What if you could shut off your Meta and Google ads completely and advertise on another ad platform that is used extensively by your target audience?
Admittedly, that’s probably a bit of a pipe dream, but likely one of the reasons many advertisers are turning to other ad platforms like Twitch.
What Is Twitch
Twitch is the live streaming service and global community for creators. Best known for use in the gaming and music industry, Twitch offers a unique, interactive experience to both viewers and streamers.
The Twitch audience is massive. It includes 7.9 million daily viewers watching 433.9 million hours daily. The viewers skew 60% male and 40% female with 43% falling in the 13-24 age range and 20% in the 25-34 age range.
How to Start Advertising on Twitch
Twitch handles all media placement in-house. This means you work directly with their team rather than a self-serve ad platform like Meta, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
To start the process, visit https://twitchadvertising.tv. Here you can learn about advertising on Twitch and ultimately you will be led to a contact form to request more information about advertising.
Within a few days of form submission, you will be contacted by an account intern with additional questions. The goal of this first interaction is for Twitch to suss out if your business is the right fit. Once confirmed, you’ll then be directed to a client strategist.
The Twitch client strategist will be your main point of contact up to your campaign launch. At this point, we recommend getting your campaign as dialed in as possible. You’ll work with the client strategist to determine placements, flighting, targeting, and KPIs. Creative production is handled independently of your work with Twitch.
During this time, you’ll be asked to sign an advertiser credit form, complete an insertion order, and submit your creatives. Once everything is approved, it takes a minimum of two days before the campaign is ready to launch.
Twitch minimum ad spends can vary depending on the time of year. At a minimum, Twitch has a $50,000 ad spend policy. Although if you’re running ads during peak season the minimum increases to $75,000.
Types of Ads Available
Twitch offers two main ad formats within the platform — video and display.
Twitch Premium Video
Twitch Premium Video is the only video ad format available on Twitch.
These placements are:
- Inserted to appear above the fold
- Ad block resistant
- Available with only a 1920x1080 video asset
Premium video is available across multiple devices to maximize reach. These ads are served on:
Within Twitch, premium video appears on both the channel and the archive page.
In terms of duration, you have two options:
- Up to :30s, unskippable.
- Extra charge for :60s, midroll only
On Twitch, display ads are broken out into three primary formats. The first is stream display. Stream display ads engage viewers mid-stream by appearing as a banner ad on the screen while a creator is streaming.
Stream display specs:
The second option is similar to what you’d expect from a standard display placement. Twitch offers a homepage headliner, leaderboard, and rectangle format.
- 970x66 (can accept 728x90)
The third option is a homepage takeover which is exactly what it sounds like. This format allows your brand to dominate the homepage.
Homepage takeover specs:
- Background Skin
- 970 x 250 Billboard
- Sizzle Strip
- 300 x 250 Medium Rectangle
- 300 x 250 Medium Rectangle
- Half Page Banner
How to Measure Success on Twitch
Once your campaign is live, it’s time to analyze the results. You’ll want to request that Twitch sends you weekly reports (as it’s not standard practice, but they can do so).
The report itself is pretty straightforward, delivered as an excel spreadsheet, inside you’ll find a recap of the last 7 days detailing:
- Video start
- Video first quartile
- Video midpoint
- Video third quartile
- Video complete
- Video completion rate
Although Twitch does not provide benchmarks by vertical, their general benchmarks are:
- VCR - 80-84%
- CTR - 0.18-22%
As you can see from the CTR metric, results can vary drastically. Before going into advertising on Twitch, we recommend establishing what you’re looking to accomplish and exactly how you’re planning to measure success.
With strong video completion rates, Twitch positions itself as a strong brand awareness ad platform.
Consider using Twitch to measure lift among Twitch users or a specific demographic you’re not advertising to elsewhere.
Problems with Twitch Ads
While Twitch ads might seem like a shiny new object to try, even if you implement it perfectly, you're very likely to run into the following problems...
- no real measurement strategy (example, no lift to a specific domain, no measurement of brand search uptick)
- audience was too broad -- lacks capability to get in front of the right people
- streaming ads are naturally invasive
- banner ads looked TOO native resulting in low CTR
- Twitch customer service sucks
- Twitch didn't sub out assets properly
- Video ads offer the illusion of performance (100% viewable), but the CTRs are often FAR less than 1% - sometimes 0.01% (yes you read that right!)
With a high minimum spend and variable click-through rate, Twitch is a risky advertising move if you don’t have a measurement strategy in place. And of course, when you’re measuring brand awareness, which has many flaws (I’ll cover this in a future post), you may spend the minimum and still wonder if you’ve really received a return on your investment.
If you’re interested in reaching Twitch users via ads, we recommend taking the time to establish creative specific to the Twitch community and outlining a plan for how you’ll measure success here outside of Twitch’s weekly reporting.
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