The popularity of live streaming is continuously reaching new heights of both content creators and viewers, with the Amazon owned streaming giant, Twitch, leading the charge. The rise of Twitch streaming represents an incredible opportunity for marketers to reach a growing userbase of highly loyal and community driven consumers.
In this article, we will talk about how an influencer marketing strategy can be used on Twitch to engage with a hard-to-reach audience, why Twitch influencers can be beneficial to your business, and highlight successful campaigns on the platform.
How Twitch Works
Despite initially starting as a platform to stream yourself playing video games, Twitch has expanded to become a leader in general live streaming, with content consisting of video games, art, music, sports, podcasting and more. With such a vast amount of live content, Twitch has grown to have an average concurrent viewership of over 2 million users, as stated in Streamlabs Q2 2020 report.
Viewers choose Twitch for reasons further than just the content available. The driving factor in the platform’s growth is the community driven aspect of its consumer base. Every stream has an interactive aspect to it, with viewers participating in a live chat for not just the duration of the stream, but also once a streamer is offline, continuing to converse within their community. Twitch intentionally aids in this community creation, with the CEO, Emmet Shear, describing the site as a “community-oriented business”.
With such a strong emphasis on community, viewers are more likely to engage with influencer marketing efforts involving the head of their community, the streamer.
Using an Influencer Marketing Strategy on Twitch
Influencer marketing on Twitch, just like influencer marketing on any other platform, can take multiple forms, however, it is distinguished from other platforms due to the live, community-driven, and interactive aspects of the site.
Popular forms of streamer marketing on Twitch include sponsorships, competitions and giveaways, and reviews. Sponsorships can be used on Twitch by getting content creators to sponsor the streamer for promotion space on their channel page, such as popular streamer ‘aceu’, who has confectionary product Reese’s on his homepage for all of his 1.3mfollowers to see. Additionally, brands can also pay streamers to use their product on stream. This primarily consists of video game companies paying a streamer to play a particular game, or tech companies paying streamers to use their equipment such as headphones.
Giveaways are another effective way of improving your brand and are a frequent method of influencer marketing on Twitch. Giveaways allow companies to build brand loyalty and create long-lasting impressions to consumers. By associating relevant products with the right streamer, consumers can begin to develop positive associations with those brands. An example of this is popular Twitch streamer ‘Fuslie’, who is sponsored by gaming accessory company ‘HyperX’, often running giveaways for their new products. By associating with a content creator who not only uses their product, but frequently broadcasts to an audience while using this product, consumers will be more likely to consider purchasing their product when considering what product to buy.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing on Twitch
Streamer marketing on Twitch has the potential to produce greater results than other influencer marketing due to how responsive viewers are to the influencer. Twitch viewers are far more active online than the average person and are more likely to engage with a brand if they feel like they can be a part of a community. Twitch users are above average in their willingness to review a company online, with research showing 58% of Twitch users having posted a review for a product, company, or service. Additionally, 45% of users would make a purchase decision, just to be a part of a community.
This willingness to advocate for a brand online, is beneficial for a business because it works as free word of mouth marketing. Consumers are increasingly looking at online reviews to make purchase decisions, with 97% of online consumers factoring reviews into their purchase decision. As a result of this, if businesses are able to successfully convert members of an influencers community to a member of their brand community, they can potentially gain an advocate for their brand, which can then lead to additional sales. Further research supports that Twitch users are willing to join a brand’s online community, with users being 34% more likely than the average person to want brands to have an active online community.
Additionally, with viewers spending 1.5 hours on Twitch per day, sponsored brands have access to an engaged audience for long periods of time, allowing viewers more time to gain brand recognition and consider making a purchase decision.
With extended periods of access to highly community driven viewers, the use of influencer marketing has the potential to reap high rewards for any business implementing this strategy. Having a concentrated audience of consumers that participate in brand advocacy through word of mouth, can lead to a direct increase on sales and brand awareness.
Together, Generation Z and Millennials make up the largest demographic of consumers, and for brands to survive long term, they need to be at the top of consumers’ minds when they start making purchasing decisions. Gen Z in particular, are viewing less advertisements on traditional media, however, are more loyal to brands than any other demographic. As a significant portion of Twitch users are between 18 to 34, and 21% between 13-17, brands can access these otherwise hard-to-reach consumers.
Some brands have completely embraced Twitch, such as Doritos, who uses influencer marketing on Twitch and integrates it in its promotional strategy to access these hard-to-reach audiences. Through a partnership established in 2018, Doritos and Twitch work together to provide sponsors to influencers with highly engaged audiences as a means to develop long term equity and brand recognition among a younger consumer base that is not viewing many advertisements outside of their online viewing.
Finding the Best Twitch Influencers for Your Brand
To find the most appropriate influencer, companies must consider who their key segments are. In order to ensure the marketing strategy is successful, businesses must target the correct segments. Businesses should take note of several different aspects of Twitch streamers to ensure they find one that matches their brand positioning. For example, the genre of stream should be taken into account as it would be more beneficial for a fast food brand to target a video game streamer with little time to cook over a streamer whose content revolves around cooking at home.
To find a streamer that is relevant to you, there is also the option to choose a genre that has a consumer base you are segmenting, and search for who the highest viewed streamers are within the category. A streamer influencer strategy that does not take into account what type of audience watches the selected influencer has a greater risk of failure, as you may be exposing your brand to an audience that simply doesn’t care about your brand.Despite having the third highest follower count on the entire platform with 9.12 million followers, popular streamer ‘Shroud’ faced overwhelmingly negative reactions for undertaking a sponsorship for the Marvel Entertainment and 20th Century Studios film “The New Mutants.” Just a week after the director of the film had faced a negative public reaction for encouraging people to go the movies during the COVID-19 crisis, Shroud faced criticism for not only promoting a film that his audience was not interested in, but also for promoting going to a cinema during this pandemic. Despite averaging 40,577 viewers during the stream, the film were promoting to an audience that wasn’t interested, and no discernible benefit was achieved.
Implementing an influencer marketing strategy on Twitch should be considered for businesses targeting young, online consumers. With consumers that respond greatly to suggestions provided by their streamers, streamer marketing can be seriously beneficial for relevant products. Investing in a community driven userbase can allow for your brand to gain brand advocates that are willing to promote your product for you, in order to feel part of a community. By leveraging the rapidly growing Twitch audience through an influencer marketing strategy, your brand can reach new online heights.