In this article, Thomas Grainger (feature image), client lead at content and production agency Daresay, gives his take on the growing power of Twitch to connect brands and content creators.
The last decade saw the rise of social media marketing with most Aussie brands now utilising the power of direct audience targeting across platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to send tailored messages and increase their return on advertising spend.
However, as we enter a new decade, brands are facing the increasing challenge of a saturated advertising space on social media. Marketers are faced with two options – commit to spending more to reach audiences, or find new ways to engage and create a sense of authenticity with consumers.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been leading the way by attempting to bring the community aspect back to social, by favouring creative ads that are less intrusive as well as the continual build-out, and the rise of closed communities. These closed communities enable moderation and evades the intrusion of marketers.
Private content sharing, known as dark social, which sees users share content via private messaging apps or encrypted channels like WhatsApp and Telegram, makes it difficult for brands to engage with these audiences, despite their high level of engagement.
So where does this leave brands looking for new ways to make their marketing spend work harder in 2020?
The answer may very well lie in open communities. Platforms such as Twitch are merging the barriers between entertainment and social networks, to build highly addressable audiences or ‘communities’ that are actively contributing to the content they consume. The live streaming equivalent to YouTube, Twitch has 100 million unique users per month, with 2.2 million of these being broadcasters or content creators.
Brands can tap into these streamers who are building engaged channels built around niche passion points, from e-sports to cake baking. We recently witnessed the incredible influence of these streamers on the community through a live stream, which last week raised nearly half a million dollars towards the Australian bush fire relief effort.
Whilst there are traditional in-stream advertising opportunities on platforms like Twitch, the true power lies in partnerships with content creators who are influencing the thoughts and behaviours of their subscribers. Unlike the traditional celebrity, they are more accessible, relatable and from an advertising perspective, cheaper to engage.
With more brands considering the role of influencer marketing in converting potential customers into brand advocates, the merging of entertainment with social means that to cut through to your target market, brands should be speaking to audiences using less traditional marketing solutions.
Twitch is an excellent example of where a live streaming platform provides both real time communication and entertainment to audiences, and with it, highly engaged niche audiences that brands can experiment with, without the advertising saturation of Facebook or Instagram.