The Marketing of Gaming & The Power of Twitch

Boredom overcame many people this year as they have not been able to leave their houses as often as they used to due to the global pandemic. One activity that many are coming back to is playing video games. For example, the popular video game Call of Duty: Mobile from Activision surpassed more than 250 million downloads worldwide as of June 2020. 

Even members of the Duo team picked up their video controllers more often in 2020, leading us to look at gaming and specifically Twitch with a closer marketing eye. Today, we dive into this fairly new platform – as we did recently on the Sip, Create, Repeat podcast

What is Twitch? Why is it something we should pay attention to? 

Twitch is the world’s leading live streaming platform for gamers. Basically, Twitch users tune in and watch other Twitch users live-stream content. 

If you look at it as a social platform standpoint, it is not one of the “monsters” out there. It is not a Facebook, it is not an Instagram. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in quality of audiences and how those audiences are hyper-engaged. Twitch streamers are attracting thousands upon thousands of viewers at a time and they are engaging with their audiences in the process.

Imagine posting content and have the ability to have real-time conversations with those watching and interacting with that content – that’s what is happening on Twitch. This builds a very strong, loyal audience for those streamers. So while it might not be the biggest social platform that exists right now, Twitch has right around 15 million daily active users. That is still a huge number, especially considering how niche it is. 

A few more stats about Twitch:

  • 73% of Twitch users are 16 to 34 years old.
  • 65% of Twitch users are male.
  • Twitch users are watching an average of 95 minutes of content every single day. 
  • YouTube users on a whole consume about 3.25 billion hours of content per month. If you break that down further, Twitch users are generating about 20% of that 3.25 billion hours. That’s about 725 million hours of content that come from Twitch users alone. 


Can Twitch live-stream content be repurposed elsewhere?

Yes. Twitch streamers are going live, recording their streams and saving them to use on other social media platforms. It is not unusual to see clips from Twitch streams as posts on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. Since these audiences are super engaged, they are liking these posts and watching those video clips all over again. In turn, these steamers build even more engagement on multiple platforms – simply by repurposing existing content. (In fact, it is a tactic we suggest and implement as a marketing agency. Don’t hesitate to recycle some of that content to those different platforms!)


How are nonprofits using Twitch? 

In 2020, non-profit organizations have been tasked with finding new and interesting ways to connect with their constituents and funders. A great example of this  is the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF).

One of PBTF’s most recent fundraising campaigns was the PBTF GameON.  The non-profit teamed up with Twitch users for a nine-day fundraising challenge. Twitch users streamed (much like they normally would), and encouraged their viewers to donate to the campaign. PBTF set an original goal of $50,000 to raise during that nine-day time period.

Within the first 48 hours of the PBTF GameOn, the non-profit raised more than $41,000. In fact, they had to increase their goal from $50,000 to $75,000 because the support from the Twitch community was so incredible. This amount was outstanding in itself during “normal” fundraising times, let along during an unprecedented year like 2020. 

Not only did these efforts fund vital work and spread awareness about the organization, it also found new ways to reach audiences that are not always known for charitable giving. Remember: 73% of Twitch users are 16 to 34 in age and are mostly male. This shows you: do not underestimate the younger demographic. 

The big lesson here: if you’re a nonprofit, or even a small business, you could take to Twitch (or another popular platform with younger generations, like TikTok), set up something similar and see amazing efforts from it. 


Why did this Twitch fundraiser do so well?

Many non-profits depend on live events to raise a significant amount of their income. In 2020, most have not been able to host those in-person events, so virtual platforms are more important than ever for these organizations. With as many users as Twitch and other platforms have, individual donations do not have to be large to make a difference. If those 15 million daily users are engaged, then $20 or $50 bucks at a time could make a massive difference, and in fundraising, every dollar counts.

Social proof also starts to come into play in these live-stream fundraisers. When someone is watching that stream, they probably feel obligated to donate. For example: if you see that donations coming in and you hear the stream hosts talking about it, then there is a bit of that “I want to do that, too!” feeling as well. Remember: we are all still humans. We are a species based on connection and communication with one another, especially when it comes to like-minded interests. Since Twitch is all about bringing users together over a shared interest, we are not shocked to hear this platform has become such a phenom. 

So, if you are reading this, have never heard of Twitch platform and can’t understand why it would be a platform where you could find income or marketing success, we would advise to take a look. You never know: you just may make $41K in 48 hours.


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