We were humbled and thrilled in equal measure to win not 1, not 2, but 3 Digital Impact Europe 2021 Awards recently for our PUBG Mobile European Star Challenge Campaign.

In this follow up feature with Communicate Magazine, CEO & Founder Pietro Ranieri, shares insight into how brands can create authentic and engaging influencer marketing campaigns without the need for big activations or budget…

Brands have been burnt by being mis-sold larger, ad-hoc, influencer campaigns that were once the trend. However, smart digital marketeers have realised that vanity metrics and badging of big names does not guarantee success, nor necessarily help propel the brand into the space they want to own.

As a foundation, the partnerships need to be authentic and engaging, with the potential for brands to acquire click through, conversion and acquisition, regardless of the length or narrative of the campaign.

Our award-winning Star Challenge PUBG Mobile campaign perfectly captured a moment in time featuring influencers from across Europe and premiership footballers. It delivered mass engagement (24 million impressions) over a short period (48 hours), leveraging the zeitgeist of hype around the Euro Football Championship, exceeding our guaranteed deliverables and KPIs for game interaction.

38 Entertainment Group, a next generation media and gaming company, who co-own Ellevens esports with football superstar Gareth Bale, are taking this larger scale activation a step further by launching the World’s first football influencer house, TKRZ Mansion, featuring multiple leading GenZ football content creators in the space. The activation provides a much longer narrative with multiple content touch points and targeted audiences, meaning brand partnerships can create longer more meaningful relationships with their target audiences.

What’s new about this type of activation, is that brands now realise that one off activations with little context or rationale offer little but a ‘flash in the pan’ awareness campaign, great for short bursts, but not brand or audience building engagement. Like any brand partnership, there is much better value if the creative builds a relationship with an audience over time, just like an influencer builds relationships with their own audience. If you think of the natural dynamic of why an influencer audience grows, it makes total sense!

Whilst these bigger activations are solely for brands with bigger budgets, there are lessons to be learnt for smaller brands with more modest budgets. Think about engaging creative first, then use the right influencers that fit your audience, the creative is the hook that provides authentic content. Big or small budget, research, data and insights are key, know your audience, pick your influencers well, and ensure there is a good creative framework and latitude to work within.