Twitch marketing represents a growing opportunity for brands to get seen and heard by a young, passionate audience. Need the 411 on exactly what Twitch is and how to make it work for your business? We’ve got you covered.
Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.
What is Twitch?
Twitch is an online video streaming platform that allows creators to live stream content to a dedicated audience. Owned by Amazon, Twitch lets creators chat with their viewers during a live stream via Twitch chat, making for an engaging experience. If you’re having trouble understanding the concept, think of Twitch as a cool combination of live TV and social media.
As of December 2021, the platform boasts over 7.5 million active streamers, with video game streaming and eSports the most popular content for creators to broadcast to their followers. The company currently dominates online game streaming with over 72% of the market share in terms of viewership, beating out intense competition from YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming.
Video games and eSports aren’t for everyone. But, don’t worry. More people are using the platform to stream other types of content, including:
So, however small your niche, there’s likely a community on Twitch ready to be marketed to.
What is Twitch marketing?
The most common form of marketing on Twitch is influencer marketing. The strategy is very similar to good ‘ol regular influencer marketing. The main difference is that promotions and tie-ins are live-streamed instead of distributed through pre-made videos or photos.
How to market on Twitch: 3 methods
Marketing on Twitch is in its early stages, but that doesn’t mean that brands haven’t already started jumping on the channel to raise awareness for their business.
With video games and live eSports streaming the most popular content, you might be thinking, “how can I market on Twitch and make this channel work for me?” Well, buckle up for the ride because we’re about to tell you.
Twitch is home to thousands of live streamers, including some who have racked up millions of dedicated followers. This makes Twitch the perfect place for influencer marketing or partnerships.
Brands can reach out to high-performing streamers and ask about collaborations. Typically, a creator will promote the brand on a live stream to their audience. Remember that your Twitch influencer marketing strategy is going out live, making for endless possibilities to showcase your product or service. Types of common collabs’ include brand shoutouts, sweepstakes, giveaways, and product unboxings.
84% of Twitch users believe showing support for creators is an important part of the experience, and 76% appreciate brands that help their favorite streamers achieve success, so the potential for a return on investment is huge.
Not only does Twitch have the ability for you to get your brand in front of an engaged audience, partnering with popular streamers will add a personal touch to your campaigns. And because the demographics on Twitch skew toward the younger side (73% of users are under 34), influencer marketing is a great way to promote your brand authentically—helping you reach the elusive Gen-Z audience who favor genuine and authentic marketing vs. being sold to.
4 quick tips for successful Twitch influencer marketing
Work with the right streamer
Partner with influencers that align with your brand. For example, if you’re looking to promote a new caffeine drink, working with a video game streamer makes perfect sense. On the flip side, partnering with a chess player doesn’t quite add up to a successful influencer campaign because the product doesn’t match the streamer’s content.
Assess follower count
Make sure you partner with Twitch streamers who have a large follower count; otherwise, your product placement might not get seen by many people.
Consider broadcast frequency
Work with streamers who have a regular broadcasting strategy. These creators typically have a more loyal follower base who will be more open to hearing about your brand and engaging with the streamer.
Think about communication
A big part of Twitch is the ability for the streamer and viewers to communicate through Twitch Chat. Analyze whether your potential streamer is active in the chat and has a community feel to their channel. This will make it easier for you to understand how viewers and potential customers interact with the channel and whether it’s a good fit for your campaigns.
Want to diversify your company ad budget and try a new channel? Try running an ad campaign on Twitch. Brands can run two types of ads on Twitch: banners and in-video ads to help increase brand awareness.
Video ads on Twitch can only be shown on specific Twitch channels, and the streamer must be a Twitch Partner to enable them to run ads on their channel. Ads can be shown before the stream kicks off, during the middle of the broadcast, or at the end of streaming.
Remember that viewers watching Twitch streams are there to be entertained, so make sure your ads are lighthearted, upbeat, and engaging. Twitch isn’t the place for serious themes or heavy, emotional content.
Creating your own branded channel on Twitch is another excellent way to increase brand exposure and awareness. Fast-food chain Wendy’s is a brilliant example of creating a channel and taking up valuable space on Twitch.
Use your branded channel to host weekly live streams with your customers (or potential customers!) or host exclusive events for followers to tune in to. You could even hold live in-person interviews with key stakeholders and have them discuss what’s coming up in the future for your company.
Branded channels allow you to create a sense of community and FOMO. By hosting or streaming content exclusively on Twitch and not elsewhere on other channels or platforms, you’re introducing a fear amongst your customers that they might miss out on what your brand has to offer and say.
How much does Twitch marketing cost?
The cost of Twitch marketing will entirely depend on the type of campaign you want to run. For example, partnering with a popular streamer on an influencer campaign could set you back a lot of money, but testing a few pre-roll ads wouldn’t be as expensive.
Is Twitch good for business?
There are advantages and disadvantages of using Twitch for marketing campaigns. Here, we’ve outlined a few of them to help you decide whether Twitch marketing is right for you.
Get ahead of the (video) game
Not many brands have jumped on the Twitter marketing bandwagon… yet. As a result, the marketing landscape on Twitch is pretty sparse, making for plenty of space to test new marketing strategies and ideas. And you know what they say, if you don’t try, you’ll never know!
Conversely, because Amazon owns Twitch, there could be potential in the future for ecommerce tie-ins. So, it will pay to jump on the Twitch bandwagon now and get a head start on your competition—especially if you’re a direct-to-consumer brand.
Expand your reach
If you’re looking to tap into new audiences, Twitch might be the platform for you. For example, to increase awareness of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the U.S. House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) hosted a video game live stream to help her reach younger audiences who may not be familiar with or interested in politics.
Anyone want to play Among Us with me on Twitch to get out the vote? (I’ve never played but it looks like a lot of fun)
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 19, 2020
This brilliant strategy helped AOC expand her reach, and the event became one of the platform’s most successful streams, with over 430,000 viewers turning into the event. Not bad for playing video games for three hours.
Understand younger audiences
Want to really know what goes on in the world of Gen-Z? Hop on a Twitch channel and spend some time listening to and reading messages in Twitch chat. Because Twitch’s demographics lean toward the under 34s, this makes the platform a valuable resource to gain insights into a younger generation and what makes them tick.
Position your brand as authentic
Is there anything more authentic than a live stream? The format leaves no room for error and because the stream is shown in real-time, this makes for an incredibly authentic experience. So if you value your brand coming across as down-to-earth and modern, it might be worth exploring Twitch as a marketing tool.
Generate engagement and community
Community is everything to win big on social. Creating a branded channel will help you build a dedicated community and generate engagement as you can interact directly with your audience through Twitch Chat. You can also use a tool such as Stream Hatchet to search through Twitch Chat for positive sentiments about your brand and campaign.
Be part of a high-growth channel
Twitch has seen obscene amounts of growth, thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the platform boasted 660 billion minutes of watched content. Fast-forward to 2021, that number has jumped to 1460 billion minutes—a massive increase as more people looked for new ways to be entertained during the pandemic.
Blink, and you miss it
Audiences usually only watch streams once. There’s no action replay because everything is streamed live (obviously!). So, if your target viewer misses your product placement or advertisement, your opportunity and campaign budget is wasted.
Analytics has a way to go
Twitch analytics is great for creators and Twitch partners, but there’s still some way to go before you can use the platform’s built-in features to understand the success of your campaigns.
Top Twitch marketing examples in 2022
Not even Twitch is safe from Colonel Sander’s secret blend of eleven herbs and spices. KFC partnered with popular streamer DrLupo to give away $20 gift cards and promote the chicken company’s succulent wings. DrLupo and other established streamers played PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and ran an interactive live stream contest. Winner winner chicken dinner, indeed!
Influencer marketing agency The Out Loud Group works with GrubHub on various campaigns to help generate orders for the food delivery service.
In April 2021, Out Loud ran a campaign called Feeding Frenzy which saw GrubHub partner with streamers in the League of Legends eSports organization. Two teams of five players played against each other over a weekend, with streamers promoting GrubHub. The food delivery company had a partnership with the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant to give people a discount when they order, plus a free item in game for League of Legends.
The result? An uptick in orders for GrubHub and a volume of positive sentiments about the brands in Twitch Chat.
Out Loud’s Gaming Manager, Steve Wiseman, said, “delivery food service goes hand in hand with streamers… but I don’t think any brand should shy away from using Twitch for marketing. The platform is wide open for brands and wide open for audiences, with so many different types of streams on Twitch happening every day”.
Twitch marketing isn’t just for food brands. For example, Japanese car company Lexus partnered with Fuslie, a streamer with over one million followers, to let viewers vote on modifications and customize a version of its 2021 IS sedan. Over 23,000 viewers used a poll to vote on what they wanted to see in the new sedan, including games consoles, a 3D controller, lights, and car wrap.
As Twitch continues to grow and dominate the online streaming space, smart brands should wake up to the fact that there’s a young, passionate audience to stream and engage with your business.