PUBG dominates gaming industry’s sponsored influencer content in September

It’s official: 2020 is the year that esports went truly mainstream, thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic that forced abrupt closures, delays, and cancellations in other areas of entertainment. And with an increased audience, brands are leaning into activations with gaming influencers — but which ones are actually succeeding?

This is the first installment of our exclusive series leveraging influencer marketing platform CreatorIQ’s new Share of Influence report, which reveals the global gaming brands that are capturing attention and gaining — or losing — influence each month. CreatorIQ processes tens of millions of creators and billions of posts to generate Share of Influence (SOI) reports, which consider the volume of creator activity, the realness of creators’ audiences, and the performance of content (views, likes, comments, shares) for each contender brand. These three measures make SOI a powerful representation of a brand’s influencer marketing presence and impact.

Today we’re highlighting the gaming brands that received notable SOI in September. That month, the industry generated 100,000 sponsored posts from 22,000 creators with 330 brands sponsoring content.

Key September highlights

  • 3.27% — average engagement rate on Instagram for sponsored content within the gaming category in September
  • 352,000 — average estimated post reach
  • PUBG Corporation was the No. 1 brand by share of influence (SOI) at 13.75%, with an estimated media value of $24.5 million from its influencer campaigns.
  • League of Legends had the most-engaged-with sponsored post in the video gaming industry
    • 273,900 likes
    • 5,000 comments
    • 2.2 million estimated reach

How brands are stacking up

Not only was PUBG Corporation on top for SOI in September (13.75%), it snagged the highest engagement rate for the month out of the top five brands (1.80%) and dominated in estimated media value ($24.5 million). And although PlayStation was No. 2 for SOI in September, its engagement rate of 0.45% was the lowest of the top five brands.

And although they didn’t make the top 15 ranking, three other notable brands from September were Crystal Dynamics, Sega, and Battlestate Games, which all experienced SOI increases of 80% or higher.

Nano influencers had the best average engagement rate

Influencer size can play a key role in average engagement rates. While it may seem counterintuitive, creators with smaller audiences often command a better engagement rate than bigger celebrities, partly because their followers tend to be passionate and less broadly distributed across niches.

Notably, while the gaming industry saw the highest average engagement rate in September of 9% from nano influencers (1,000-10,000), mega influencers (1 million or more followers) had the second highest rate at 5.24%. This suggests that even the biggest gaming celebrities are able to consistently command their audience’s attention, keeping fans devoted and engaged. Micro-influencers (10,000-100,000 followers) came in third with an average of 3.21%, followed by medium-sized influencers (100,000-1 million followers) with 1.72%.

Methodology: Share of Influence considers the volume of creator activity, the realness of creators’ audiences, and the performance of content (views, likes, comments, shares) for each contender brand. These three measures make SOI a powerful representation of a brand’s influencer marketing presence and impact. SOI uses data from the core CreatorIQ platform, which processes tens of millions of creators and billions of posts. Every verified creator on Instagram and every creator with more than 50,000 followers is included, along with millions of smaller creators across multiple social platforms.


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