“I’m a ninja!” said a boy...usually after watching an old, poorly-dubbed martial arts film.
“I’m a kitchen ninja!” said mom.
“I’m a gardening ninja!” said dad.
Ninjas, the real ones, have unbelievable skills, stealth and cunning. Expertly trained in a variety of weaponry, with a high sense of “awareness,” they’re able to beat and retire bigger and stronger opponents.
As a “marketing ninja,” you have your own set of skills and tools to get the job done. You have training and cunning to entice a customer to buy your product or service.
In this post, we’ll be adding a couple of social media platforms to your repertoire. These can seriously beef up your online marketing game so that, like a real ninja, you can compete and beat the bigger and bad-der brands in your industry.
These Two in 2022
You know about Facebook.
You know about Instagram.
And you know about Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn.
Do you know about Twitch and Discord?
Are you using them to their full marketing potential?
A Twitch Is A Sign
Twitch is a video streaming service for gamers. (Or at least it started that way.)
In 2014, Google and Amazon played a bidding war for the live streaming platform. In the end, Amazon bought Twitch for $970 million.
What a bargain it turned out to be! In 2020 alone, the platform brought in revenues worth $2.3 billion.
While gaming forms a large part of its content, the platform has expanded into different categories like music, travel and adventure, cooking, health and fitness, beauty, and arts & crafts. Practically any niche you can think of, it’s there.
This juggernaut represents 72% of all the live hours watched on the internet—beating rivals YouTube and Facebook.
GOT7’s BamBam Calls Mark Tuan While He’s Streaming On Twitch With Brother Joeyhttps://t.co/7yATCmgh0v
— Koreaboo (@Koreaboo) February 3, 2022
Think about that. In an age where “live” is given a premium, (because people don’t want to know what happened two hours ago, they want what is happening “now”), almost three-fourths of it is happening on Twitch.
Consumers were already chucking their TV sets and cutting their cable subscriptions even before the pandemic. But when Covid hit, Twitch also went viral.
Twitch is experiencing increased adoption as reflected in the doubling of viewership, sky-rocketing app installs and serious growth in the non-gaming sectors.
And the best news for marketers?
It’s not saturated. Yet.
Because it is known as a gaming platform, businesses with no kinship to gaming have been passing on opportunities, not knowing that it’s rapidly becoming a general-audience live streaming platform, and forgetting that even gamers want to buy insurance too!
Marketing on Twitch
Twitch users are typically young, with 73% of them under 35 years old.
Sixty-five percent (65%) are male, 35% are female (up from 18.5% in 2017).
Influencer marketing, aligning your brand to one of the streamers, is an important tool in the platform.
Traditional marketing jabs just don’t work with such a young crowd. You need a friendly face who can trumpet your message because Gen-Zers are extremely resistant (read: annoyed) at the 30-second unskippable ads that come at the start of the streams. But guess what, they can listen all day to a streamer they have an affinity with.
Hitching your brand to one of the streamers will provide you with a ton of promotion possibilities from simple shoutouts, to product placements, giveaways, unboxings, mini-events (sponsored dares), emote design, background design and channel points redemptions.
What makes influencer marketing very different on Twitch is the high degree of engagement happening between the streamer and the viewers. Because the stream is live, the viewer can write in the chatbox in real-time and reach out to the star. The streamer can read what’s written in the chat and respond and talk about it in real-time. Nothing is recorded, and people are not passive watchers of what is being served up to them. They are very much a part of the streams.
The best streamers, the streamers you should be interested in, are those who can build a loyal following, who can make people in the chat feel welcomed and heard.
So influencers on Twitch have higher reserved capital and goodwill compared to other social media. Best of all, they are not as expensive as those from other platforms. You don’t even need to knock on the doors of the biggest ones. You can, as a long play, support smaller channels with a lot of potential, and catch them before they become famous and out of budget. That said, here are 5 additional things you need to consider when choosing a partner-streamer:
Niche—As mentioned, Twitch has grown from just a gaming community to a community of communities where you’ll also find fitness influencers, music acts, kitchen goddesses etc. Whatever your niche is, you’ll likely find kindred spirits on the platform.
(Didn’t find your guy? Expand your criteria by checking out channels with “Just Chatting” streams. These streams are the influencer just talking about anything under the sun. The topics are often very loose and this can be a convenient way to introduce your product or service.)
Audience size—Bigger is not necessarily better. It will cost you more, without the guarantees of ROI. Micro-influencers or those with considerably smaller followings may have stronger bonds with their people. Look for audience sizes that are decent (from 1K to 30K).
Personality/Vibe Energy—Check several sample streams and see if the host’s personality is something you would like to be touting your brand. For example, some streamers use colourful language that might not be fit for your family-oriented brand. Also, if the streamer already has a sponsor, observe how he promotes them.
Duration and Frequency—Make sure that your streamer has a regular and frequent streaming schedule. This ensures he is committed to the platform and his people. Also, check on the number of hours he or she streams. If marketing is about “repetition,” longer streams will give your product more mileage, giving more opportunities for repeat mentions and shoutouts.
Community—Finally, spend some time in the chat. You will get a sense of the people watching the stream. Are they mostly positive and supportive? (They will also be more likely to support your cause.) Are they bots? Get a sense of the kind of community a streamer has through what comes out in the chat.
A Little Discord Is A Good Thing
This next one is a good complement to Twitch.
Twitch, by itself, is a highly engaging and interactive platform. But when those Zoomers want even more interaction, they go on Discord. (Communities on Twitch and Discord go back and forth between these platforms rather seamlessly.)
Discord, at its core, is a place where people talk. Everyone is equal, with no single person hogging the bandwidth.
What’s good about it, from a marketing perspective is that it already groups or segments people according to a specific niche, topic or subject, and interests.
It was established in 2015 as a place for gaming communities to hang out. Today, with 300 million registered accounts and 140 million active monthly users, like Twitch, it has expanded to include practically every niche group imaginable.
Discord Revenue and Usage Statistics (2022) https://t.co/0kRgWZTxLd
— Kinetic Innovative Staffing (@KI_Staffing) February 4, 2022
Discord is divided into different servers—that’s where the different communities and groups congregate. For example, let’s say there’s a server called “Knitting International,” you know, for those into the art. The server will have different channels people can chat in. Say, there’s a channel for talking about “Brands & Suppliers” or “Projects 2022,” “Knitting Quotes” etc. Now, you know where to type your message without getting off-topic.
There are also audio and video channels where you can see and talk to people and just hang out. There’s a screen sharing feature that allows you to have highly engaging experiences.
In essence, what you have with Discord are online communities with great communication tools.
If you’re looking for Gen-Z’s, they are here, talking about anything under the sun. So go bring them your business.
Marketing on Discord
First of all, if ever you want to gauge the pulse of the youth, take a read at what’s being posted in the Discord.
To locate a niche, do a Google search and add “discord” after your subject. Or simply use the “Explore Public Server” button on Discord which is a green button that looks like a compass on the left side of the browser screen.
Post your messages, (whatever it is you want to say), in the appropriate channels, always remembering that what is true for other marketing venues will also be true here. Posts (and pictures) that are well-written, well-designed, entertaining, funny, unique, educational, and insightful work better.
We’ve already talked about “influencer-led” marketing in the context of Twitch, well, you can also do that here and partner with server owners to promote your business. Do the things we talked about earlier and use them.
But at this point, I’d like to talk about the importance of “relationship marketing” which is one of the most effective types of marketing in forums like these.
If you plan to just fire off a post or two and hope that people become interested in your business, it won’t work. To be successful in a high-engagement platform, you need to engage. And that takes time.
Here are three things you can do to market the business:
1) Forget about your product or service—I know that you specifically joined groups to promote a business. But in relationship marketing, you don’t get to out what you sell without first becoming a real human being and outing yourself to others.
In the first few days, engage in real conversations with others. React to their posts, throw in a few memes of your own. Let people get used to your user name in the chat. If you are in the right channel, an opportunity will present itself when you can say, “I’m actually in the vacuum business, Jake. And that what you said is a pretty common problem. My company has this product that solves that. Here, check it out.”
2) Give first—When you walk by a sample booth, say a new sandwich spread, you know that the company is handing out free samples in the hopes of enticing you to pick up their product in the next aisle. This is not what relationship marketing is all about. You don’t even know the lady handing you the goodies.
Establish value in the chat. Share your knowledge and experience. Point people to resources. Post something funny and make their day. Compliment their cat.
When you build friendships and become a legitimate part of these communities, when you give something or help somebody, they know it’s because you are friends with them. And when you say, “I’m actually a business consultant, I can help you with that. Here’s what you need to do...” you are paving the way for further engagement with your product or service.
3) Ask—You’ve invested time and effort to build or become a part of a community. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for the referral, for the call to action, for the buy. You’ve done your part and have proven yourself. They consider you as a friend. Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. Ask for the support.
Many people who are very comfortable building relationships become uneasy when it comes to this point. But you have to ask. That’s what you came for.
Twitch and Discord are largely untapped goldmines. But that could change very soon. When big companies realize the huge potential from these corners of the web, they will send their hordes of marketers into the space to develop these markets.
But Twitch and Discord are not your cups of tea? Kinetic Innovative Staffing has the people and skills to help your business properly develop these platforms...today. So like a ninja, you can always be one step ahead of the competition.
And we can do it for you at the fraction of the cost. Ask us about it.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing has been providing hundreds of companies in the Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe with professionals working remotely from the Philippines since 2013. Get in touch to know more.