4 Ways Twitch Masters Influencer Marketing

May 2, 2018

Every news article that discusses Twitch starts out the same way – “What is Twitch.” And we’re no exception. Twitch is the latest and greatest way to stream gaming around the world. Any given Twitch stream can lead a viewer to unknown worlds, the best gamers, or brand content on any device.

One top Twitch stream can be seen by as many viewers as an NBA or NHL playoff game.Many people scoff at the idea of watching someone else play a video game, mainly if it’s a game you already own. But is watching a good gamer on a live Twitch stream any different than watching a YouTube sports highlight?

It isn’t.

While eSports are becoming more mainstream, this subset of high-profile gamers is cornering a slightly different market – the social impact of influencer marketing.

Here are four ways Twitch is mastering influencer marketing:

Merit-Based Personalities

If Instagram or Twitter teaches us anything, it’s that some of its best influencers have no ‘real’ reason to be famous. They are celebrities for celebrity sake, a la a Kardashian.

The layperson may not know who Tyler Blevins is, but a good portion of Millennial men will. Blevins is an American gamer in his mid-20s with colorful hair who rakes in subscription and sponsor cash by the truckload.

Known by his online name, Ninja, Blevins gains paid subscribers because of his prowess in games like Fortnite and Halo. He is currently the most-followed gamer, with 6.5 million subscribers.

Playing a video game is, for the most part, fun. The more of a novice you are, the more frustrating it will be, which is why seeing someone master difficult games is so entertaining. When the person you’re watching is ecstatic at winning, you can’t help but feel good yourself. And players and marketers alike know you’re more willing to tune in next time.

Reversing Social Media Stigma

One argument of video games and social media apps is that they make users less social and more prone to dangerous isolationism. Quite the opposite. If anything, playing games live or watching a Twitch stream groups like-minded individuals together in ways not seen since the advent of AOL’s Instant Messenger. Gamers are, by their nature, more digitally interactive with other people.

You can log on, see who’s playing what or watching that, and ask friends to join you on a quest or watch the latest pro event.

A little Vitamin D (going outside) still plays a role in healthy living, of course. But just because your son, daughter or significant other has their head six inches away from a screen doesn’t make them anti-social. It makes them active participants in the world around them. And active audience members of digital marketing.

Go Big and Stay Big

Not too long ago, Ninja played a round of Fortnite, a battle royale game that pits individuals or teams against each other on a cartoon island, with some famous followers.

The stream included Hip-Hop sensation Drake, rapper Travis Scott, and Pittsburgh Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster. Drake and Ninja’s stream set the record for the largest ratings for a non-tournament event, attracting 635,000 concurrent viewers.

Translating these numbers into those we see from Nielsen and the stream matches, or in some cases bests, opening round games in this year’s NBA and NHL playoffs.

I Can Show You the World

The beauty of video games is that you don’t have to speak a specific language to understand them. Twitch streams around the world at all hours of the day, for most games, and on a litany of devices.

While their Instagram and Twitter may hamstring their influencers by photo and video limitations, Twitch and YouTube can operate more independently by showing, in great detail, how something works rather than telling you how something works.

New streaming options, including artistry, design, cooking and even wilderness hikes are opening up the platform to new avenues daily.

Millions of Generation Z, Millennials, Gen Xers and even Boomers tune into their favorite Twitch stream daily to discover something amazing.