Elements Of A Twitch Marketing Campaign
New to Twitch? Check out A Marketer’s Guide To Twitch for a quick primer.
While live-streaming media may not be a new concept (television and radio have been doing it for years), the evolution of technology has ushered in an era where fans not only watch media, they want to be a part of the creation of it as well. Twitch is a multi-hour, interactive social experience that can be joined and left at any time, and to think of it as YouTube would be comparable to marketers thinking they should simply use the same tactics in television that worked for radio. They might not be wrong, but they waste the potential of the new medium.
Although many of the traditional methods of marketing (product placement, banners, co-branding, etc) work on Twitch with varying levels of success, they often ignore the fact that Twitch is not passive, pre-recorded content. To be most effective, campaigns should tap into the interactive nature of Twitch, the fact that it is long-form content, and the direct ‘celebrity’ to fan connection.
Elements of a Twitch Marketing Campaign
A Common Goal — There is nothing viewers love more than feeling like they have reached a goal together. Quantify a behavior you’d like to see in your audience (certain number of tweets with a brand hashtag, clicks of a button on a website, etc) and have the streamer include an overlay on their stream with a progress meter. Bonus points if there is a reward when the fanbase reaches the goal.
Rituals — Since streams are hours long, they tend to have repetitive elements. Associate your brand with those moments (coupons in the chat for a celebratory product when the streamer hits a new record, send the streamer free product when he beats a game, etc). Become the new digital Gatorade Victory Shower.
Social Validation (Celebrity/Streamer) — Fans go crazy whenever a celebrity tweets at them or likes their Instagram post, and Twitch allows that type of validation in real time. Streamers regularly reply to comments in chat, or thank viewers on-stream whenever they subscribe, and that type of social validation could be used to encourage most behaviors. The streamer could thank the user on stream for signing up for something, purchasing a product, or completing any brand-defined action.
Give Them Agency — Viewers love feeling like they are able to control parts of the stream. Allow viewers to vote on what happens to the streamer, or sponsor certain rewards or consequences based on fan behavior on external social media channels in order to bring the activation beyond Twitch. This is very similar to Common Goal, but allows for rival factions and multiple outcomes.
Part of a Larger Moment/Watching History Be Made — Fans watch Twitch because they want to feel like they are a part of something larger than themselves, otherwise YouTube videos of the content would suffice. Boost this feeling by posting on social media about the key highlights as they happen, and include Twitch Clips to encourage others to join the experience.
Regardless of the tactic chosen, make sure you work directly with the streamer and that your choices align naturally with the values of the community. There are ways to include brands and products that will make sense to the fanbase, and the streamer will be able to give you the best advice on what will be received well, whether it be a bot in the chat with coupons, an extension, or any other creative ideas the streamer may have.
The Evolution Of Twitch
Twitch is still developing as a platform, and the tactics described above are simply starting points that could be adapted to a variety of streamers or types of content. The key is to be aware of how viewers use the site, rather than simply feeding them prerecorded, static content. Twitch is defined just as much by how the fans and streamers use the platform as it is by the content streamed on it.
Alicen Lewis is a digital strategist who spends too much time thinking about technology, gaming, and what she should have for dinner tonight.