How to launch experiential campaigns on Twitch and TikTok

Gen Z is flocking to these visual platforms—and bringing their money with them. Here’s what marketers should know about engaging these audiences. Influencers are a vital component.

Step aside, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

An increasing number of younger consumers are gravitating to the video streaming service Twitch, which has traditionally catered to gamers, and TikTok, a social media app designed for making and sharing comedy bits, lip-synching clips and more. Marketers, take notice.

Members of Generation Z—especially those 16 to 21 years old—wield major purchasing power, spending about $143 billion each year. However, what’s challenging for marketers is that Gen Z doesn’t buy into traditional advertising methods on television and radio. Marketers have to appeal to their passions: gaming, sports, beauty and culture.

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Twitch and TikTok have highly engaged communities with large concentrations of younger users. More than 70% of Twitch’s audience is under 34, and 41% of TikTok users are ages 16 to 24. 

With the average Twitch user spending 95 minutes per day on the platform and the average TikTok user spending 52 minutes per day on the app, engagement numbers are above or in line with the likes of Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, Twitch and TikTok are both global entities that allow for dialogue with consumers, albeit in different ways.

Tapping into the fun of TikTok 

It doesn’t take extraordinary skill for users to become famous on TikTok; just deliver a fun idea, some music and an eye for editing. Most TikTok clips run from 15 to 60 seconds and include popular music tracks, and while the footage itself relies on quick cuts to tell a quirky story.

For marketers, it’s a useful platform for a variety of reasons, especially because of the audience. Not only has TikTok been installed on more than 110 million devices since its U.S. launch last summer, but it has also been downloaded 1 billion times worldwide.

To reach TikTok users, marketers should partner with platform influencers in creating striking content. For one thing, doing so will help companies avoid wasting money on campaigns that don’t go anywhere. TikTok makes it easy to find influencers who can tap into the platform’s deep music catalog and create fun, attention-grabbing videos. You won’t have to worry about licensing, either, as the rights to songs are covered by TikTok.

Consider, too, how fashion company Guess partnered with TikTok to create the #InMyDenim challenge, which had users record themselves in various locations wearing items from the Guess denim collection. The San Diego Zoo has encouraged TikTok users to visit the grounds and create fun videos of the animals set to music on the platform.

Livestreaming on Twitch with tailored messaging

Video game livestreams helped Twitch take off as a popular platform for Gen Z gamers. The service has expanded to encourage non-gamers to join the community through watch parties for popular TV shows and live how-to video streams, such as tutorials on coding.

Brands not endemic to the platform should look to co-create content with established streamers on Twitch. This will help brands create a tailored message and avoid looking like they don’t belong. Twitch users take the platform seriously, which has created highly engaged communities. That makes it a great place for a brand to step in.

Marketing opportunities on Twitch are expected to expand as brand managers flock to streaming platforms to deliver their messages to the devoted communities built by influencers. 

Old Spice used the streaming and live chat functions to create an interactive experience in which a man in a forest acted according to viewers’ requests.

Gillette immersed its brand deep in the platform recently when it created a promotion that enabled Twitch users to obtain the service’s currency, Twitch Bits, by purchasing razors and other Gillette products. On top of that, Gillette broadcast shaving tutorials on Twitch to complete the experience.

Although marketing efforts on Twitch and TikTok provide consumers—young ones, in particular—the experiences they crave, marketers still have to look at return on investment in order to validate those efforts. One way to increase ROI is by getting your message in front of more people.

As Twitch and TikTok continue to gain traction with younger users, marketers must be aware of all the ways they can harness these platforms to reach their audiences. If you reach out authentically and creatively to Generation Z, you stand to tap into an emerging market with tremendous spending power.

Jeff Snyder is founder and chief inspiration officer of Inspira Marketing Group.

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