We gamers have a saying—video games don’t make people violent, lag does. To improve performance and reduce table flipping everywhere, the small but scrappy team at Haste has created a way to reduce lag and improve network stability. Since necessity is the mother of all invention, it’s no surprise to learn that Haste was co-founded by an engineer who was tired of performance issues playing League of Legends. The result is real-time internet optimization that keeps players in the game with far less issues.
Currently in open beta, Haste is—for now—focused entirely on creating better connections for PC multiplayer on League of Legends and Overwatch. To help spread the word, Haste knew that the best way to reach gamers is through other gamers.
“From the very beginning as we were drawing up our marketing plans, we knew that word of mouth is really crucial for this audience and for getting the word out for building awareness, and building credibility and enlisting other people to tell our story,” Matt Konigsmark, VP of marketing for Haste told ION. “We knew we had some obstacles to overcome on the technology storytelling side, so we very specifically went out to find influencers to help us tell that story.”
Konigsmark is no stranger to influencers, especially within the world of video games. As the former VP of marketing for peripheral manufacturer, KontrolFreek, he has worked with an estimated 450 influencers at any given time. One such influencer was Ali-A, who boasts over 8.7 million YouTube subscribers.
For Haste, however, a niche service deserves a niche audience. For that reason, Konigsmark told ION, they chose to to focus on microinfluencers who play League of Legends or Overwatch. The company currently partners with streamers such as Heizman, SoloRenektonOnly, Ginger and Phy, each with less than a million YouTube subscribers.
Each influencer receives a vanity URL to track conversions and the results have been positive, to say the least. Since Haste opened beta in mid-January, the company has seen over 80,000 sign ups—about half of which directly attributed to the influencer program.
“It’s worked even better than we anticipated and we stuck with it,” Konigsmark said, adding that success is more than finding someone popular on YouTube and having them say your brand’s name.
“It’s about relationships and trust with the influencers—you want to go out and build really good relationships with the influencers because they all talk,” he advised. “Best case scenario, they’re actually going to suggest other guys you should be talking to or working with. You want to treat those guys fairly and at the same time, you need to treat their audience honestly and fairly. I think all of our messaging is about that. We want to speak with authenticity [and] honesty.”
Influencers are given talking points, but otherwise given complete control over how they speak to their own audiences, including how well (or not) the service works for them.
“We’ve encouraged all [our influencers] to be really straightforward and honest. We know gamers are skeptical by nature, so it’s really important to come across as trustworthy and honest. We’re not trying to scam [anyone], so we really try to equip all the guys we work with with that messaging.”
I believe in how vital that storytelling component can be and if done well and you have the right influencers on board and the right product . . . all those things line up correctly it can really be dynamite. It can really drive brand awareness and sales (or trials, whatever you’re looking for).”
Other lag-reducing applications for Haste are obvious, from VR conference calls to online broadcasting. Until then, however, they’ll just stick to gaming.