When you think about influencer marketing, chances are the first social media platforms that come to your mind are Instagram or TikTok.
And this is not surprising. According to the State of Influencer Marketing 2022 report, 68 per cent of marketing specialists use Instagram for their influencer marketing campaigns whereas TikTok has been dominating headlines since 2020.
But if you’re launching a campaign for a role-playing game, Instagram is not always the best platform. Compared to YouTube, its average conversion rate is usually lower. Besides, 15-second Instagram Stories, which are the go-to tool for many advertisers, aren’t long enough for demonstrating all mechanics of your game.
So does influencer marketing really work for video games? Yes, it does. In fact, you can launch campaigns that generate millions of views with a conversion rate of over 30 per cent.
But here’s one catch: most influencer marketing campaigns for games are launched on YouTube… and Twitch.
Despite the growing popularity of Twitch and its proven effectiveness, not all marketers know how to work with this platform. In this article, we will dive deeper into how game development companies can use Twitch to promote their games.
Why is Twitch popular among game developers?
Although Twitch is getting popular among non-gaming communities, it’s still dominated by game-related content. If you google what Twitch is, you'll notice that many sources mention that it’s a streaming platform for gamers. In other words, this is the platform where game dev companies look for their target audience.
One of the reasons why Twitch is so popular in the gaming community is its abundance of long-form video content. Live streams on Twitch can take several hours which makes them a perfect tool for game reviews.
Twitch is different from other social media platforms and has its own specifics when it comes to influencer marketing
How to promote your RPG on Twitch with influencer marketing?
When it comes to launching a successful influencer marketing campaign for a game, there are at least eight steps that you need to keep in mind.
It all starts with the obvious - your goal and success metrics (a.k.a. your key performance indicators). You also need to determine your target audience, find the right influencers and take a creative spin on your sponsored content.
These are the usual steps recommended for every marketing campaign. But Twitch is different from other social media platforms and has its own specifics when it comes to influencer marketing.
So what’s so different about Twitch? To find out, we talked to Dmitry Morgulis, Head of Global Business Development at HypeFactory, a global influencer marketing agency.
Dmitry shared 10 tips that can help you get started with Twitch campaigns and better understand the specifics of this platform.
Do thorough research
Finding the right streamers on Twitch is arguably the most important step in your campaign. Not only do the right influencers deliver results, but they also connect with their audience on a deeper level. This means that if you partner with the right influencer, your campaign will have a higher chance of resonating with your target audience.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for Twitch streamers:
- Find influencers who are already playing games similar to yours. They probably know your competitors and will understand your game mechanics much faster. Besides, their audience already plays role-playing games and is potentially interested in learning more about your game.
- Check the streamer’s audience quality. In influencer marketing, success is determined by two factors: (a) whether you chose the right influencer and (b) whether you found your target audience. Make sure there are no bots or suspicious accounts among streamers’ followers. Why would you partner with someone who has thousands of followers of whom only around 40% are real accounts?
- Don’t limit yourself to streamers of a particular size. Sometimes micro-influencers bring much better results than macro-influencers with lots of followers. But you don’t need to focus only on one tier of influencers. Both of them have pros and cons and, as empirical data shows, best campaigns usually involve a combination of micro- and macro-influencers.
From one side, it’s good to partner with content creators who are close to your niche. But if you find a top-performing streamer whose content seems a bit far away from your usual type of marketing, don’t cross them off your list straight away. You might be surprised.
You don’t always need to look for streamers who are famous in a specific category or those who steam only about role-playing games. Your target audience has different interests. If you find an influencer whose streams are somewhat relevant to your core audience, it’s worth giving them a try.
Trying to influence the content too much is one of the biggest mistakes that advertisers do on Twitch
Twitch is a live streaming service which means that there’s no room for mistakes. You need to put a lot of consideration and effort into creating a detailed brief for influencers.
While it’s important to go through all talking points before a stream goes live and make sure that the streamer pays attention to the unique features of your game, you need to find a balance. Trying to influence the content too much is one of the biggest mistakes that advertisers do on Twitch.
The audience likes authenticity and they watch streams of a particular influencer for a reason. Content creators usually know best how to talk to their audience while you know what makes your game unique. By combining your expertise with the expertise of a particular influencer, you can get better results.
Discuss payment terms in advance
The cost model on Twitch is different compared to other social media platforms. Usually, brands offer a flat fee with a bonus if a streamer reaches specific KPIs during the stream.
These KPIs are determined by the main goal of your campaign. It can be anything. For example, the number of downloads, registrations, or even the number of players who not only downloaded the game but also reached a specific level in the game.
On Twitch, 95 per cent of the results will be visible after the stream ends
Keep it entertaining
In influencer marketing, relationships are important. That’s why streamers need to create excitement around the game while remaining transparent about the sponsorship.
When talking to an influencer, decide on the right mix of advertisement, engagement and entertainment.
It is a sponsored video but people don’t watch sponsored videos - they look for entertaining content
Don’t compare Twitch to YouTube
Both Twitch and YouTube are popular in the gaming community. Both of them are video-focused. This is where similarities end.
When looking for an influencer on YouTube, brands usually pay attention to the average views per video. If you follow the same logic on Twitch, it might be misleading.
For example, on Twitch, a stream can have only 200 online views… but the average conversion rate on Twitch is between 50 per cent and 70 per cent.
There’s another important difference between Twitch and YouTube. On YouTube, you need to account for the delayed effect. In other words, you can evaluate the results of your campaign only 7-14 days after the launch. On Twitch, 95 per cent of the results will be visible after the stream ends.
Explore Twitch functionality
Contrary to YouTube, the majority of Twitch traffic comes from desktop devices. At first glance, it might seem like it’s not suitable for mobile game promotion. But that’s not entirely true.
You can also use Twitch for mobile game promotion by leveraging some of its features. For example, HypeFactory, a leading influencer marketing agency, uses QR-codes and animated widget technology to drive Twitch traffic to mobile games.
Learn to read the numbers correctly
KPIs can be tricky.
Low cost per install (CPI) doesn’t always mean that your campaign is successful. Sometimes streamers are so eager to get their bonuses that they reach out to their audience and ask them to watch the stream and download the game.
As a result, the stream gets a lot of views and installs. But this doesn’t mean that this is the right audience who will stay with you for a long time.
Influencer marketing is not only about communication but also flexibility
Monitor any changes
If you run a large-scale campaign on Twitch, you also need to monitor organic downloads and see if there are any significant changes in your organic numbers and main KPIs for other user acquisition channels.
Influencer marketing is complex and will impact your numbers across other channels as well.
Numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. To better understand the audience, you can analyse comments during the stream. Influencer marketing is not only about communication but also flexibility. If you notice that something isn't working, it’s not too late to change your approach.
Reach out to experts
If you are new to influencer marketing or Twitch campaigns, you can partner with an influencer marketing agency. For example, there are agencies, like HypeFactory, which have teams that specialise in the gaming industry and Twitch campaigns, in particular.
One of the biggest advantages of partnering with an agency is that they have years of experience with different brands, know the ins and outs of social media marketing, and can help you get measurable results.
TL;DR Twitch is a powerful tool for game promotion
Although Twitch is becoming more and more popular among game developers, it is still not as well known to marketers as Instagram.
If you want to launch a successful influencer marketing campaign on Twitch, here are the main takeaways from this article:
- Micro-influencers have a deeper connection with their audience and the audience trusts them. Nevertheless, for better performance, you need to partner with streamers of different sizes.
- Your target audience has different interests. Try working with streamers who create content outside of your usual marketing.
- Be transparent about sponsorship, rehearse the stream in advance but leave room for creativity. Don't try to influence the content too much.
- Take a close look at your KPIs. Numbers don’t always tell the whole story. It’s a good idea to monitor comments during streams to better understand the general sentiment of your target audience.
- Don't compare Twitch to YouTube. These are two different platforms with their own pros and cons.