Beyond the Mega-Influencer

Using social intelligence to identify affordable influencers within large gaming communities

Henry Chapman, Research and Insights Analyst

Video games are amongst the fastest-growing industries within the entertainment sector. In the landscape of advertising agencies, where influencer-based marketing dominates social media spending, successful identification of video game influencers becomes the critical indicator of success in selling products through video games. Brands increasingly acknowledge invaluable influencer credibility, expansive reach, and precise targeting. Yet, the staggering price tags associated with significant influencers like Pewdiepie, Jacksepticeye, Markiplier, and Ninja often place them out of financial reach for smaller brands and ad agencies.

Social listening tools emerge as essential allies for these smaller entities, constantly pursuing lesser-known but up-and-coming influencers. Tools like Infegy Atlas and Infegy Starscape can help you identify influencers nobody knows about. We'll walk you through identifying smaller influential accounts within Fortnite social conversations, America's largest and most popular video game. After determining how we found them, we'll walk you through three Fortnight influencers on TikTok you probably didn't know about (we certainly didn't!).

How to identify smaller influencers

First, we'll walk you through identifying smaller influencers within your topic of interest (we're using Fortnite here). In Figure 1, we're showing you a screenshot of Infegy Starscape's brand-new query builder. Below our OR block (light blue) containing our Fortnite keywords, we're applying a filter for accounts with a follower count ranging from 100k to 1M. This follower filter is essential because it enables you to target specific influencer accounts that fit your budget. You can target larger versions if you're an agency with a larger client budget. Infegy Starscape’s query builder lets you get as specific as you want with these details. However, if you're trying to identify micro-influencers, being able to specify the account size you care about. 

Image 1 - Query Screenshot
Figure 1: Screenshot showing a Fortnite-Influencer identification query from Infegy Starscape.

Next, we'll aggregate by account. We use engagements per matched post, which we calculate with the following formula:

Image 2 - Calculation
Figure 2: Formula showing how we calculate engagements per post.

Engagements of likes, comments, and shares show how reactive audiences are about a particular influencer's content. It's an excellent way to measure how connected the influencers are to their respective audiences. Finally, we normalize by dividing by the number of topic-matched posts the influencer made within our time frame. Because we've capped the overall follower count, we're already extracting out massive accounts (usually news organizations) and focusing on the individuals with smaller followings. In Infegy Starscape, we are able to create our own custom metrics like engagements_per_post. 

Figure 3 plots out the top ten accounts ranked by engagements per post. We see two handles with standout engagement rates (@Hippyt𖦹ri and @dababyaltaaccount). We'll dive into each handle to conduct an audience analysis to see who engages most with their content. 

Image 3 - Engagements Per Post Graph
Figure 3: Bar graph showing engagements per post for top Fortnite influencers (3 years ago through present); Infegy data.

You'll note that these engagements per post metrics are top-heavy within social data. Figure 4 highlights this point, examining the distribution of high-engagement accounts. We see an overwhelming majority of accounts have relatively low engagement per post, with just a few accounts with high engagement. Influencer identification is critical. Your brand can save energy and resources if you avoid the influencers with little to no audience relationship. Finding the right balance between size and engagement percentage is critical to finding the right influencers for audience segmentation research.

Image 4 - Histogram
Figure 4: Histogram showing the distribution of engagements per post (3 years ago through present); Infegy data.

A dive into two content creators we found



Now that we've identified our two accounts let's jump into the conversation around them to see how people are talking about them. We'll start with @HippyTori, which had the highest engagement per matched post. @Hippytory has 394.4k followers, which is small to mid-sized in the influencer world. We note from a quick Google Search that they have a relatively limited online presence despite their high follower count. 

Image 5 - HippyTori Screenshot
Figure 5: Screenshot of Hippytori's TikTok profile.

To look at how her audience is referring to her, we'll look at hashtags people use when referring to her videos online. We love analyzing hashtags in a context like this because they tend to get much more specific and branded versus a general topic analysis. You'll note the enormous concentration of Fortnite-related content. We're exactly where we want to be - her channel centers on Fortnite gaming. Say you were a brand looking to appeal to Gen Z Fortnite players - this influencer could be a perfect partner.

Image 6 - HippyTori Hashtags
Figure 6: Hashtags used when people mention @HippyTori (February 2021 through February 2023); Infegy data.



Image 7 - Other Screenshot
Figure 7: Screenshot of @dababyaltaccount's TikTok profile.

Next, we'll look at the second gaming influencer we identified based on engagements per matched post, @dababyaltaccount. This account has a higher follower count than @HippyTori, which could mean a higher budget to partner with them. Based on a hashtag analysis, we see a much more diverse game set versus our first influencer, who looked to be Fortnite-focused. @dababyaltaccount’s followers refer to #overwatch, #roblox, #minecraft, and #callofduty when talking about their content. This hashtag diversity leads us to believe that @dababyaltaccount's audience is much less focused than that of @hippytori. This broad content isn't necessarily a bad or a good attribute - it depends on your brand's strategy, whether you're targeting a niche audience or a more general one.

Image 8 - Other Hashtags
Figure 8: Hashtags people use when people mention @dababyaltaccount (February 2021 through February 2023); Infegy data.

Takeaways for your brand

Identifying influencers in the gaming world, such as Fortnite, is crucial for brands looking to connect with specific audiences. Social listening tools like Infegy Atlas and Infegy Starscape are pivotal in discovering emerging influencers within budget constraints. We used engagements per post analysis for a focused approach, ensuring brands collaborate with influencers who genuinely resonate with their target audience. As demonstrated with influencers like @HippyTori and @dababyaltaccount, understanding their follower count, content focus, and audience engagement is critical to successful partnerships. Leveraging these social listening tools empowers brands to make informed decisions, maximizing the impact of influencer-based marketing campaigns in the dynamic landscape of video game advertising.

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