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Better influencer marketing

EVERYTHING you need to know about Twitch Sponsorships in 2019

Better influencer marketing
16 min
June 27, 2019

Twitch sponsorships are a rising discussion amongst marketers, for good reason. Sponsoring streamers has become a staple for big brands like Redbull and Wendy’s. 

Now, growth stage companies have tools to find the best twitch streamers to promote their brands, but many questions still remain about Twitch sponsorships.

Here's a guide to Twitch sponsorships. Before you know it, you'll be doubling down and sponsoring Twitch streamers at scale. 

What is Twitch?

Twitch is a video live-streaming platform. It mainly focuses on video game live streaming, including the fast growing eSports scene. Alongside gaming and esports, you can find music, art, podcasts, talk shows and In real life content. The whole site is consumed either via video on demand or live streamed. 

twitch logo in a banner

What is a Twitch streamer?

Streamers ( the content creators of Twitch ) live stream video content. These are the people you consider "sponsoring".

They personally engage with the audience through their stream. All of it happening live. Many streamers are streaming full time, spending an up to 10 hours per day 6 days a week. Even 24 hour streaming marathons for special events or charity projects.

A snapshot of some of the top Twitch streamers followers and total view counts.

Many streamers have grown huge audiences of highly engaged viewers and are amongst the international superstars of the internet era. Perhaps more interestingly though, is a huge number of streamers with small, niche audiences. These audiences are very receptive to advertising on Twitch and harness huge buying power.

What audience can be reached sponsoring Twitch influencers?

The user base on twitch is 82% male. The average age of a twitch viewer is 21. They have over 100 million monthly active users and 2.2 million monthly streamers.

For many marketers, this young adult male audience is very hard to reach. Twitch marketing is a strong choice for anyone looking to connect with this demographic.

A collage of twitch stats: watch time, average user, money raised, partners, affiliates, target audience, platform

Why branded Twitch Sponsorships?

We're not just recommending Twitch sponsorships without cause. It's not just because big brands are doing it. In fact that is part of the secret, not everyone is there yet. 

Marketers ruin everything, just as Gary explains below in this old snippet.

That's why it's so important to get on board early, before Twitch sponsorships become too mainstream.

We see bigger brands working together with big streamers. That leaves room for potential working together with and sponsoring Twitch streamers with smaller audiences.

For small brands willing to do something different, it means huge reward. 

Concentrated target audience

With such a concentrated number of young males with clear interests in the topics they follow, Twitch holds the key to an often elusive audience. It’s very difficult to reach. 

Reddit has limited options in ad placements and a community fighting viciously against most branded content. Pinterest reaches a majority female group. Tiktok and others jumping deeper into the teen and child category. Twitch is the perfect place to reach excitable young men with a lot of buying power. 

Highly engaged audiences 

Twitch viewers are highly engaged with the platform. There is an incredible amount of interaction between viewers and streamers, discussions amongst viewers themselves and conversations that carry well into mainstream news and other social platforms. This is a huge benefit to brands, who hope to maximize their reach and potential for acquisitions.

The Anatomy of Twitch streams

Twitch offers a plethora of placement options for brands that sponsor Twitch streamers. The dynamic content, combined with creative flexibility is a winning combo. 

example of how

The chat box

One way viewers interact with Twitch influencers is by writing them live-messages. Unlike Pre-recorded video, Twitch’s chat functions allow for real-time conversations between the streamer and their audiences. 

Each streamer can assign moderators to regulate the chat. These moderators keep the chat clean from any negative insults and/or spam. Any regular viewer can become a moderator. Typically these are super fans who catch the attention of the streamer. 

No other platform allows being upgraded in status quite like this. People go from viewers to fans, to paid subscribers, donors and eventually can even volunteer to moderate for the streamer. These are some of the most engaged audiences on social media.

Special subscriber tiers

twitch subscriptions tiers for twitch audiences

You can also subscribe to channels.  It costs money to subscribe to Twitch. That means subscribers are highly committed to supporting the streamers they care about. As a subscriber you make an investment to support that channel. You're more likely to come back and watch again.

Each tier allows watching the broadcast without ads, except native Twitch sponsorships content (Native, non-programmatic). Each extra tier allows the viewer to use special emoticons to use in the chat bar. In addition, they get their own special chat room.

Engaging content

For a streamer to be successful they must make highly engaging content. This is huge leverage for brands, as made obvious by Wendy's Twitch campaigns.

There are a number of unique ways streamers make content engaging. Allow viewers to vote on the type of music that is playing in the background, what games to play, the actions they take within a stream. 

They make surveys about the certain aspects of their streams to gain insight and have the viewers participate. They also do streams where they play the games together with and or against their viewers. These types of things are engaging and create a human connection for the participants.

Another way is by making donations engaging. When someone donates money to a streamer. The streamer will read out the donation text to the stream or has an automated bot read it out. The donation does not go unnoticed. The guaranteed reaction from the streamer creates an initiative for people to engage more.

Think of it as if you tweet something at Ronaldo and he decides to respond to your Tweet. The excitement of someone you follow and admire responding to you will make you want to keep the conversation going.

Known communities

Because of all of these things that I mentioned above. The viewers have a unified identity within the Twitch community. People will know if viewers from a stream are interested in another streamer.

The individual identity creates also a certain reputation of the viewers on the platform. People love spreading their message and displaying their community. Viewers create engaging discussions within the streams and their own created content.

Support of esports

Twitch’s extreme popularity is driven in part by the esports industry. Since Twitch and esports go hand in hand, they amplify each others growth. Esports has grown from a 130 million dollar industry in 2012 to a 1.1 billion dollar industry in 2019.

This number is expected to grow to 1.8 billion by 2022. Esports is breaking more and more into the mainstream, with the potential of being an Olympic sport one day. They have reached a point where they are selling out massive stadiums, soon adding the 25,000 seat Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City to the list.

a fully packed stadium of fans watching esports

Building an influencer marketing Campaign for Twitch sponsorships

Building influencer marketing campaigns on Twitch can be daunting. While it is a world dominated by nuanced terms and tight-knit communities, breaking in could work wonders for your brand. Little as it is known, Twitch viewers seem to be much more responsive to branded content than you might expect. 

I highly recommend this article for how to create a brand ambassador program

Setting Twitch sponsorship goals

We will continue to repeat that there is no sense in running a marketing campaign without a goal. You will never ever know what is working without understanding what you’re trying to accomplish. 

While we spoke about influencer marketing and goal setting at length in our book Influencer Marketing Sprint, here’s a brief rundown of how to set clear goals for influence:

Take a business goal: 

Sell more makeup than any other European Company.

Understand marketing goals associated with this goal: 

Improve awareness of online store measured by an increase of 50,000 new visitors by February. 

Improve recurring online purchases by 15% by improving community engagement and share of voice on social.  

Drive 10,000 new monthly purchases by increasing web conversions by 10%

One of your goals should be addressable using influencer marketing. If not, you have no reason to put in the resources required to do this correctly. Make sure you understand what goal you are contributing to when you start with influencer marketing. This is what drives the success of fast growing brands building influencer marketing campaigns.

Understanding the Twitch community

Venturing into Twitch influencer marketing could leave you doing work in a community you don’t fully understand. If possible, take the time to view some streams, become familiar with streamers in your niche and learn how the community works.

Take advantage of your new found relationships with streamers as well. Ask them what their audience wants to hear about, what brand collaborations seem to have worked in the past and how you can stand out with their community.

Heed their advice and treat them well, it will shine through in your upcoming collaborations.

Understanding who to partner with

On Twitch, it’s best to assume the majority of the audience you reach will be 20-30 year old males. 

The rest is all about understanding the context of the viewers. For accurate and efficient influencer selection, use a tool to find Twitch influencers

Take a look at the content the streamer has posted, the language of the audience and the amount of activity on the streamer’s profile. There are other metrics you can explore using tools like Modash.

The simple, ideal situation looks kind of like this: 

You, the Twitch sponsor, sell a music related app. 

You want to drive acquisitions in Germany. You partner with streamers related to music that speak German while streaming. 

They are willing to work on an acquisition based payment model for equal to or less than your best performing marketing channel. 

Every month, you pay them based on the number of customers who used their unique code/link . 

Over time, you add more and more streamers. You now have a customer aquisition army, built on Twitch sponsorships.

top twitch streamers

What kind of content to make?

Part of the beauty of Twitch is ad placement options. Twitch sponsorship marketing isn’t limited in variety that’s for sure. In stream, out of a stream and a lot of layers in between leaving the door wide open for creative material and super measurable campaigns. 

Ad read 

When your product is complicated and it needs an explanation to educate the customer, consider an ad read. These reads are typically 1-3 minutes and happen in the pauses between the climatic parts of the stream. 

Chatbot ad 

Twitch audiences live in chat. A perfect place to have chatbot ads. These typically work best when displayed every 5-10 minutes, are very concise and include a trackable link. 

twitch chat bot ad example

In-stream banner ad

In stream ads are pretty simple and straightforward. Your image/message displayed for some period of time during the stream, or throughout its entirety. The video structure of the stream typically includes the streamers face cam, the gameplay and additional overlays. It’s important your banners are well designed to fit the screen. These are great for displaying a link to a discount offer.

twitch ad placement examples

On profile banner ad

Below the stream, and in the placeholder area when a streamer is offline there’s more real estate for banners. These areas are typically packed with all of the streamers information. This is where all eyeballs land while streams are turned off.

promoting prouducts on twitch example

Title ad

A title is the largest most standout piece of text that isn’t overlayed in the stream. Grabbing it in a way that doesn’t feel to interruptive is a great way to catch eyeballs.

twitch kfc title ad example

Test many, combine what works 

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Combining different types of ad placements will guarantee visibility and drive more engagement than anyone ad could. Consider shoutouts in stream that drive the audience to the link in a chatbot or a banner below the stream, for example.

twitch advertisement example from uber eats

The next step in building Twitch Sponsorship in your marketing mix

Now you know what Twitch is, how to identify streamers and think about launching your Twitch influencer marketing program. If you’re ready, you can start finding Twitch influencers for free. If you need more info or have questions, write to

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