment terms, so it’s important to make sure you’re following country laws carefully. While these changes in payment terms aren’t necessarily a financial burden directly, the additional resources required to navigate them could be. For example, you may have to hire a specialist lawyer with knowledge of the systems in your target region to ensure your contracts are tailored to specific rules that need to be followed.
For more information, check out our helpful guide on influencer contracts.
Taking care of the legal component of your global influencer campaigns is critical, but content is king. To achieve success with influencer marketing campaigns globally, communication is more important than ever. You’ve inevitably run domestic campaigns where your vision for what you want your brand integration to look like before the campaign doesn’t quite play out when you receive the final product. Add potential language barriers to the mix when working with regional influencers; clear communication cannot be understated.
Given influencer marketing’s relative infancy compared to more traditional strategies that have been around forever, agreeing on what exactly an integration will consist of might be tough. Ensure that there’s mutual understanding around all elements of your campaign; scripting, duration, on-screen footage, gameplay—everything needs to be accounted for.
To complicate this further you’ll have to deal with time differences across the world that can essentially double your communication process in some cases.
Once your branded influencer content has been agreed and ultimately created, you need to review it before it goes live. This is a straightforward process with domestic influencers; someone from your campaign team checks if the content covers all of the key points you want to make in an engaging way, confirms whether the associated promotional text in video descriptions is correct, etc.
However, when you’re working on a global influencer management campaign with multiple languages, these reviews aren’t so seamless. While larger companies might have a large, international team who are fluent across different languages, it’s likely that smaller teams will need to hire an external translator to carry out content reviews. This might be time consuming, unless you have a trusted translation partner.
Before your content is even created, it’s likely you’ll need some form of translation assistance when it comes to project briefs and contracts that can quickly become complex and technical.
Case study: global influencer marketing campaign
CloutBoost is a global influencer agency with years of expertise running influencer marketing campaigns across all key regions. From an understanding of local tax regulations across different countries to a network of talented translators who ensure your campaign vision plays out successfully, CloutBoost can help.
We recently partnered with PlayKids XD (PK XD), an open-world adventure game, to help them reach relevant audiences across Southeast Asia, Turkey, Spain, and Russia. Eleven influencers were recruited across these regions, each creating 10-15 minute dedicated gameplay videos.
The campaign hit 13.5 million views in total—as well as 500,000 comments—highlighting significant engagement at a rate of 4.27%. Additionally, the overall reach totaled 39 million.
By targeting the right combination of influencers across regions, we were able to hit high global reach without losing sight of the campaign’s core focus—targeting fans of similar games to PK XD (Minecraft, Roblox) in relevant countries. With years of data-driven expertise across different influencer markets, it was possible to find influencers whose audiences were truly engaged.
To make sure gameplay videos truly connected to those audiences, we worked with native translators from each country to proofread every video and ensure accuracy and authenticity.
For more details on the campaign, check out our dedicated PK XD international influencer marketing case study spotlight.
Having a global mindset when it comes to international influencer marketing campaigns allows you to maximize your reach and target audiences a domestic focus simply cannot. That said, blindly replicating campaign strategies that worked domestically is far from guaranteed to be a success when you look to different regions worldwide.
We’ve covered some of the main barriers to overseas influencer marketing success, and thankfully all of them can be overcome with appropriate planning and the knowledge of when to pivot or adapt according to what market you’re in.
PlayKids XD is just one of many global campaigns CloutBoost has successfully implemented. We combine a data-driven approach with years of expertise developing and implementing a series of strategies and networks to allow video game marketers to successfully target overseas audiences. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you advertise your game internationally.