Long-format video and IRL streaming content: what do influence marketers need to know?
What sets the live format apart from other video content formats?
Live formats have become a real vector of proximity with the fans. It’s important for content creators because, without having to invest heavily in production, they can create hours and hours of content that directly reaches their community. With just a microphone and a video game they can easily create very long content and be very visible.
Twitch is clearly the preferred platform for live formats. It is a very gaming-oriented community, even if with Covid other themes like creative arts and music have developed on the platform.
In France, Twitch has a large share of the live format, while YouTube is more developed in the American market where it has invested a lot to attract influencers and develop the format.
What are the lessons to take from the success of IRL streamer events like GP Explorer?
It shows there it is a real market [for the live format]. A few years ago, it was just people at home playing video games in front of a few hundred people. It has developed quite quickly from communities that followed one particular streamer, into content with multiple games, discussions, and closer relationships.
There has been more and more content backed by professional productions, like ZeratoR’s charity formats which are big productions held over several days, or talk shows like Domingo’s Popcorn (Webedia). The logical next step is IRL formats, things that are out of the box from the home-made stream.
Squeezie’s GP Explorer event was really an extreme case. Obviously, he has the means [to stage such an event] and was able to produce an incredible car race on the same level of Le Mans 24 Hours. They sold a huge number of tickets. The audience was there and interested. It demonstrates a shift to a point where streamers and influencers need to see their fans, to offer them something IRL and not just on the stream.
How do streamer sports events differ from traditional sports events broadcast on TV?
The difference is the age of the people watching. One of the key challenges for F1 racing, for example, is to rejuvenate its audience, which is aging. Reaching young people is a challenge for all sports, and Twitch has a large majority of 18 – 25 year-olds, or 18 – 35 year-olds, who use the platform. It’s an incredible opportunity.
The other differentiator is the ability to interact during the events through the Twitch chat. You see what people are feeling and how the mass reacts to the content.
IRL events often involve multiple streamers; is the streamer community more interconnected compared to KOLs on other platforms?
This is important. The relationship between streamers, who tend to do a lot of events together, is specific to France. Streamers often have common communities on live games and the big streamers often game together. The rising streamers often benefit from the help of other streamers because the ‘Raid’ function at the end of a Twitch live stream allows you to send your community to another streamer. It’s how tens of thousands of viewers discover new channels. The community aspect is quite Francophone. In Spain, but even more so in the US, it’s a bit like everyone for themselves.
What should brands and agencies take into account when working with Twitch streamers?
All brands can work with streamers. The difficulty is identifying the community that will be most receptive to the message. Twitch has very defined codes; communities are very close to the streamer because they spend hours each week with that person. If a brand pushes a product too directly or abruptly, there will be an outcry because people won’t understand why it is suddenly appearing in their favorite streamer’s stream.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking ‘he’s a big influencer, I want my logo there’. You have to work to find the right way to incorporate the brand into the streamer’s content.
Which KPIs should brands use to evaluate Twitch influence campaigns?
At The Metrics Factory, we look at brand exposure time which is a key differentiator compared to other platforms. Annual partnerships that lean on a sports team or an individual streamer can amount to thousands of hours of exposure for brands. Mentions in real-time chats allow you to see the impact of a brand activation; you can immediately see the audience reaction, and what they’re thinking about the brand at that moment. For brands, you can evaluate the qualitative on the audience questions, or quantitative part of exposure time.
How much has the Twitch audience evolved in recent years?
It is still a very male audience interested in gaming, for sure. Content has diversified since Covid. More streamers have emerged who are offering content that finds an interested audience. Often communities try to find streamers who resemble themselves, who are of a similar age, [which means] they have similar cultural references. Communities on Twitch are not only very young; there are streamers with communities aged over 30 which can be interesting for brands because the content will be a bit different, and the communities will have significant buying power.
What are the trends to watch on Twitch for the year ahead?
The big events will continue. Clearly it works; the audiences are there and streamers are able to fill the stadiums. For brands, the entry price to such events is pretty high, so they need to be profitable. Often we see other TV personalities or sportspeople associated with the event. Obviously, the brands are the facilitators to get them there.
I don’t think there will be a sudden, big spike in the audience but it’s going to continue to grow. More people are using Twitch like television.
Kolsquare, a data-driven Influencer Marketing platform, helps brands to optimize each step of their Influencer Marketing campaign with help of data and Machine Learning. The solution facilitates the identification of the right profiles for a campaign amongst a catalog of over 3 million KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), and enables the measurement and performance analysis of each campaign. Kolsquare is a team of thirty experts who accompany you throughout the year in the implementation of your influencer strategies, to help you build effective campaigns and increase your knowledge of the Influencer sector through studies, barometers and enriching insights.