How to Get Your Stream Sponsored and Attract Brands
As a streamer, you want to earn sponsorships from brands. When brands sponsor you, they can further raise your profile and help you pay for your equipment and other streaming needs. Sponsorships also contribute to making your stream a source of steady income. You’ll be able to devote more time to streaming and to trying out new ideas and projects.
But how can you land streaming sponsorships? Let’s say your stream already looks fairly professional, and you’re doing your best to produce high-quality content. What else should you do?
Sometimes, brands will find you, especially if you already have a large following. However, regardless of your follower count, you need to make the effort to secure streaming sponsorships by finding the right brands and convincing them that you’re the right choice to represent them.
Finding the Right Streaming Sponsorship Brands
You don’t have to wait for brands to seek you out. You should actively take steps to search for companies that would fit well with your channel and audience.
Consider which brands you would sincerely endorse
Your relationship with a brand should be as genuine as possible, meaning that you would recommend the company’s products and services with enthusiasm and definitely without any significant reservations.
- Consider products you’re already using. Some of them, such as cameras and video games, may be an integral part of your stream. But think about other areas of your life as well. Is there a type of food you especially like? Which products or services are connected to your love of sports, fitness, art, writing, board games, or other activities? Brands selling anything from soft drinks to mountain bikes could wind up sponsoring your stream.
- Look beyond the big names. Whether you’re interested in music, technology, or gaming, search for companies that aren’t already famous. Startups and other small or medium-sized businesses may wind up becoming loyal sponsors. Research them, and consider whether you could use and recommend their products.
- Think about the qualities you would find unacceptable in a brand. For example, you may decide that you’ll avoid companies with a poor safety record or certain ethical violations.
Use social media to research brands
Being active on social media makes it easier to find sponsorship opportunities. According to Hootsuite, 90 percent of brands have turned to social media for greater visibility.
What are some of the ways to research these brands?
- When you find interesting brands on Twitter or Instagram, make note of who they’re following and who’s following them; you can discover additional companies this way.
- On LinkedIn, you can find specific individuals who work for a company. You’ll be looking for people whose job title or description indicates that they’re involved in marketing or branding.
- You can learn about new brands through recommendations from your own followers or from general chatter on different sites. For example, if you’re active in various Reddit gaming groups, which companies or products come up in discussions? Are you hearing about new companies that might be more eager than established brands to work with streamers?
Apply for sponsorship opportunities
As streaming has become increasingly popular, and the opportunities for sponsorships have multiplied, some companies have started directly offering sponsorship programs that you can apply to.
One example is our sponsorship program, which allows streamers on Twitch, YouTube, or Mixer to apply for sponsorships. To be eligible, you would need to have a certain number of followers and meet a few other requirements.
Another example is Corsair, which has set up a streamer program with different sponsorship tiers. At the highest tier, the company will provide you with financial sponsorship, discounts on computer components, and other benefits.
Some sites offer to match you to various brands. PowerSpike and We Hype are two such services, both working exclusively with streamers on Twitch. To be clear, these sites don’t do all the work for you. You may still have to come up with pitches for each brand and take other steps to securing a sponsorship. But they may make it easier for you to connect with brands that are a good match for the style and content of your stream.
Always research any sponsorship opportunities or sponsorship-related services to check if they’re worth it for you. Among the questions to consider are the following:
- Is the brand or service reputable?
- Will I have to pay anything to apply for or participate in a sponsorship?
- How much and how regularly will I get paid?
- What are my obligations to a sponsor? For example, does the sponsor want me to promote them on social media platforms as well? Do they want me to avoid working with certain businesses?
Look offline for opportunities
This may seem like a strange suggestion. If you’re a streamer and dedicating hours of your life to online videos and to related activities, including maintaining a social media presence, why would you need to search offline for sponsorships?
If you don’t look offline, you may be missing out on critical opportunities to connect with sponsors. Let’s consider conventions, conferences, and trade shows. These exist for practically every industry, including gaming, computer technology, cooking, and art. They’re crowded with companies, from startups to bigger brands. Head over to the booths specific companies have set up, check out their latest products, and introduce yourself to their representatives.
Another strategy is to meet with local businesses. Whether you’re connecting with them at a community fair or visiting their business location, forming relationships with local companies could be helpful, especially if your streaming is tied to a particular region. For example, if your focus area is travel and leisure, you might be able to get some backing from restaurants and other businesses popular with tourists.
Convincing Sponsorship Brands That You’re the Right Choice
When companies consider sponsoring a streamer, they want to see some compelling evidence that they’ll benefit from the arrangement.
They’ll be evaluating your channel and your online presence more generally. Along with examining the quality of your stream and your connections with viewers and followers, they’ll be looking for evidence that you’re reliable and professional. They want to know that it’s safe to associate their brand with you.
What can you do to assure them that they’re making the right choice?
Demonstrate engagement with your followers
Although sponsors will be looking at the number of followers you have and your view count while streaming, you don’t need to show them large numbers to make your case.
What you need to show is that your viewers and followers are truly engaging with your content, connecting with you on some personal level, and paying attention to your opinions and choices. A larger follower count isn’t worth much if those followers act like an inert, lifeless mass, never seeming to interact with you and share your content.
If you have a smaller follower count, maximize engagement. Engagement will strengthen your relationship with existing followers and impress sponsors. It will also help you keep growing your following and attract new sponsorship opportunities.
What are some of the ways you can increase engagement?
- Make sure you’re talking to your viewers during the stream. Ask them questions, and respond quickly and reliably when they have questions of their own. Show that you’re interested in their thoughts and opinions. Share interesting information or observations.
- Use features that enhance interactions. For example, Streamlabs has a chatbot and various widgets that facilitate conversation and make it easier for you to reward viewers for participating, including assigning loyalty points.
- Give viewers and followers additional incentives to stick with you. Stream-Aid, for example, gives you tools to offer more engaging experiences to your viewers.
- Make sure your engagement extends beyond your stream. You don’t need to be active on every online forum or social media site, but invest some effort in the accounts you have, and interact with people on them. Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Buffer, and similar tools can help you manage your accounts, including timing your posts to get the most engagement.
Reach out to potential sponsors as a professional
Being professional doesn’t mean coming across as dull or stuffy. You don’t have to suppress your personality or pretend to be someone else. However, even if your playfulness and sense of fun are among the attractions of your channel, you should still be able to show sponsors that you’re a mature, trustworthy, and thoughtful person who offers substance and value.
Show them that you’ve researched their company
When you’re approaching a potential sponsor, don’t rely on generic pitches. You can work off a template, but make sure to include details about the specific company, demonstrating that you understand their business and their products. Tell them what you sincerely like about their brand; your genuine enthusiasm is something they would want to see on your channel when you promote them.
Be clear on how you can benefit them
Point out engagement levels and any favorable metrics for your stream. Without sounding too boastful, describe some of your strengths as a streamer, and highlight your commitment to a streaming schedule. Mention the demographics of your audience and how those demographics are relevant to the company’s brand image and marketing strategies.
Along with asking them what they need, offer suggestions of your own
What can you do to promote sponsors? Examples include making a banner for them on your stream overlay, wearing their clothes or using their gear during videos, discussing or recommending their products, filming a product demonstration, and mentioning them on social media. If they’re coming out with a new product, you can offer to test it for them.
Don’t be pushy and demanding
When you reach out to brand representatives, remember that you’re talking to people. Introduce yourself, and show an interest in what they do. At all times, be courteous. Don’t just leap at them demanding money or other perks. Once discussions have gotten underway, you can of course ask about the terms of the sponsorship, such as payment details. But don’t immediately start with demands or questions about compensation.
Prepare a portfolio of clips from your stream
You may need to send these to people as part of an application or as a supplement to a pitch. Also, if you meet with a potential sponsor offline at a conference or another venue, you’ll be able to easily show them clips on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
Make sure your behavior reflects well on you
Sponsors will be less likely to associate with you if they find your behavior nasty or embarrassing in some way. Avoid deeply crude jokes, threats, or vicious, hateful comments about other people. You should also make sure that you look presentable during streams. That doesn’t mean you need to look like a cover model. Basically, wear clean clothes, comb your hair, and make sure you don’t have food hanging from your teeth.
Be Persistent About Finding Sponsors
You won’t succeed at getting every sponsorship opportunity. It’s important not to be discouraged.
Make time to regularly step back and assess your progress as a streamer. Check that you’re meeting the standards you’ve set for stream quality and engagement. Keep connecting with your viewers and growing your channel with more followers. Beyond that, remain persistent. Even if you experience rejection from one brand, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to endless rejections. There are many companies out there looking for a friendly, reliable streamer who can promote their products.