Part 3: Twitch, Streaming, and Endorsements

In my last two blogs I spoke about how much noise and clutter there was for marketers to compete with, and about how a different approach to marketing (permission-marketing) can yield excellent results for the niche-market focused firms who cannot compete with the ad dollars spent by larger companies- such as Nike. In this blog I plan to discuss how a certain social media platform, Twitch, harnesses the power of permission marketing to the benefit of both the streamer and the brand sponsoring them.

I will quickly describe Twitch for those unfamiliar: Twitch is a social media platform that allows users to sign-up and stream video of themselves doing pretty much anything with a focus on video games and audience involvement. Hosts stream themselves doing something live while anyone can watch and converse in a text-based chat room displayed next to the video component. Similar to other platforms, such as Twitter, there is no permission required to follow another user on Twitch. Twitch happens to be an excellent conduit to build relationships, and these relationships are not entirely restricted to streamer-to-streamer or streamer-to-audience, but they are almost always built on an authentic attachment to another human being (or even brand).

So, users with a large enough audience gain the attention of certain brands related to the video game industry or other relevant niche-interests, such as cosplay design or crafts. These brands may offer the streamer a form of endorsement in which they supply discount codes or trial products in exchange for a noticeable presence on a stream- this can be in the form of banner ads or even segments in which the brand’s promotion is given the spotlight for a duration of time. In this manner a brand begins its process of permission-marketing:

  1. They offer the prospect (the streamer) an incentive to volunteer (free products or dollar donations). Note: this begins the process by creating an agreement between the two in relation to an endorsement program.
  2. Using the attention offered by the prospect, offer a curriculum over time (continued endorsement, varying goods), teaching the consumer about a given product in service. Note: this aspect gets multiplied as the streamer’s audience’s familiarity implicitly grows along with the continued endorsement program.
  3. Reinforce the incentive to guarantee that the prospect maintains the permission. Note: this occurs when the brand continues to honour its part of the relationship by continuing endorsement in good faith or expanding what it gives to the streamer.
  4. Offer additional incentives to get even more permission from the consumer. Note: this can many forms on Twitch. But, one form this could take is as giveaways for the streamer to provide for their audience which could incorporate growing ties between the endorsing brand and the streamer’s audience.
  5. Over time, leverage the permission to change consumer behavior towards profits. Note: this includes forging a communication channel between the brand and the streamer’s audience as well as opportunity to reach out to more streamers based on a mutually beneficial relationship showcased by the brand’s initial endorsement of the first streamer.

Once again, Seth Godin’s 1999 writings about permission-marketing may be accessed in exchange for an email address here: http://www.sethgodin.com/permission/

And, Twitch can be explored further on its website accessed at: https://www.twitch.tv/

 

 

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