Influencer Marketing: The Performance Way

Background

Aleksandr is a mobile marketing expert, who kicked off his UA career back in 2015 while working for a gaming brand. He began by running campaigns on traditional user acquisition channels such as Video and banner networks, and was later asked to take the lead on influencer marketing activity. He soon began to find efficiencies where others hadn’t. In 2018, Aleksandr joined gaming giant, Wargaming, as their Growth Team Lead, with influencer marketing at the forefront of his mind.

 

How are you using influencer marketing at Wargaming?

At Wargaming we’re continually testing; partner, construction, influencer and types of integration in order to find the right combination of variables that best reach our audience.

We are currently constructing the right pattern to maximise influencer marketing as a new UA channel. It’s a high-risk channel that operates very differently to traditional UA, because there is no way of guaranteeing the results. With ad networks, you pay for an install and so can expect the exact amount of installs for your money. In influencer marketing, you could pay $20,000 for the one video and get a $50 CPI because you overrated the single influencer.

The differences between user acquisition and influencer marketing:

How do you track the ROI of influencer marketing activity on YouTube?

When we talk about influencer marketing, it’s important to differentiate between performance and branding campaigns, as the metrics for which their success can be measured are very different.

Branding involves communicating the right message to your audience, with less of an immediate emphasis on revenue. Whereas when we talk about performance marketing with influencers, ROI comes first.

In performance campaigns we measure revenue from:

• Tracked installs
• Organic uplift, which includes store charts positions increase
• Changes in regular user acquisition conversions
• Install tail

One of the best sources for results is YouTube. Tracking links are placed into the video description, so for as long as the video is live on YouTube, the app will be getting installs. This creates a long install tail after your video first goes live.

How do you predict campaign results?

Firstly, you need to find out how many views (impressions) and installs you can get. Predictions are crucial for fixed price campaigns. Without knowing the performance of influencers, you must make tests and collect data. This data is fundamental for improving the predictions of future campaigns. For the first campaign, you need to estimate the CPI and compare it to your average LTV.

 

Here is a simple formula to use:

 

Median views – This is more statistically accurate for predicting real numbers than calculating the average views. The prediction becomes even stronger when you launch multiple influencers in the campaign. When running influencers for the first time, the conversion rate is unknown, so use your regular UA conversions. Let’s say we can afford to pay $3 per install. By applying the formulas discussed, we generate the following media plan.

Example media plan:

Start categorising influencers by their type of creative, channel and category. This will allow you to identify the best performing audiences for your game. You should also apply previous results to help you improve future media plans. The average performance may vary across genres and so predictions should be updated each time you launch a new campaign. Ideally, you will build out specific ROI predictions for each category. All that’s required is money, data and time.

Where do mobile game marketers often fall short when implementing influencer campaigns?

  1. It’s a very risky channel that requires a lot of testing. Many marketers are cutting all tests after having one or two bad results. There’s a 90% chance your first influencer campaign will be a failure in terms of ROI, but it will give you the right data to understand what to do next. It will reveal which channels performed best and which underperformed. Analyse every campaign and ask yourself and your team, why this conversion might be above or below the expectations. Run brainstorms and test new hypothesises.
  2. I see other companies launching one influencer and hoping to yield great results. For mobile games, the key is to launch multiple influencers at the same time. This will create a huge organic uplift. These are the users who didn’t click on the link on YouTube. Instead, they saw the ad and went to the app store to download the game there. This means you are unable to attribute them to a specific traffic link and they are instead attributed to organic installs. The campaign will create a huge organic uplift, so you can see this organic uplift and attribute the installs and revenue to your whole campaign. It also might create a cannibalisation effect, but you can minimise this by targeting different audiences.

What are your top tips for app marketers running influencer campaigns on YouTube?

  • When running these types of campaigns for the first time, prepare an easy script for the influencers. It should contain the unique selling points of your product and give creators some space for creativity. Use the same script structure for the whole campaign. Check the results after the first campaign and use overall conversions to help make further predictions.
  • Use the algorithm:

  • Prepare a safe budget for tests – It’s impossible to say how much budget you must spend to find a pattern. For some companies, it could be $50k in the US market. For another company, it could be $200k for the same market. Run as many tests as you can to find the right way to use these campaigns.
  • Share your results with the industry and partners. It’s crucial to know the average performance for each creator. If you share this to your partners – they could create “industry” average data points. Such as average conversion rates, average ROI, engagement and others. Sharing insights will ensure we aren’t wasting tons of money non-performing channels.

 

Any tips for creative?

  • Add “welcome bonuses” or other treats for new users
  • Let influencers implement their own ideas and opinions
  • Be honest with the audience – do not try to mask promoted videos. People will find out anyway
  • Use the script to control campaign performance
  • Ask creators to add something from their live which relates to your game
  • Avoid drama and harassing content
  • Pick positive, funny and emotional creators

 

Here’s a great example: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cYVeoodrzyS5L-UX1u0_5N7Q7IgUBxB5/edit