Twitch became popular as a platform for live-streaming video games, but these days, that’s changing. The platform has seen a rapid increase in non-gaming streamers. Brands now have a new opportunity to reach their target audience through Twitch ads.
Music streaming, for instance, became one of the most watched streams on Twitch as of 2021, with over 270 million hours of streamed music content. Other creators, from big brands to DIY entrepreneurs, are catching up quickly.
The growing platform has opened up new advertising grounds for brands to promote their products and services. But because they’re so new, Twitch ads remain uncharted territory for most.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to get started with Twitch ads.
What are Twitch ads?
Twitch is a live-streaming platform that draws millions of users from across the globe. It lets users live stream on any device and browse through channels by searching for specific keywords based on their interests. Twitch takes a community-first approach to brand collaborations and promotions, even in ads.
Twitch ads are short paid advertisements that either appear before or during live streams. Advertisements that appear before live streams are called “pre-roll ads,” while ads that appear during streams are known as “mid-roll ads.” Pre and mid-roll advertisements on Twitch can be anywhere between 30 seconds to 3 minutes long.
The platform currently supports seven types of Twitch ad formats: Homepage Carousel, Homepage Headliner, Medium Rectangle, Stream Display Ad, Streamables, Super Leaderboard, and Twitch Premium Video.
Brands can also partner with Twitch streamers to run manual ads on their channels.
Why should you advertise with Twitch?
Here are five reasons why Twitch advertising should be a part of your marketing strategy:
1. Reach a diverse audience
Since Twitch is no longer solely a game streaming platform, the content has diversified into multiple categories. From music and sporting events to food and entertainment, Twitch attracts a massive 31 million average users daily. This provides marketers with a brand new varied demographic audience to target.
2. Twitch viewers are increasing by the minute
Twitch has seen insane growth in the number of users year after year. The platform’s user base has grown from 1.26M in 2019 to 2.63M in 2022 and continues to do so. Our Digital 2022 report also uncovered that 30.4% of internet users engage with video live streams each week. If this trend continues, Twitch will only become more important for advertisers and creators alike.
3. Viewers love supporting their favorite creators
Most active users, if not all, are regular viewers of their preferred Twitch streamers. These loyal users would love to support their favorite channels and creators, but they’re not always willing to pay for a regular subscription.
When Twitch viewers watch ads on their favorite creator’s channel, the creator gets paid without the user spending a dime.
4. The platform is a true community
Twitch streaming is all about real-time conversations. Creators and viewers often interact and make personal connections while streaming. A live streamed football sporting event, for instance, attracts a like-minded community of sports fans. These viewers often end up sharing personal views and building mutual trust on the platform.
This leads to a much higher engagement rate on the ads placed natively while the stream is ongoing.
5. Right now, competition is low
Because it’s so new, many advertisers tend to overlook Twitch’s marketing potential. This restricts how they use the platform to reach their target audience in terms of the content or the type of campaigns they run on Twitch ads. So even if you’re in a competitive industry, you’re combatting lesser competition here!
Types of Twitch ads available
We’ve mentioned how Twitch ads are more native and intuitive to interact with. Here’s a look at the different Twitch ads formats that make this possible:
Creators can use homepage carousel ads to promote their channel at the front and center of the Twitch homepage. These are useful for creators and not brands.
These ads are in the form of rotating carousels where users scroll through the content.
Ad specs: Stream description copy; maximum 250 characters.
Homepage headliner ads appear behind the carousel ads. They can scale depending on the changing screen resolutions and display sizes.
Every unit is divided into three parts: two images on the left and right and a middle section with the hex color code that can vary depending on the selection.
Ad specs: Left and right graphic for branding – 450×350, with size up to 150 kb (to avoid overlapping), and JPG/PNG format with layered PSD. The hex color code (primary background color) must be included in the file name or sampled from the template.
Medium rectangle is an animation-supported ad unit. These ads appear as users scroll through the content on the Twitch browsing page.
This format does not support videos but supports graphics such as images, GIFs, and other animated elements.
Ad specs: Dimensions – 300×250, max file size – 100kb, file format – GIF, JPG, PNG, and animation length – max 15 secs or 3 loops.
Stream display ad
As the name suggests, stream display ads appear during live streams. These are one of the most organic ads to engage users and promote your brand. This format, too, supports animated elements over videos.
Ad specs: Dimensions – 728×90, max file size – 100kb, file format – GIF, JPG, PNG, and animation length – max 15 secs or 3 loops.
Streamables are for mobile game brands. They help increase viewer traffic of the displayed brand (a Twitch-partnered mobile game).
Once the user opts in, they watch a 30-second unskippable video stream. They can continue watching the stream on Twitch by swiping up or can continue on their original app.
Ad specs: Minimum width – 250 px with dark backgrounds.
Super leaderboard ads appear as banners on top of the page while the users scroll through Twitch browsing for content.
This format, as well, does not support videos but supports graphic elements like images, GIFs, and other animated assets.
Ad specs: Dimensions – 970×66, max file size – 100kb, file format – GIF, JPG, PNG, and animation length – max 15 secs or 3 loops.
Twitch premium video
Twitch premium video ads are mid-rolls (run by creators) and pre-rolls. They typically range from a standard 30-second video to a lengthier 60-second video (mid-rolls only – paid extra). These are unskippable ads, making them highly engaging and visible.
Note: Pre-rolls appear before the stream starts, and mid-rolls appear during a stream.
Ad specs: Length of up to 30 secs. Charged extra for 60 seconds. Ideal resolution – 1920×1080, min bitrate – 2000 kbps, peak audio – -9dB, required video file format – H.264 (MP4), and frame rate – min 24FPS to max 30FPS.
How to advertise on Twitch
Unlike Google Ads, TikTok for Business, or Meta’s ad manager, there is no dedicated do-it-yourself ad studio for Twitch ads. Instead, you must fill out a “Contact us” form with Twitch.
Once you’re ready to start advertising on Twitch or need a sneak peek of what it’s like, you can contact Twitch directly. You supply your budget range, industry, country, and more. You can offer a bit more detail about your interest in Twitch ads so the team can guide you accordingly.
Once you submit the form, the team will reach out to you with the next steps to launch your Twitch advertising campaigns. They can also help you understand Twitch advertising cost and targeting in detail.
Best practices for Twitch ads
Twitch ads are a relatively new concept to most, with few examples to learn from. But we can help! Here are some of our top tips and best practices to create unskippable campaigns on Twitch.
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If you’re new to Twitch and experimenting with the ads, take things slow.
It’s always better to test the waters before going all-in on paid ads. Start with a smaller budget to see what strategies work and how the audience responds to your ads before scaling the campaign.
Get familiar with the platform
Successful advertising depends on how well you understand the platform and how the ads behave. Be sure to take a thorough walk-through of the platform. Watch live streams, interact, and take inspiration from existing advertisers.
Start with shorter ads
According to studies, short video ads perform better as they are less annoying to a user when interacting with a platform.
So stick to shorter ads and start with 1-minute ads per hour. You can slowly increase this number and build it up until 3 minutes per hour (three 1-minute ads per hour). This tactic ensures you’re not imposing on the community during a live stream.
Announce the ad breaks
Stacking too many ads causes major viewing interruptions — no one likes those. If you are working with creators that run ads manually, make sure they inform the community about the upcoming ad break. This shows that you value the creator’s audience.
Space out your ads
Another Twitch ads best practice we recommend following is spacing things out. Ensure that when you’re working with creators, there is at least 15 minutes between ad breaks for an optimal viewing experience. This also ensures that your previous ad’s message is well consumed and remembered.
Create compelling ad copy
The correct ad placement or type won’t matter if the ad copy isn’t compelling. Your ad should include an engaging headline, brand name, body with the offer, and CTA.
Make sure your ad gives your target audience the information they need. 61% of internet users are seeking information that enables them to make informed purchase decisions.
Automate or delegate ad breaks
It can be a pain for creators to run Twitch ads manually, which can also often lead to timing and targeting errors. Using an automation tool such as Nightbot or Mootbot to plan your ad campaigns with them better. You can also offer to provide a point of contact from your brand’s side to delegate this task for better results.
Create eye-catching ad designs
Make sure your ad doesn’t stand out for the wrong reasons. All assets, including graphics, images, and icons must be top quality and compliant with Twitch terms of service. Ensure your designs stay consistent on all streaming mediums, from mobile to desktops.
Most ad types, such as super leaderboard, medium rectangle, stream display ads, and others, do not support videos. Do your research before creating animated elements you don’t need.
Listen to your audience
Understanding your target audience and their needs can help you hit the bull’s eye with your Twitch ads. With this clarity, it’s easier for you to create ads that your audience resonates with, helping nudge them forward in the sales funnel.
Since the audience on Twitch is younger compared to other platforms, they tend to latch onto evolving trends. Twitch has reported that nearly 75% of their viewers are between the ages of 16 and 34. This is where the importance of social listening and monitoring comes into play to stay on top of what keeps them hooked.
Tools like Hootsuite Insights enable you to process millions of online conversations to identify trends and recurring patterns in your target audience with ease.
Hootsuite Insights is only available to enterprise users, but if you’re serious about learning more about your audience, it’s the only tool you’ll need.
Leverage all targeting options
While running top-of-funnel ads to drive maximum traffic might seem appealing, narrower targeting can yield better results. Twitch offers great options to filter for gender, age, location, and other parameters. Using this ensures your ads reach the intended audience.
Find the right partners
Go beyond traditional paid ads. Try connecting with partners or popular Twitch influencers to market your brand on their channels. They can manually run your ads on their live streams and drive promising engagement due to their established following.
That’s why brands often make influencer collaborations a key part of their Twitch marketing strategies.
Monitor and optimize your ads
Twitch ads, too, require continual optimization like other platforms. Make sure you keep a close eye on how different ad campaigns and formats perform. Create a set cycle for optimizing your ads in terms of placements, targeting, formats, ad copies and time to get more ROAS on them.
Is Twitch advertising the next big thing?
Twitch’s growing viewership cannot be downplayed — it’s estimated to reach 36.7 million users by 2025 in the United States alone. The increasing number of users across the globe and the rising trend of live streaming make Twitch a promising platform for advertising.
Twitch may not have a traditional no ad studio yet; but the platform has recently announced its Ads Manager tool to help creators schedule and optimize campaigns.
If your audience is already on Twitch, we recommend taking the early mover’s advantage and start experimenting with Twitch ads now.
Frequently asked questions about Twitch ads
How much do Twitch ads cost?
Twitch has been remarkably secretive about the cost of advertising on the platform. According to some reports, each ad impression is estimated to cost around $2 to $10, which may vary based on your target audience and industry.
How do ads pay on Twitch?
Twitch’s Ads Incentive Program (AIP) offers a reliable, fixed monthly ads-based incentive to its creators. These predetermined payments are based on the number of ad-dense streaming hours a creator completes each month.
Can you run ads as a Twitch Affiliate?
Yes, affiliates can earn revenue from all video ads on their channel’s live streams. You can now also run ad breaks to earn revenue during natural pauses in the live streams.
How much money do you make per ad on Twitch?
According to one Quora user/Twitch streamer, Twitch pays their streamers roughly $3.50 for every 1,000 ad views.
How often should I run ads on Twitch?
We recommend spacing out your Twitch ad campaigns to ensure a non-intrusive experience for viewers. You can schedule one 90-second ad every 30 minutes for optimal viewing without risking churn.
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