The video game industry grew at a 14.4% rate from 2020 to 2021. The industry also offers a large platform for affiliate marketers to advertise products through different channels and earn extra money.

If you’re passionate about video games or simply enjoy creating content, you might consider getting involved in an affiliate program. This blog will serve as a quick guide about how to get started on video game affiliate programs, important points to consider, and which channels you can opt for.

Affiliate Networks vs. Affiliate Programs

Livestreamer playing video games on computer

Before jumping into the exciting world of video game affiliate marketing, it’s helpful to know the differences between affiliate networks and affiliate programs.

An affiliate network is a group of companies with complementary products that share their customers with each other. For example, a video game company and a television manufacturer may be part of an affiliate network. As part of a network, the video game company would advertise televisions, and the television company would advertise a video game console. The companies benefit by expanding their reach to a demographic that’s likely interested in their products.

An affiliate program is different from an affiliate network in that the company hosting the program receives traffic but does not send traffic back. An affiliate program is an advertising opportunity open to publishers who want to monetize their data by sending it to an offer. The traffic flow is one-sided, unlike an affiliate network.

4 Things to Know Before Launching an Affiliate Journey

When joining an affiliate program, your main job will be to promote a business’s products. Here are some things you need to know before you embark on your affiliate journey.

Walk the Walk

Actions speak louder than words. Aim for those companies whose products you’re genuinely interested in. If you’re a true fan of specific video games, you probably have insight that can help you develop unique and original promotion strategies.

Being Genuine as a Marketing Strategy

People are more likely to engage with your content if it’s truly genuine. So don’t be afraid to share your honest opinion about your favorite video game and why other people should try it. It’s always easier to establish a connection with potential customers if you stay grounded and authentic.

Strategy Before the Improvisation

Even though leaving a little room for improvisation is good, you need a clearly defined strategy before you can start. Think about how you’re going to promote content in an eye-catching yet original way and how you will measure your campaign’s success. An ad tracking software could help you make informed decisions about your marketing campaigns based on the data you collect through ads. As a result, you can measure the success of your campaigns to determine whether your efforts are fruitful or need updating.

Teamwork

If you’re planning to make this your primary source of income, you might consider building a team that can help you manage your operations. For instance, consider hiring people that can take care of accounting, programming, and design. Typically, the more visually appealing your content is, the more likely you are to attract an engaged audience. Similarly, if you grow as a content creator, you may need the help of other professionals to diversify your content to other platforms.

Which Channels to Conquer First?

Close up on gaming setup with computer open to Twitch

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Try to use channels that you are most familiar with and feel comfortable with. Depending on the type of content you want to create, we suggest opting for the following channels: 

Twitch for Streamers

Twitch offers a unique online and stream affiliate program where video game enthusiasts can make a living and build their audience. To become a partner on Twitch, you need to have at least 50 followers and 500 total broadcast minutes, seven unique broadcast days, and an average of three or more concurrent views within the last 30 days.

Affiliates can gain viewers and revenue on Twitch through $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99 subscription plans. Affiliates can also earn through game sales and in-game items sales. When a game purchase or an in-game item originates from an affiliate’s channel page, the affiliate receives 5% of the revenue.

YouTube for Gamers

There are currently more than 40 million active gaming channels on YouTube. The number of channels and their subscribers are growing immensely as we speak. YouTube is the perfect place to review, explain, and educate while you actually play the game. You can also start earning separately on YouTube if you reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in less than a year.

Most affiliate gamers typically link to a promoted product in the description below. However, to grab people’s attention better, you can also mention the product in speech, usually at the beginning of the video, telling them the link is in the description box below.

Gaming Blogs for Writers

Blogger writing article on laptop

If you’re passionate about writing, you can utilize your skills to write informative content about the products you’re promoting. Writing an engaging copy requires deep knowledge of the subject, so take time to conduct research and come up with useful articles.

For example, Medium is a platform where you can publish articles with backlinks to the promoted brand and earn a commission from the platform for the number of reads and followers.

Personal Social Media Channels for Boosting Distribution

Building a social media presence is a great way to promote products and services. Social networks, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, generate enormous traffic. If you already have a page dedicated to gaming, use your platform to cater to your existing audience.

If you don’t have an existing platform, consider starting a gaming page and attracting fellow fans. Your friends and family can help increase your page’s popularity by sharing and commenting. Advertising on Facebook has never been easier because sometimes all it takes is posting an Instagram story or writing a short Twitter thread with the link to the product.

Best Gaming Affiliate Programs

Video game setup

Whether you plan to do affiliate marketing in gaming as a side gig or main job, we’ve picked some of the best programs you should keep an eye on.

  • Razer. Razer produces gaming accessories like headsets, laptops, mouses, and chairs. They also develop software and applications for a better video game experience. As an affiliate, you will earn a 10% commission based on the products you advertise. Their cookies last for 30 days.
  • Leprestore. This company focuses on boosting the characters of different video games like Destiny 2 and WoW Classic. As a result, characters can level up quicker in-game. They pay a 15% commission per sale, and their cookie duration is 90 days.
  • Alienware. Famous for making the gaming phenomenon portable through gaming laptops, Alienware produces one of the most powerful PC for gaming. The company is under the umbrella of Dell. As a result, if you’re interested in Alienware’s affiliate program, you must sign up through Dell. Alienware’s commission rate is 3% per sale. Their cookies last for 90 days.
  • Nvidia. Nvidia develops Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) that deliver motion graphics on laptops and other devices for some of the most prominent video games. Their commission rates are from 2% to 5% per sale, and their cookie duration is 45 days.

What’s on the Horizon?

Affiliate marketing in gaming hasn’t always been perceived positively. For example, the entertainment giant Warner Brothers faced backlash for promoting its video games through influencers. The games were selling out fast, but consumers didn’t realize that the influencers were being paid for recommending the games. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) responded by establishing specific guidelines to overcome the transparency issue.

However, the guidelines weren’t clear enough at first and sparked a wave of controversies. These guidelines do not always have institutional enforcement because of a lack of resources. Many gaming enthusiasts choose not to disclose themselves while carrying out affiliate marketing. According to a recent study, only 21 out of 152 gaming affiliates on YouTube and Pinterest disclosed themselves, making it difficult to track those that do not comply with certain regulations.

The future of gaming affiliate programs lies in heavier monitoring of fair profit sharing. In addition, we can expect to see better contract terms for advertisers to work in a healthy and secure job environment. For example, Nintendo was the first major company to completely change its Creators Program and offered fairer profit-sharing terms for advertisers.

It’s difficult to anticipate what the future will bring, but with more people turning to affiliate programs as full-time jobs, it will be exciting to see what happens next in the booming industry.

Published by Owen Carter on April 27, 2022

Owen Carter

Owen Carter

Owen is a marketing specialist. He works with advertisers and publishers directly, enhancing their marketing campaigns. Owen understands the importance of having the right tools for the job. He got his start designing and implementing a proprietary platform at a major performance marketing organization. During his free time, Owen enjoys rereading company emails and looking for mistakes.


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