Twitch streamer partnerships win a significant share of budgets–and audiences. The platform has helped create global superstars like Ninja and Nickmercs, streamers who’ve partnered with leading brands like Adidas and Under Armour. Twitch streamers feel like you’re watching your best friend open up their thoughts and feelings to you on a daily basis. But a lot less is known about how Twitch influencer marketing campaigns actually work—and how to make them successful for your brand.
As a gaming influencer agency, we strive to guide our clients on the way to influencer marketing success on this platform. In this article, we share some helpful tips on partnering with Twitch influencers.
Before diving into the different Twitch influencer marketing tactics you can utilize, let’s look at these numbers to showcase how important Twitch can be to a successful marketing campaign in 2021.
The platform gets 140 million unique visitors every month, with 30 million daily visitors on average. Nearly half of all Twitch users are between the ages 18 to 34, and 21% are aged 13 to 17—there’s a tremendous opportunity to reach new generations on Twitch.
6.5 million hours were spent watching Twitch in Q2 2021; the platform accounts for 90% of the “market share of hours streamed” compared to Facebook and YouTube. It’s hard to ignore Twitch when you’re planning an influencer campaign.
Image Source: https://blog.streamlabs.com/streamlabs-and-stream-hatchet-q2-live-streaming-industry-report-f3be68193a0f
Twitch is a truly global platform, with users tuning in from over 230 countries. Add to that the sheer volume of unique users, and you’re left with a ton of diverse audiences representing different demographics, interests, and opinions. Plus, while gaming is still central to Twitch’s identity, it’s becoming so much more as the platform matures. “Just Chatting” has recently grown into the top watched content category on the platform.
Image Source: https://twitchtracker.com/statistics/games
What does all this mean? Whether your brand operates in the gaming space or not, whether you’re targeting audiences interested in sports or shooting games, there’s a Twitch audience perfect for your product or service.
Let’s break down the different integrations you can leverage to reach those audiences.
There’s certainly ample opportunity for creative and complex Twitch influencer marketing campaigns, but an effective partnership can be as simple as a Twitch streamer mentioning your brand on stream. Given the strength of the relationship between a streamer and their audience, having them mention your brand in a positive way instantly creates feelings of brand affinity and curiosity.
The key to success is approaching the platform in creative ways and tailoring the brand message to the community:
“We want to make sure that any partner we bring onboard makes sense for our players/streamers to represent and also that they make sense to our fanbase.”
Scott McMillan, WoW streamer, founder of Method
That said, you shouldn’t blindly partner with the biggest streamer your budget allows just based on numbers.
For an in-depth look into key performance metrics on Twitch, check out CloutBoost’s guide.
Twitch viewers are engaged and educated consumers, they know what they like and dislike; having your brand mentioned on stream with a complete audience mismatch will lead to poor results.
If you do have an audience-brand fit with a particular streamer, make sure your message is informative without sacrificing clarity. Ensure the Twitch streamer covers all the key points, but communicates them in a natural, authentic manner. One of Twitch’s greatest strengths is its raw authenticity; if your brand partnership sounds too corporate and inorganic, it simply won’t resonate.
To go a step beyond a Twitch streamer mentioning your brand on stream, have them actually use it. This approach opens up a lot more doors when it comes to integration strategy. Your product could be a wearable or food, a gaming hardware piece, or a cosmetics product.
That’s an integral and not-so-obvious advertisement. Drinking Red Bull while you are playing (like Ninja), ordering a Some-name pizza to your door, or wearing a branded badass T-shirt–what can be more natural for your viewers?
The job of a marketer is to invent the way a streamer could use their product or service during the video–it can be not so evident as drinking, or sitting, or wearing it. However, it is important to remember about FTC guidelines compliance: the cooperation between a streamer and a brand has to be clearly stated on the channel.
Whatever your brand’s product or service, play to the strengths of Twitch as a platform. For example, if you sell a food product, ship your chosen Twitch streamer an assortment of goodies that their Twitch chat can vote on which to eat. You could then combine that with a giveaway, something we’ll talk about in more detail later. The power of Twitch lies in its two-way communication between audience and streamer, tapping into that is crucial.
Like the brand mentioning approach, the key to success here is an organic, natural integration that feels more like an experience than a forced, corporate interruption. Scump, Call of Duty’s biggest esports pro and entertainer on Twitch, recently partnered with Oakley as its first esports athlete.
Oakley already partners with huge traditional sports stars like Patrick Mahomes; their move into esports feels like a natural extension of what they’re already doing—particularly since Scump wears glasses anyway. Under this partnership, the brand will become Scump’s exclusive eyewear partner during all competitive matches and streams. Scump has confirmed other plans with Oakley are in the works, as well as a discount code, showcasing the potential of a strong audience-brand fit.
As we explained, Twitch chat is central to its culture and the way the platform operates. Twitch influencers can set up an automatic chatbot message to promote your brand name and messaging—as well as a link out to your landing page. Your message will appear with a particular frequency in chat; it can also be highlighted with some color to attract attention or be in line with your brand.
Mountain Dew created the first ever branded chatbot on Twitch, “DEWbot”. The bot ran giveaways, encouraged engagement, provided consumer data, and ultimately helped co-create a custom Origin Gaming Rig in an effort to position Mountain Dew as a brand synonymous with gaming.
It’s common to implement chatbots as part of a wider campaign, but even the standalone results reported from DEWbot were impressive: a 550% increase in in-stream conversation during the promotion, a 265% increase in Mtn Dew Twitch fans, and a 572% increase in channel engagement.
Another popular way to partner with Twitch streamers is by placing a banner featuring your brand on their channel page linking out to your website. Banners are located in a channel’s “About” section and contain channel rules, social media links, and other custom information. Users recognize the About section as the primary place to learn more about a streamer.
Since users are actively engaging with the channel as they navigate to the About page, banners represent a good opportunity to capture their attention. After seeing your brand name on a streamer’s channel, viewers will start associating your brand with their favorite player. Check out Nickmercs’ banner featuring brand partners like Under Armour and G Fuel below.
Giveaway brand partnerships are extremely popular with audiences, and this is no different on Twitch. You can give out products, discounts, one-time services, subscriptions—the possibilities are endless! Giveaways can help drive traffic and engagement to your website, social media, or function natively in Twitch itself.
To achieve a successful and error-free giveaway, consider using special tools like Twitch giveaway apps and avoid alienating audiences. Try to alert audiences ahead of time that your giveaway is taking place; this will improve your chances of reaching as many people as possible.
While giveaways resonate across all audiences, that doesn’t mean you should implement them blindly. To truly resonate with your target audience, giveaways should focus on being fun, interactive, creative, and authentic. Like all of the strategies we’ve discussed, this authenticity is vital to ensure users become a fan of your brand in the long term.
KFC ran an influencer marketing campaign to offer audience giveaways for brand merchandise and gift cards when partnered Twitch streamers won a game. Users entered by typing a KFC emote in Twitch chat, and prizes were custom-designed according to the game being played. Having your brand release a product tailored to the game is a great way to naturally integrate it.
You might think only gaming brands make suitable partners for Twitch influencers—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Twitch can provide diverse audiences which may not be found elsewhere—particularly on the same scale and engagement levels. It’s been reported that ‘normal’ social media engagement is typically between 1% and 3%. But when it comes to gaming influencers, engagement rates are around 2.5%.
Gaming content feels real to people, platforms like Twitch facilitate that. That’s why non-gaming brands like Mac Cosmetics, LG, and KFC are just a few of the world-known brands that collaborate with Twitch streamers.
What do we actually mean by diverse audiences? You may think gaming is dominated by immature boys with unlimited free time, but it would be wrong to make this assumption. 83% of women and 88% of men can be classified as gamers. And while it’s true gaming is most popular among young people, 71% of 55-64 year-olds play too. Gaming interests and preferences also vary across life stages, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Taking this data into account, every brand should consider working with Twitch influencers. Not only are you able to target particular niches effectively, but those niches are also heavily engaged and ready to consume content in line with their interests—particularly if it’s being communicated to them by their favorite streamer.
How much does it cost to partner with a Twitch streamer? Given the variety of different partnerships available for brands looking to work with Twitch influencers, costs can vary. Unsurprisingly, brand mentions on a stream will always be less expensive than a dedicated long-term campaign which includes channel branding, using a product throughout a stream, and giveaways.
You’ll find costs also differ according to streamer size, game genre, etc. In spite of this, CloutBoost’s data suggests that typical campaign rates range from $0.5 to $2.5 per viewer per hour.
Working with a data-driven influencer marketing agency certainly helps here; having more insight into key performance metrics for Twitch streamers will help you identify the cost in the current market.
Irrespective of whether your brand is related to gaming or not, Twitch influencer marketing allows you to reach your target audiences on a platform where they’re heavily engaged. Twitch users build deep connections to their favorite streamers, so associating your brand with them can lead to hugely successful campaigns.
We’ve explored various ways you can approach your campaign from brand mentions to giveaways—you even have the flexibility to combine these strategies into a long-term, comprehensive influencer marketing campaign.
While the opportunity on Twitch is huge, it’s important to plan your strategy the right way. As we’ve seen throughout this article, authenticity is king on Twitch. The organic, natural feeling of the relationship between a streamer and their audience is why the platform is so successful. If you fail to integrate your brand in a genuine way, you’ll alienate your target audience and see little results.
CloutBoost is a data-driven video game marketing agency with expertise helping both gaming and non-gaming brands achieve success with their Twitch influencer marketing campaigns. Get in touch today to learn how you can reach your target audiences in an organic, authentic way.