Making Money on Twitch: Sponsorship Essentials
December 15, 2022
For a Twitch streamer, sponsorships can be an important source of income and a way to build a successful career as a content creator. However, there are many nuances, challenges, and considerations to keep in mind when it comes to securing and maintaining sponsorships. In this post, we’ll talk about types of sponsorships, how to attract sponsors, and potential benefits and pitfalls.
First and foremost, it's important to understand that not all sponsorships are created equal. Some sponsors may offer one-time payouts or commission-based deals, while others may offer more lucrative ongoing partnerships. It's up to the individual streamer to carefully evaluate each offer and determine whether it aligns with their goals and values.
With one-time payout sponsorships, the sponsor will clearly define certain deliverables for the Twitch streamer — these deliverables will typically be things like placing certain branding in the stream, spending time playing a certain game, and publishing a specific number of posts on social media (and maybe some creative things like wearing a brand’s merchandise). These deals are fairly straightforward and easy to deliver on, but downsides are that you’re not guaranteed future revenue from the sponsor, and the amount earned from one-time payouts can be very inconsistent.
With a commission-based deal, one party agrees to pay another party a commission, or a percentage of the revenue generated from a specific activity. For example, if a streamer enters into a commission-based agreement with a gaming company, the streamer may receive a percentage of the revenue generated by some sales of the company's products. This can be an attractive option for both parties, as it allows the streamer to earn income based on the success of the partnership, and it allows the business to potentially earn more revenue by leveraging the streamer's audience and influence. Commission-based deals are typically called affiliate programs as they do not usually offer upfront payment for services rendered.
The difference between an affiliate program and a true sponsorship is the nature of the relationship and the terms of the agreement between the parties. While both can be valuable sources of income for content creators, it's important to carefully evaluate the specific terms and requirements of each type of arrangement to determine which one is the best fit. Some affiliate programs may actually be predatory and could potentially damage your brand; be sure to watch out for sponsorship red flags and protect yourself and your brand.
Competition is one of the biggest challenges for Twitch streamers when it comes to securing sponsorships. With thousands of content creators on the platform, it can be difficult to stand out and attract the attention of potential sponsors. This is why it's important for streamers to focus on building a strong and engaged community, as well as on creating high-quality content that sets them apart from the competition.
The first step in securing sponsorships is understanding which metrics matter to potential sponsors. Sure, having a large following is great, but it's not everything. When it comes to sponsorships, sponsors want to see two things: engagement and loyalty. Are viewers actively engaging with your content? Do they come back regularly or do they stop by once and never return? Showing potential sponsors that you have an active and loyal audience will go a long way toward convincing them that they should invest in you. As a creator you should have a media kit ready to go with some of the following details:
- Views and impressions across all platforms
- Subscribers on Twitch and YouTube
- Engagement (comments, likes, and shares)
- Average watch time
- Demographics (gender, age, and location)
- Type of content
Your kit should also include a short bio, some information about what makes your content unique, and the reasons a sponsor should work with your brand. You can use a bunch of tools including AI to really grasp these metrics and actually use them to growth hack your stream.
Now that you understand the metrics that matter most, it's time to figure out how to set yourself apart from other creators. This comes down to branding yourself effectively and consistently delivering high-quality content. Having a signature style or theme—be it through music, videos, or art—can help your stream stand out. In addition, if you focus on creating content around specific topics (for example, gaming or cooking), rather than just streaming randomly each day, this can also help differentiate you from other creators who may do the same thing but with less focus and direction. Making quality content is important in general, but it’s especially so in the world of sponsors. Unique content has a better chance of appealing to prospective sponsors and viewers alike.
Finally, once you've established yourself as a quality creator with an engaged audience, it's time to start reaching out for potential sponsorship opportunities. The key is finding the right partners—those who align with your brand values and aesthetic. You want to make sure that any prospective sponsor has an audience, product, and/or service that would be of interest to your viewers, so there's mutual benefit in any partnership arrangement. It's also important to ensure that a prospective sponsor shares your values when it comes to privacy policies and data protection, so you’re both comfortable working together long-term without any issues arising down the line.
Another key consideration for Twitch streamers is the need to strike a balance between maintaining authenticity and meeting a sponsor’s expectations. Sponsors want to see a return on their investment, which means that streamers may be asked to promote certain products or services during their broadcasts. However, it's important for a streamer to avoid “selling out” and losing the trust and support of their audience. And that means carefully choosing sponsors that align with the streamer's personal brand and values.
There are many obvious benefits to securing sponsorships as a Twitch streamer. In addition to providing income, sponsorships can also help streamers gain exposure and reach a wider audience. This can lead to even more opportunities for growth and success, such as partnerships with other content creators or participation in events and conventions. While it's important to approach the process with care and a clear understanding of the challenges involved, securing sponsorships as a Twitch streamer can be a valuable and rewarding experience. By building a strong community, creating high-quality content, and choosing sponsors wisely, streamers can turn their passion into a successful career.