4 Gaming Influencer Marketing Trends To Pay Attention To

Unexpected Trends: Gaming & Influencer Marketing

Last year, gaming platforms saw unprecedented growth— Twitch viewership rose 117 percent, Fortnite surpassed 15 million concurrent players, YouTube Gaming had 100 billion hours watched—as young people on lockdown flocked to esports and live-streaming content.

The result was a cross-pollination of the gaming and non-gaming internet. More than ever, non-gaming content is gaining traction on gaming platforms, while gaming content on traditionally gaming-agnostic sites like Facebook has taken off. Elsewhere, ideas born in the back channels of gaming communities are making their mainstream debut.

Brands that recognize these sometimes unexpected shifts in online activity will be better poised to strike lucrative deals with gaming influencers and take advantage of the massive growth.

The ROI of influencer partnerships

A 2021 YouGov survey reports around 9% of the global population and 23% of males aged 18-34 follow at least one gaming influencer. This survey also places gaming influencers in the top three most popular types of influencers among US teens and the demand for gaming content is steadily increasing year over year.

When you pair these stats with the fact that around 68% of the global population plays video games on a weekly basis, gaming influencer partnerships can be massively beneficial for brands trying to build loyal audiences of their own and grow alongside this rapidly expanding influencer market.

Understanding top gaming influencers

Before you partner with a gaming influencer to promote your brand, it’s important to recognize that gaming audiences are as diverse as the variety of video games on the market. Not every influencer is going to be the right fit.

You’ll want to have a firm understanding of the games potential partners are streaming, the platforms they stream on, the age and demographic of their audience, and other types of content they create to build out their complete online personality.


Pewdiepie, the Swedish influencer sensation, has swept the Youtube world and become a household name in the industry. With over 100 million loyal Youtube subscribers and counting, Pewdiepie has secured his role as one of the most influential gaming influencers of all time. He streams a wide variety of gaming content and always keeps up on the latest trends. Over the years, the gamer has secured brand deals with some top names in the industry including Clutch Chairs, GFUEL energy drinks, and Razer Headsets.

Evan Fong aka VanossGaming

VanossGaming, a popular Canadian influencer, is well-known for his montage-style videos featuring the “funniest moments” of his multiplayer gaming sessions with friends.

VanossGaming grew in popularity in part thanks to his witty humor and entertaining commentary as he streams gameplay of Grand Theft Auto, Garry’s Mod, Call of Duty, and more. Evan sits among the ranks of the Youtube greats with an ever-growing list of YouTube subscribers in the tens of millions.


Ali-A is popular for his informative walkthrough videos, sharing his Fortnite and Call of Duty expertise with his loyal Youtube channel following of over 18 million subscribers. Ali-A starts his videos off with a short vlog-style chat to catch up with his audience before he jumps into gameplay which has earned him a reputation as an authentic and trustworthy influencer.

Ali-A is one of the highest-paid professional online gamers and has worked with the likes of Monster, Scuf Gaming, G2A, and more. He has also found ways to give back to his younger audience like participating in the 2016 Youtube and Mattessons’ campaign teaching programming skills to over 24,000 youth.


Jacksepticeye is famous for his vlogs and his humor-filled let’s play series, particularly in free-form games where he has more autonomy to “completely go off the rails” as one Redditor noted. Jacksepticeye would make a great partner for brands looking to reach a diverse audience as his Youtube channel that offers witty and entertaining video game reviews on a wide variety of games is followed by over 28 million gamers and has been viewed over 15 billion times.

Jack is also quite active on Instagram where he posts more personal content about his life as a gaming creator. His willingness to show his audience a bit of his behind-the-scenes day in the lifestyle content has awarded him a loyal following and an authentic social image.


DanTDM is well-known in the Youtube world as a kid-friendly gamer, streaming age-appropriate video games like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox.

He also stays up on the latest trends, making sure to throw in a healthy dose of TikTok reaction videos which are a hit with his younger audience. And with over 26 million YouTube subscribers, it’s safe to say he’s found his niche in the gaming industry.


Markiplier is a Twitch streamer who favors a more diverse approach to content creation. While he’s known for his quirky commentary and his play-through style gaming videos, he has also branched out to create more non-game related content like challenge videos, “Markiplier reviews stuff” series and Try Not To Laugh reaction videos.

And while being a gamer might seem like it’s all just fun and games, Markiplier often uses his platform for a deeper purpose, hosting charity live streams and collecting donations from viewers to support charities like Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the Best Friends Animal Society.


SSSniperwolf is a highly-rated, UK-based female streamer who specializes in POV shooting games. With over 32 million Youtube subscribers, she’s managed to successfully break into a largely male-dominated industry and quickly rise to the top.

She, like Markiplier, is also known for creating non-gaming-related content including reaction videos, lifestyle content, and cosplays. SSSniperwolf’s Youtube fame and engaged audience have earned her partnerships with large brands like GFuel, Tik Tok, and the fashion brand Boohoo.

Tom Cassell aka TheSyndicateProject

TheSyndicateProject, like many other gamers, got his start streaming Let’s Play videos featuring games like Halo, Grand Theft Auto, and Call of Duty. Cassell refers to himself as a “social guy” and enjoys interfacing with his audience through the Twitch platform. He likes to get his followers involved in gameplay decisions and has forged a distinctly down to earth and genuine reputation with his loyal audience.

Cassell has also distinguished himself as one of the only top influencers who includes mobile game streaming as part of his content creation strategy which attracts a whole new audience of gamers who prefer that style of game.

Gaming channels and  your influencer marketing strategy

Roblox isn’t just for little kids

Roblox may be the most misunderstood $41 billion valued company in existence. After the kid-friendly app’s stock price catapulted over 50 percent the first day it was publicly listed, many responsible parents were left asking: “What gives?” 

With 32.6 million daily active users marching around in the form of little block people, the platform has nurtured a thriving virtual world — and virtual economy — by and large comprised of games created, shared, and monetized by the community.

The demographic skews young, really young, with 54 percent of the user base under the age of 13. But it would be a mistake to dismiss Roblox as a platform strictly for kids. Though primarily populated by younger audiences, it’s worth keeping an eye on how Roblox matures into adulthood. In a late February investor meeting, the company made clear that its growth strategy for the coming year lay in attracting older demographics with discretionary incomes.

Twitch looks poised for a breakout crossover year

As a six-wheeled robotic vehicle parachuted to the dusky surface of an alien planet, 1.6 million viewers tuned in on Twitch

This wasn’t a big-name influencer playing the latest new release, but a live stream of the Perseverance Mars Rover landing in February. The broadcast was NASA’s most successful live stream on Twitch by orders of magnitudes, and since then the space agency has attracted nearly as many eyeballs with surface updates and International Space Station spacewalking

A bustling hub for live-streamed gaming content, Twitch has seen big growth in viewership on non-gaming channels including a channel called Just Chatting, channels in the music category, and even chess has really taken off in light of the Pogchamps 3 tournament, a fascinating crossover event featuring chess grandmasters, a legendary pro poker player, the hip-hop artist Logic, Twitch celebrities, and Rainn Wilson of The Office. 

The expanding interests of Twitch’s characteristically more gaming-oriented audiences create opportunities for non-endemic marketing campaigns on the platform. Already we’ve seen Lexus unveil a Twitch community-customized IS stocked with coffee beverages. Lamps Plus sponsored a cooking live stream with Twitch foodie and sometimes chef MrsRuvi, promoting their 360 Lighting line. And Burberry became the first luxury brand to live stream on the platform, returning to reveal their Autumn/Winter 2021 collection.

Discord did Clubhouse before Clubhouse

Before Clubhouse became the buzziest social media app among CEOs and philanthropists, gamers had long been chattering away on Discord. Although the rules for marketing on social audio apps have yet to be established, Discord provides a rough sketch of the kind of sponsorships that could flourish as audio-only social platforms are opened to the masses.

For those unfamiliar, Discord is a hangout app with 100 million monthly users. As with Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, a key feature of the platform is live, moderated, audio conferences that anyone can drop in on. 

While many simply use Discord’s audio functions for long-distance game nights and esports watch parties, all kinds of vocal activities have gained traction. Discord groups perform K-pop karaoke, practice Chinese and host Debate Club battles, and prototype their stand-up routines on open-mic comedy channels.

Discord channels (a.k.a. servers) provide a shared space for people to actively participate in their hobbies and interests, and the brands that do well on the app are the ones that foster passionate, self-expressive communities. Car modders chew over their next customizations on the Official Subaru Discord. Artists and graphic designers share pro tips and trade career advice on the Adobe Creative Career Server. Newegg’s channel is a popular destination for PC builders. 

Extending these lessons to audio-only social media, brands that encourage consumer participation should fit in organically. 

Facebook Gaming is actually a thing

Quickly rising from relative obscurity, Facebook Gaming grew 184 percent by total hours watched in 2020, building on 210 percent gains the year prior. Though in a distant third place behind Twitch and YouTube, the live-streaming platform has some advantages when looking for influencers to team up with.

Namely, sponsored content feels completely natural on the site, either endemic or non-endemic. Why? Well, between streaming sessions, video creators keep their followers updated with snippets from their daily lives, posting pictures of new rides, baking mishaps, and their favorite kitten. After all, this is Facebook. 

The live-streamer Gina Darling, for example, has done promos for the beauty brand Benefit Cosmetics, the cognac brand Courvoisier, and Pocky, the dainty Japanese sweet snack stick—not exactly the sort of sponsorships one would expect from a diehard Call of Duty: Warzone fanatic.

Recent trends in esports & gaming present some incredible opportunities for marketing agencies looking to take advantage of targeted partnerships with macro and micro-influencers, content creators, and rapidly growing social media platforms. Big brands around the world have already jumped on board.

Influencer gaming with The Social Standard

If you’re curious about activating in the space as part of your next influencer marketing campaign, reach out to our team, and we can help you create an influencer gaming strategy that converts!