There’s no doubt that the world of gaming changes quickly. Just when consumers think they have the latest console, the Electronic Entertainment Expo comes along and introduces the latest tech, and games like Fortnite change the gaming landscape with a meteoric rise in popularity. However, there is one trend that just seems to keep popping up: gamers are going live.
Over 2.2 million gamers stream monthly on Twitch, currently the most popular video game livestreaming platform. Even Facebook is pursuing gaming livestreams with their “Level Up” program. It’s not all fun and games though, (well, most of it is) – many streamers use their platform for good. In fact, in 2017, Twitch announced that it had raised over $75 million for charity in five years.
While engaging creators in a live setting can seem daunting, it can come with some big rewards. Here are four reasons to consider bringing your brand to the world of live gaming:
1. It’s Authentic Engagement
When it comes to millennials, the main audience of these streaming services, it’s hard to break through the clutter of the 4,000 to 10,000 ads that they see each day. The world of live-gaming presents a unique opportunity to connect with their audience beyond a pre-roll ad or social post, providing an authentic experience for the viewer. With a direct line to creators, interactions with the audience are much more meaningful, allowing for viewers to provide real-time feedback, or in some innovative cases, influence the broadcast and even play the game! This quick, unfiltered communication can create a valuable connection between viewers, the creator and your brand that is hard to find anywhere else.
2. It Creates Unique Experiences
Unlike Let’s Plays, the term commonly used to refer to on-demand gaming videos, video game livestreams provide viewers with a unique, one-time-only experience. Rather than being able to see a video progress bar or skip ahead, viewers are seeing and reacting to the creator’s experience in real-time with the rest of the community, generating excitement that is harder to find when you already have an idea of what’s going to happen. This creates shared experiences that are much more visceral than had it been experienced days, weeks, or months after having happened. For streamers who don’t upload videos of their streams, these moments can be limited to the privileged audience who were there when they happened, providing a unique opportunity to integrate your brand into the creator’s community.
3. Raising Money for Your Cause Becomes a Game
Contests and competitions are ubiquitous in the world of video game livestreaming. With thousands of viewers and high stakes, the right conditions can make fundraising a fun and exciting experience for the audience in ways that only going live can. Creating donation milestones, adding challenges to the gaming experience or participating in giveaways are all great ways to engage the audience and encourage donating in a way that has a real-time impact. In many ways, even simply pursuing a dollar goal can be like a game, making viewers feel like winners when they reach it. By leveraging the competitive nature of gaming, you can create memorable moments of victory with viewers that will hold a strong association with your brand.
4. It’s Growing, Fast
Not only is live gaming highly engaging – it’s still growing! YouTube Gaming’s active streamer base has grown by 343% through 2017, and Twitch lays claim to a powerful 15 million active viewers every day. With eSports providing a boost to these streaming services, the popularity of these platforms is growing rapidly. In fact, Twitch has grown so large that it draws in as many viewers as CNN and MSNBC! With such rapid growth, the live gaming industry has yet to be saturated with advertising, leaving ample room for messages to be heard mostly unimpeded. Though the audience held by these platforms is heavily dominated by male millennials, the vast viewership wielded by gamers presents a powerful opportunity to support and share your cause and brand.
While working with live, unedited footage can come with some hiccups, there are ways to keep the risk to a minimum by engaging the right creators for your brand. Engaging with these creators can be a great way to keep your brand relevant in an age where meaningful connections to gamers are formed by going live.