In the fiercely competitive landscape of game development, where an abundance of new titles flood the market daily, standing out has become an arduous challenge. Furthermore, effective marketing strategies have become paramount for game developers to expand their user base and drive sales.
Twitch.tv: A game developer’s dream
Twitch.tv, a platform where millions gather to watch others play video games, offers an ideal space for game developers to reach their target audience. With Twitch’s exponential growth, including its acquisition by Amazon, it streamed over 241 billion minutes of content in 2015 alone. This platform is poised to revolutionize the way game developers approach marketing.
The streamer-viewer connection
One of Twitch’s distinct advantages lies in the unique connection between streamers and viewers. Unlike traditional advertising, where cold players are targeted, Twitch allows for a more personal approach. Viewers develop a relationship with their favorite streamers, akin to the trust built with friends over time. When a streamer recommends a game, it carries far more weight than a faceless advertisement.
For instance, if a stranger on the street suddenly pitches a game to you, it’s unlikely to resonate. However, when a trusted friend suggests the same game during a casual conversation, you are more inclined to take it seriously. Twitch’s interactive nature fosters this relationship between viewers and streamers, making it an ideal platform for influencer marketing.
Social transmission is a critical factor in the success of any product or service. Twitch offers a unique advantage in this regard. When a streamer plays your game on Twitch, it is visible to the entire Twitch community, exponentially increasing the potential for social transmission. Viewers can engage with each other in real-time, discussing and sharing their experiences. This organic word-of-mouth marketing can propel your game to new heights.
Consider the contrast between suggesting a game to a small group of friends in a traditional social setting and having your game played by a popular streamer on Twitch. The latter can reach an audience of tens of thousands or more simultaneously. This level of exposure can significantly boost your game’s visibility and success.
Feedback gathering through Twitch chat
Gathering feedback from players is essential for improving a game post-launch. However, when a game is newly released, obtaining meaningful feedback can be challenging due to a limited user base. Twitch offers a solution to this problem by allowing developers to observe the opinions of thousands of viewers in real time as their favorite streamers play the game.
Twitch chat provides a valuable platform for users to express their thoughts and feelings about the game as they watch. Positive reactions such as “PogChamps” indicate satisfaction, while negative feedback is readily apparent. Additionally, streamers often share their thoughts on the game, offering insights that can guide improvements. Twitch becomes a dynamic feedback hub for developers, facilitating rapid adjustments based on player preferences.
Understanding the specific interests of your target audience is crucial in marketing. Twitch’s diverse communities provide an opportunity to connect with micro-influencers who cater to niche interests. For example, if your game revolves around pixel art and dungeon crawling, you can collaborate with streamers who focus on similar games like Binding of Isaac or Rogue Legacy.
These niche communities often boast highly engaged audiences that are more receptive to games within their preferred genre. Targeting such micro-influencers on Twitch can be more effective than placing your game in broader categories on platforms like Steam. It allows you to reach a highly relevant and enthusiastic audience.
Traditional ads fall short
While traditional advertisements have their place, they may not effectively resonate with the millennial-dominated gaming audience. Most gamers fall within the 12 to 30-year-old range, and millennials tend to be highly resistant to traditional advertising. When confronted with an ad on Twitch or any other platform, many users resort to ad-blockers or simply disengage.
Millennials rely heavily on peer recommendations and social networks to make purchasing decisions. They value word-of-mouth information over traditional ads. A large portion of internet-savvy users have installed ad-blockers, making it even more challenging for traditional ads to reach them. In contrast, influencer marketing on Twitch sidesteps these obstacles.
Influencers: The game changers
Influencers playing your game on Twitch eliminate concerns about ad-blockers and disengagement. When viewers tune in to watch a streamer play your game, they are already engaged and interested in the content. Unlike traditional ads that often interrupt the viewing experience, Twitch influencer marketing seamlessly integrates your game into the entertainment.
Twitch.tv represents a game-changing platform for game developers to market their creations effectively. Its unique blend of viewer-streamer connections, advanced social transmission capabilities, real-time feedback gathering, micro-influencer targeting, and the inefficacy of traditional ads make Twitch a prime destination for influencer marketing. By harnessing the power of Twitch influencers, game developers can take a significant step towards achieving success in the highly competitive gaming industry.