Survivor.io TikTok marketing campaign has generated one of the most successful mobile game launches of 2022, showing how influencer marketing and user-generated content (UGC) can be the deciding factor in the success of your mobile game. But was there anything that they missed out on?
In recent years, the mobile gaming industry has experienced explosive growth, driven by the proliferation of smartphones and the rise of mobile gaming as a mainstream entertainment medium.
With millions of players worldwide, mobile gaming has become a highly competitive market where developers constantly seek new and innovative ways to promote their games and reach their target audience. In this context, influencer marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for mobile game developers to promote their apps and generate hype around new game releases.
Influencer marketing involves partnering with social media influencers on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube to promote a product or service to their followers.
The use of influencer marketing in the mobile gaming industry has become increasingly popular in recent years as more game developers recognize the potential of this marketing strategy to drive downloads and increase engagement.
By leveraging the influence and creativity of social media influencers, game developers can reach a wider audience and build excitement around new game releases.
Additionally, influencers can provide honest reviews and recommendations to their followers, enhancing the credibility of the game and building trust with their target audience.
TikTok marketing: Survivor.io
Recently Survivor.io has been a perfect example of how influencer marketing and UGC can be a significant driving force behind the success of a mobile game. Launched in August 2022, survivor.io is a roguelike game that makes the players face infinite zombie hordes while accumulating points and upgrading their character.
For its promotion Habby, the Singaporean game publisher, heavily relied on TikTok marketing and UGC-like content. And it paid back with Survivor.io generating $15 million in revenue by September and now over $100 million.
To create such a return, Habby had to craft a very skilled marketing strategy where influencers were widely employed and employed unusually. The first piece of this puzzle is the structure of the creatives.
Instead of integrations or content that directly speaks advertisement, Survivor.io relied on short videos that resembled what a TikTok user would see in their feed. Overall, this kind of ad shows an outstanding retention rate through them, possibly pointing out that many that saw these ads didn’t realize it was an ad until the last moment.
Secondly, they heavily relied on small content creators. No big name but people your audience can relate to, people they can identify with, and so can be more easily trusted.
In recent times micro-influencers are becoming more and more of a critical niche. Compared to larger creators, they can target particular demographics and retain tight parasocial bonds with their audience.
The content is also interesting from a marketing perspective since it promotes the game and starts framing it as a popular and well-established game. Each TikTok begins with the creator telling how they stumbled upon somebody else, a friend, partner, or a random person, playing survivor.io.
This way, we are brought to think that a wider community is around the game since it is so easy to spot someone playing it.
Staged gameplay (but not too much)
An observation about the other person’s weak gameplay follows the introduction of this character. Backed by the content creator highlighting how the player they observed was stuck and repeatedly dying. The creator gives tips on playing the game better than those they saw.
This approach both goes along and differentiates from other mobile games ads that are commonly seen. Often marketers will use prerecorded in-game footage in combination with a content creator pretending to play the game and making very obvious mistakes enticing the viewer to play the game and perform better than what they saw.
While the copy of survivor.io’s ads goes along these lines pushing the viewer to perform better than the player mentioned, the footage is disconnected and doesn’t pretend to be a real run. Working in favor of survivor.io’s credibility.
Survivor.io marketing campaign generated downloads and installs for the game and created a community around the game, with many users sharing their runs on TikTok and helping the company promote their game further.
Survivor.io benefitted from using extremely small content creators and posting their content as an ad using TikTok algorithm to present it to the right people. Still, it is also possible to wonder if similar or better results would have come from partnering up with the content creators and publishing such clips on their profiles instead. Initial reach would have likely been lower, but it would have helped a more organic and targeted spread of the content, inspiring additional users to create more content around the game and further improve reach completely organically this time.
There are more ways to go at TikTok marketing and influencers to achieve success.
While the survivor.io campaign benefitted heavily from the format and content of influencer marketing, it possibly missed out on extra distribution channels that come with influencer marketing. Similarly, it failed to harvest more long time benefits that can be had by connecting your game with an influencer, such as a strong community and the feedback loop that emerges from it.
If you are considering launching your mobile game and want to reap some of the benefits of influencer marketing, look no further: CreatorDB is here to help you! We can provide you with all the data you need to find and evaluate influencers, markets, campaigns, and competitors. And if you don’t know where to start, our in-house agency is specialized in developing and executing influencer marketing campaigns targeting any corner of the world.