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In the first half of 2015, Mediakix surveyed more than 200 of the top YouTube influencer channels and collected over 3,700 pieces of sponsored content (in the form of YouTube product placements, unboxing videos, gaming Let’s Plays, and more). After analyzing the data, we found that well over half (2,209 videos, or 59.3%) of all brand-sponsored videos took place on gaming or gaming-related channels, but that nearly a quarter of brands that collaborated with YouTube gaming influencers/channels were not actually gaming brands.
Given the global growth of gaming and the large audiences that top YouTube gaming channels attract—PewDiePie alone has more YouTube subscribers than the entire population of Australia—working with top YouTube gaming influencers and channels represents a golden marketing opportunity for all brands, gaming and not. For more insights and examples of how non-gaming companies can gain access to and influence the purchasing decisions of YouTube’s massive gaming community, see our case study below.
Long considered a niche demographic by marketers, gamers now represent one of the fastest-growing marketing segments of the American population. According to a recent report by Nielsen, 64% of the U.S. population plays video games on some device (Think With Google).
It is unsurprising, therefore, that so many brand-sponsored YouTube videos take place on gaming channels, especially considering that the global market for video games and gaming products is estimated to reach nearly $100 billion in 2016 (Newzoo). The trend we found particularly interesting, however, was how many non-gaming brands chose to collaborate with gaming influencers and channels—nearly 25%, according to our analysis.
While YouTube gaming channels constitute a massive part of YouTube’s ecosystem, the audiences that YouTube gamers and game-related channels attract represent a wide variety of interests and demographics. According to YouTube’s parent company Google, over 70% of people who regularly go online watch and engage with YouTube gaming lifestyle, community, and culture content.
Related Post: The 5 Different Types Of YouTube Marketing Campaigns
What’s more, Google considers gamers “uber consumers” who are “more likely to buy certain products than the general online population” and “more likely to be key influencers for your brand,” regardless of the industry or advertising vertical your company inhabits (Think With Google). For brands that have no affiliation with gaming, therefore, collaborating with gaming influencers to reach gaming audiences may be the best way to gain access to a largely untapped market and reach a highly engaged (and relatively affluent) consumer base.
Boasting over 1.6 billion YouTube video views, UberHaxorNova is a well-known figure in the YouTube gaming community. To gain access to the gamer’s 3 million susbscribers—many of whom likely own dogs and cats—Bark Box partnered with the gregarious YouTuber to create a brand-sponsored video around UberHaxorNova’s pet Corgi, Ein.
For their partnership with NatureBox, Smosh Games exposed their 6.8 million subscribers to the brand by eating NatureBox snacks during an engaging Let’s Play video. The brand-sponsored content garnered over 500K views and 12K likes while driving consumer action by including a promotional code in the YouTube description.
With over 12 million subscribers and 2.6 billion videos views, KSI is one of the biggest YouTubers (gamers or otherwise) in the world. By aligning with KSI to promote the brand’s new “50 Years Of Chicken” contest and campaign, KFC guaranteed that their content would be seen by millions of interested consumers.