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  • Influence Marketing on Twitch : a fast growing platform

    Twitch is definitely on a roll. In an unprecedented health and economic context, the streaming platform has been able to find and renew its audience, attracting more and more brands who want to invest their Influence Marketing campaigns there. But what are the secrets of the platform that is climbing many rungs of the ladder? What are its key features? What forms can brands imagine for their next Influence projects? The time has come to dive into the deep end of the platform that has nothing to envy its social neighbours.
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    7 min

    What is Twitch, the network on the rise?

    Let’s start at the beginning. What is Twitch ? Strictly speaking, and as many webzines explain, Twitch is a live video streaming platform, defined by the social platform itself as « the place where millions of people gather live every day to discuss, interact and create their own entertainment together ». Most of the content on the platform is live video games and e-sports competitions, at least initially. And for good reason, more and more Internet users are now investing in Twitch for new interests but we will come back to that later in this article. Concretely, and in order not to get confused, what differentiates Twitch from Youtube for example, is that the platform contains only live videos. Those who consume this content can call out to those who are filming them, but also to all the live participants.

    If the year 2020 has mainly placed TikTok as THE network of all possibilities, Twitch has made a rise, albeit more discreet, but just as exponential, especially during the various confinements. Numerous studies highlight the exceptional growth of this streaming platform, which has become a must for Internet users and brands.

     

    Twitch in numbers

    If you had to remember just a few key figures about Twitch’s growth in recent months, here they are:

    • Over 15 million daily active users who spend an average of 44 billion minutes per month watching streams on the platform,
    • 72.2% of all hours watched live on the internet come from Twitch,
    • In July 2020, viewing time on Twitch increased by +83.1% year-over-year,
    • 5 billion hours of viewing were achieved on the platform in Q2 2020,
    • Between January and May 2020, nearly 3.5 million users began streaming on Twitch.
    • According to Twitch Tracker, the platform attracts more than 2 million simultaneous viewers on average, including 125,000 French speakers.

     

    Vertiginous, isn’t it? It must be said that for a long time considered as the place to be for gamers and other virtual adventure enthusiasts, the streaming platform belonging to Amazon has been able to exploit other territories of conversation and key themes, broadening its audiences and finding, without difficulty, new followers.

    On Twitch, there is gaming... But not only!

    We were telling you about it just now. Twitch is definitely not aimed at video game fans anymore, even if these gamers streamers are still the most popular and represent the majority of the views and time users spend on the platform. From now on, Internet users can find many different and entertaining contents ranging from gaming, of course, but also and above all to lifestyle. This is, for example, the case of certain channels that broadcast debates on current events and politics, inviting streamers to participate and give their opinions. But not only!

    Indeed, the « Just Chatting » section has gathered the most viewers in recent months and has literally exploded in popularity. In June 2020, it counted more than 706 million hours of viewing, which is 20 million hours more than the first game watched on Twitch. This category offers users the opportunity to discuss, chat « cool » about various topics and exchange with the community of a streamer they are part of.

    In addition to discussions on the latest topics in the world, the platform also brings together many artists, allowing music live streamings for example. A few months ago, radios and TV channels also made a place for themselves on Twitch. The aim? To reach younger audiences who do not necessarily consume information on so-called « traditional » media. This is notably the case for France Télévisions and the morning press review program of Samuel Etienne, presenter of a famous entertaining TV show in France, entitled « La Matinée Est Tienne », which attracts more than 10,000 viewers every day.

    Among the categories on Twitch (and there are many!) and as described on the platform, we find: video games, music, talk shows, sports, travel, the « just chatting » studied above, « Food & Drink » and some new events created by Twitch KOLs. It is therefore not surprising to see that the platform’s audience has doubled in just one year as a study conducted by Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet shows that it has grown from 3.1 billion hours viewed in the first quarter of 2020 to 6.3 billion hours viewed for the first quarter of 2021.

    In our recent study entitled « Influence Marketing at the heart of fashion and accessories brands’ performance« , Melissa Simoni, Sales Director France & Benelux at Twitch explained: « Even if gaming is a major part of Twitch, the content offered goes far beyond. In fact, non-gaming content has quadrupled on Twitch in the last three years. Indeed, Twitch brings together a community of over 2.5 million people who, at any given time, come together to co-create entertainment around their passions. And our community has endless passions: from music to sports, from fashion to art, from cooking to fitness, there is something for everyone on Twitch”.

    With these new sections created, the platform proves that it can easily meet the content consumption desires of its followers. So you’re bound to find what you’re looking for at your fingertips or with a few clicks!

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    Twitch lives : the feature that really works and engages communities !

    Having a wide range of categories and gathering audiences from all over the world is great, but what really makes Twitch powerful is the close relationship streamers have with their communities during their different lives. In a recent  article published in the famous french newspaper Le Monde, Mathieu Cocq, an economist and Twitch’s partner videographer, explained:

    "The job of a streamer is not to play the video game or to discuss other subjects: it is to be in touch with his community, to constantly thank people, to encourage donations, support, to create a feeling of belonging to a collective, that is the job of a streamer.”
    Mathieu Cocq
    Economist and Twitch's partner videographer

    And for good reason, the various Twitch performance data mentioned above show that the platform makes a point of creating a real unique experience of exchange, authenticity and involvement for its users. By offering live content and allowing users to actively participate, Twitch effectively creates a stronger relationship between streamers and their subscribers than on other social networks.

    And this is necessarily engaging, even more in a context of health crisis where more and more streamers are speaking out to alert young viewers of the situation, of the barriers and the risks of not following them. Many of them also do not hesitate to defend causes that are dear to them on Twitch and to multiply charity lives. Indeed, during live streaming, they create pools to encourage viewers to participate financially in a project or to support a specific association.

    This is notably the case of the now very famous Z Event which has been held every year since 2016. This charity project created by Adrien Nougaret and Alexandre Dachary aims to bring together several animators specialising in video game streaming for a marathon lasting more than 50 hours. The participants stream live content together and encourage viewers and their subscribers to get involved in supporting a charity (The Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Institut Pasteur,…). In 2020, the charity event on Twitch gathered more than 41 steamers over 3 days and thousands of viewers, allowing to donate more than 5.7 million euros to Amnesty International.

    Presented and commented by these new kind of hosts, the lives on Twitch allow Internet users to fully participate in a discussion and thus to feel truly involved in what is being played in front of them. This is certainly one of the most differentiating elements of the streaming platform compared to other social networks where subscribers are often « passive » or interact very little.

    Thanks to this live feature coupled with the chat that facilitates live exchanges, Twitch allows a sincere, unfiltered, almost intimate dialogue between the streamer and the viewer. A real asset for brands wishing to communicate through these same values by addressing truly engaged communities.

    What does Influence Marketing on Twitch look like?

    If most professionals now know the codes to create Influence Marketing campaigns on Instagram, Youtube or TikTok for example, is it really the same on Twitch? How to create an Influence project on the streaming platform? What are the possible types of partnerships? Answer right here.

    Different kinds of partnerships on Twitch

    Influence on Twitch follows the same mechanisms and techniques as on other social networks, with one exception and a rather essential one: the promotions carried out by streamers with their audiences are only broadcasted live. Just like its neighbours, the streaming platform allows professionals to imagine creative and differentiating devices.

    Twitch KOLs follow the same codes as their peers on Instagram or TikTok for example: they are ready to receive products, to put them forward during a live broadcast with their subscribers, as long as they really correspond to their universe and that the collaboration respects the basic rules of Influence Marketing to create a real long term relationship (contractualization, clear objectives, allocated budget, precise brief,…)

    There are many ways for brands to collaborate with content creators on Twitch. Among the most efficient ones, there are, for example:

    Reviews

    Just like on other social networks, steamers have managed to create a real relationship of trust with their followers on Twitch. They are therefore widely listened for their sound advice. Reviews on Twitch consist in having the influencer examine and test a game or a product (in launch phase for example) live and comment on this novelty. If the partnership follows the KOL’s values and editorial line, this simple influencer marketing technique can allow a brand to boost sales and gain awareness.

    Product placements

    This is one of the key features of professionals who launch an Influence Marketing campaign on the streaming platform. And for good reason, as well as being effective and efficient, this technique can be easily implemented by brands. It can, for example, take the form of a logo in a video, a drink consumed by the streamer during his live show, a T-shirt he wears, etc. All of these are creative ways to promote a product in a subtle way to the audience.

    Unboxing videos

    This is one of the most common and most consumed video formats. Unboxing on Twitch follows the same principle as on Youtube. It consists of the streamer unboxing a product sent by a brand live and sharing his very first impressions on the spot. Like other types of partnerships, unboxing on Twitch offers a certain spontaneity to the KOL content making it more authentic and real.

    An essential element should be noted concerning these two types of partnership. Thanks to the features offered by Twitch, a streamer in collaboration with a brand will be able, for example, to share during his live show a promotional code or an affiliation link in front of his subscribers by saying it directly or by sharing it in his chat present in each live video. Many KOLs on Twitch have also taken the habit of communicating on their various speeches on the other networks on which they are present. It is therefore possible for them to communicate this precious information to their various followers who are sometimes absent during the live broadcast.

    The events

    We mentioned this earlier in this article. Brands can also imagine creating specific events with the Twitch influencers they want to activate. This can be done around a cause respectively dear to the streamer and to the brand but also around a key theme (like discovering a new game live). The advantage for professionals who opt for this device is that they can bring together several content creators at the same time and thus allow several audiences of KOLs to meet in one place. This creates engagement and visibility for a brand.

    On the reporting side on Twitch, brands can rely on a few key performance indicators such as the number of viewers present during the live broadcast, replay views, sales generated from an affiliate link or a promotional code shared by the streamer to his subscribers, the number of clicks or the sum of time spent by all users over the duration of a live stream.

     

    In short, there are many opportunities for professionals to create impactful, immersive, participative and original Influence Marketing campaigns, provided they identify the most relevant KOL profile(s) on Twitch for their brands.

    Some examples of successful campaigns on Twitch

    Canal+ and the "Validé" french TV show

    Shortly before the release of its now famous series on French rap « Validé », Canal+ set up an Influence operation that made an impact on Twitch. Indeed, the TV channel organised a watch party on the streaming platform, inviting three steamers and their subscribers to discover the first episode of the series.

    The objective of this campaign? To reach 15-25 year olds, rejuvenate Canal+’s image and give visibility to this new production by unveiling an innovative and participative Influence project. And for good reason: at the end of the viewing, the content creators were invited to discuss with their subscribers the hypotheses of the next episodes.

    The result? A full house for this campaign as it gathered no less than 5K viewers simultaneously, allowed Canal+ to create a real interaction with the Twitch communities and, at the same time, increased the traffic of the channel’s website and made « Validated » the most viewed series in the history of the brand with more than 10 million viewers in the first week.

    Porsche's interactive Escape Game

    A few months ago, the German car manufacturer Porsche created a surprise by organising an interactive escape game on Twitch. The idea? To unveil its new Formula E car by allowing users to play for nearly 4 hours with the titular drivers Neel Jani and André Lotterer to try to find and discover the single-seater. All this at the brand’s premises in Ludwigsburg.

     

    With the main objective of creating an innovative premiere experience for its new model, Porsche hit Twitch hard. When asked about the collaboration, Neel Jani explained: « It was a unique car presentation, different from anything the motorsport world has seen before. It was great fun to join the players’ search for the Porsche 99X Electric both virtually and in real life. It’s great that Porsche is innovating and involving the younger digital generation.

    The result of this operation? More than 1.3 million viewers and over 85,000 messages posted in the chat room. A great success!

    Samsung and its Galaxy S20

    For the release of its Galaxy S20 in France, Samsung relied on Twitch for a successful Influence Marketing and advertising campaign. The brand collaborated with several influencers including the streamer Gotaga, the soccer player Alphonse Areola and also 10 Fortnite players so that they could stream together on Samsung TV sets. At the same time, the brand also invested in the pre-roll format to present three 20-second video spots broadcast before the start of certain lives.

    The objective of this campaign? To allow the brand to reach the specific target of 15-34 year olds who are very present on the streaming platform. As for the results, the campaign saw its completion rate rise from 85% of people having seen the video to 100%. A successful bet!

    Top 3 most watched influencers on Twitch

    They accumulate tens of thousands of views every month. These streamers are making Twitch’s pages shake with their lives gathering more and more followers. Let’s take a look at the most watched KOL profiles of the platform (live hours multiplied by the average number of viewers) over the past 30 days at the time of writing. The Twitch rankings are based on data from Twitch Metrics, which compiles rankings by country, audience size and cumulative viewing hours per streamer.

    #1 xQcOW

    • Number of followers on Twitch :9,037,908
    • Number of hours watched: 12,825,182
    • Number of live hours: 213H

    Behind xQcOW, the biggest Twitch’s personality, we find Félix “xQc” Lengyel is a 24-year-old French Canadian Twitch streamer. He started streaming in August 2014 with his first stream being League of Legends, averaging 23 viewers on his first-ever stream. Today, xQc streams full time on Twitch, streaming nearly 8hrs a day.

    #2 Asmongold

     

    • Number of followers on Twitch : 2,320,740
    • Number of hours watched: 10,709,160
    • Number of live hours: 141H

    Asmongold is a popular American streamer and YouTuber on Twitch. He is also a popular figurehead in the World of Warcraft community. Incidentally, he is also a self-proclaimed « professional beard » (kudos for embracing the MMORPG stereotype). His rise to fame began in the summer of 2016, where he quickly amassed a large cult following on YouTube. He is considered highly influential and is a founding member of the gaming organisation, One True King (OTK). He also has a voracious addiction to Taco Bell.

    #3 ROSHTEIN

    • Number of followers on Twitch : 655,532
    • Number of hours watched: 8,188,844
    • Number of live hours: 354H

    In every discipline you can think of there are geniuses, personalities that cannot be ignored. Basketball had Michael Jordan, football had Ronaldo, and the online casino has Roshtein. This Swedish gambler is very discreet about his past. Indeed it is almost impossible to find any information about his previous life before streaming, even his age is still unclear. But when it comes to online slots and Twitch, Roshtein was born in 2014, when his account was created. But it wasn’t until 2016 that the soon-to-be-famous Roshtein started doing online casino sessions on the platform.

    With ever-increasing records, streamers and viewers, the streaming platform seems to have a bright future ahead of it. Combining authenticity and transparency of speeches, proximity and engagement of audiences, Twitch has definitely made a place in the sun for professionals who deploy more and more creative and inspiring Influence Marketing campaigns. Only one question remains in our minds: how far will the king of live TV go? In any case, we can’t wait to see.