The Gamification of Digital Marketing
Twitch.tv as an advertising platform?
Platforms, platforms everywhere!
We are all familiar with today’s popular social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Linkedin, Pinterest, Tik-Tok (I see you Gen-Z users!) are probably the most notable and famous ones. Their spread and influence on various types of audiences is what makes them enticing for numerous businesses who want to share more about their service or product and possibly increase awareness, sales or whichever metric they care most about. But what about Twitch? If you’ve raised your eyebrows on the previous sentence, you probably don’t play video games and/or dislike dank memes. Either way we are going to try to navigate you through the adventurous, prospective and sometimes dangerous waters of live streaming. You ready?
What is a Twitch and how can I buy one?
Just to clarify things a bit: Twitch is an online platform where people (and other beings*) livestream. A typical live stream consists of gameplay but can also showcase IRL adventures, cooking streams, how-to’s, gym sessions, podcasts/discussions, online live events such as music concerts, art/craft streams, meditation and everything in between. There aren’t any limitations (except legal ones of course) to what a streamer can and should stream. Sky’s the limit, as they say.
*The recent appearance of vtubers (virtual youtubers) have also made their debut on twitch. A virtual representation of the streamer is created using CGI and it’s the main focus of attention, rather the streamer himself. Think along the lines of an online, digital, highly customizable, interactive, animated costume which you put on when streaming. Weird times, huh?
“So, why should I care again?”
“Whoop-de-do, another platform which is going to have its peak and then slowly die down due to the Big Fish companies, like Facebook, who are patrolling the waters of the digital sea and getting all the food!”, you might say, and quite frankly you might be right but Twitch is here to stay and the numbers prove the intentions of the livestreaming giant:
- Twitch reaches 50% of the millennial males in America.(1)
- It has 15 million daily active users.
- Home to 2.2+ million unique content creators per month.
- Over 106 minutes watched per person per day.
- An astonishing 2+ million peak concurrent site wide viewers.
- In 2016, a total of 292 billion minutes of video was watched on Twitch and 14.2 billion chat messages were sent by viewers during streams.(2)This resulted in Twitch commanding 1.8% of peak US internet traffic; the fourth highest overall, ahead of Hulu, Facebook and parent company Amazon.(3)
What makes it so special?
Apart from being a child from the Amazon family, Twitch brings a few interesting things to the digital table:
It’s live! (duh!)
Live events are interesting not only because anything* can happen at any given time during the stream but also because of the live interactions between audience-streamer and viewer-viewer (chat). One of the many things we all realized during the pandemic is how important social interactions are to our mental wellbeing. The option of interacting with someone who you admire and interacting with hundreds of people who also admire that person is very valuable. Also you never know when something viral will pop-up…
*Almost every streamer has had an unfortunate moment, caught on the livestream.
Yup, you heard it right. Twitch provides quality content for absolutely 0$. (Screw you, PPV!) Although you can support your favourite streamer or organization by donating money and/or subscribing to their channel (5$ per month). By subscribing you get a chat icon, access to channel exclusive emotes, ad-free experience and other perks. Preeeeetty cool stuff overall.
It has a very specific audience!
Facebook is for Boomers, Tik-Tok is for Gen-Z and Twitch, well Twitch is for gamers. An astonishing 73% of Twitch’s users are 34 and under, with 41% being between 16-24(4). If that’s your target group – you are in for a treat, and if not – there are still possibilities for your business to shine.
“Shine on you crazy diamond”
So you did your research, checked the numbers and decided that you want to advertise your service/product on Twitch. Good for you! There are a couple of ways for you to do that.
#1: Using Twitch’s platform – The classic approach.
A well placed interactive banner on the homepage, a 30 or 60 second ad during a live broadcast or a simple, clean, static banner, Twitch has it all. Depending on your goals and budget you can choose the right way to point the spotlight on your product/service.
#2: Using Streamers as influencers – The more avant garde approach.
Finding the right streamer, with the right audience and the right amounts of views/followers/subscribers can be tedious and tiring. But if you fortunately happened to find your perfect match – then, much like Dogecoin, stuff can go to the Moon. You have to be extremely mindful when choosing this approach. You don’t want to be too intrusive and demanding because that won’t bring you the positive results you might hope for. Also get familiar with the Twitch culture first, so that your creative idea wouldn’t go down the toilet, as it might get misinterpreted or misused.
#3: Co-participating in charities – The holistic approach.
Can’t really reach the Twitch audience (no wonder, they are a weird bunch) but you still want to position your brand on the platform? There is a perfect solution – to participate directly or indirectly in a charity stream with other brands. The Twitch community has raised more than $65 million to charities like Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, (RED) in the fight to end AIDS, the American Red Cross and many more. Hop on the charity train, make a name for your brand and do something good for someone else. A win for everyone involved.
#4: Why not stream it yourself? – The off-the-wall approach.
You can’t find your influencer match, and for whatever reason you don’t like the platform’s ad options? Well, why not stream it yourself? The infamous American fast food chain Wendy’s did exactly that. They are laser-focused on younger audiences and regularly play popular games, such as Fortnite, definitely helps a bunch with building(no pun intended) a stronger digital presence.
Closing thoughts: In the end does it even matter?
Taking everything into consideration, Twitch definitely provides an alternative platform for certain brands to utilize. Each streamer/content creator has a community built around their personality, the general stuff that they do on streams, their personal interests, values and so on. Which means that there are A LOT of possibilities for you to find a community which will truly appreciate your product/service and possibly achieve an ROI as high as Snoop Dog on a Tuesday. (He also streams on Twitch. Yeah, I know. Crazy.) Before you dive deep in the livestreaming waters make sure you did your research well and make sure to learn the meaning of at least 10 global Twitch emotes. Knowing the lingo will definitely help with your endeavours.
Good luck and have fun!
Twitch Interactive. (3/21/2017). Twitch Audience. Retrieved April 01, 2018, from https://web.archive.org/web/20170321165645/http://twitchadvertising.tv:80/audience/
Freitas, Evan. Twitch Interactive. Feb. 16, 2017. Presenting the Twitch 2016 Year in Review. Retrieved 1/1/2018 from: https://blog.twitch.tv/presenting-the-twitch-2016-year-in-review-b2e0cdc72f18
DiPietro, Matthew. Twitch Interactive. Feb. 5, 2014. Twitch is 4th in Peak US Internet Traffic. Retrieved 1/1/2018 from: https://blog.twitch.tv/twitch-is-4th-in-peak-us-internet-traffic-90b1295af358
Kavanagh, Duncan.https://www.globalwebindex.com/Chart of the Week Watch and Learn: The Meteoric Rise of Twitch. Retrieved 5/10/2021 from: https://blog.gwi.com/chart-of-the-week/the-rise-of-twitch/
Momentum. (2017, April 13). EVENT: New report shows marketers are missing opportunity to engage gamers. Retrieved April 01, 2018, from http://www.momentumww.com/news/2017/4/13/event-new-report-shows-marketers-are-missing-opportunity-to-engage-gamers
More articles 🙂
Why are they so darned important?
Marketing after Covid-19
What should you do?
What does it mean? What does it do?