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A Marketer's Guide to Using Twitch
Marketing Trends

A Marketer's Guide to Using Twitch

Whether you’re somewhat familiar with Twitch or this is your first time hearing about it, here is a quick rundown of everything you need to know about the world’s biggest online streaming platform, its rapidly growing audiences, and the real-time marketing and brand engagement potential it has to offer.

What is Twitch?
Twitch first appeared on the scene (and the screen) in 2011. Pioneering the concept of real-time streaming content, the platform started as a single channel that featured the live stream or “lifestream” of its founder, Justin Kan.

Just a few years later, the platform had already secured over 45 million unique viewers as well as its position as the fourth-largest source of peak internet traffic in the US. Today, Twitch is the world’s largest online streaming platform and the host of more than 6.8 million affiliate streamers, influencers, and content creators.

Audience Breakdown
Over the years, Twitch has captivated and retained the attention of its rapidly growing audience, which is made up of over 140 million monthly active users (MAUs). Twitch also has an impressive global presence, with streamers broadcasting in 35 different languages.

Since video game-related streams make up Twitch’s largest content categories, it isn’t surprising that the platform’s core audience skews younger, with over 70% of active users falling between the ages of 18 and 34. Because its dynamic content offerings continue to evolve, more users in older demographics have been attracted to the platform in recent years, and it is anticipated that that trend will continue.

Twitch’s livestreaming platform currently hosts more than 6.8 million affiliate creators and 140 million active monthly users. (Source: Backlinko)

Why Should Marketers Care?
Content creation and consumption are not the only arenas that have been revolutionized by the growing influence and availability of livestreaming services and platforms like Twitch. From entertainment, gaming, and shopping to the many inroads these platforms are paving for niche interest markets and online subcultures, the continued growth and influence of livestreaming is not only inevitable but boundless.

Ogilvy’s 2024 Influencer Trends Report identified livestreaming as a source of untapped potential and cautioned that its trajectory is one that savvy brands and marketers should be careful not to write off. Online audience trends have not only shown us that real-time or “live” purchasing and brand engagement opportunities are generally received well by online consumers, but their immersive nature is often more effective at driving engagement than traditional marketing tactics.

31% of people believe that live shopping allows them to make more informed purchasing decisions. (Source: Ogilvy 2024 Influencer Trends Report)

For marketers, the primary benefit that Twitch and similar platforms is the abundance of real-time engagement opportunities they seamlessly facilitate between brands and consumers.

Ads delivered via livestream offer more direct and less disruptive brand experiences, as they are anticipated and therefore much less invasive for viewers. Livestreams also provide marketers with an opportunity to build trust and authority for their brands by utilizing creator-led product placements and demonstrations.

66% of brands report that creator-led content delivers more ROI compared to traditional ads. (Source: Ogilvy 2024 Influencer Trends Report)

Streaming creators and influencers not only have the inherent trust and familiarity of their highly-engaged audiences, but they also can openly endorse, showcase, or transparently review a product in real time. Due to the authentic nature of these immersive brand experiences, partnering with livestream creators can help dispel fears new consumers may have about unfamiliar products or remedy their aversion and indifference to traditional marketing methods, which could otherwise be perceived as deceptive and disruptive.

Getting Started
There are a few important things brands should know before marketing to Twitch’s unique and engagement-driven audiences:

1. Match the Tone — Before you launch your first campaign, you’ll want to make sure the tone and style of your ad creative will resonate with Twitch’s highly creative and media-savvy atmosphere. If creator-led content isn’t for you (though we strongly encourage you to explore that option thoroughly) then you will want to make sure your ads lean into the humorous, transparent, and non-traditional content themes that resonate with Twitch’s core audiences.

2. Don’t Underestimate the Audience — A little authenticity will go a long way with the audiences you’re looking to connect with on Twitch. Ads that are overly dry, gimmicky, or that make bold but vague claims are almost guaranteed to flop with Twitch’s audience, which is particularly sensitive to blatantly sales-focused communication or anything that feels disingenuous.

3. Focus on Engagement — Twitch’s success is credited to the platform’s ability to foster social camaraderie, provide niche entertainment experiences, and champion creativity. Our recommendation to any marketers looking to resonate with Twitch’s audiences is to keep these core characteristics in mind and to align your content, messaging, and KPIs in a way that honors, values, and prioritizes those types of engagements.

Twitch’s Advertising Guide makes it easy for brands to familiarize themselves with the basics of the platform’s ad creation tools. That said, we posit that with any new platform, the best place to start is with your intended audience. Taking the time to learn more about who they are, why they’re on the platform, and how they’re using it will inevitably help you decide whether or not it’s the right place for them to encounter your brand.

Get more real-time marketing expertise and platform insights from our real-time digital strategy team. Contact CID to get started.

Amy Klinkhammer

Amy Klinkhammer-Thomas

Copywriter & Content Specialist

"Bring in the Klinkhammer," they said...and we did! Amy is part of our award-winning marketing & strategy team where she writes for ads, email, the web, video and so much more. She also drinks too much coffee and spends too much time debating the Oxford comma.

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