Influencer marketing is no longer the province of niche social stars and emerging brands — it’s big business. By 2023, influencer marketing spending is projected to reach $4.6 billion in the U.S. This year, predictions put influencer spending at $4.14 billion — up from $3.69 billion in 2021. And increasingly, mobile growth marketers are seeing the benefit of influencer marketing strategies.
Marion Balinoff is a member of MGA’s Gaming Advisory Club, and we caught up with her to talk about the nuances of influencer marketing for mobile. She has been working in influencer marketing since 2014. After multiple years coordinating the influencer marketing campaigns in several mobile companies, she decided to move to the consulting sector to diversify the projects and apps on which she works. Now, she’s helping Wooga, among others, to take their influencer marketing efforts to the next level.
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Q: Influencer marketing isn’t new, but it seems to still be gaining momentum in the mobile space. Were mobile and app marketers more hesitant to embrace influencer marketing? Why?
A: One of the biggest reasons why mobile and app marketers were reluctant to invest in influencer marketing was the trackability. Depending on the social media channel, 70% to 100% of the traffic will be organic which makes the campaign analysis a lot harder. However, and mostly since iOS 14, app marketers have started to realize they cannot rely only on Google and Facebook for UA.
Q: When it comes to user acquisition, how does influencer marketing stack up in terms of attribution and trackability – something that’s on every mobile marketer’s mind these days?
A: It would be wrong to think we cannot run performance influencer marketing campaigns. I’ve been working with ROI goals for years and after the learning phase, influencer marketing traffic is often of better quality than that of more traditional UA channels.
The important part is to work with influencers on social media where we can add a tracking link directly to the content, such as the description of a YouTube video or a swipe-up story on Instagram for example. Between the tracked traffic and an organic uplift analysis, you will be able to understand your campaign’s performance as a whole but also on an individual influencer level.
Q: One of the biggest struggles a lot of marketers have when getting into the influencer space is choosing the right influencers for their brand. Do you have any tips for app marketers interested in trying an influencer campaign for the first time?
A: Something I keep repeating to app marketers is to test verticals beyond the most obvious ones for your app. Find influencers that have the same audience demographics as your app and explore other content genres. If you are advertising a cooking game, you shouldn’t only hire cooking creators. Your audience of women over 25 years old watch other types of influencers too, so there is no reason to limit your campaign. Identifying other good-performing verticals will help you increase performance and scale your budgets.
Q: On a similar note, are there specific platforms that work best for mobile influencer marketing?
A: From my experience, YouTube is by far the best-performing platform. There are millions of influencers available worldwide, from all sizes and in a wide variety of verticals. Viewers click the tracking link far more easily than on Instagram or TikTok, which makes the campaign performance analysis more accurate.
Q: Focusing on YouTube, what type of formats are available and what would you recommend?
A: For mobile apps and games, I’d say there are two main formats: integrated videos and dedicated videos. Between those two options, 95% of the deals I sign are integrated videos. Those are usually 60- to 90-second integrations within one of the influencers’ videos.
Integrated videos are way cheaper, easier to put together, and by far more cost-effective.
Q: How do you think influencer marketing is going to continue to evolve? Are there any upcoming trends mobile marketers should be aware of?
A: There are already a few trends that we are observing, but the most noticeable one is related to the influencer sizes. Some years ago, top influencers and celebrities delivered the best performance, but this has been changing because I believe their credibility is decreasing and the audience is less likely to act based on their recommendations. Micro-influencers, because of their size, are much closer to their audience. Micro-influencers are almost considered to be friends by their audience, hence their recommendation power.
Overall, marketing levers are becoming more and more digital, from radio to podcast or from linear TV to connected TV for example. Influencer Marketing is already very digital, so I’m convinced its days are far from being over. Influencers might shift from one platform to another, but there will still be influencers.