In 2020, over 14 million streamers produced 650 million hours of content. Audiences are spending up to 95 minutes a day watching streams. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ gaming debut on the platform peaked at 435,000 viewers.
This advertising potential mainly remains untapped for younger audiences. The space is fairly new and the playbook doesn’t exist. This leaves room for experimentation and greatness, but also a lot of mistakes.
The rule of thumb is: Fit into the world of streamers and viewers and you’ll be fine. Here are my five tips for working with streamers.
The Gen Z audience is sensitive to irrelevant noise—but informal, unregulated encounters and actions are also why live streaming appeals to them. Being live for multiple hours makes it hard to have everything staged and perfect; this is where true personality stands out. The same for your brand. You cannot lull stream viewers into believing in perfect advertising. Be honest about what value your product gives.
Be open to change
Trends in live streaming come and go. The craze of the Fall Guys game that took over the gaming world in August is nowhere to be found in November. If you want to plan in advance stick to evergreen categories like League of Legends, CS:GO, IRL or Fortnite. If you want to hop on a trend, be ready to keep up with it and change your plan on a whim.
Put the community first
Streaming is rarely only about the streamer. What makes it great is the relationship built between the chat and the streamer. Viewers are even happy about brands appearing on stream because they know that this helps the creator grow. Have your brand be a part of it. Show that you support the streamer and appreciate the viewers. Don’t do anything that takes advantage of them or disrupts watching.
Trust the streamer
Streamers know their audience best. They spent hours interacting with them, so they know what is entertaining and what is cringe-worthy. Treat it as a collaboration, or a talk, and plan the activation with the streamer as a partner. Many of their suggestions will lead to satisfying viewers—and satisfied viewers can treat ad segments as something worth watching instead of a necessary evil. Sometimes counter-intuitive decisions lead to the best results.
“For gamers” stickers won’t work
Gamers and stream viewers are normal people. Most of them do not treat playing games as a personality trait. So do not treat “for gamers” as a product attribute when it’s not justified. The gaming or streaming setting is a space you can show your product in. Use it to show its best values. Your brand is cool enough by choosing to support streamers; you can only mess it up by pushing too hard.
For example, how do you showcase a shaver product on a stream without showing the streamer’s face? Influencer Lirik, a variety streamer, usually streams without a webcam. But in this case, he used streaming to unbox the shaver and show off his beard only. During the stream, his viewers posted photos of their faces with a #KingCGillette hashtag. Lirik showed the photos on stream and advised what beard style the viewers should get. Results: 20,000 average viewers on sponsored stream with no drop in viewership while promoting the product. It worked because it was natural, with paced reviews between games. There was natural interaction with a way for fans to be noticed.