Twitch is the world’s largest online video game streaming platform, known for captivating audiences through live content. The platform is driven by real-time engagement, and community participation, which means there is a lot of potential for brands to tap into, and grow within the live stream market.
Twitch marketing can help brands expand their reach to new, more diverse, audiences. Twitch is also a great platform for brands looking to create a sense of community, and really get to know their consumers.
Here’s our guide to Twitch marketing in 2023.
What is Twitch?
In its own words, Twitch is a place for millions of people to come together every day to chat, interact, and make their own entertainment together. Twitch is a major social media platform that specializes in live streaming and gaming. Esports competitions, music broadcasts, gaming playthroughs, live events, and IRL (in real life) are frequently watched genres on the platform.
How does Twitch work?
Twitch is powered by live stream video broadcasts that are focused towards video games, esports, music, talk shows, and even cooking. Twitch enables streamers to broadcast their live gameplay, or other creative content, to viewers. A streamer’s content can be found, and watched, via their channel.
Streamers and viewers can interact in real-time within a live broadcast using Twitch’s chat integration. Chat can be used for discussions, asking questions, and interacting with the streamer’s community.
Twitch offers a subscription system called “Twitch subscriptions” or “Twitch subs”, which enables viewers to support content creators financially. Subscribers pay a monthly fee to gain benefits like ad-free viewing, exclusive emotes, badges, and access to subscriber-only chat. Viewers of live broadcasts can also donate money directly to streamers as a form of support using “Bits” – a virtual currency that viewers can purchase and use to tip creators.
For discoverability, Twitch categories its content into different categories to help viewers find the content they’re most interested in. From the home page, viewers can browse popular categories, search for specific games or creators, or explore recommended content based on their interests.
The Twitch audience
Twitch’s primary audience consists of gamers, and gaming enthusiasts. However, Twitch has a much more diverse viewership than just gamers.
The rise of non-endemic brands on Twitch highlights a growing shift within the platform’s viewership. NYX Cosmetics are one of many beauty brands that have seamlessly integrated with Twitch. For its Pride 2023 campaign, #GameOutLoud, NYX partnered with LGBTQ+ gamers to host a series of live streams, as well as setting up ‘safe spaces’ at TwitchCon Paris. Check out our blog on the top Pride 2023 social media marketing campaigns.
Inclusion in both the beauty and gaming industries is likely to increase as more brands, like NYX Professional Makeup, provide cosmetic offerings across Twitch. This could help break down the toxic idea that both subjects should be gendered and kept separate. Despite the fact that 50% of gamers in the US are female, gaming is still seen as a predominantly male activity, with 60% of Americans believing that most video game players are men.
What is Twitch marketing?
Twitch marketing refers to strategies and activities taken by brands looking to advertise on the platform. Twitch, like other major social networks, provides a number of ways for brands to engage with its community:
- Influencer marketing: Brands can partner with Twitch streamers to promote its products or services. This can be done by sponsoring streams, product placements, and endorsements.
- Sponsored events and tournaments: Brands have found success on Twitch by sponsoring or organizing live events. Just look at the success of Twitch’s recent influencer boxing event, La Valeda 3, in which top streamer Ibai Llanos broke the concurrent viewer record.
- Branded content: Brands often engage Twitch audiences by creating custom content that aligns with the community’s interests, and integrating brand messaging. We see this frequently through sponsored segments, giveaways, and interactive experiences that encourage real-time engagements.
- Paid advertising: Twitch has a number of paid ad formats available on its platform. Brands can leverage these formats, appearing frequently throughout a creator stream, and encouraging viewers to take personalized actions such as signing up for a unique offer.
Tips for successful Twitch marketing
We’ve been running successful Twitch marketing campaigns for over eight years. Here are some of our top tips for Twitch marketing success:
Consider the Twitch audience demographics
For Twitch marketing to be successful, brands must first define their target audience. As we mentioned earlier, Twitch is home to a diverse audience, highlighting how gaming is no longer just a “boys’ pastime.”
Who that target audience is depends upon the brand, and its goals. Brands looking to tap into traditional gaming verticals, may look to invest in a live event, hosted by a popular gaming streamer, Shroud for example. Non-endemic brands might look to tap into Twitch’s established ‘Just Chatting’ genre, sponsoring creators like Adin Ross, who have cultivated the talk-show style Twitch space.
Find the right influencers
Like choosing a new pair of shoes, partnering with influencers is not a one-size-fits-all narrative. Each influencer has their own audience, within that audience lie a set of values, interests, and expectations. For example, top streamers like Ibai Llanos work great for live events, and gaming sponsorships because he commands a vast audience, and has earned his stripes creating this kind of content. However, a partnership with a beauty brand would likely not reap the same results, as this would not align with the creator, or audiences’, interests or expectations.
Imagine walking around with a pair of shoes that are two sizes too small… The same applies to influencer partnerships. Brands must work with creators that are the right fit for them.
Interact with your audience
Audience engagement is a vital part of any social media strategy, and equally an important part of what makes Twitch marketing tick.
Brands can build a presence on Twitch by actively engaging with streamers and viewers, hosting live Q&A sessions, or sponsoring community-driven events. Brands actively engaging their audience can expect to see a rise in the number of consumers heading to brand channels, and showing an affinity for the brand.
Remember to entertain first
Audiences on Twitch seek entertainment above all else. Viewers expect engaging content from streamers, which means brands need to uphold the same standards. Whether a brand’s creative brief revolves around skilled gameplay, engaging storytelling, or unique experiences, it must have the capacity to keep viewers engaged for longer periods.
The benefits of Twitch marketing
There are a lot of benefits to Twitch marketing, especially for brands and content creators. Here are some of the key advantages of marketing on Twitch:
Expand your reach
Twitch currently has 140 million monthly active users, and the live nature of the platform keeps viewers engaged for long periods at a time.
With this in mind, Twitch is a great way for brands to extend their reach and exposure to a massive global user base. Twitch’s discoverability features, such as recommended streams and categories, can help expose brands to new viewers who may not have been previously aware of who they are, and what they do.
Interactive and real-time engagement
Twitch’s main functionality is live content, which means users interact in real-time using the platform’s live chat features.
This enables brands to capture an audience’s attention, and directly engage with a target audience during live streams. It can also help brands respond to feedback in real-time, answer questions, and enable a sense of community and brand loyalty that might not be available on other platforms.
Reach a unique demographic
Twitch’s user base includes people from a variety of different ages, regions, and cultures. Over the last five years, Twitch has expanded its content offerings to include various categories beyond gaming like music, art, cooking, talk shows, and sports. This expansion has seen a broader range of users engaging with content across the platform.
Create a community
Live, real-time, engagement plays a vital role in the platform’s success. Audiences keep coming back to Twitch because they feel as though they’re a part of something, part of a community.
Brands, like streamers, can use Twitch to build a hyper-engaged community that thrives off live engagement.
What types of brands is Twitch marketing great for?
Twitch is a great marketing tool for brands across multiple industries. Of course, Twitch is perfect for brands looking to target Gen Z and Millennials with even the mildest interest in gaming. But now other sectors are starting to take hold.
Beauty and fashion verticals are no stranger to Twitch. In the past we’ve seen prestige fashion brands like Burberry utilizing Twitch for London Fashion Week. More recently, NYX Cosmetics continues to pioneer the beauty space on Twitch. Big name brands from other sectors have found success in Twitch marketing including WhatsApp, KFC, and ITV – often discovering that Twitch allows them to tap into a new generation of consumers.
Brands using Twitch in 2023
Let’s reiterate. Twitch isn’t just viable for gaming brands. In fact, you’ll find a wide variety of brands from FMCG, Automotive, and more launching Twitch campaigns.
Hellmann’s – the brand commended for its mayonnaise – launched its food waste campaign earlier this year, aligning with the 2023 Super Bowl.
Using Twitch, Hellmann’s devised a campaign that focused specifically on the food waste created during the Super Bowl. The live broadcast was hosted by Twitch streamer, CookingForNoobs and retired NFL linebacker Derrell Smith, and was broadcast via the Tastemade Twitch channel. During the stream, viewers could tune in to receive different recipes and methods sought to reduce the expected 140,000 pounds of food waste created during the Super Bowl.
Raising awareness around food wastage, and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, aren’t commonly associated with Twitch, on the surface. But this just goes to show how Twitch is evolving as a platform, and how it’s becoming a more versatile marketing tool by catering to brands outside of the gaming vertical.
The Future of Twitch marketing
While Twitch started out as a platform primarily for gaming it has since expanded to include a wider range of content. Twitch is now a home for beauty, fashion, sports, and entertainment creators, as well as brands looking to target audiences from those verticals. Music, art and talk shows are among the most popular streamed topics on the platform, which shows how far the platform has come in such a short period of time.
Twitch recently came under fire for its attempt to alter advertising regulations, causing some streamers to leave the platform – more on that here. The real future of Twitch lies in monetization for its creators. If Twitch can find a way to offer more sustainable financial options for its top creators, its future looks bright.
Creator economics aside, Twitch recently broke the record for concurrent live viewers, across a single piece of live content, including YouTube, Kick and all the other Twitch alternatives. This shows that Twitch’s audience remains invested, and big brands are still sticking by the platform, meaning Twitch is still the best tool for brands looking to tap into the live stream market.
Looking to tap into live audiences using real-time engagement and community driven content? We might be able to help you with that. We have over eight years experience in Twitch marketing, delivering live campaigns for brands across multiple verticals. Get in touch!
Twitch Marketing FAQs
What is the success rate of Twitch marketing campaigns?
The Goat Agency guarantees deliverables for our clients before the start of a campaign. So should we for any reason under deliver based on the agreed KPIs, we will continue to contract more influencers/content until we have met them. This means that our clients know exactly what they’re getting for their budget before committing.
What are the common KPIs for Twitch Marketing?
Common KPIs for Twitch marketing include viewer count, average concurrent viewers, chat activity, and follower growth, to measure content performance and audience interaction. Additionally, conversion metrics like click-through rates (CTRs) on call-to-action overlays or website referrals from Twitch can help evaluate the effectiveness of driving traffic and conversions.
What kind of businesses is Twitch marketing best for?
Naturally, gaming studios and brands are a perfect fit for Twitch as you can have Twitch streamers reviewing games live on the platform. However, it really doesn’t need to just be gaming brands; in fact, we’ve seen incredible success for brands in beauty, fashion, tech and more! It’s just making sure that you show up in the right way, with the right content and creator, and that the campaign feels authentic.