Influencer marketing has become a staple of many marketing campaigns. Usually the influencers are tied to Instagram, posting trendy pictures of everything from soaps to hotels. In gaming, influencers have been used by many brands to great success, but there are still untapped opportunities across Twitch, YouTube and social media communities.
The average travel influencer on Instagram will often have around 100,000 followers. It’s not uncommon for streamers to top one million on Twitch with thousands more across other platforms. Still, when marketers think of influencers, they think of Instagram. Video game streaming is a largely untapped market with thousands of influencers eager to rep brands.
Twitch offers a few unique benefits that other platforms don’t. For one, Twitch streamers are often live on air for upwards of six hours and consistently top ten. While live shows on Instagram rarely go on for more than two hours. That extra time spent live allows for more chances and seamless opportunities to integrate brands. On Instagram, a sponsored post is incredibly obvious. An influencer has to make a conscious choice to place a brand in one of their photos. The FCC-mandated #ad is a quick way to have viewers scroll past a post.
On Twitch, products naturally show up over the course of a stream. Whether it's gaming peripherals, energy drinks or clothing brands, the extra hours on Twitch leave plenty of room for brands. One unique brand integration is food delivery services. Most streamers have food delivered as they don’t have time to leave their streams to cook a meal. Delivery services, restaurants and quick home meals have taken advantage of this to receive natural exposure on a Twitch stream. Companies like Chipotle, Uber Eats and CTRL, which all operate in different spaces, have used the quick meal aspect of video game streaming to receive natural exposure.
Another benefit of working with streamers is the inherent economisation of the Twitch platform. Viewers are used to supporting streamers through built in features like donations and subscriptions. Brand sponsorships are an inherent extension of those support features. Again, compared to Instagram, users don’t inherently support the people they follow beyond ticking the follower count by one. By having Twitch viewers consistently supporting streamers, sponsored content is more welcomed on the platform.
Live streamers and gaming content creators is an emerging market with high potential for engagement, and where value has not been established across-the-board. Gaming influencers are often more open to new partnerships and offer unique opportunities for engagement with sometimes, bigger audiences.
Brands who use the Gaming Influencer Successfully
Chipotle’s Sought After Celebrity Card
Chipotle doesn’t even need to pay influencers to get constant promotion. The Chipotle Celebrity Card has become so sought after as a status symbol (and source of free burritos) that the biggest content creators are talking about it constantly. By giving these cards to big names in gaming, as well as other platforms, Chipotle receives constant brand exposure for the price of a year’s worth of burritos.
Even if a celebrity bought a burrito every other day for the entire year, that would cost Chipotle about $1,000 and the brand exposure would dwarf that with even one or two posts.
Brands like Chipotle employ “Culture Hunters” to make sure they are positioned in the correct niches to maximise brand exposure. Rather than employing a team of people to comb TikTok and Twitch, instead GEEIQ provides the means to identify relevant influencers and connect with these engaging - but complicated - platforms.
Ninja’s Partnership with Red Bull Highlights Creative Branding Opportunities
When looking at one brand’s relationship to one streamer, Red Bull and Ninja stand out. The energy drink company has hosted massive events with the superstar battle royale streamer, had the brand appear on his signature headband and even decked out the room he streams from.
That final aspect showcases one of the unique aspects of Twitch streams: the background. For Ninja, Adidas shoes sit on top of a Red Bull fridge, providing consistent value for two of his partners. Over time, these brands become tied to the streamer’s channel itself. Gaming influencers have the unique power to constantly position brands in ideal spots over long periods of time with an engaged audience. Compared to the static Instagram post or 30 second commercial, hours upon hours of brand exposure await on Twitch.
GFUEL Builds a Brand on the Gaming Influencer
In the gaming world there is a lot of talk about endemics and non-endemics. As major brands have come into the space, gamers began making a distinction between brands who have always focused on gaming and the mainstream brands who see esports as the new sports sponsorship. There is room for both in gaming and non-endemics could look to the longtime gaming companies for examples on how to approach the gaming audience.
When it comes to endemics, GFUEL is a prime example. The company has spent years cultivating a massive roster of gaming influencers. Through tying new flavours to big influencers, the brand has gained remarkable exposure as streamers take it upon themselves to promote their flavour. Much like the Chipotle Celebrity Card, GFUEL’s smart influencer partnerships have generated compounding returns without additional investment.
Why to add Gaming Influencers to your Marketing Strategy
Twitch provides the platform that other influencers can’t capitalise on. With video game streaming on Twitch growing over 20% during the first 3 months of the pandemic, streaming platforms saw their already increasing growth explode as everyone was stuck at home. While the numbers are likely to dip slightly when people begin to leave their houses again, a lot of that growth will stick permanently.
Now is the perfect time to grab the gaming influencers who drive the platform. There are still plenty of deals on the table and, at least right now, brands likely won’t have a competitor going after the same space. That opportunity won’t last long.