5 ways brands can earn cred with the Twitch community
Twitch surveyed young adult viewers to find out how brands can best show up on the livestreaming service.
Over the past decade, Twitch has grown into one of the most vibrant corners of the Internet. Whether viewers are bonding over eliminating imposters on spaceships, surviving post-apocalyptic horrors, upping their chess game with grandmasters, or learning new makeup tips from drag queens. One thing is clear: Twitch viewers come for the live content and stay for the community.
How can brands authentically connect with streamers and their viewers on a service where community is everything? We asked our young adult viewers aged 18-34 what they think about advertising and how brands can show up for the community.
Despite the narrative in the advertising industry that young adults don’t like advertising and will go to great lengths to avoid ads, we discovered that the opposite is true. Twitch viewers understand the role advertising plays in supporting streamers so they can continue to enjoy the content they love. Beyond this, more than half of the Twitch viewers we surveyed reported that learning about brands and products they may want to buy is a key benefit to watching or interacting with ads in video content.
Here are five insights to help you tap into young adults’ receptiveness to advertising on Twitch.
Develop a deep understanding of consumers and their interests
Two-thirds of Twitch viewers polled say they are more likely to consider brands that demonstrate an understanding of the Twitch community. You can show viewers that you’ve done your homework by reaching them with ads relevant to their interests and the content they watch, and being sure that your marketing messages are just as relevant. You can further demonstrate your understanding by shining a light on stars from the Twitch universe in advertising creative. Custom ads that integrate seamlessly with the content viewers love helps brands unlock achievements in the Twitch community.
Twitch’s in-house creative shop, the Brand Partnership Studio, helps brands connect with the right streamers to imagine one-of-a-kind ads that are unique to Twitch and resonate with streamers’ audiences.
DoorDash worked with the Brand Partnership Studio to create a custom commercial in which streamer and diehard DoorDash fan Anthony_Kongphan turned finding his next meal into an animated adventure custom designed for gamers.
Advertisers can further demonstrate their understanding through their actions. Brands can show their support by backing annual tentpole community events like SUBtember, a month-long celebration where viewers can support their favorite streamers with discounted channel subscriptions, or TwitchCon, where tens of thousands of people come together IRL to celebrate and connect with others who share their interests and passions
Amplify voices in the community
84% of Twitch viewers polled believe showing support for streamers is crucial to the Twitch experience.
Twitch wouldn’t be Twitch without the millions of passionate, creative streamers who broadcast live content to their communities. Twitch viewers have an immense amount of respect and admiration for their favorite streamers, and consider showing their support for streamers integral to participating in the Twitch community.
While anyone can stream on Twitch, only those who grow their viewership, cultivate engaged followings, and demonstrate continual passion and respect for the community can work towards becoming an Affiliate and, eventually, a Partner. Affiliates and Partners have access to a suite of monetization tools including the ability to run ads, add a ‘subscribe’ button to their channel pages and set subscription membership tiers, and, of course, be considered for custom influencer programs with brands.
Knowing that advertising directly contributes to streamers’ ability to earn income while continuing to make the content they love, Twitch viewers understand the value of ads for streamers. More than two-thirds of the viewers polled say they are proud when they see their favorite streamers land a sponsorship with a brand, and are more likely to consider those brands.
The most successful brands on Twitch find ways to elevate streamers and amplify their voices rather than overshadow them.
Doritos found success by bringing the spirit of Twitch Rivals’ competitive gaming series to individual channels, allowing streamers to offer their own original takes on the competition format in The Doritos Disruptor Series. Streamers picked their favorite games, set the rules of engagement, and rewarded winners with prizes including a six-month supply of Doritos courtesy of the 2020-2021 “official salty snack partner” of Twitch Rivals.
Find ways to level up the content viewers crave
71% of Twitch’s young adults who were polled say they are more likely to consider brands that create and present original content for them to enjoy.
On average, there are more than 2.5 million viewers tuning into live content on Twitch at any moment. In addition to content streamed by individual streamers, viewers can enjoy premium content such as music festivals, global esports competitions, and immersive entertainment experiences from their favorite media brands.
Twitch Properties helps guide brands on their journey into the world of livestreaming, gaming, and esports. This team of experts help identify opportunities that sit at the intersection of advertiser goals and viewer passions. As Official Marketing Partners, for example, brands have access to category exclusivity, custom segments, in-stream branded integrations, and more for viewers to enjoy during competitive entertainment on Twitch Rivals.
By serving as the Official 5G Partner of Twitch Rivals North America, Verizon powered some of the biggest competitive gaming showdowns and thrilled the community with exciting events like the Verizon 5G League of Legends: Wild Rift Invitational. Working with Twitch Properties, Verizon found even more ways to bring value to the community: in 2020 it became the foundational partner of the HBCU Esports League. In addition to offering its support to the esports community at HBCUs, Verizon presented the Verizon 5G Top 5 Moments of the Week during league broadcasts.
Experiment with immersive formats found only on Twitch
Young adults are more receptive to ads in digital formats than those seen on television or those driven past on busy highways. Today, young adults seek opportunities to fully interact with brands, and Twitch offers advertisers a number of ways to engage viewers with interactive experiences.
Native integrations let advertisers level up live content with even more interactivity. These integrations can encourage viewers to work together to unlock surprises using Twitch Chat, or take the form of fully immersive minigame experiences. The young adults Twitch polled were found to be 75% more likely to pay attention to—and act on—these types of integrations than the average adult consumer.
Adobe teamed up with Twitch and popular streamers to offer viewers a chance to help design a new armor set for New World. Using a custom extension inspired by Adobe Creative Cloud, viewers decided the colors, textures, and patterns of two new items for the game. With Co-Op Drops, viewers were then able to obtain the new items for their in-game characters by watching two hours of New World content on one of the participating streamers’ Twitch channels.
Surprise and delight viewers with community-centric rewards
A warm cookie in a hotel room. An upgrade to a comfier seat on a long trip. A lower price tag at the register. Who doesn’t love an unexpected gift or reward? ‘Surprise and delight’ is a tried-and-true marketing tactic that companies have been using for decades, possibly centuries. But how does the tactic translate digitally? How can you surprise viewers on a livestreaming service?
It’s easier than you might think. Twitch’s community-first approach to brand partnerships and the audience’s inherent passion for gamified experience equip advertisers with native options for delighting viewers.
Subs, or channel subscriptions, are how viewers show support for their favorite streamers on Twitch. Aside from the good vibes associated with supporting streamers, subscribers gain access to exclusive perks like custom global emotes usable across all of Twitch and subscriber badges. Advertisers can surprise viewers and tap into celebratory moments by gifting subs during a livestream to delight viewers and streamers alike.
Brands can surprise viewers with giveaways such as Twitch gift cards or use Twitch Drops to offer codes for in-game loot, unlock new playable characters, or gain early access to a new game. Brands outside of the gaming space have surprised viewers with discount codes redeemable in apps or online stores such as Amazon.com.
Brands like Adobe, DoorDash, Doritos, and Verizon delighted viewers with surprises of their own while showing up for the Twitch community. Adobe allowed viewers to obtain and equip their in-game characters with armor created during a livestream. Doritos surprised Doritos Disruptor Series viewers with Subs, and Verizon rewarded the most engaged viewers with a chance to win exclusive prizes during the Verizon 5G League of Legends: Wild Rift Invitational.
Some parting words for advertisers seeking to engage Twitch viewers:
- Don’t skip the tutorial: Twitch viewers respond better to advertisers who make an effort to understand them and their communities.
- Play co-op with creators: Advertisers can establish credibility with viewers by leaning into streamers’ expertise and the intimate relationships they have with their audiences.
- Find ways to level up: Twitch viewers don’t just want to see brands, they want to interact with them. Find ways to surprise viewers, create engaging experiences, and take the content they love to the next level.
The Twitch Ads Measurement & Insights team is continually uncovering new insights through Twitch RPG, our proprietary opt-in panel of over 100,000 members of the global Twitch community.
Contact a representative to learn new insights about Twitch and its engaged community.
Twitch Advertising Attitudes Survey. Twitch Research Power Group (RPG) & Maru/Blue. Fielded March 3 to March 9 2021. US and Canada data, demographically representative of general market adults 18+ in North America. Among those who recall seeing a video ad or sponsored video in the last 3 months. Twitch viewers 18-34 vs. general market consumers 18-34. Twitch N = 737, general market N = 290.