Influencer marketing has been through many incarnations. From the iconic Marlboro Man in the 1950s cigarette ads and boxer George Foreman and his eponymous grill in the 1980s, through to a vast posse of internet celebrities and bloggers today, our attachment to influencer marketing shows no sign of abating.
In fact it is going through a positively purple patch: brand marketers and PR teams are eagerly engaging with influencer partners as never before as they debate the finer points of micro versus macro influencers and everything in between.
Some firms, such as FIFA and Madden publisher Electronic Arts, have even gone on record to say that they are spending more of their marketing budget on influencers and reducing their reliance on traditional media.
But as influencer marketing budgets rise and the pool of available influencers continues to grow, ROI is unsurprisingly becoming a hot topic. A 2017 report by Linqia into the state of influencer marketing found that 78% of respondents cite determining the ROI of influencer marketing as their top challenge this year.
Against this backdrop, a growing number of influencers in the tech/gaming space are making some changes.
Frustrated by social media platforms’ stranglehold on data, they are turning to the Qutee data comments platform, which lets them analyse comments, long-form discussions and other feedback provided by their followers for free.
This emerging breed of ‘data influencer’ is using the qualitative and quantitative insight gained from this data to fine-tune future content – and ultimately build a stronger relationship with their digital community. This in turn helps them to boost their value to brands by delivering a stronger ROI.
A game changer for FIFA influencers
Take FIFA data influencer HomelesPenguin, for example, who used his first Qutee post to gather information from over 700 users regarding their choice of console for FIFA 18: “This information was vital. I now know which console is used most frequently by my audience and can tailor my content accordingly. It’s early days but this will help increase my video views and will ultimately have a positive effect on my subscriber growth too.”
Another FIFA data influencer, CapgunTom, also adapted his content based on audience feedback: “I used the first Qutee I ran to better understand the skill level of my audience and found that 50% of my audience weren’t qualifying for the weekend league. I’ve now adjusted the sort of tips and tricks I give my audience to make them more solid players – and hopefully help them qualify in future.”
FIFA 18 scores highly
The ability to conduct in-depth discussions around new game launches also offers useful insights for both influencers and games developers. In the run up to the launch of FIFA 18, CapgunTom, OakelFish and HomelesPenguin hosted a discussion on Qutee with early access gamers to gauge initial reactions to the game via a combination of snap polls and more general discussions. More than 1,600 in-depth comments and 400 poll responses were generated within 24 hours.
A league above
But it’s not just about FIFA. In the fantasy game genre, League of Legends data influencer Phylol started on his Qutee journey by running a ‘What rank are you?’ poll to find out where his audience sits in the League of Legends ranking system. He had been targeting his content at Gold level players so was surprised to find that more than half of his audience were Bronze or Silver level players: “These lower ranking players tend to lose interest in videos faster, so I started to make my videos shorter and more focused. As a result I increased my views for those videos, which is a win-win situation!”
Phylol also calls out the ability to avoid what he dubs the ‘sheep mentality’ around YouTube comments as incredibly valuable: “It’s impossible for me to review 500-1000+ comments on a video every day. There are things that I can ask on Qutee and actually get a real breakdown of answers. This is in stark contrast to YouTube’s system, whereby people read only the most popular comments and tend to form their opinion based on these. The result is that the popular comments get upvoted even more, and any other comments get pushed further down the list, which doesn’t give an accurate picture.”
Another League of Legends data influencer and Qutee user, Huzzy, likes the fact that he now has a constant feedback loop: “It’s really hard to collect valuable information on social media platforms. The constant feedback loop I get with Qutee is great: I ask questions about the content I’m producing and I receive really valuable information that I can analyse in real time to enhance what I create next.”
A growing band of data influencers
These ‘early adopter’ data influencers have been won over by the deep insight gained from their audience discussions. They are tailoring their content to make it more compelling, driving up video views and boosting subscriber growth in the process.
As the focus on influencer ROI intensifies around 2018 marketing budget preparations, it won’t be long before a whole raft of new data influencers from other industry sectors make the same move.