Scroll on any social platform of your choice, and you will quickly find yourself #UnderTheInfluence – taking in the content of creators in any kind of genre – from beauty and wellness, to fitness and mindset, and more. Throughout the pandemic and today in 2022, brands & consumers alike are being drawn to a ‘new’ genre of influence that in fact, isn’t so new at all: gamers. With hours on end of stream time, and tight-knit communities on platforms like Twitch & YouTube, brand interest in connecting with these audiences is at an all time high. Read on for our favorite influencers who are in it for the love of the game.
What we love about video-gamer meets vlogger Jen Flagg, is her ability to enchant an audience of different interests and vibes, with her personal brand as the key denominator. Jen is also a wife, and soon-to-be-mama – inspiring women and young girls of all different lifestyles to do what they love in a historically male-dominated space, like gaming.
If you’re looking for top-tier gaming content, entertaining commentary and hilarious challenges – head over to Dan TDM’s YouTube page. Nearly 10 years ago now, England-based gamer Dan was working at Tesco when he entered the streaming space – and today, with an accrued 10+ billion (ya, with a ‘b’) views across his videos and even some cute content with his toddler son, Dan is continuing to set the stage for gaming influencers to come, across the globe.
Kristen Valcinek, otherwise known as ‘KittyPlays’ on social, is a female-forward gamer to be reckoned with. She started her influence as a gaming creator playing Fortnite on Twitch, and has since been nominated in the Twitch Streamer category at the 10th Annual Shorty Awards, and has grown her audience to become the 75th most watched streaming account. Our favorite part about her? Kitty launched a female-gamer group named ‘Team Kitty’ to support and inspire other women in the space who are looking for friendship, not unhealthy competition.
You may recognize Valkyrae as YouTube’s most watched female streamer since 2020 (nbd!) or perhaps from her original background as the first female gaming content creator to be signed with an American esports agency, 100 Theives. Now, as a co-owner of the esports brand and an exclusive deal with YouTube (the gamer left Twitch completely for this opportunity) Valkyrae is ready for what’s next in her career journey, and we can foresee luxury brand collaborations being one.
According to Hannah Bryan aka ‘Noisy Butters’ YouTube bio: “My name is Butters and I like to make videos on gaming, tech, vlogs, and other topics I find interesting. Positivity and Happiness!” Hannah’s strategy as an influencer is something the SSI team is totally aligned with, which is diving into a niche category that you enjoy and is authentic to you, while also leaving room to evolve and explore in other areas, like how Butters plays around with tech content, sharing her love for animals, and bringing mindfulness to gaming communities online everywhere.
One of the best parts about influencers through a brand lens, is that it’s not always about follower count when running a campaign – but community, messaging and having the right talent be a fit. Sci-Fi passionate streamer, ‘STEAM’ enthusiast, Veteran & Voice Actor known as ‘DeeJayKnight’ does all that and more. With a close followership across Twitch, Twitter & Instagram, we love seeing the BTS lifestyle content of what DeeJay Knight is into, and how he brings positivity to gaming culture.
King Jae is a London-based gaming creator, who provides honest reviews of games as well as their communities to his audience on Twitch. As a Twitch ambassador, and awarded one of YouTube’s Black Voices of 2021, King Jae is just getting started in his journey having fun and creating change in the gaming influence space, through brand collabs and traveling the globe for his career.
The gaming and lifestyle content on retro gamer ‘Contra_Victions’ profiles is unparallel to anything else we’ve seen in the space – in a good way. The Atlanta-based creator runs a successful YouTube channel, posting content of her playing retro-style games, a hot commodity in both consumer and brand culture in 2022m, where we value nostalgia now more than ever. She is also a collector, a co-host of Retro Game Store discovery show 2s vs 50s, and manages social for Black Girl Gamers community on Twitter. We’re excited to see what Contra Viction’s gaming influence will unfold.
Pat’s gaming influence is interesting, in that it covers not only gaming content for his 17M subscribers on YouTube, but also healthy lifestyle, fitness and mental health approaches for his community to be inspired by. From a brand’s perspective, there is variety in consumer interest for those who follow his page, and many different angles of ways to partner with Pat and his community. You will also find the occasional cat content, and sweet pics of him and his girlfriend (FYI, Pat formerly dated Jen Flagg, as well. Big game, small world.)
We love everything Cray content. The top female influencer’s content streams in both the gaming and music verticals, along with her transparency into mental health experiences like Autism and ADHD lead her to be one of the most loved (and viewed) video creators on Twitch & YouTube. The LA-based producer is a DJ, artist and fan of everything alternative – including her taste in fashion, food and brand collabs in her future.
Gaming as an art was once for the introverted – but today, with social platforms like Twitch, YouTube and emerging media (hi, TikTok) we are settling into a place where streaming/vlogging is the new norm – and one of the best ways for audiences to connect with their roles models in whatever niche they are looking to be inspired by, educated in and entertained with. At SSI, we’re looking forward to the ways gamers x brands will continue to work together in the future. GG for now! Xo