We look at how charities can approach and engage high-profile gaming influencers in their Gaming for Good initiatives
Gaming for Good partnerships between charities and major influencers is growing in popularity.
This form of Gaming for Good activity often take place through live streaming events and promotion by influencers to reach their many followers.
Such link ups benefit both sides. Voluntary organisations can tap into the public’s growing interest in the gaming industry. Meanwhile, socially conscious gamers are able to use their influence for good.
Here we offer some practical steps for charities hoping to target influencers for Gaming for Good initiatives, exploring how to find and approach them.
The most successful gaming influencers are not just gamers, they are entertainers. It is their commentary, wit, and conversation that appeals to followers as much as their gaming ability and knowledge.
They are also often young, Generation Z, adults, who have grown up with technology and can be extremely socially conscious.
A crucial difference between big name influencers, with tens of thousands of followers, and those with a smaller profile, is that they are likely to be full time professional gaming influencers, with strong financial and creative acumen.
Twitch and Youtube can be lucrative sources of income for streamers through advertising and subscription revenue. It is estimated that the top ten streams on Twitch earn more than £14m a year between them. These top earners are likely to have a team of financial and communications experts.
Some of the biggest accounts have several million followers, such as Twitch’s most popular gaming streamer Tyne ‘Ninja’ Blevins, who has 16.8m followers.
The Twitch platform also offers charities a handy database of streamers and an insight into their followers. As of 2021, it had 9.3 million unique creators each month, up by a third over the year, and 815 billion minutes watched so far.
Other platforms to find for big name influencers include Youtube, which has a 22% market share of video game steaming content. Another is Facebook Gaming, which has an 11% market share but is an emerging platform in game streaming, showing record audience growth this year.
High-profile influencers can often be found on Twitch’s front-page carousel, which the platform showcases each day. Tools such as PowerSpike, can refine searches further by genre, average views, geographic location as well as community activity and community sentiment.
Selecting gamers and their audiences that fit with a charity’s brand is key. Close attention should be paid to their audience’s demographics.
A refined search of Twitch can also establish if the influencer has mentioned the charity’s brand name before or has an interest in the charity’s sector, such as health, poverty and animal welfare.
Investigating the interests of gamers is key to successfully attracting their attention and forming a relationship.
Charities are advised to personalise their messaging to big name influencers, which may be directed to them via a third party, public relations professional.
Targeting big name influencers is no different in strategy to targeting celebrities and high end donors. They will not take kindly to generic requests for time and money but will to a highly personal plea to be involved.
US based consultancy DonorSearch recommends increasing non-fundraising communication to major donors to establish a relationship rather than just ask for money or time.
Once a gaming influencer has agreed to take part in a Gaming for Good initiative, Donor Search also recommends “amplifying your appreciation” by praising them for their support.
This helps foster a long-term relationship for further link ups.
High-profile gamers are also attracted by creative interesting ideas for partnerships. These can often involve offering interesting prizes for their audience, as well as major events in their calender.
Among the most successful Gaming for Good events see big name influencers link up with charities has been Jingle Jam, founded a decade ago by Simon Lane and Lewis Brindley of the Yogscast gaming channel.
This started through a simple link up with Simon and Lewis asking fans to donate to Oxfam rather than giving presents.
Jingle Jam is now one of the year’s major charity gaming events. It has raised £14m for 20 different charities since 2011, including Oxfam, the Bristol Children’s Charity The Grand Appeal, and Cancer Research UK.
The 2021 event takes place in December and the Jingle Jam team is looking for charities to take part. This year’s focus is on four areas: equality of opportunity; protecting the planet; diversity and inclusion; and physical and mental health.
Another successful Gaming for Good event that has attracted widespread appeal among influencers has been GameBlast, an annual gaming marathon weekend in aid of the charity Special Effect, which helps gamers with disabilities.
This took place in February this year and has raised more than £147,000 so far. Among influencers involved are Captain Jack, who has more than 200,000 subscribers on Youtube.