Twitch has become a powerful platform for community building, for both brands and creators. Twitch is the world’s leading interactive live streaming platform. While it began as a platform for gamers to livestream their favourite latest releases or cult classic games, it has since evolved into a home for a variety of content—from cooking and sports, to fashion and beauty, to art and more. You name it, there’s a Twitch community for it.
At any given moment on Twitch, there are at least 2.5 million users active on the platform. Around one third of Twitch’s regular audience base watch a combination of gaming and non-gaming content—the portion watching only non-gaming content is also growing at a rapid rate. In the past three years, non-gaming content on Twitch has quadrupled. This has resulted in the platform creating more categories specifically for non-gaming content, including Sports, Music and Just Chatting—which has become Twitch’s biggest non-gaming category.
The variety of streaming categories available on Twitch has allowed streamers to broaden their audience reach and content. The interactions available on Twitch not only allow viewers to connect with people who have similar interests, but the streamers themselves. The most successful streamers on Twitch have appreciated this connection, and continue to encourage their established and growing audiences to interact with them and others viewing through the Twitch Chat—the chatbox connected to the livestream.
Building a community with Twitch Chat
Twitch Chat is one of the most powerful community building tools. It is a communication tool that viewers can use to express enjoyment, ask questions, and joke with streamers and each other. This consistent interaction helps build emotional bonds from viewers and from streamers. As streamers feel connected to their community, they are able to be more vulnerable and genuine with their audiences—something that the Just Chatting category lends itself to.
The long-form content format of Twitch allows streamers and viewers to connect on a deeper level when compared to other platforms. Twitch is specifically designed for viewer interactions, and streamers are able to provide valuable content for niche topics, while maintaining an overarching conversation that interests wider audiences—something other platforms are restricted from doing due to character limits or select content formats.
Giving back to a community
With the ease of communicating directly with an audience, many streamers create experiences that will “give back” to their audiences. These include giveaways, competitions, shoutouts, making exclusive NFTs, or even the chance to have a professional music producer produce a song for budding artists.
Being able to give back to a community further strengthens the bond between streamer and audience. Audiences feel appreciated when a streamer gives back to their community, which increases their emotional attachment.
Partnering with brands on Twitch
Streamers on Twitch are loyal to their audiences. When partnering with brands, they not only consider how a brand will benefit them and their influence, but also what their audiences will genuinely enjoy and use. Many streamers consider how a brand will translate their brand partnership creative ideas to work specifically with Twitch—what works on Instagram or TikTok won’t work as well on Twitch.
Live interactions on Twitch allow streamers (and brands) to be more creative with their promotional content. Streamers can bounce off audience responses and create a buzz around a product, campaign or new release in real-time.
From a brand perspective, the communities on Twitch are an incredible opportunity. Dedicated streamers have built incredibly loyal and engaged audiences of all sizes. Brands should consider finding streamers that create high-quality content over high-quantity, as these streamers are likely to have the audiences that are most likely to be influenced.
The future of livestreaming
Livestreaming is set to become significantly more integrated into everyday lives—something that streamers have been able to confirm with growing audiences and business opportunities. As more brands realise the potential behind having a live audience response, brand partnership integrations are likely to become more creative and engaging to audiences.
As Twitch continues to develop its content categories, there will soon (if not already) be a place or streamer for every brand. Whether a brand wants to build a community of its own, or connect to an audience through a streamer, in 2022 we will see plenty more opportunities for brands to get involved with Twitch communities.
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