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April 9, 2024
min read
Noam Yadin

Your guide to Twitch advertising

Live streaming is compelling, and if you combine the interactivity and community aspects, it’s pretty easy to understand why Twitch has 2 million daily active viewers. 

Twitch stands out for two main reasons - unlike other video content platforms, only live streams are available on Twitch. This means that viewers must tune in at the time of the live stream or else they will miss the content (and fast-forwarding is obviously not an option). Another unique feature is the live chatbox, which allows streamers to directly interact with their audience. 

“80% of Twitch viewers approve of Twitch streamers using sponsorships”

Although Twitch is not the first platform that comes to mind when you are considering influencer marketing, it is actually a strong candidate. Due to the nature of the platform, those that take the time to tune in to hours of live streams are loyal and extra supportive of their favorite streamers - making it a lucrative platform for brand partnerships. 

What audience can be reached sponsoring Twitch streamers?

According to reports, the user base on Twitch is 82% males, and the average age of a Twitch viewer is 21. The average user spends about 105 minutes everyday on the platform. For many marketers, the young adult male audience is very hard to reach, further emphasizing that Twitch marketing is a strong choice for brands hoping to engage with this demographic.

Here is some Twitch terminology you should get familiar with:

Streamers: Content creators of Twitch; They stream video content. These are the people you consider ‘sponsoring’. They personally engage with the audience through their live stream. 

Average concurrent viewership (ACV): This is the average number of users watching a stream at any given time. Consider partnering with streamers who have lower but increasing ACV -  you may be able to get a deal on a partnership before their channel blows up. 

Stream frequency: This is how often the content creator streams - you should work with streamers who broadcast frequently and on a regular schedule because that’s how they’ll cultivate your brand. 

Chat: This is where users can post comments, ask questions and engage with streamers. In short, this is where the magic happens.  

Emotes: Twitch-specific emoticons; a way for both streamers and viewers to playfully interact. It's also a way for partners and affiliates to reinforce their branding and personalities. They have become an integral aspect of Twitch’s culture/community. 

Here are just a few reasons why Twitch sponsorships are so effective:

Trusting relationship between streamers and viewers

Twitch viewers spend hours upon hours watching their favorite streamers play, eat, sing, workout, and play some more. It’s safe to say that individuals would only spend this much time watching a live stream if they truly liked the information they were sharing and trusted the content. For marketers, this is key because if a streamer decides to promote a product/service to their viewers, their audience will most likely trust the recommendation (if done correctly). 

There’s a Twitch category for pretty much any niche

Although gaming is still central to Twitch’s identity, the platform has become the go-to place for any live streaming content. For example, over the last year, the content category - Just Chatting - became the top watch content category on the platform. So, whether your brand relates to the gaming sphere or not, both in regard to the content or target audience, you are likely to find a Twitch streamer to promote your product/service on. 

Here are some non-gaming content categories to consider:

  • Just Chatting: Includes things like Q&A’s, Study with Me, and casual conversations between streamers and viewers
  • Art: Digital artists that stream their creative process
  • ASMR: Streamers that shared softly spoken content
  • Food & Drinks: Pretty much anything food-related, such as Mukbangs, cooking shows, or food-related challenges
  • Travel & Outdoors: Travel vloggers share their travel-related experience IRL
  • Fitness & Health: This is the ideal category for fitness fanatics - fitness trainers and health gurus share their exercise sessions, training workouts and healthy meals. 

Product/service can be used live

Instead of a Twitch streamer simply mentioning your brand’s product/service, they have the opportunity to actually use it - truly showing off its capabilities. For example, the streamer can apply your brand's makeup product, or use your brand’s food app, and wear your brand’s fitness apparel. This can take the streamer-brand partnership one step further and increase the viewers’ interest in the product/service. 

Chatbot mentions

Twitch’s platform has a feature that many social outlets lack - Twitch Chat. The streamer can set up an automatic chatbot message that promotes your brand, the chosen messaging and a link to the specific landing page. This message will appear regularly on the chat (and can also be highlighted with some color in order to further attract attention). 

Easily measured 

With correct tracking, brands can easily track the success of their Twitch campaigns. It’s easy to see what is working and tweak or scale your Twitch campaign accordingly. 

But where do you begin? At ThoughtLeaders, we collect data on thousands of Twitch channels, so we know a good brand integration when we see one. 

Identify the right Twitch creators for your brand

It is critical to do extensive research before settling on your top contenders (those that align best with your brand). The most obvious way is by doing a quick Google search or scouring the tags search on the platform. For example, if you are an athletic apparel brand, you may search for fitness based streamers who will wear your apparel during the livestream. You could jot down the Twitch streamers that seem most relevant to your brand. 

Another way to find potential streamer partnerships is by checking out where your competitors are sponsoring. This tactic may lead you to consider niches you didn’t initially think about, opening up the doors to even more Twitch categories. 

Using the ThoughtLeaders platform, you can specify keywords and content categories in order to put together a list of potential streamers. You can also check out brands and the channels they have sponsored in the past in order to give you an even better idea of where you should be focusing your marketing efforts. Similarly, if you see a brand like yours that had one splashy partnership with a streamer, and then never appeared there again, you’ll know that might be a streamer you want to stay clear from. 

Once you’ve decided which Twitch streamers you are interested in using to promote your brand, you can start listing the ideal streamers in a planner to start collecting more information about the ad rates.  

Keep an eye on the budget

It’s important to align expectations and make sure you are using your budget on integrations that will deliver results. The best way to do this is by calculating expected results according to rates you can offer to the streamers. The key criteria you should pay attention to is your desired CPM (cost per mille) and your maximum CPV (cost per view) for your campaign budget. It is also a good idea to consider your landing page conversion rates, to make sure your campaign goals are realistic. (See below for some tips for optimizing your landing page for best results.) 

Once you’ve set out these budget parameters, it’s easier to keep track of which partnerships will help you achieve your KPIs. Track of these budget requirements and make sure you don’t get distracted by shiny livestreamers that won’t deliver the results you are looking for. Keep in mind, there are a variety of factors that will affect the rate of a Twitch streamer including the number of followers, average concurrent viewership, number of streams and type of placement (See below for placement types). 

Reaching out to Twitch streamers

After listing your ideal channels and deciding on your campaign goals, the negotiation process begins. Negotiating is a tricky business, so it's important to have all the information - both your KPIs and what they can offer - average concurrent viewership, number of streams, expected impressions, and of course, the price. rrange all of this data and work out which of the options will make the most sense for your campaign. 

Once you have the streamer’s offering sorted, you have a clearer understanding of the expected results that are possible to achieve - the expected CPV for each partnership.

If there’s a streamer you think would align perfectly with your product/service, but the numbers aren’t quite lining up for you, feel free to negotiate. When it comes to Twitch streamers, there’s a little bit of wiggle room - for example, there’s an option to offer different types of advertisement placements.  

How to create a Twitch ad that works: 

Twitch sponsorships work best when they seamlessly integrate into the streamer's content - the product/service is relevant to viewers, it is explained in a way that resonates with the intended audience, and KPIs are met. 

Types of Twitch advertisements:

Here’s a breakdown of the different Twitch sponsorship placements:

Chatbots: This is when the streamer promotes the brand’s product/service in the Twitch chat. Streamers and viewers are avid chatbot users - viewers can ask their favorite streamers questions and advice which the creators answer on livestream. This creates a conversation, much like one you would have with your friends. So, obviously, viewers are highly engaged to the conversion on the chat, so its an ideal place for Twitch streamers to promote a product/service. Here’s why:

  • Streamers can add links (which allows brands to track the success of the partnership)
  • Streamers can add short messages, explaining the product/service
  • Native - don’t interrupt the viewer’s livestream experience
  • Easily repeatable - streamers can easily add the promotional message regularly
  • Easily customizable 

Banner overlay: This is when the brand, product or service is promoted on a banner featured on-stream. Viewers are highly engaged with the stream content so if a brand decides to place a promotional banner on-stream, very high chance it’ll be seen. However, one major thing to consider - banners are harder to measure because a UTM is not included. Therefore, it is recommended to couple the banner overlay with another Twitch advertising effort.  

In-stream ad reads/product features: This is the ideal Twitch advertising placement;  This is when the streamer actually mentions the product/service or features it in an obvious manner during the livestream. 

  • Ad reads: The streamer promotes the product/service for a certain amount of time, mentioning the brand’s key points, and adding a promo code. For example, during one of Pokimane’s livestreams, she was sponsored by Cup Noodles and the gamer made the instant noodles during the stream (and even included a ‘slurp meter’). Pokimane expressed her love for the instant noodles and explained why its the best option for hungry viewers. 
  • Product features: The brand’s product is featured in the livestream. For example, streamers sponsored by Red Bull may have a drink on their desk or wear a Red Bull bandana. Although the brand will get a lot of exposure, it is extremely difficult to measure its success. 

Product giveaways: This is when the streamers announce a special giveaway organized by the brand. This is one of the most common promotions between brands and Twitch streamers. With this promotional effort, listeners are fully engaged (because the streamer is mentioning a product that is relevant to their viewers) and interested in getting involved in order to win the giveaway. 

Brand alignment

When someone tunes into a specific livestream, they believe the streamer is highly skilled in that content field and has a fun personality/fun to watch. As a marketer, in order to make sure your brand and product is digested properly by listeners, you have to not only ensure it aligns with the qualities mentioned above (fits the creator’s values and content), but aligns with the audience’s interests as well. 

There’s a reason why hundreds of thousands of people tune into this specific creator. Don’t try to fight it. Instead, ride the wave. It’s important to send the streamer specific text you want them to say about the product/service, keeping in mind that they will adjust accordingly to accommodate their tone and style (you should trust that they know what their audience likes and what will ensure the highest engagement). 

Let the creators do what they do best

The key aspect of sponsorship advertising is the human touch. Instead of a brand promoting their products to a general audience, streamers have the ability to advertise a product/service in a more creative, engaging way - touching on aspects that they already know their audience enjoys. 

For example, back in 2019, EA sponsored top Twitch streamers a whopping $1 million to promote the surprise-launch of battle royale shooter Apex Legends. According to EA, Ninja - who has over 14M Twitch followers - played the game during a livestream and helped helped Apex Legends gain a lot of traction. After just a month on the market, the game had more than 50 million registered players! 

Define your Goals

So what makes a successful Twitch sponsorship? Well, there is no cookie-cutter answer because each brand partnership is different. It’s important to determine your own goals for your campaign - what does success look like and how will it be measured? 

There are so many metrics you can choose to measure the success of your campaign, but the key is to pinpoint the ultimate goal. For example, if the goal is to increase sales, you may want to offer the streamer a promo code that can also help you track sales (and see if this specific streamer helped lead the brand to success). If you are more interested in general brand awareness, then tracking individual conversions will be less crucial. 

Twitch sponsorship can be highly effective in helping you to reach engaged audiences. If you need any help deciding which streamers will be the best fit for your current messaging, get in touch and our team can help you look at the data and design a successful Twitch sponsorship for your brand. 

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