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Twitch Influencer Marketing Basics: Guide for 2021

By thunderroad

September 28, 2021

Let’s get one thing clear: the streaming service Twitch is a massive website. If you're looking to get your brand in front of millions of eyeballs, Twitch should definitely be near the top of your list.

Many influencers and content creators realize this.

In fact, if you are interested in a fairly narrow demographic slice of the population, Twitch should actually be your number one pick. After all, you can't argue with 15 million daily active users—that’s a lot of people! Very few websites can pull that many eyeballs on a daily basis.

To make this streaming platform even more attractive, Twitch boasts some of the highest dwell times among top websites.

“Dwell time” measures how long a user stays on a site consuming content. Since Twitch features streamed content, you best believe that people would log in, check out their favorite streamer’s content, and basically “camp” for minutes—if not hours—on end.

Considering these very powerful market realities, it is no surprise that Twitch influencer marketing is a thing.

Unfortunately, just like with any marketing trend, it’s very easy to do Twitch influencer marketing the wrong way. 

What is Twitch Influencer Marketing?

Generally speaking, brands would hire a popular Twitch streamer to promote their brand to the streamer’s audience. This is nothing new; you see this on YouTube as well as on Instagram.

The process of getting influencers to promote your brand also follows the same negotiation process as influencer marketing deals on platforms like Instagram and YouTube.

You have to find the right influencers that specialize in the type of content you think your target audience members prefer. You then negotiate the terms of the promotion deal, and you have to formalize whatever agreement you have with the Twitch influencer with an ironclad contract.

The rule of thumb is no contract means no deal.

How Do You Find the Right Influencers?

Twitch influencer marketing ROI turns on the right kind of person. In other words, you have to find an influencer that has the right niche market.

There are many different influencers on that platform with radically different audiences. While it’s true that Twitch users are 65% male—and 73% of this audience are between 16 and 24 years of age—there are many different market sub-segments within this group.

Also, you can segment the overall Twitch market in terms of the geographic origin of users. Around ¼ of all Twitch users come from the United States. If you have a US brand, then you need to get influencers that tend to specialize in streaming audiences from the US.

Twitch Influencer Marketing is Entertainment-Based

Another key factor to keep in mind when trying to put together an effective Twitch influencer marketing campaign is to understand that your strategy must, first, begin with entertainment. After all, people go to Twitch, primarily, to be entertained.

Some may want to listen to tutorials or just hang out with their friends. But, for the most part, people are there to watch somebody play video games or to stream content. They're not there to learn; they're not there to listen to some sort of inspirational speech. They're there to be entertained.

Also, a lot of Twitch audience members are veterans of online marketing.

In other words, they know the forms that advertising takes, and they are quite suspicious. While they may not be as touchy or as suspicious as users of Reddit, they come quite close.

So it’s really important to come up with a Twitch influencer marketing strategy that strikes the right balance between sales messaging and entertainment. If you cross the line, your message will fall flat. You won't be able to fully engage with your audience, and your brand might even suffer.

It doesn’t matter how awesome your influencers are; if the marketing message that you're sending out violates the delicate balance between entertainment and sales, you're going to have your work cut out for you.

At the end of the day, people go to Twitch to be entertained.

So, knowing this, you have to massage in opportunities where they would want to learn about services or products and, possibly, promotions and discounts that you are offering.

But please keep in mind that this is not their primary concern. You must first entertain them and ride on the brand power of your influencer, so your target audience can trust your brand enough to want to listen to it.

Finding the Right Influencer Is Not As Easy As You Think

You have to understand that many influencers on Twitch are not as influential as you think.

Maybe they just got started? Or maybe they play video games that buy their niche or don’t really develop deep-level loyalty?

You have to do your research as to which influencers have a truly loyal and organic following.

Once you find these individuals, and you see that there's a tight fit between the games that they play—and the overall entertainment message that they send out—and your brand, the next step is to test just how tightly connected the Twitcher’s existing audience and brand is to the message that you are thinking of showing to a whole new set of eyeballs.

Factors to consider involve:

  • Viewer engagement 
  • Activity levels
  • the kind of language that they use 
  • the total number of followers 
  • how loyal these followers are 
  • Audience habits

On top of all of this, you need to make sure that there is a tight fit between the genre of entertainment the influencer specializes in and your marketing message.

How Do You Measure Success in Twitch Influencer Marketing

Please understand that when you are working through an influencer, you have to disabuse yourself of the idea that you just need the influencer to recite some sort of script, and people will click on a link. It doesn’t work that way.

You market to their audience through interaction.

This way, the audience remains entertained, but your marketing message is woven into the entertainment that they are enjoying. If done properly, you actually end up building a loyal fan base around your brand.

But you have to do this in such a way that builds trust. You can't be sneaky or deceptive.

It all boils down to audience engagement.

What natural breaks or thematic similarities are there in terms of what the streamer is doing and your overall branding message? How do you massage engagement into your content?

If you're able to answer these questions, you end up attracting more followers, and some of the branding power or influence and credibility of the influencer carries over to your brand.

And, as a result, the influencer earns more money through donations and sponsorships, while your brand piggybacks on their credibility.

This is how you create a win-win situation with Twitch influencer marketing.

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