Many countries around the world are continuing to abide by social distancing restrictions, forcing marketers to stay innovative with their virtual communication. As a result, social media and gaming platforms have become an increasingly attractive option for brands to engage with consumers.
In 2020 the gaming industry saw an uptake due to more people staying home. Just in the UK alone, gaming adoption has increased by 63% with many consumers still in lockdown (Source Business Cloud). Next to this, TikTok statistics show that as of April 2020, the popular video app has been downloaded more than two billion times worldwide on both the Apple App Store and Google Play (Source Oberlo).
How Twitch and TikTok Are Working With Brands?
With this increased online focus, more companies are seeing an opportunity to work with these platforms and their communities. Near the end of 2020, TikTok and Shopify made a deal to make it easier for Shopify’s merchants to reach TikTok’s younger audience and drive sales. The partnership will eventually expand to include other in-app shopping features (Source Tech Crunch). This allows Shopify merchants to create, run and optimize their TikTok marketing campaigns directly from the Shopify dashboard by installing the new TikTok channel app from the Shopify App Store.
In gaming, Twitch is growing to work with more brands to create content that is exclusive for the platform. Lexus was one of the first automotive businesses to have worked alongside the Twitch community to create a customized version of its 2021 IS sedan, designed by and for gamers. Twitch streamer, Fuslie, too hosted a two-hour Livestream with Lexus to approximately 23,000 viewers. A poll feature was used to vote on interior and exterior modifications for the Lexus 2021 IS sedan, designed by and for gamers campaign. This focused on modifications such as gaming consoles, a 3-D printed controller, monitors, lighting, drinks and car wrap. Lexus will then use the poll results to customize a full-size car, with the completed design announced at Fuslie's Livestream on Feb 17th. (Source Marketing Dive)
This isn't the first time Twitch has worked with a big brand in a marketing campaign. A hotly controversial campaign revolved around Burger King and a bot on Twitch that reads out messages from fans during a stream. It was designed so viewers, in exchange for a small donation, can ask their favourite streamers questions or comment on how they're playing. Burger King had used this feature to advertise its latest offers, meaning the company was getting the exposure that would have cost thousands of pounds for as little as £2.50. (Source BBC)
Despite its shortcomings, this campaign highlighted the unique activations which can be achieved on the platform. Moreover, as nearly 40% of Twitch users don't even watch traditional TV, collaborations on the platform are able to reach audiences that aren't available via traditional channels (Source Ad Exchanger).
Working with social media creators can be advantageous for brands if done correctly. If brands want to effectively engage with an audience, interaction has to be considered. Most viewers don’t come to Twitch to just watch, they're on the platform to engage with streamers. Like influencer marketing, the goal should be to build custom campaigns and understanding what makes the community unique.