Pocket Gamer Connects London is back for its biggest show ever on January 22nd to 23rd.
So to give you a hint at what you can expect, we're shining the spotlight onto our speakers to provide a deeper look at the personalities who will be taking the stage.
Dmitry Liapin is Business Development Director at creative mobile performance agency Zorka.Mobi.
PocketGamer.biz: When conducting an influencer marketing campaign on channels like YouTube, what type of campaigns are most effective?
Dmitry Liapin: Usually, 30 seconds are enough to tell subscribers about an app, which is a good option if you are looking for an optimal solution. However, one size doesn’t fit all. A 90 seconds integration on a games channel can be even better, because the channel’s subject is closely related to a marketed product.
Very often apps don’t match channels' subjects. In this case, a long video may be taken negatively by the audience, harming both the marketing campaign and the influencer's reputation.
Besides ad length, one of the major efficiency factors is ad placement. Similar to traditional media, there are three types of ad placement in an influencer’s video.
Pre-roll is the most popular one. Viewers perceive an ad better when the intro is showcased after one or two minutes of the video, not at the very beginning. Mid-rolls perform a little worse, because most viewers don’t even reach the middle of the video.
Post-rolls, unfortunately, are the least efficient integration for the same reason: most viewers leave long before they are played. If you still want to go with post-rolls, it is necessary to mention a product or ad in the beginning.
Also, do not abuse an influencer's creative abilities. Nobody knows your product better than you. That’s why influencers should be given specific instructions about the features and bonuses they need to focus on.
YouTube is obviously a key, go-to platform for influencer marketing, but what other channels should developers consider?
Sure, there are other channels and you should not limit yourself to YouTube alone. Indeed, it is very hard to compete with YouTube, but other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Twitch or Telegram should be considered as well.
For example, everyone knows that in Instagram you can’t add links right below the posts, and many influencers refuse to add links in their bio. Even if they do, they add it to an additional account. This creates an extra step in the customer journey and affects overall conversion.
Instagram has a high CTR, but its complex mechanics makes customers go a long way to an app store, so the CR of this channel leaves much to be desired.
Twitter has drawbacks too. For example, an ad post can be easily missed. There are so many visually similar posts that it harms conversion rates. In this case, you need to hope for a strong engagement with followers, when they are looking for the influencer’s feed only. And, of course, there’s that limit of 280 characters.
The sky is brighter in Telegram. On average, organic reach here is higher compared to Twitter and there are more customisation options. Technical limitations for texts are even stricter though - a post with an image must not exceed 200 characters.
What should developers consider when choosing the right influencer to market their games?
The most crucial thing is knowing your customer: age, gender, geography, interests, etcetera. The second important metric is the number of views of a channel or post - it should be over 50,000.
Don’t confuse it with the number of subscribers, as some influencers shamelessly buy their audiences. Another metric to keep in mind is a channel’s engagement, i.e. how subscribers react to the influencer’s content, such as likes, comments and shares.
In general, the best approach when you work with an influencer for the first time is “better safe than sorry”. Try to mitigate all possible risks: sign contracts, demand post-payment, discuss your ideas with influencers and be specific about your requirements.
Also, make sure that all tracking links are correct and placed at the top of the description section.
Is influencer marketing accessible to smaller studios or do you need a big budget for an effective campaign?
Sure, like any other source, you can test influencer marketing with a small budget, but your expectations should be reasonable as well.
We recommend starting with at least $15,000 $ for Tier 1 regions and with $5,000 for Russia and Russian speaking countries. This budget will be enough to test several channels, try various approaches and identify the most efficient ones. With so many variables, each case will be unique.
What major trends do you predict in influencer marketing for 2018?
Influencer marketing is a major trend itself. According to forecasts, the turnover of this industry of the media market will reach $2 billion by 2019. So, the major trend is market growth.
It’s not a lot of money compared to traditional media advertising. That’s why the market will have to adapt: there will be more agencies and marketplaces for influencers. Market growth will also bring a huge amount of new influencers, multi-channel networks and producer centres.
According to forecasts, the turnover of this industry of the media market will reach $2 billion by 2019.Dmitry Liapin
Since this traffic source is quite new compared to others, it will continue to attract advertisers from various businesses - from large brands seeking for loyal consumers to online stores and mobile games.
Considering all this, salaries of the most popular influencers are also expected to grow. Less popular influencers will have harder times, as advertisers will get a wider selection and better opportunities to achieve perfect results at affordable price.
The second important trend is measured performance. Obviously, consistent work with influencers creates a powerful information field, which has its effect on the audience. However, it is almost impossible to measure it precisely as we do it in performance marketing.
That’s why an advertiser has to measure results based on general metrics: analyse the total growth of installs - registrations, sales - during campaigns.
We are actively working on this and our customers will soon have an option to plan and measure performance of their influencer marketing campaigns on a whole new level.
What are you looking forward to seeing at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2018?
I’m delighted to see that PGC added the Influencer Insight track to its roster. It will be definitely a great track with lots of insights on how to use influencers in games promotion. I also look forward to attending the Influencer’s Perspective Panel to learn what popular YouTubers say about their business.
The Very Big Indie Pitch will show us something special, I’m absolutely positive about that.
I will be attending Industry Trends track to learn more of where games development is heading to, and the Cracking Crypto track looks promising as well for me personally.
As usual, I’m looking for a nice atmosphere with lots of knowledge sharing, networking and industry insights.
Come to Zorka.Mobi's booth #116 to speak with me and my colleagues and get valuable information about how we run ROI-positive influencer marketing campaigns.