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15 min read | February 13, 2021

Twitch, the big bet of influencer marketing in 2021

Twitch is by far the king of social media when it comes to live streaming. With over 15 million active daily users who spend over 4.4 billion minutes per month on viewing live streams, Twitch is fast gaining the attention of marketers and brands. Marketers that want to reach out to a new audience are beginning to realize the value of influencer marketing using Twitch. If you haven’t included influencer marketing on Twitch in your marketing strategy, then here is every reason behind why you should. 

Twitch was founded by Justin Kan in 2011. What started off as a way for him to live stream his daily life soon gained the attention of other people who wanted to do the same. In 2014, Twitch was bought by Amazon, and that was the start of Twitch’s journey towards becoming the largest live streaming platform on the internet. 

Live streamers primarily stream video game and eSports content on Twitch. Skilled gamers showcase their talents in front of an enthusiastic audience. A live chatbox, standard with every Twitch stream, allows content creators to directly interact with their audiences

Streaming content created by Twitch streamers tends to be video games.

People who subscribe to different content creators become part of their communities, and can provide donations to their favorite streamers during the streams. Twitch is different from video content platforms like YouTube, in that only live streams are available on Twitch. 

For brands and marketers, this provides the opportunity to create unique marketing content that can resonate with viewers. Viewers on Twitch tend to be very supportive of their favorite content creators, making it a lucrative influencer marketing platform for brands that find the right influencer to collaborate with. 

How Does Twitch Compare With Its Competitors? 

Platforms like YouTube have a diverse audience that react to a huge variety of video content. Twitch is more focused on video gaming and eSports content, although other genres like music and DIY are also beginning to gain traction. 

Twitch varies its streamer-created content to music, fashion, beauty, cooking...

Where Twitch really stands out is in the kind of users that visit the website. In 2017, over 80% of all Twitch users were male. Out of these, 55% were between the ages of 18 and 34. 

By Q2 2019, these numbers had changed significantly. Data from the second quarter of 2019 shows that around 65% of users were male and 35% of users were women. At this time, data from non-binary users was not available. 73% users were between the ages of 16 and 34. 

So gender equality was on the cards for Twitch, and as people gained more awareness about the platform, more users from both genders joined. But what’s more important here is the average age of all users using viewing content on Twitch. Users and content creators alike tend to be overwhelmingly Centennials and GenZers. 

The year 2020 was a huge year for Twitch. During Q2 2020, users watched 5.07 billion hours of content, a rise of nearly 3.11 billion hours from the first quarter. Twitch controlled nearly 67.6% of the total market share when it came to live streaming. 

Centennials: Twitch’s Big Audience 

It’s no surprise that Centennials and GenZers are the biggest users on the platform. Even today, Twitch continues to dominate content when it comes to video game streaming and eSports competition. However, in 2020, Twitch witnessed a 385% year-on-year increase in views for music and other performing arts

Games, music, online connections and instant engagement – Twitch offers everything Centennials and GenZers want when it comes to social media. 

The agglomeration of Centennials on the platform opens doors to a target audience with disposable income. This is perfect for brands that want to increase sales and build a loyal consumer base. That users enjoy spending their disposable income on content they resonate with is seen through the donations they make towards their favorite content creators. 

Around  80% users approve of brand sponsorships, and 64% of users purchase products recommended to them by Twitch personalities. This shows that influencer marketing on Twitch has huge potential on this social media platform. 

Influencer marketing on Twitch is just beginning to gain traction, with a majority of marketers yet unaware of what this social media platform has to offer. Now is the time to leverage the real estate on Twitch, and launch successful influencer marketing campaigns together with the massively influential content creators on the platform. 

Marketing in Twitch: Where Do You Start and What You Should Do 

Marketing on Twitch is slightly different than other video content platforms. Live streaming is the only way content creators can share content. This doesn’t leave room for pre-recorded videos or sponsored ads.

However, there are various alternatives you can use to increase brand awareness using this social network.

Influencer marketing will be the core part of your Twitch marketing strategy. Many influencers, both top and micro-influencers have subscribers who are hyper-engaged. Twitch doesn’t have an algorithm that promotes new content to users. Users are mainly notified when creators they’ve already subscribed to share new content. 

Collaboration with influencers will be at the heart of your Twitch marketing strategy.

This means that if you want to scale your brand using this social network, then approaching an influencer is the fastest way to get there. 

Pre-roll, mid-roll and end of stream advertising is done by the influencer themselves, by integrating a brand’s products or services into the live stream. This can be done in various ways: 

  • Shoutouts: Here, streamers talk about a brand’s products or services, promote their benefits and inspire their audiences to make purchases from the brand. 

  • Giveaways: Influencers can share codes and discounts from brands that let their audiences sample the products and services on offer.

  • Unboxing: Usefor for tangible products, live streamers can unbox promotional products during their streams and showcase the product to a live audience. 

  • On-stream Product Placements: Here, streamers can showcase brand logos, use products from a certain brand, and inspire their audiences to buy the showcased products by ‘leading the way’. 

  • Info Section: Every Twitch stream has an Info Section where the content creator can provide important information. This section can also be used to promote products from brands and businesses. 

Aside from these, Twitch Pulse provides another opportunity for brands and marketers to promote their products and services on Twitch. Twitch Pulse is where live streamers share updates and information related to their content. Pulse can be used as a platform where influencers who are collaborating with brands can share details and updates on the products and services they are promoting giving more transparency to their collaborations.

Influencer Marketing in Twitch 

The first step towards influencer marketing on Twitch is finding the right streamer to collaborate with. The influencer your brand chooses should have: 

  1. Followers and subscribers 
  2. Be regularly active 
  3. Have high audience engagement rates 

The exact number of followers isn’t always a good way to identify the right influencer to collaborate with. Accounts with large numbers of subscribers but low audience engagement won’t increase conversions towards your brand. At the same time, a smaller account with regular audience engagement can increase lead conversions. 

When you’re looking at influencers who can promote your brand, you need to identify people who’ve developed trust and community with their audiences. 

Aside from the influencer themselves, these are other key areas you should consider:

  • Genre: Within the live streaming community on Twitch, there are multiple genres you can choose from. Some genres include MOBAs, MMORPGs, and Action-Adventure games. These tend to draw the largest number of viewers. But depending on your brand and the product or service you intend to promote, choosing an influencer from a different genre might be necessary. Here, you can also find leisure games, DIYs, music, cooking and other kinds of content creators as well.

  • Target Audience: Are the users who are following a certain influencer likely to buy from your brand? 

  • Average Concurrent Viewership: How many users watch that influencer’s videos and how many engage with them? Low numbers in both areas can be a warning sign. 

  • Viewer Sentiment: How do users respond to the influencer? You can follow the influencer’s live chatbox to see how users interact with them, and discover whether or not they’ll be the right fit for your brand. 

Once you find your influencer of choice, the rest of the steps are similar to how you would collaborate with influencers on other platforms – like YouTube or Instagram. 

You can contact the streamer via mail, then sign a contract with them. After this, send them details of your brand as well as creative ideas on how you want your brand to be promoted. 

How Brands Have Used Twitch So Far 

From Gillette, to Wendy’s, brands aren’t new to influencer marketing using Twitch. And that’s exactly why now is the time to promote your brand on the platform. 

Here is what you should know about influencer marketing on Twitch: 

  1. Set Marketing Goals: These should be achievable and time-bound. Don’t have vague goals, but instead, state that you want X number of subscribers or X number is sales within a certain time period. By keeping yourself time-bound, you can focus on reaching your target. Setting specific goals also lets you measure your performance after the campaign.

  2. Understand the Average Twitch User: Users on Twitch appreciate sponsored content, but they don’t like to be directly marketed to. You need to be creative in how you approach them. Entertainment takes top priority on Twitch, and this extends to promotional material as well.

  3. Active Interaction: You can also directly interact with users. This is a tactic Wendy has used successfully in 2020, when they launched their Animal Crossing live streaming campaign. 

Wendy's running influencer marketing campaign on Twitch

Called the ‘Choppin’ Trees and Free Deliveries’ campaign, Wendy’s asked users to watch them live stream on Twitch. In the bottom left, free delivery codes from PostMates and GrubHub were made available so that users don’t have to leave their homes while watching the streams. 

Animal Crossing doing an influencer marketing campaign on Twitch

Fast food giants Wendy’s also conducted another creative marketing campaign, this time together with gaming giants Fortnite. When Fortnite announced a new game mode ‘Food Fight’, they set up a ‘Team Burgers’ versus ‘Team Pizza’s event. 

Fornite running an influencer marketing campaign on Twitch

Wendy’s chimed in with their ‘Keeping Fortnite Fresh’ campaign where they raised awareness on the drawbacks of eating preserved meat. 

UberEats is another company that creatively utilized influencer marketing on Twitch.

UberEats running influencer marketing campaign on Twitch

When UberEats realised that top influencer Ninja had just purchased Quiznos from them, they immediately challenged him. While his delivery was arriving, he was challenged to get as many kills as he could. 

In return for every kill, UberEats would provide a 1% discount to his subscribers. He got a 25% discount for his subscribers that day. And the response was so great, that UberEats had to limit their three day code availability to a single day. 

Twitch, the social network of the moment

Twitch is expected to be  worth $20 billion by 2021. And many brands know this. The real estate on Twitch will soon be saturated by marketers from all sectors and industries. 

Why not turn to Twitch before that happens and make use of the time available?. You’ll get access to the best influencers, and get the time to find audiences that resonate with your products and service. By the time other marketers come around to including Twitch in their strategies, your brand will already be established on the platform. 

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