It’s clear that Twitch is a force to be reckoned with within the social media world: the live streaming platform now has over seven million streamers, 2.4 million total viewers, nearly two billion hours of content watched every month, and in 2022, the platform generated $2.8 billion in revenue. If you’re a brand, a Twitch influencer marketing program could be the next great channel for reaching new audiences.
Whether or not you’re familiar with the opportunity on Twitch, it’s an entirely different beast than Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. You might be wondering which audiences are on Twitch, how to find creators that align with your brand, and the best way to incorporate your brand into live stream content.
The following guide will detail who uses Twitch today, why Twitch influencer marketing is beneficial for brands, and how to use the platform to its fullest potential.
Why Use Twitch for Influencer Marketing?
Twitch, of course, is not the sole option for viewing and creating livestreamed content these days. The major players – YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram all have livestream capabilities. So why has Twitch become so dominant in the live streaming space?
There are some very distinct differences and advantages Twitch provides — outlined below — that make it an excellent choice for brands looking to boost their social media marketing.
Twitch’s Unique Audience and Demographics
Twitch’s audience is young – 68% of users are a part of Gen-Z (between 18-24). And, it is predominantly (78%) male. Moreover, Twitch users are hyper-engaged and loyal to the creator channels they subscribe to, with 84% of users believing that supporting Twitch creators is just part of the overall platform experience. More than three-quarters say they appreciate the brands that are helping their favorite streamers keep going.
What’s even better is that most Twitch users spend a lot of time on the platform each day, with an average of 95 minutes watching content versus an average of just 32 minutes spent on Instagram. In other words, Twitch’s primary demographic is young, highly engaged in the platform, and extremely open to brand messages — truly a marketer’s dream come true.
The Advantages of Marketing on Twitch
Twitch’s distinctive characteristics give it an edge over other, more established options like YouTube and Instagram. Here’s a rundown of what makes Twitch worth exploring:
Twitch has a high growth rate, doubling its number of active streamers from 645,000 to 1.2 million in the two years between 2016 and 2018, and since growing to a current total of 7.1 million active streamers and 2.4 million viewers each day. With such accelerated growth and a slew of planned upgrades on the horizon, Twitch campaigns open up a treasure trove of opportunities to a variety of brands.
Dedicated to Livestreams
Twitch is dedicated to live streaming, meaning there are no other forms of content on the platform. Though that may seem initially limiting, it actually gives brands a range of ways to get their brand featured, including streamer-read ads, stream display ads, and product placement in livestream events.
The Twitch platform allows brands to build deeper connections through meaningful interactions with its users, primarily because of the chat feature present in all Twitch streams and the vast amount of time users spend getting to know their favorite Twitch influencers. To put it another way, Twitch provides an opportunity to build a genuine community, which can help position your brand as authentic in the eyes of your potential buyers.
If you’re looking to gain insight into the next generation of buyers, Twitch is the place to do it. Given that the platform’s audience is relatively young, your brand will get a chance to understand what Gen Z is aiming for and learn how to market to those individuals.
Possible Caveats and Drawbacks
For all of the advantages it offers, brands also need to take into consideration a few challenges with marketing on Twitch before they begin crafting a strategy:
- The recommendation algorithm is much less nuanced than YouTube or Instagram. For the most part, users simply get a notification when a creator they follow uploads content or starts a stream
- Less evergreen video content — people typically only watch streams once, so advertising is “one and done”
- Ever-evolving analytics means you may have to use outside data collection tools to gather insight and optimize campaigns
Brands that are crafting Twitch campaigns are constantly learning new ways to overcome these limitations, thankfully. Below, you’ll find a select few tactics that have proven effective.
How To Find Influencers to Work with on Twitch
Before you can start using Twitch for influencer marketing, you first need to find influencers to partner with. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to do so:
Conduct a Google Search
Good ‘ole, reliable Google! Searching “top Twitch [niche] influencers” will often yield several lists of popular streamers in that particular category.
Leverage Twitch’s Homepage
The Twitch.tv homepage works a bit like YouTube in that it recommends channels and popular content types for creators on Twitch based on a user’s prior viewing behavior. You can use these suggestions outright, or click on tags to expand your search.
Use Influencer Marketing Platforms
Influencer marketing platforms are like matchmakers for brands and influencers. Some provide a database of influencers, allowing you to conduct your own search, while others use complex technology to match you with the best opportunities.
MagicLinks, for instance, just launched a Twitch campaign program for brands. We’ll do the work to match your brand up with streamers that fit with your product offerings and goals. In fact, we recently partnered with Best Buy to help the retail giant successfully launch its first Twitch influencer campaign!
Best Practices for Influencer Marketing on Twitch
Some major Twitch brands are winning with live streaming, including KFC and Uber Eats, so it’s undeniable that Twitch marketing works. But, it only does when done right.
With that being said, here are some best practices your brand should be following to gain the highest possible return on your influencer marketing investment:
Work with the Right Influencer
As Twitch is such a creator-focused platform, you need to dig deep to ensure you’re working with influencers that will work well in Twitch brand partnerships. A few things to look out for are as follows:
- The influencer’s niche should align well with yours (e.g., energy drink brands partnering with gamers)
- The influencer should have a high average of concurrent viewers and minutes watched so you know users stick around for long periods
- Your partner influencer should have a solid strategy for frequent broadcasting
- The influencer you partner with should be consistently active in their stream chats
Twitch marketing works best when influencers build tight-knit relationships with their communities, brands must ensure any creators they work with are truly invested in both the platform and in building a loyal following.
Following Trends in Twitch Influencer Marketing
Once you establish the right influencer partnership, you need to make sure that you use marketing tactics that have already worked for other brands on the platform. The following represent five recommended strategies for getting your brand in front of Twitch audiences:
- Product Placements: Viewers see the product in-frame without it being actively showcased
- Verbal Call-Outs: The creator mentions the brand and/or product several times throughout a livestream
- Chat Box Comments: Creators can share a product link in the chat, and pin it for maximum visibility
- About Tab: Brand sponsorships are listed in the About tab of a creator’s profile as display banners below the video
- Product Giveaways: An influencer creates brand awareness by giving your product away in exchange for completing an action
- Live Events: Using live product launches, competitions, or charity events to draw attention to your product and encourage brand awareness
- Stream Display Ads: Twitch offers 15-second banner ads that show at the bottom of the screen while the streamer is talking
- Product Unboxings and Reviews: Showing viewers what products look like and how they work while giving honest feedback about their pros and cons
Different types of Twitch streamers will have their preferences and advice regarding what their followers are used to, so it’s important to talk with them about what has worked for them. It’s also worth noting that combining marketing methods can often help brands expand their reach while they evaluate which tactics work best.
10 Twitch Influencers to Watch in 2023
If you’re looking to get into Twitch for marketing purposes, keep a close eye on the following creators to see what they’re doing with their communities:
- WitchyTwitchy (66.1k): Native American streamer that has been providing ASMR content to the Twitch community for over seven years
- Matts_alright (40.6k): A former Marine with an extremely supportive community who uses dark humor to raise awareness for military conditions overseas
- Halocene (103k): This Nashville-based band takes audience requests and performs them live each week.
- BrickinNick (19.5k): Creative LEGO builder and winner of Lego Masters US Season 3
- BAdPikaPi (960): This actress and model may have a small follower count, but she’s already worked with brands like Hello Fresh on sponsorships for her gaming-focused channel.
- Miekii (67.1k): A 29-year-old New York City deliveryman who takes followers with him as he rides through the streets of Manhattan
- TimTheTatMan (7M): Gamer and self-proclaimed nerd hosting one of the most interactive Twitch communities, the #tatmanarmy
- Briikachu (5.3k): Casual gamer who got her start during the pandemic quarantine and who loves both League of Legends and Korean BBQ
- TheBlackHokage (177k): Spends his days playing Apex Legends and sharing everything he knows about life with his tight community of followers
- YourFriend Kyle (184k): This Bay-area-based MLB gamer has a dedicated following, a consistent streaming schedule, and an extremely engaged fanbase.
You’ll notice that while Twitch is still very gaming-heavy, popular streams cover a wide range of topics – art, music, sports, current events, and even talk-show-style content can all be found on the platform. The above Twitch creators are just a starting point for inspiration for your brand partnerships.
This Is the Perfect Time for Brands to Consider Twitch for Influencer Marketing
With its meteoric rise in popularity in 2021, Twitch is quickly becoming a formidable opponent amongst its fellow social media platforms. Therefore, now is the time for companies to begin building relationships with streamers who can get their brands noticed. If you put in the effort to make your presence known on Twitch, you’ll have the opportunity to significantly expand your reach and position your brand for success.