By 2025, the livestreaming industry is expected to reach $124.6 billion. A large chunk of that comes from gaming, where gamers broadcast their live play on gaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube. On Twitch, the number of revenue-earning American Twitch streamers exploded nearly 60% between 2016 and 2017. And just how much do the top 10 alone earn? Upwards of $23 million in combined yearly revenue.
These head-turning numbers are all the more reason for gamers to grow their livestreaming channels to compete with the mega-stars, like Shroud, Jenna, TimtheTatman, Sodapoppin, and Dizzy. As livestream gaming continues to surge in popularity and legitimizes its role in brands’ influencer marketing efforts, novice gamers can learn a thing or two about how to become a gaming influencer on livestream platforms.
Whether on Twitch, YouTube, or other gaming channels like Caffeine.tv, learn the steps on how become a gaming influencer and a solid partner to brands who are interested in targeting livestream gaming audiences.
In tandem with building a personal brand for yourself, focus on finding a niche that you are passionate about within the gaming world. Do you enjoy doing game walkthroughs, tutorials, game reviews, challenges, or montages? By establishing a segment within the gaming market, you can more effectively build a meaningful community and better hone your influence to attract brands you’re interested in working with.
Gaming influencers thrive when they foster a digital environment for the members of their niche community. Audience building is critical to ensuring you have a presence on a given gaming platform, but it also helps you understand your audience’s interests. How can you turn your viewers into part of your community, and ultimately into subscribers? How many viewers tune into your streams, and when do they drop off? When do you notice upticks in your subscriber count? What’s the overall sentiment of the chat room?
Understanding your audience will enable you to better engage with them, ultimately nurturing them into loyal fans. These qualities make you a more appealing option to brands looking for active, authentic gaming influencers. To accomplish this, streamers can use tools for more detailed audience insights:
One of the key ways to consistently engage an audience is to establish a livestreaming content strategy. Decide what topics to cover, which games to play, the livestreaming format, how often to stream, core messaging to communicate, and other channels for content distribution. Without a mapped out content plan, streamers will have unreliable results and a lack of audience insights. The more strategic you are with streaming production, the better you’ll be positioned to understand what works and what doesn’t, therefore giving you the knowledge to optimize future livestreams.
On top of executing your livestream gaming vision, promote your content regularly so that you have the best chance of reaching your target audience. Consistency primes you to have a more considerable gaming influence among your following. Inconsistency will leave your audience guessing and unable to form a strong relationship with you as a gaming influencer.
Building a robust streaming strategy early on will set you apart in your quest to become a gaming influencer.
While the goal is to stand out in a crowded space, surround yourself with other gaming streamers — both big and small — to help increase your visibility and reputation on streaming platforms. Just as streamers must foster relationships with their audience, it’s important to cement your status as a forward-thinking, versatile streamer among the gaming influencer ecosystem.
Consider different ways to collaborate with other influential streamers in your niche, as well as outside your niche, to ultimately build rapport and heighten your role within the gaming community. Besides connecting with fellow streamers on Twitch, let your voice be heard within the online gaming community on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and other virtual watering holes.
Networking with fellow gamers can bring about tangible benefits like:
While the gaming industry may seem limited in the types of brands that can effectively market their brand or products, plenty of non-gaming brands have begun tapping gamers. Major brands including UberEats, KFC, GUESS, Doritos, PSD Underwear, and South Park have all played a hand in livestream gaming with great success, proving that the arena isn’t exclusive to endemic brands.
Even if you don’t have a massive following, position yourself as a gaming influencer open to partnering with non-endemic brands so that you can increase your chances of sponsorship, as well as grow influencer marketing opportunities within the gaming industry. For example, Twitch streamer Slade (with a little under 50,000 followers) has collaborated with Sennheiser during live streams, promoting their GSP500 headset.
Working with a diverse roster of brands has the potential to resonate exceptionally well with your audience.
Keep in mind that Twitch livestreams are time-sensitive in that once they end, the content doesn’t have a prolonged lifespan unless it’s archived, in contrast to a YouTube video which might be viewed for years after creation. Even if gaming influencers archive sponsored Twitch livestreams, the videos tend to be very lengthy, which makes the sponsorship less discoverable.
To maximize exposure, gaming influencers should cross-promote brand sponsorships on their other social media channels. Whether it’s Tweeting a link to the livestream or creating a highlight reel from the livestream to feature on YouTube, be sure to deploy a strong cross-channel strategy. Offering cross-channel promotion as a value-add to brands makes you more enticing and gives brands more incentive to work with you.
Especially as a smaller streamer attempting to become more distinguished in the gaming community, cross-channel promotion will help elevate your overall presence.
If you’re set on learning how to become gaming influencer and you’ve followed the above steps, streamers can also consider using influencer marketing agencies whether they’re smaller scale gaming influencers or have reached a more high-profile status. Doing so helps gain access to industry experts who have track records of working with top brands and influencers. The benefit of leveraging an agency is their understanding of the nuances of influencer marketing and their attention to detail on meeting brand expectations. For instance, gaming influencers can leverage StreamElements DreamTeam, or Mediakix, where we’ve run several successful gaming campaigns.
An agency partnership can help attract brand deals that gaming influencers otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to without well-networked representation. Agencies and platforms can also take on the back-and-forth communication and other logistics required for impactful gaming influencer marketing campaigns. As only brands with a relatively large budget can afford to hire a dedicated influencer marketing agency, streamers can partner with agencies to secure lucrative brand ambassadorships, exclusive event sponsorships, and high-profile brand partnerships.
In the end, streamers should practice these steps on how to become a gaming influencer in order to establish authority in the livestreaming arena. It’ll take persistence, patience, passion, and precision, but we’re confident that skilled streamers can become gaming influencers—both big and small—and earn brand sponsorships over time.