Constructing Communication Strategies for Influencer Marketing on Twitch
Posted by aaronswrite
This is a reflection on my research into the topic of influencer marketing on Twitch for a graduate course in Communication Strategies in Emerging Media at the University of Wisconsin-Stout
Twitch is a social networking site that provides users the ability to stream live audio and video content from their own devices. The number of Twitch users has grown rapidly in recent years, which has created another potential space for social media marketers to raise awareness for their products and brands. Social media influencers monetize their platform popularity in part by partnering with marketers. Influencers on Twitch can deliver content to their audience in unique ways. This research provides best practices for constructing communication strategies when working with Twitch influencers. There is a discussion about special considerations when creating marketing content, choosing an influencer to represent a brand, and measuring the effectiveness of the influencer marketing campaign.
My research into communication strategies for emerging media these past few months has illuminated the unique qualities of social media that influence its rapid evolution. The interactive nature of social media allows for the organic and dynamic growth of new ideas, melded together by professional communicators with disparate perspectives.
As social networking sites add functionalities that increase interactivity, professional communicators react by collaboratively researching how to best leverage a site’s affordances to communicate most effectively with each other and with broader audiences.
While it is largely used for streaming live video game play, Twitch is increasingly being used to stream other content as well. With over 8 million monthly users, streaming on Twitch is a growing trend for both hobbyists and professionals alike. The implications for commercial use have led marketing communication experts to use social media influencers to promote products and brands on Twitch, much in the same way they are used on Instagram and YouTube.
However, there are some unique considerations for communication strategies on Twitch. My research lends insight into influencer marketing on Twitch based on existing research on the platform and popular opinion on best practices in influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is probably not the right strategy and Twitch is probably not the right platform for every marketing effort. Influencer marketing has limitations – it’s not always easy to measure its effectiveness. And Twitch users are predominantly young, male gamers. Other demographics exist on the platform, but a marketer may need the help of specialized software services that help filter the millions of prospective influencers by a number of attributes.
Finding the right social media influencer may be difficult, but creating the marketing content will also require additional consideration. Since an influencer has grown their audience organically by means of their personal brand, marketing content needs to be created in a way that fits with their brand. If a scripted product advertisement does not land well on an audience, it hurts both the influencer’s and the partner’s brand.
Regardless of its limitations, if viewership continues to grow, influencer marketing on Twitch seems likely to become a mainstream strategy for many brands.
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