Not heard of Twitch? If your business has a presence on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and/or TikTok, here’s yet another social media platform you need to add to your marketer’s toolbox.
Amazon bought Twitch – previously a gaming platform – in 2014. Before 2014, console-bound youngsters uploaded live streams for Twitch gaming audiences in order to teach and entertain. Now, every possible how-to and lifestyle tip can be found on this top advertising and influencer network. Google Play statistics show that Twitch Livestream Multiplayer Games & Esports app has been downloaded over 100,000,000 times on Android devices. The App Store preview – Twitch: Live Game Streaming – provides 1.3 million mostly positive ratings.
For marketers, Twitch is an opportunity to connect with a global over-13 audience. TwitchTracker tells us that just under 3 million average viewers access the app to watch and interact with over 122,000 channels at any given moment (Feb. 2021). When the platform was first taken over by Amazon, viewers numbered a few hundred thousand. By the end of 2021 (and with a huge lockdown spike), these had nearly reached the 3 million mark. Twitch partners (as opposed to Twitch affiliates – see later) have nearly tripled during this time; channels have multiplied twelve-fold and monthly broadcaster numbers have increased from 1.5 to 6.9 million. If your company isn’t already using Twitch within its marketing capabilities, why on earth not?
The reason why is usually to do with this platform’s gaming reputation. If you’re not selling entertainment software, why bother?
When it comes to Twitch, the keyword is community. You can’t say YouTube users are a community – its users are frighteningly diverse and the equivalent of undifferentiated traffic. The gaming reputation of Twitch – less so now – has made it a close-knit group of individuals. In addition, they can escape many of the sometimes irritating features of larger, more diverse platforms. You won’t find sponsored links on Twitch and you won’t find personalised feed pushes, either. Broadcasting pre-recorded videos are a no-no. That’s why signing contracts with specific influencers is Twitch marketing 101. The community spirit of this platform tends to make followers much more loyal, too.
Twitch demographics are quite niche. Most users are males under 35 years of age. About a quarter of all users watch live sport streams (esports). When you are looking for a way to attract male leads, Twitch offers an ideal opportunity – as long as you sign up worthy influencers. Even so, the ratio of male to female users is narrowing, but most are still in the under-35s age group. Just under a quarter of users are from the US. Other top countries are Germany, Russia, Canada, Brazil, South Korea, and France. This means that for Brexit businesses now unable to trade with overseas locations due to higher shipping costs, this marketing channel is often left undiscovered. Twitch might not have yet caught the full imagination of the UK audience, but even so user numbers are rising steadily. Perhaps Twitch will produce a post-Brexit solution for some local businesses in terms of early-bird influencer contracts.
Social Media Traffic
Website traffic providers are also starting to incorporate Twitch users in their social media packages. While no business can blatantly sponsor links on the platform, influencers can encourage their followers to sign up on website traffic provider domains and broadcast their website ads during streaming breaks.
These massive networks then group Twitch visitors into social media, gaming, music and other specific platform-related niches and forward them on to the companies that order them.
A paid social media traffic package in tandem with the cooperation of multiple influencers will help your brand stand out in terms of brand awareness (advertising), brand loyalty (influencer), SERPs (the more traffic to your site, the higher the search engine ranking), and engagement (correct niche). Unsure of which traffic provider to trust? Go to Web Master Reviews for star-rated breakdowns of the best website traffic for sale providers. Alternatively, tried-and-tested and reputable traffic providers include Web Traffic Experts and Web Traffic Geeks – both offer roughly the same specifications in terms of number of selectable niches, pricing plans, and geolocations and have supplied traffic to businesses across the globe for many years.
Influence, Influence, Influence
Finding the right influencer(s) also requires a third-party service (or a lot of research). Ensure you take advantage of all languages your website is translated into (and, of course, the languages of those countries you trade with). Influencer matching is big business and the best results are found via paid services; however, using your own marketing department to find gamer influencers prepared to talk about your product or brand might be the better – although not necessarily the cheaper – option. Using sites like Statista, you can find the leading Twitch influencers for different locations around the globe. While the majority are gamers, you will also come across those who focus on music, lifestyle, creativity, and DIY, for example.
Getting the attention of a fresh audience through your choice(s) of influencer is done through live feeds. Practically every Twitch user interacts through live chats. As a gaming influencer plays, for example, she or he will answer live questions from followers and talk about products they have used (or been asked to use by marketing departments). This means that the advertising skills of the influencer as well as the loyalty or their followers counts. Influencers also run regular ad breaks during streams in order to disable pre-rolls for incoming viewers. If a streamer puts on a 30-second ad, for the next ten minutes new viewers will not have to view an ad before getting access to the stream. A 60-second break disables pre-rolls for 20 minutes; 90 second ads for 30 minutes. Getting a top influencer to show your 90-second, on-trend, exciting and relevant ad might, therefore, not be as hard as you think. Send them something boring, however, and you will probably lose them followers.
Genre should also be taken into account if using gamer influencers, along with audience numbers, daily live activity and viewer sentiment. Furthermore, your type of advertising needs to match influencer style, energy, creativity, and enthusiasm. As with any social media platform, the higher up the top list the influencer, the higher the cost to your marketing department. Contracts can be expensive. Mixing one or two high-flyers with larger numbers of extremely active new streamers with lesser followings might be a more cost-effective alternative. And as these active streamers take off, your brand might be taken with them – ensure longer-term collaboration terms are part of the contract.
Twitch Alternatives and Accounts
Twitch alternatives exist with some coming close to being true competitors but these rarely ban sponsored ads, meaning influencer collaboration – although important – is not crucial. Platforms such as Facebook Gaming, the everlasting YouTube and Smashcast will allow your own pre-recorded advertisements. If you want to take advantage of dedicated Twitch affiliates, you’ll need to let go of the more traditional marketing methods and put your brand in the hands of a gamer, styler, cook, DIYer or other online professional. What is reassuring is that a Twitch affiliate has to do the legwork. They have to broadcast at least 500 minutes spread over 7 or more broadcast days in the last 30 days, with an average of 3 concurrent viewers. Every affiliate must have a minimum of 50 followers. This means proper scheduling, time and dedication from affiliates – something you have to search for on other streaming platforms. One-off broadcasts won’t work on Twitch. Another important piece of information is that new affiliates find it hard to keep up with Twitch regulations unless they have an active social media presence on other networks such as Twitter. Only by advertising their live feeds can they attain that 3 concurrent view average that stops many of the wannabes after the first 30 sign-up days. Find lesser-known influencers with at least 3 months on the Twitch clock and you know they have the sticking power your marketing department must insist upon.
Twitch affiliates are usually working toward becoming Twitch partners, where requirements are not very clear but the higher monetization is attractive. Partners must stream for at least 25 hours over a minimum 12 days per 30 days with an average of 75 concurrent viewers. Twitch then reviews partner applications and are renowned for being very picky. Money is earned through subscriptions and shares in advertising revenue. However, the community seems to feel that partners are big businesses rather than individuals streaming their skills on live TV. You are better off advertising with a few affiliates than with a single Twitch partner.
Add Twitch in 2021
Social media networks should be part of marketing strategies throughout 2021, as should visual media. While Twitch isn’t the go-to streaming platform for the masses, its users do make up massive numbers that US and European businesses focussing on the under 35 years old people should not miss out on. If your customers fit the Twitch niche, it’s high time you started influencing a reliable, dedicated, characterful influencer.