By: Marianna Mabanag
It’s not a surprise that influencers' popularity and engagement skyrocketed during the pandemic. With nothing to do during the shutdown, viewers turned to content creators for entertainment, resulting in higher viewership. Brands decided to use the increase to their advantage and reach out to these influencers in hopes to gain more exposure. These creators openly accepted these brands, resulting in a win-win for both parties.
A survey was conducted in July 2021 and Statista was able to find that 21% of 18-24 year old internet users follow online gaming influencers. In addition, 15% of 25-34 year old users follow gamers as well. But are these statistics strong enough to compare against other content creators who do not focus on video games?
During the pandemic, gaming influencers growth has soared to levels where they are now viewed with elite pop culture status. Instead of these creators just being viewed for gaming, they are now seen as the primary form of entertainment and social engagement for many Gen Z and Millennials. YouGov reported that gaming influencers are the most popular type of influencer followed by 18-34 year old males globally. The numbers prove themselves to be enough to keep these gamers at the top of influencers by just looking at Twitch statistics. There are now 12 million content channels on Twitch, generating about 9 billion hours watched.
So why are brands suddenly capitalizing on these gamers? YouGov’s research further shows that those who follow these gaming influencers do not follow any other influencer. It’s even stated that 12% of these influencers themselves do not follow influencers in other fields. Combine this fact with the ever increasing popularity of esports creates for a huge audience that companies are capable of exposing their brand to. By sponsoring these gamers, they are almost guaranteed to gain customers and users.
It’s also important to mention that gaming influencers are great at creating and maintaining relationships between the brand and their viewers. This is why they are seen as great promoters of brands. Most, if not all creators have their own community that they have built over the years so that all viewers feel included. Because the influencers work hard to upkeep their communities, the members are more likely to support brands that are being promoted to them, only increasing the effect of their influence when it comes to marketing.
The market is always unpredictable. But with the skyrocketing statistics, do you see the chance of the influencer market continuing to rise?