Influencing Beyond Social Platforms
Influencer marketing is all the rage these days as marketers flock to popular social media platforms hoping to partner with content creators who have significant followings to promote their products, often extremely cost effectively. All it takes is a single image feature, and suddenly tens of thousands, or even millions of like-minded people have seen your product.
Well-known platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube are, of course, the go-tos for influencer marketing. But there are other niche platforms out there with enormous potential often overlooked by those not in the know. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses the untapped potential of influencer marketing in the gaming industry and how Twitch could be more effective than other major platforms.
What The Heck Is Twitch?
Twitch is a video game streaming platform owned by Amazon. Founded in 2011, it has since blown up to become the go-to hub for video game streaming, easily competing with both YouTube and Facebook. The site can be accessed across any next-generation gaming consoles, PC, or even mobile. According to Wikipedia, as of 2018 Twitch has 2.2 million monthly broadcasters, 100 million monthly users, and 15 million daily users. Of those broadcasters, 27,000 accounts are part of the Twitch Partner Program, based on high viewership. 73% of Twitch users are between the ages of 18 and 49.
If you're under the age of 30, no further explanation is likely needed because the site has become so ingrained in Millennial and Gen Z vernacular. For those not in the know, however: essentially, people who play video games stream themselves playing for viewers who just enjoy watching, or are seeking tips on how to improve their own skills. Viewers can see the streamers, as well as their screen at any given time.
Popular streamers often have uniquely entertaining personalities that gain them sizable followings. They play current popular competitive games like Overwatch, Fortnite, PUBG, or Apex, sometimes have film/music celebrity guest appearances, and even win major industry content creator awards for their streaming accomplishments. Niche streamers are equally popular for playing specific, less mainstream games, or for streams targeted at specific groups like female gamers.
No, The Gaming Industry Is Not Too Niche
If the video game industry seems too niche for you, keep in mind that the gaming industry generated $135 billion in 2018, compared to Hollywood's $42.4 billion. There are many, many genres of video games out there, from major AAA to indie publishers, which attract an immense variety of players and viewers from around the world. While most streamers are everyday people, many are also professional eSports athletes with correlating fan followings on par with their NFL or other counterparts.
eSports alone draws in more than 300 million viewers around the globe, and is slated to be a billion dollar industry in its own right within the next couple years. Just recently, Coca-Cola signed on as an official sponsor of the Overwatch League, joining other major companies like Mercedes Benz, Mountain Dew, Red Bull, and of course, a slew of tech giants like Intel and Comcast.
Twitch is Ubiquitous
Needless to say, there's big money involved. But for those seeking the cost-effective benefits of influencer marketing, Twitch is an excellent option. Gamers are, in fact, real people with regular, everyday lives and responsibilities, so there's little reason to think Twitch marketing should be limited to tech giants and junk foods. And there are plenty of streamers at all tiers of popularity to meet any budget's needs.
As Twitch itself says, Twitch is ubiquitous. If you understand the games and the people who play them, you could find a market for just about anything, as you would on any major social media platform. Gamers, though, are a truly passionate bunch, so if you're looking for a following, why not start with one?
Twitch Partner Ads and Beyond
Twitch influencer marketing works largely the same way as on any social media site, and is viewed generally favorably since many gamers recognize how it supports the industry. When partnering with an official Twitch partner streamer, though, you also have the option to run pre, mid, and post-roll ads, or commercials every 8 minutes. Viewers watching freely cannot opt out of ads unless they pay for subscriptions. The fees are then split between the streamer and Twitch.
Even if you don't want to go down the same route as the likes of Kellogs Krave, Duracell, KFC, and Old Spice, though, there are still tons of other ways to get creative with your Twitch marketing approaches. If Twitch still just isn't up your alley, many popular streamers spread out across platforms, so you can easily find them and their following on Instagram or elsewhere. Some even prefer to stream primarily on Facebook, to similar success. But if you're looking for new opportunities to better target Millennials and Gen Z, there's quite possibly no better place to be than on Twitch itself.
The Next Steps
Want to learn more about how brands and marketers have utilized video games to their advantage and leveraged exposure? Check out some other blog posts we've written on effective marketing in or related to video games...
- Video Game Partnerships With Influencer Gamers
- NBA Video Game Product Placement in ESports League
- Video Game Product Placement In Film And TV
- Movies Based On Video Games Have Massive Brand Partnership Potential
Want to determine if your brand is ready to begin influencer marketing? Downnload our free influencer calendar to learn more about influencer pricing!