Over the last decade, live streaming platforms have been increasing in popularity as an attractive alternative to TV. Having noticed the potential of live streaming, large tech companies quickly jumped on the train: Amazon bought Twitch for nearly $1B, while Facebook allocated a considerable amount of resources into Facebook Gaming.
In 2020, we saw that the potential was beyond what was thought. Live streaming platforms massively increased in overall use and started to attract different demographics. Just in one year, the whole industry grew by 99% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This huge increase was even more noticeable in the categories outside of gaming and esports. Just Chatting — a category in which the creators are chatting with the audience rather than playing video games — became the top-watched category in 2020 with 1.9 billion watch hours for the first time in Twitch history. Even though the curfews and restrictions eased in the summer months, these platforms maintained their momentum and it seems that they will continue to do so.
A while ago, Twitch.tv was seen as a platform just for gaming communities, and from a marketer’s point of view, these platforms were only fit for brands offering gaming-related products or services. However, as the platform gained more popularity and the content became more diverse, Twitch turned into an attractive alternative for wider demographics than it used to.
Accordin Alexa.com, Twitch.tv ranked #35 in global internet traffic and engagement in the first 90 days of 2021. It has more than 30 million daily visitors from 230 countries and 9.5+ million unique creators who live stream video games, arts, cooking, crafting, sports, just chatting — pretty much everything.
This popularity and diversity of content create a unique opportunity for any brand to connect with, get feedback from, and advertise to a highly engaged audience. In fact, many non-gaming brands including Coca-Cola, Intel, BMW, Netflix and Vodafone have noticed the large potential impact that can be made through advertising on these platforms and have ventured into running live stream marketing campaigns on them. With a pool of creators broadcasting live content that is more diverse and captivating than ever, it is no surprise that so many brands from such different industries are adding live stream advertising to their marketing strategy.
Collecting user feedback to generate relevant and actionable consumer insights is a key need for brands to satisfy rapidly changing customer demands today. In the world of social media where we spend hours scrolling down on our phones, many brands turn to social listening tools to listen to and join the conversation around not just their brand but the whole industry. It is always curious to find out what people think and say about you after all.
With live streaming platforms, things get even more interesting. Engaged viewers are chatting with both the creator and each other, reacting to content, and spitting out their opinions at an unparalleled pace. This unfiltered conversation is extremely valuable to brands as it can give crucial insights about what consumers think about a product, service, or brand overall. However, although the data is publicly available, it is not easy to capture it — let alone analyze the findings — because the chat runs extremely fast.
Luckily, at LIVAD, we have developed an advertising model, Interactive Ads, that allows brands to ask the audience questions via Poll Ads in live stream chat, then display relevant Video Ad creatives according to viewers' answer, creating an interactive ad experience both for viewers and creator.
As the social media platforms rose in popularity and younger generations, people who are most accustomed to social media, became active consumers, influencer marketing has become an extremely successful marketing strategy, especially on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
Brands have realized that consumers — especially younger consumers — tend to consider a brand trustworthy and purchase their products if it is promoted by an influencer that the consumers like, find authentic and follow on social media.
However, in the 2020s, a relatively new concept, influencer marketing is gaining a new dimension on live streaming platforms. Sponsored posts, swipe-up stories, and links in bio are all losing their impact because they remain so static and feel superficial in an environment where live platforms offer higher levels of sincerity and authenticity derived from their real-time dynamics.
Think about it; social media is all pre-planned after all. It is a world of perfect filters, well thought-out captions, relevant hashtags. Nothing happens until you press ‘publish’. On live streaming platforms, however, the creator is almost naked. There is no filter, no caption, no hashtag. Whatever the creators say, it goes directly to their audience, completely unprocessed. Therefore; it is much harder for them to fake an opinion and their reviews are considered much more genuine.
That’s why brands should invest in these platforms and benefit from this high level of influence that creators have on their viewers to create an “authentic” relationship with their target audience through advertising.