Case Study: PlayStation Influencers Plug Into Virtual Reality Headset

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Instagram & YouTube Influencer Marketing Case Study: PlayStation Marketing Teams Up With Tech & Gaming Influencers

For the most part, influencer marketing and gaming go hand-in-hand. Leading gaming influencers—whether they’re Twitch streamers, YouTubers, or stars at the top of professional esports—are becoming centerpieces of influence in a booming market. Gaming influencers are trusted by their fans to a strong degree, making them perfect candidates for brand endorsements.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed, least of all by brands and marketers looking to tap into that all-important Millennial demographic. You don’t need to look far to find influencers and creators of all disciplines being employed to promote various brands, from mobile games to chocolate to underwear.

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PlayStation generally has its finger on the pulse when it comes to marketing and is no stranger to influencer marketing. With 18 million followers on its main Instagram and 38,000 followers on its regional Canadian account, it makes perfect sense to leverage the following and garner some positive engagement for the brand.

PlayStation Marketing Goes Small To Hit Big With Gaming Community

With buzz surrounding the announcement that Sony is currently working on a new gaming console to succeed the PS4, maintaining goodwill within the gaming community will be a major objective in the run-up to any potential launch.

PlayStation VR, the company’s flagship virtual reality headset, remains high on the agenda as the company’s most important periphery. This campaign, aimed exclusively at a Canadian audience, leveraged smaller-tiered influencers—often employed by brands because of their propensity to drive higher relative engagement rates—to head up their push.

Goals

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  • Increase awareness of the PlayStation VR headset
  • Drive engagement with its regional Canadian account
  • Use tech influencers to bridge the gap between tech audiences and gamers

Approach

  • Channels: Instagram and Youtube
  • Influencers: Canadian tech and gaming influencers, including mid-tier, micro-, and nano-influencers.

Preview Of Influencers

Themes

In keeping with longtime campaign messages that PlayStation has employed for several years, the themes of this effort reflect an emphasis on gamers and positive gaming experiences with their products:

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  • With the exception of one, all the influencers uploaded two posts for the campaign.
  • All but one of the posts were images, with one short, looped video being the exception.
  • Influencers used the hashtags #PlayStationVR, #ITriedPSVR, and #PSVR, while also tagging @PlayStationCA.
  • Each marked their posts as #sponsored or #ad or used Instagram’s paid partnership tag.
  • Captions ranged from short blurbs showing off the headset to longer captions featuring brief VR game reviews.

Results

Combined Results: 9 posts total

Social Reach

  • Instagram followers targeted: 200,894
  • YouTube subscribers targeted: 941,882

Instagram Engagement

  • Likes: 12,728
  • Comments: 230
  • Engagement rate (overall average): 3.64%

YouTube Engagement

  • Views: 28,322
  • Likes: 1,324
  • Comments: 368
  • Engagement rate (overall average): 3.19%

Karl Conrad Shows Off Snazzy System

Karl Conrad, a YouTuber boasting half a million subscribers on the platform, is known for his vlogs demonstrating all kinds of tech—from phones to TVs to laptops. In his highest-performing Instagram post, Conrad shows fans a custom orange PS4 with a VR headset in full view.

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In the caption, he praises the large catalog of games available to him and asks his 72,000 followers what their favorite VR game is. He incorporates all the associated PlayStation tags, in addition to an #ad tag at the beginning. He garnered 3,490 likes and 117 comments for an impressive engagement rate of 5%.

Tyler Stalman Imagines Childlike Wonder

Tyler Stalman, a professional photographer approaching 200,000 followers on YouTube, is a tech vlogger who places an emphasis on reviewing camera gear in addition to hosting his own podcast.

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In his post, Stalman wonders what his 12-year-old self would have thought of the VR headset in a positive reflection of the tech. He again uses the hashtags consistent with campaign along with a #sponsored tag. Stalman got 2,536 likes and 19 comments from his 53,200 Instagram followers for an engagement rate of 4.8%.

The Girly Geek Straps On VR For Fans

The Girly Geek, also known as Erin, is a writer and blogger is a nano-influencer with an Instagram following of just under 10,000. She frequently posts about games and gaming culture for her fans.

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Her post features her trying out the VR with a copy of Skyrim in-hand. Her caption, like the others, is personalized, with her talking about enjoying the experience she’s had playing the game in VR. She is consistent with the campaign hashtags and singles out @PlayStationCA with a ‘thank-you.’ With 354 likes and 17 comments, she accrued an engagement rate of 3.8%.

Conrad Shows Subscribers Custom Setup In YouTube Vlog

Two of the influencers took the campaigns to their YouTube channels (the other being Justin Tse), with Karl Conrad giving his fans a vlog about his custom PlayStation and his VR setup.

He again touted the extensive library and mentioned the sponsorship with PlayStation, linking to the official VR site page. With 500,000 subscribers, his view count for the video of 9,725 is relatively low. It’s worth noting, however, that the total likes and comments on the video was 890, meaning an engagement rate among viewers of the video of 9.2%. In terms of average video views though, he performed well under his normal range of 50,000 views per video.

Takeaways

  • PlayStation marketing primarily employed tech and gaming influencers for the campaign to garner interest in their flagship piece of gaming tech.
  • PlayStation influencers were all mid-tier or lower, suggesting an attempt by PlayStation to drive solid engagement at a smaller scale than larger influencer marketing campaigns.
  • Tech influencers often have strong authority among fans for their knowledge of peripheries, making them the ideal cheerleaders for PlayStation’s VR set campaign.
  • Cross-channel promotion on Instagram and YouTube proved to be valuable in showcasing the PlayStation VR to a wider and more varied audience.

Top 5 Influencer Marketing Fails: When Influencer Marketing Goes Wrong

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Influencer Fails: Learning From Influencer Marketing Gone Wrong

Despite flourishing as one of the hottest industries in the digital marketing space, Influencer marketing is still a relative newcomer in terms of practices and strategy. As platforms, brands, creators, and even governing bodies attempt to define this new landscape, mistakes are bound to occur.

After apparent teething issues which have yet to be fully solved, the FTC has been spending its efforts revising and evolving its guidelines to accommodate modern advertising on digital platforms. This is primarily in response to campaigns deemed to be sailing close to the wind with regard to ethical advertising standards.

Unfortunately for brands and influencers, this won’t always save them from committing poor decisions and influencer marketing fails in this as-yet unrealized world. Lack of judgment has been prevalent with influencers, some seemingly doing their best to torpedo their online careers, but brands must be careful too in order to avoid common pitfalls and legal issues.

Whether it’s a brand lawsuit or an influencer scandal, it seems like one controversy or another is right around the corner in this industry. Knowing the do’s and don’ts of an influencer marketing campaign; using a robust strategy for your brand; understanding a rapidly evolving environment—these are vital to keeping your campaign from derailing.

We’re going to examine some of the biggest influencer marketing fails the industry has had the misfortune of witnessing, as well as how they could have been avoided. These instances will likely serve as reminders that influencer marketing can be a volatile field. Continue reading “Top 5 Influencer Marketing Fails: When Influencer Marketing Goes Wrong”

30 Top Gaming Influencers To Follow In 2019

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30 Top Gamers Have More Than 340M Subscribers Across Major Gaming Platforms

By 2021, the global gaming market is expected to exceed $180 billion in revenue—a 30.6% increase from $137.9 billion in 2018. In the last few years, gaming has grown more significant on existing platforms like YouTube and Facebook, but it has also spurred the creation of dedicated livestream gaming platforms, like Twitch and Caffeine.tv.

Even staying up-to-date on gaming terms has proven crucial to understanding the industry’s growing value. As a result, the gaming community has evolved to include a wide variety of gaming influencers in different gaming niches.

From the top female YouTube gamers and the overall top gaming YouTubers, to the top female Twitch streamers and most followed Twitch influencers, online gamers have established an impressive cross-platform presence. As these gaming platforms duke it out, most gamers are maximizing their presence across multiple gaming platforms.

As the gaming industry landscape diversifies more, brands interested in partnering with the leading gaming influencers need to keep up with the changing tides. To help, we’ve collected a list of the 30 top gaming influencers in 2019 (nine of which are females) who reach more than 340 million subscribers on their top gaming channels:

  1. PewDiePie
  2. VanossGaming
  3. Markiplier
  4. Ninja
  5. Jacksepticeye
  6. DanTDM
  7. KSI
  8. SSSniperWolf
  9. W2S
  10. Syndicate
  11. TFue
  12. IHasCupquake
  13. Shroud
  14. tsm_myth
  15. Gaming With Jen
  16. LDShadowLady
  17. Aphmau
  18. Summit1g
  19. Tim The Tat Man
  20. Dakotaz
  21. Riot Games
  22. Pokimane
  23. DrDisrespect
  24. DrLupo
  25. Little Kelly Minecraft
  26. Nightblue3
  27. ImaQTpie
  28. LIRIK
  29. StacyPlays
  30. KittyPlays

Continue reading “30 Top Gaming Influencers To Follow In 2019”

The YouTube Pedophile Problem: Is YouTube Adpocalypse Part II Upon Us?

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What Is The YouTube Pedophile Controversy?

The Lowdown:

  • Mainstream awareness of videos featuring young children, sexualized by congregations of predators viewing and commenting on them in plain sight, caused a furor among the YouTube and larger media community.
  • Major brands like Nestlé, AT&T, Disney, and Epic Games boycotted YouTube by pulling advertisements from the platform.
  • YouTube responded with a series of drastic measures aimed at fixing and preventing the recently exposed YouTube pedophile scandal.
  • YouTube creators have had mixed and charged reactions, with many fearing the resurgence of a YouTube Adpocalypse.

The Timeline:

  • February 17, 2019 – Matt Watson uploaded a video investigating the comments of pedophiles on videos of children.
  • February 20, 2019 – YouTube initially responded by disabling comments on millions of videos, terminating channels of users who left inappropriate comments, and reporting offenders to law enforcement.
  • February 22, 2019 – YouTube said that any videos featuring kids that received offensive or predatory comments could be demonetized while also introducing a new algorithm that would be more effective in deleting those comments.
  • February 28, 2019 – YouTube further escalated its response by stating they’d automatically disable comments on videos featuring children under 18 years of age.
  • March 1, 2019 – YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki explained that the mass suspension of comments on videos of minors is a trade-off for young creators as YouTube prioritizes child safety.

Continue reading “The YouTube Pedophile Problem: Is YouTube Adpocalypse Part II Upon Us?”

How The Beauty Transparency Movement Is Impacting Influencer Marketing

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Influencers Are Championing The Beauty Transparency Movement

What Is Beauty Transparency?

“Beauty Transparency” Defined

Beauty transparency is a phrase that refers to ethics and truthfulness of the beauty industry as it relates to customer knowledge. The beauty industry encompasses the sales of all cosmetic products including makeup, haircare, skincare, and fragrance. This industry has long been criticized for its opaqueness, meaning that consumers have little access to critical information about industrywide practices like the quality of ingredients, retail markup, and manufacturing process. In addition, the beauty industry has been criticized for being closed off to minorities in terms of product offerings and choice of models.

Major Themes Of Beauty Transparency Movement

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As customers demand to know more about their beauty products, there has been a push for increased transparency from both brands and influencers. Some of the major themes of the beauty transparency movement include: Continue reading “How The Beauty Transparency Movement Is Impacting Influencer Marketing”

15 Steps On How To Find YouTube Influencers

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Finding YouTubers For Your Marketing Campaign

Your familiarity with Instagram influencer marketing likely surpasses that of other social media channels comfortably. Instagram, after all, commands a significant space in a swelling influencer marketing industry.

how to find youtube influencers

In 2019, 65% of marketers plan to up their spend on influencer marketing and 89% say Instagram is the most strategically important social media channel for influencer marketing. YouTube, however, follows comes in close second with 70% listing it as a strategically important channel this year.

YouTube’s propensity for churning out successful influencers coupled with its pervasion among key demographics has positioned it at the forefront of influencer marketing. Consequently, finding the right YouTube influencers is increasingly more important for companies on the quest to reach its massive audience. Continue reading “15 Steps On How To Find YouTube Influencers”