Move over, YouTube — gamers have a new platform! Twitch is an interactive gaming site where friends and fans can share their love of humor and gaming — and maybe even make a living. Millions of subscribers log on everyday to see their favorite goofy gamers in action. This sounds great for the gaming community, but it’s also an exciting opportunity for the marketers! High engagement rates, raw material, and constant influencer interaction — think of all the possibilities! We’re excited about this new channel, and you should be too!
Twitch is taking over the video game streaming community — and making its way into the marketing realm. The platform, which has nearly 10 million daily users active on the site, is a way for gamers to stream entertaining gaming videos for their subscribers. This makes it easier for users to reach friends and fans through live interaction, and to foster an engaged and attentive community. The live and interactive nature of the streaming allows for an authentic, trusting connection between influencers and fans, paving the way for effective product promotion. Twitch viewers have an 82% retention rate for purchased games compared to non-viewers who have a 77% retention rate. This could be because influencers play games on Twitch, allowing potential customers to see the game in action before making the decision to buy, thus increasing their satisfaction when they do buy. Or, it could be a result of the most avid gamers being the most likely to be engaging with this platform- either way, it speaks to Twitch’s place in any marketing strategy that looks to leverage a gaming population. High engagement rates on Twitch are another eye-catching advantage for the marketing world.
A large portion of content creators are even making a living on Twitch by creating entertaining videos and interacting with fans and attracting sponsorship from brands. In addition to popular video game promotions, many of the top influencers are sponsored by companies and often promote products during their video stream. Common brand collaborations with Twitch gamers include Razer, Alienware, Old Spice, KFC, Snickers, and Coca-Cola. Larger organizations such as Coca-Cola are involved in sponsorships with the top influencers (yes, these gamers are influencers!) within the gaming platform. Many other brands take advantage of more micro influencer marketing techniques, and are simply mentioned or featured in the gaming live streams.
Since fans make up most of the subscribers to these top and middle tier gaming influencers, with few bots or fake accounts, Twitch streamers have a huge influence. In contrast with other areas of influence like fitness, having millions of subscribers is not necessarily an indication of expertise in a certain game. Often subscribers are interested in an influencer because of the entertainment and interaction level of the game-play.
Pewdiepie is currently one of the most well-known gamers within the community. He reaches over 40 million subscribers composed of about 57% males and 43% females, aged between 17–19, primarily in the US. He is well known for hilarious commentary as he plays through games. In the past, he has worked in partnerships with Disney and Google, and participated in game promotions.
Olajide Olatunji (known as KSI to his 13.5 million subscribers) gained success through humorous commentary while playing games like FIFA for an audience. More than half of his followers are males between 17–19 years old, mostly located in the US and UK. KSI has most recently worked in collaboration with Rule’m Sports, a London based sports YouTube channel.
GAMERS, NOT PLAYERS
Though they may not hosting sponsored soirees in Malibu, or have a perfectly curated grid of nine on Instagram, these gamers should not be overlooked as influencers. Marketers need to be paying attention to Twitch and take advantage of this new opportunity. Buyers are interested in authentic personalities, and Twitch offers that (it’s hard to act fake for hours on end during a live stream)! This authenticity leads to pure and honest content, which is appreciated and trusted by viewers. Consumer trust is immensely important from a brand perspective and is key to having successful influencer collaborations. Since it’s rare for these streamers to change their broadcast for a product, the trick is to find an influencer that is authentically brand-aligned.
Some brands might feel that their image doesn’t correspond with the male-saturated target audience, but not to worry, because Twitch has recently been working on expansion! “Twitch IRL” opens up the the realm of interactive live streaming to all creative video bloggers, from cooking shows to art demonstrations. This expansion will grow the target audience of Twitch to reach even more people, especially females. Moral of the story? Keep your eye on Twitch! And don’t underestimate the power of a guy in sweats, streaming live from his couch!