Brands have been implementing influencer marketing strategies through Youtube and Instagram to reach new generations for a while. Nevertheless, popular live streaming platforms like Twitch and Facebook Gaming are still a little blurry in the marketer’s mind in terms of platform dynamics and advertising opportunities. These platforms, the majority of which is formed by Gen Z, reflect this generation’s viewing and consumption practices very well. In this article, we talk about Generation Z, their values, and their interaction with live streaming platforms. So who exactly is Gen Z?
Post-Millennials, Internet generation, Generation Z or simply Gen Z - was born in the digital world where information is infinite but time is limited. Hence, they consider technology and the internet as a part of their life and they don’t have to adapt to it. This tech-savvy generation born between 1997-2012, surpassed the Millennials by being the most populous generation on earth in 2019 through comprising 33% of the world population.
They have different reasons to be online and use the social platforms with different purposes - Twitter for real-time engagement and being updated on what’s happening, YouTube for learning, Instagram as an aspirational platform that lets them showcase their individuality, and VOD services like Netflix and live streaming platforms such as Twitch as the new TV. Compared to conventional TV broadcast norms, VOD and live stream platforms are significantly different in terms of audience’s expectations from and engagement with advertising.
But before exploring which advertising strategies attract Gen Z on these platforms, we should note the conditions in which they grew up, their values, and their purposes for using the internet. It is also quite crucial for brands to reconstruct their marketing strategies in accordance with the structures of these platforms that are disrupting the live broadcasting ecosystem.
Being a generation that uses the internet almost for everything, not surprisingly, Gen Z has been exposed to a large amount of content from the beginning of their online presence. Therefore, they can be very selective and have a sophisticated filter when it comes to consuming content. With their 8-second attention span, they can quickly decide whether an ad is worth their time. At this point, “authenticity” is what makes content appealing and worthy.
The reason behind this fact derives from the habit and ability to research alternative sources to reach information; Gen Z values genuine advertisements from brands that are considerate and transparent.
Therefore, they ignore advertisements that feel intrusive, sell-out, or inauthentic. Besides, being familiar with more ways to engage with the internet than the other generations, they are more likely to express themselves by delivering their requests or suggestions for a product or service, and to expect a quick response from brands. In other words, they are eager to interact with brands and to be in a two-way dialogue.
Traditional display models such as website banners, pre-rolls, and mid-rolls failed to create this two-way dialogue between the audience and the brands since these ads are not very interactable. However, creating ad campaigns in live streaming platforms like Twitch provides a two-way dialogue thanks to its highly engageable and interactive features and in turn, becomes more attractive especially to Gen Z.
For those who don't know: Twitch is a live streaming platform where people share their moments when they play games, make music or just chat with each other; and viewers can actively participate in these streams via chat.
It is a more “authentic” medium that breaks traditional live broadcast taboos and has different rules. On Twitch, viewers see the streamer not as anyone they follow, but as an inspiring role model; a person with whom they can establish an emotional connection with, and most importantly, a facilitator for the two-way dialogue they want to create. This strong relationship between the streamer and the viewers stems from the viewers’ ability to communicate with the creators and have an actual impact in the content.
On Twitch, the audience takes into account what the streamers say, wants to use the product streamers use, and is keen on supporting their favourite streamers financially. Hence, when their favourite streamers have sponsorship deals consisting of authentic and transparent ads that meet the audience’s tastes and expectations, the engagement levels become much higher than traditional advertising models.
First of all, it is very important for brands to understand what the target audience expects from their brand and how the audience wants to receive the message of an advertisement. Along with producing ad creatives appealing to them, using the language of the Twitch community and creating ad campaigns that offer a two-way dialogue, brands should also be aware that the demographic structure and tastes of each influencer’s audience will differ.
At LIVAD Technologies, working closely with streamers and the community, we bring brands together with the right streamers that are selected carefully from our network of streamers. With our questionnaire and interactive models, we are not only offering brands a chance to create the two-way dialogue that the audience cares about the most, but also providing valuable insights for the brands by asking the audience their preferences of a product or a service through the ad creatives and messages created by our in-house design and editorial team.
If you are interested in reaching Generation Z, start leveraging the power of smart Livestream Marketing with LIVAD’s smart ad display technology, request a demo today.
Images by Vince Fleming and Oğuzhan Akdoğan on Unsplash