5 reasons to try Twitch for influencer marketing

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If you’re planning an influencer marketing campaign, Instagram or YouTube might be the first social media channels to come to mind. If you’re not in the gaming space then you might not even be familiar with Twitch, the live streaming platform popular with gamers. Twitch has helped grow the popularity of gaming by making video game content easily accessible to all, but that’s not all, category options on Twitch offer everything from exercise, painting, cooking, and dancing to name a few! Twitch has helped niche topics more accessible to bigger broader audiences, which makes Twitch a very strategic platform for gaming and non-gaming brands alike. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, many people have turned to gaming for entertainment – creating a new captive audience for Twitch streamers (and brands). According to Nielsen, 82% of global consumers watched video game content during the height of the pandemic in 2020. You’ll be convinced to launch your own Twitch influencer strategy with our 5 top reasons to try it out right now. 

The popularity of Twitch is growing

Twitch has seen massive growth and is still on an upward curve. The renewed interest in playing video games as a way to stay entertained at home and spend time with friends and family has generated an influx of new viewers and new streamers on Twitch. There’s been an uptick in the number of viewers, growing from 1.26M average concurrent viewers in 2019 to 2.85M today. This shows brands can reach a big and continuously growing audience of people viewing content on Twitch. Twitch is also attracting more streamers too. The number of monthly broadcasters has grown from 3.64M in 2019 to 6.90M now, helping to increase the number of Twitch channels as well as diversify the content on the channel.  More viewers and more creators on the channel is a great thing for brands who will reach even larger audiences and have a greater choice of streamers to work with, from micro through to macro-influencers. The large volume of users means Twitch is no longer a niche platform, it’s growing in strategic importance for all brands that want to reach a new audience. This brings us to the second reason brands should try Twitch, their audience demographics are more diverse than you think, offering value to all kinds of brands. 

The audience on Twitch is diverse

Twitch has been historically very popular among young men, the typical video gamer demographic. Yet in reality, the gaming audience is much more diverse. The popularity of gaming has attracted people outside the hardcore gamer demographic. It’s no longer only teenage boys that rack up hours playing video games. The gaming enthusiasts of the 80s and 90s have grown up, sharing gaming with their children and partners. Families are opting for video games over board games for games night, and it’s not uncommon for couples to spend date night battling it out in their favorite video game. In fact, even though the 18-34 age range is the most represented among gamers (38%), 34-54 is the second biggest category representing 26% of US gamers according to Statista

It’s important to note too, that the gender split between male and female gamers is evening out too. The majority of gamers are still men, but over 40% of gamers are women, showing their increased interest in the area. This is becoming reflected in Twitch audiences too, as 35% of audiences are women. The rise of popular female Twitch streamers such as Pokimane is also helping to boost the amount of content that appeals to women on the platform. The diversity of the gaming community as a whole means that non-gaming brands with mainstream appeal such as KFC, Hershey’s, and Spotify are utilizing Twitch for their marketing campaigns. 

Twitch influencers have a highly-engaged, loyal community 

There is a huge potential for driving engagements on Twitch. The variety of stream channels within Twitch has helped to create niche communities around their favorite video game or streamer. Watching Twitch streams for many hours builds rapport and loyalty between Twitch streamers and their audience.  Many dedicated viewers choose to donate to their influencers’ chosen charity or buy their merchandise.  These fans are highly engaged with streamers’ content. The trend towards strong engagement is increasing with the number of hours watched growing by 83% in 2020. We know that audiences have boomed on Twitch, and so has content consumption, helping increase engagement rates even further. At the height of the pandemic, the engagement rate on sponsored content from streamers was up 23%.

Live content, one-to-many is more impactful for brands 

Twitch is a platform built entirely around sharing live video content, which sets it apart from other social media channels.  Live video content is hugely popular compared to other content formats. 82% of people would prefer to see live video from brands instead of social posts. The immediacy of live video makes it highly engaging and therefore a hugely beneficial content format for brands to exploit. Twitch is the leading platform when it comes to live video audiences compared to similar platforms like YouTube. Twitch accounts for 72.2% of live content watched.

Brands can create the most impactful content by creating live video as organic content and by working with Twitch streamers.  They are experts at creating interactive live video streams that generate a vast amount of views. If you’re daunted by the thought of creating a live video content strategy for your brand, partnering with a Twitch creator is the best way to reach your audience through this live content format. In addition to the live-stream, Twitch also has a live chat, allowing viewers to interact with streamers in real-time. This feature greatly contributes to the high engagement on the platform. The live chat is where viewers can offer support to streamers, but also ask questions about their gaming set-up or their favorite products. Twitch, therefore, is a great channel for brands to share information about their products indirectly through Twitch influencers via product unboxing videos or in the live chat. 

Image credit: Techcrunch

Marketing with Gaming influencers on Twitch isn’t just for gaming brands 

Brands outside the gaming industry can greatly increase their online reach by tapping into the opportunities on Twitch. As seen above, the gaming audience demographic is diverse, with the potential to match the target audience of all kinds of brands. Food and drink brands have proven very appealing to gaming audiences who appreciate quick snacks and fast-food as a way to refuel during a long gaming session. There are lots of ways for non-gaming brands to run a Twitch influencer campaign. They can raise awareness of their products by running giveaways with a Twitch influencer. Wendy’s the burger chain had success with this type of campaign and teamed up with Twitch streamers to offer discounts and giveaways on a limited edition menu created by streamers. Another way brands can get involved in the gaming scene is by sponsoring streamers. A well-known sponsorship is between Red Bull and Ninja, the most followed Twitch streamer of all time. The partnership even led to personalized Ninja Red Bull cans for fans to buy. 

Outside the food and drink arena, brands like Gillette are also investing hugely in the platform. Their ‘Blades for Bits’ campaign allows viewers to purchase Gillette razors and earn ‘Twitch bits’ – a virtual currency – at the same time. Twitch users can then use their Twitch bits to make donations to their favorite streamers. We know that Twitch viewers are incredibly loyal to the streamers they like, so this campaign taps into the strong relationship between viewers and streamers in a really authentic way. These top examples show that with a little creativity, all kinds of brands,  even brands outside the gaming industry  can achieve success with a Twitch influencer marketing. 

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