Getting Stream Sponsorship: The Stats That Matter!
Alright, so you’ve been on the grind for a few months or even years now. You’re starting to see consistent viewership on your content and you think that now is the time to start getting paid for your content. I think a lot of creators spend so much time honing their craft, that it’s a bit scary when you start talking to brands for stream sponsorship, especially beyond the usual product sponsorship or affiliate sales. So what do you need to do to prepare? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about in this blog!
What is your reach?
First and foremost, it’s important to acknowledge what the sponsor is paying for. In all honesty, they’re not paying for your production quality or creativity. They’re paying for access to your audience, in the form of clicks and impressions, we’ll call this your “reach”. They want brand awareness, hopefully, a click, and especially a sale.
This is how camera review channels have bankrupted me because they make all the gear look so cool, that I just NEED to buy it. But now that you know this, you need to structure your content to accommodate. If you don’t have stream sponsorship or brand deals, you can still figure out what your reach is! Basically, any sponsor is going to ask you to tell your audience to go to a link or use a special promo code. This gives them a way of tracking your value to them as a partner by seeing how many people clicked the link or made a purchase.
However, there are ways you can gauge this yourself. Startup a Patreon, run a giveaway, or run discounts on your merch. Whatever you do, create a link or discount code that you can then track. This is how you’ll determine your reach. For example, let’s say you’re running a giveaway for some shirts you made, rather than have people sign up via a google form, use a tool like gleam.io to run the giveaway or put the link to the form behind a shortener like bit.ly. This way you get stats on how many people clicked your link and joined the giveaway.
Knowing this will let you know how much you’re worth as brands can spend tons of dollars daily on google ads just to get a click on their site to very broad audiences that may or may not be interested. You, however, can offer the sort of audience they want and you can quantify with numbers how many people will follow a link to a product you have posted before.
So let’s say a brand approaches you saying they want you to promote their toothbrush that costs 300 dollars and they’ll pay you with the toothbrush + 200 dollars. Now your channel is about oral hygiene and you did a giveaway that got 5000 sign-ups, well based on that I think you have a good leg to stand on to ask for a bit more as your reach is wider and more specific to the audience they are trying to reach!
Know your audience
I’m sure you’ve seen people talking about TV ratings and target demographics like 18-35, income brackets, and the like, right? Knowing your audience, their purchasing power, and interests are going to be very important to selling yourself for stream sponsorship. I know a lot of people are here because they’re into streaming games and making that a career, but you have to face the reality of what a predominantly gaming audience will be willing to buy. They’re likely going to want to buy the games they want to play first and then whatever makes that gaming experience the most enjoyable. Maybe they’ll buy some merch affiliated with the game?
So if you’re a league of legends streamer and you see Target is selling LoL lunch boxes, that is the kind of collaboration that would be good for your audience. Now, if you do broader content, like reactions or reporting on news, then you’re going to have to use some other tools. First and foremost, especially if you’re on youtube, look at your analytics!
YouTube Analytics is amazing for finding your audience demographics. You can see the age range of your viewers, where they’re located, and where/how they found your content. This will at least give you a baseline of what kind of products your audience may be interested in. If your age demo is 18-24, maybe don’t go for a Werther’s Original sponsorship, unless that’s a thing on TikTok now.
If you need more insight into your audience, then you need to use the tried and true marketing tactic, the survey! Basically, you’ll just need to run a survey, where whoever answers gets a chance to win a prize and promote it in your content and all your channels. This is where you can find out valuable data about your users like what they might buy which can then, in turn, inform how you’ll approach sponsors.
Partnerships, not Sponsorships
So your first few sponsored videos are likely going to be product reviews or promotions. But eventually, you’ll find a brand you’ll want to keep working with and this is where you try to form a partnership instead of just a sponsorship. How do you do this? Well, you need to provide a TPS report (this is an Office Space reference, for those of you born after 1999 – Ed), I mean a post-activation report.
Basically, after the promotional period, usually, a few days after the video releases, you’ll want to follow up with the sponsor with a short report on how you think it went. This will include stats from your analytics, samples of social media posts, snippets of audience responses, and your thoughts on what went well and didn’t with your stream sponsorship.
Basically think of it as another sales pitch as to why a brand should keep working with you. One important part of this process is to set reasonable KPIs (key performance indicators). This could be impressions, clicks, or even sales. Don’t promise the world and if you’ve been following the advice in this blog post, you should be able to get a good idea of what you can offer.
Now if you hit or exceed those KPIs, with a post-activation report or After action report (AAR) as it’s known in some circles, then you have a strong case to build an ongoing partnership with a brand.
Now, this is just the tip of the iceberg into the realm of selling out, or digital marketing as the pros call it. If you take away anything from this blog post, it’s to know your audience to know your worth. I wish I could say it’s as easy as having high production quality in your videos, but with these things, it’s more like having high engagement quality.
Do let us know, however, what you think? Have you had a stream sponsorship deal before? What was it like? Do you have any tips for reaching out to sponsors? Let us know in the comments below! And if there are any subjects like this you would like us to cover in the future, well, right there in the comments is the place to put it as well! Good luck out there!