How to Approach Companies as a Gaming or Hardware Influencer

Sponsoring Influencer

“Sponsoring?” 

That’s by far the most common discussion opening we get from eSports teams, content creators and Twitch streamers who contact us via social media. When the request comes in like that, the only answer we can give is NO. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

We’ve put together a few things for Instagram content creators and eSports teams to take into consideration when writing companies to propose a brand partnership. We dare say most of these points would apply for any influencers who want to approach companies, but we hope it’s especially helpful for people with smaller accounts or those who are at the very beginning of their careers. We love working with creators of all sizes, and we hope these guidelines help us meet great new people to work with.

How to aproach a company as an influencer?

For a deeper dive into seeking sponsorship and improving your chances of getting a yes instead of a no, keep reading.

What information should you include?

Your Contact Information

The company representative can’t know how great you and your page are if you don’t leave at least your name, the name of your account and a link to platform(s) where the content can be found.

Your Account Stats

As a potential partner, companies need to know what you bring to the table. Let them know how many followers you have, how many monthly impressions your channel generates, what your engagement rate is and how (good) these stats are developing lately.

Companies will most likely also be interested in who your followers are, where they come from and why they would be a good fit. So if your audience is really into computer monitors, for example, you could make the case for why we should send you a monitor mount to review. All these facts are relevant when choosing a marketing partner, so make sure you have this information ready to go.

Your plan

No one knows your audience the way you do. You know what sort of content they like (and what sort of content they’re likely to hate). Offer the company your expertise by letting them know…

  • What it is you’d like to do
  • Why you want to do it
  • What you want in exchange (products? Other compensation?)
  • What products are suitable for your audience
  • What the timetable for creating and publishing the content is

Make it easy for the company to say yes to your proposal! Brands will have more confidence in you if they see that you’ve put real thought into it. So instead of saying, “Got any case fans?” consider trying “I have a YouTube channel that’s all about computer cases. I’d like to make a video about your ARCTIC P-fans to share with my 500 subscribers next month. Is it possible to send me some in exchange for a review?”

How do you put it?

First impressions are really important. Depending on what you’d like to do, you could end up representing or speaking on behalf of the brand. Consequently, brands need to trust that you’ll be able to present yourself in a professional manner. So, in your first communication with a brand, you should…

Check your spelling grammar

YES – we know it can be annoying, but checking your spelling and grammar before you hit send really pays off! No one’s giving you a grade on this, but using proper grammar and writing in complete sentences make it easier for brands to understand what you want. Plus, the brand will see that you can represent them well.  

Offer something instead of making demands

For example: Instead of just tweeting “Sponsoring?” at a brand, you could write, “I’m interested in including the Freezer 34 in my cooler review series. Can we discuss this via email?” Working with a brand should be mutually beneficial, and asking this way shows that you’re not just trying to score free products from a company.

Be nice

Not to sound like an elementary school teacher, but kindness goes a long way. You don’t have to suck up or overdo it; basically, just don’t be rude. Trying to rush the process, bombarding someone with multiple requests on multiple channels, making rude remarks—none of if it helps you. If the company representative thinks you are a nice person and easy to work with, he will be more willing to help you out… ‘cause, well, nice people are fun to work with.

You sent in your request—what’s taking so long?

The Beasts Gaming
The German eSports-Organisation Beasts Gaming is supported by ARCTIC.
Here visiting our stand at Dreamhack 2019.

Sometimes companies don’t get back to you right away. It may take a few days, or even a few weeks to answer your question. Why is that? Well, in most of the cases, companies don’t just send out money or products out to influencers without having a bigger plan in place. The brand rep probably has a marketing plan and a budget that she’s responsible for – or maybe a few separate plans for influencer marketing, different geographical areas and eSports. Before partnering with you, they would most likely need to check their budget and see if your offer is a good fit for their target group, marketing goals, and actual product marketing plans. This might take some time.

Or maybe your contact person is on holiday or is sick or… check your calendar! It might be a weekend.

Why did you get a rejection?

After doing everything right, you might still end up with a rejection. Why is that?

  • The timing was not right; the company isn’t promoting this particular product anymore, it’s a seasonal product, etc.
  • Your brand personalities don’t mesh well (for example: if you’re fun and carefree, you may not be a good fit for a brand that’s always very serious)
  • Your channel reach is too small and it isn’t financially feasible for the company to send the product (remember, the partnership has to bring value to the brand as well as to you)
  • The market/niche you are serving is not relevant for the company at the moment
  • A combination of these.

Don’t take it personally. Besides, now you’ve established a connection. Improve your content, keep growing your channel and try again in half a year.

In the end

The best influencer, reviewer, or sponsoring relationship is a win-win situation where both the company and the influencer benefit. In some cases, a short product review can lead to a years-long partnership, so it really is worthwhile to consider how you engage with a company.  We hope this helps you get off to a good start.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve grown a huge audience or you’re just getting started. For us, it’s not the size that matters most—we’re proud to work with many small teams and channels. They’re authentic, they do great work, and we have a lot of fun together. So please keep your inquiries coming.  We’re looking forward to partnering with you!