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Getting to grips with Twitch

23 April 2021

Over the past year we have all had to get creative with virtual events, information sharing and digital fundraising. However, there is a platform that is literally built to answer all of our live streaming needs and yet no one seems to have cracked it. I am of course talking about Twitch, Amazon’s, not so little, little teenage brother with over 15 million users every day.

But what is Twitch I hear you ask? Well, it is quite simply a live-streaming platform. Whether you are showing off your arts and crafts skills, jamming on your guitar, playing Fortnite for your subscribers or just chatting about everything and anything. Twitch is the interactive platform for you. Think of this as an alternative to Facebook or Instagram lives but with the added beauty that this is a platform, where people go to watch and not to doom scroll. But with a virtual captive audience at your fingertips – how will you entertain them?

There are two key opportunities for you and your organisation to explore on Twitch. Firstly, as a new space to spread your organisation’s message and tell your stories. You can do this by streaming public panels, Q&As with service users or staff and even giving virtual tours of your facilities. And secondly, as a new space for fundraising: Whether this is by hosting fundraising events yourself, such as a quiz or comedy night or as a place to point your supporters to do their own fundraising. Your supporters could be streaming a gaming marathon or fancy dress running marathon in their back garden, it doesn’t matter – as long as it is entertaining to watch and interactive. Twitch has the ability to open up a donor’s network to beyond just their friends and families.

How to get started on Twitch:

Twitch might seem overwhelming when you land on the home page, but it just takes some getting used to. Here are some of my top tips to getting you started and comfortable with Twitch.

  • Explore – why not spend a few hours and get to grips with Twitch. It is a new platform and the content is very different, less polished, more organic and much longer than other channels you might be more familiar with. The content is very varied and will undoubtedly give you loads of ideas for how you can best use this channel. I recommend looking at brands like Redbull and charities such as Special Effect to see how the channel can be used.
  • Get signed up and experiment live. You don’t have a built-up loyal audience (yet), so play about with the settings and the type of content you create – find out what works for you and the Twitch audience.
  • Going Live: Have a think about how you want to capture your live stream. Is it a Zoom discussion, or perhaps a tour of your facilities? These will require two different approaches to going live. To start broadcasting on twitch you have two options: use the mobile app and simply click the big red ‘go live’ button or navigate broadcasting software like OBS or StreamYard to connect your screen and/or webcam to your Twitch channel.
    If you are a newbie, I’d suggest StreamYard as it is really simple and intuitive to use and they have some great videos that talk you through everything you need to know.
  • Stream regularly – As you build up your Twitch following, it is important that people know when they need to tune in. The best way to do this is by streaming at the same time regularly. So be sure to set up a schedule on your channel and stream consistently, whether that is every week or every month it doesn’t matter. You can still experiment with your content, just at a set time.
  • Get interactive: Twitch provides us with an opportunity to fundraising and talk about what we do live! So make the most of that – interact with your viewers, ask questions and answer questions. This is an opportunity to be face to face with hundreds of your supporters, whether you want to hear their stories, or just give them a big shout-out and make their day. By doing this, you will automatically make your live stream more interesting and engaging for your audience and make the most of being on this channel.
  • Consider the Audience – Remember the core Twitch audience is 18-35 so you might want to change your tone, and think about who is going live and representing your organisation – will the audience relate to them? Is the content you are creating interesting for them?
  • Fundraising: And last, but certainly not least – how do you fundraise on Twitch? Well, you need to be linked up to a Fundraising platform like Tilitfy or even JustGiving. You can receive donations straight from your Twitch channel with the in-built Tiltify extension and you can embed your live stream from Twitch into a JustGiving link or Tiltify fundraising page. This second option might be more interesting and simple to you if you are sending donors towards a fundraising Quiz, panel discussion, or comedy night for example.

I think the main thing to take away from this blog, is just experiment with Twitch, get stuck in and learn on the job. There doesn’t seem to be one brand or charity that has fully cracked it yet, but with a bit of time and dedication, it might be you and your organisation that does.

Georgia recently spoke at our Video for Charities Conference which you can now watch on-demand.

In our latest survey with Media Trust, it is clear that digital is still one of the main challenges so we hope this helps in your digital fundraising plans.

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Image: Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash

Georgia Paton

product delivery officer (gaming & streaming), British Red Cross

Georgia has recently joined the British Red Cross, leading on all things Gaming and Streaming. Georgia was previously part of the Innovation team at Marie Curie and led the highly successful celebrity-hosted live quiz series that featured Alison Steadman, David Tennant and Louis Theroux at the end of 2020. Her background is in Community and Mass Participation fundraising and believes that the new gaming and streaming fundraising space will really shake up the way we think about digital fundraising while maintaining those traditional fundraising pillars of a good supporter journey and experience, showing impact and developing strong relationships in the community.