When I went to TwitchCon I handed out business cards, these business cards all contained a branding checklist and I wanted to show you all exactly what each step means. For those that been reading for awhile know that I’m all about value and that branding checklist is all about value. It’s a reason for someone to keep it even if they’re not going to contact me right away. I works very will, trust me. I could probably write a article about how you can apply the same your business cards at a later date.Twitch Branding Checklist
When most people think branding the visual identity is the first thing that comes to their mind. That’s why I wanted to start with the things that are most familiar before I head into the more important stuff.
The logo isn’t actually needed in all cases and most of the time it’s actually not need. That’s my opinion at least and it’s not because a logo is bad thing but it’s often not as necessary as a avatar. Now a logo can be either a shape or a text version you can extend it to be a characters as well but I like to differentiate between them when it comes to Twitch.
If you want to have a logo with impact you need to think about the different usages of it. Both with color, black and white and the different backgrounds it might be displayed on. The more versatile the better but when that’s not possible I would say that a logo that is somewhere between and keep it as recognizable as possible.
At the end of the day there’s way too many “rules” to go over but those are a few simple things that you can keep in mind.
On Twitch I would say this and the usage of a character are the most powerful way to get your brand across. The style and colors can really imprint what your channel is about and further more it shows what the concept of your channel is.
The reason why a avatar/character works so well is since it’s a easy way to create a connection. The fact that it’s easily recognizable is another great thing, specially if it’s a version that works not only on your channel page but also in your social media sites like Twitter. I would argue against the ones that keep on switching their Twitter avatar. Reason being that in a constant flow of messages your avatar is one of those tings that will stand out. If you change that you also abruptly change the ability of others to quickly glance at their feed and pick you out. If you think that it won’t matter since they’re there follow you anyway… remember that people tend to rather ignore messages then unfollow someone.
Colors isn’t just “your favorite” or “looks good” colors tend to have a lot of different meanings. Not only do certain colors match but certain colors mean different things in different places. A color can convey both moods, feelings and tone of your channel. The better understanding of colors you have the better you can shape your entire brand.
Equal to colors a typeface or font is really used to do the very same things as brand colors do. Another rule for typefaces is to never go above 3, and even at 3 you’re pushing the limit. To be on the safe side stay at 2 different typefaces. There are some typefaces that work very well together and some that don’t, again it’s a lot like colors, and you have to really understand the rules of them both before you start to break them.
Having a overall concept of your visual branding is the glue. It’s what going to make it all cohesive and give it a overall similar look. If possible write down the different rules that you’re going to be using, that way if you ever want to create something new or you want to take in someone to do something for you. You can either use that manual or let the one coming in use it. That way it won’t diverge away from the rest of the brand.
Actually creating everything that you have in your concept might be the hardest part if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why there’s professionals that do this and all of the above. When looking for someone figure out what it is that you need, not in terms of writing down exactly what you want since what you want might not be what you need.
It’s then the designers job to take that, apply experience and knowledge into all of the visual branding. If you find someone that can do both that and the other side of branding you’re going to be golden.
Your personal brand is what really going to make you stand out. Not the games you choose to play, unless they’re part of your brand. However your main focus should be your personal brand, especially if you’re going to start out as a variety streamer. The personal brand is really everything that you can read below, you want it to be apart of the entire package you’re “selling”.
When it comes to social media there’s a lot of different approaches that you can take. However the most important one is to really understand that they’re almost all different and have different ways to handle the content. For instance what works on Instagram will not work on Twitter. Using social media is not about sharing everything about yourself but understanding what brand you have built and share within that brand and let it be an extension of your Twitch channel. When you have services like keymailer.co (listen to the podcast tomorrow) that tracks you engagement with the content you create you want it to be at least somewhat curated. Not only for your audience but also for potential sponsors or relationships with publishers/developers.
Marketing is one of those things that a lot of streamers are struggling very hard with. Most of the time it ends up being more of a pop-up ad, and what’s not what anyone wants. People don’t want to waste time and every time you are in intrusion on that time you’re going to live a bad taste.
Instead you want to bring something to them, instead of a take you should have a give. If you look at my business card (in this post) you can see that it’s a give. I give you a checklist and in that is value. There’s no commitment that you have to come to me but if you want you can. The fact remains that it don’t feel like an ad and it’s something that someone might actually keep around.
One of those overlooked things most of the time. The most common is “gamers”, fun and community. Now that’s good to aspire to that but it’s not your target audience. As with your overall brand, the narrower you can make that target audience the better you can market your brand towards them.
My brand is high value and high knowledge Twitch branding. It’s not meant to be for everyone so instead I can focus on what I want to do, the people I want to reach and get the most target “ads” towards those streamers.
How you go about your networking can really differ a lot. I still see too many go head first in with the friends angle and it’s not something that I personally like. I’m in the camp of giving value as a starter and then if that happens to become a friendship then that’s great, I just don’t like the networking that’s all about trying to be friends to get something back.
With giving value you tip the scale in your favor and this is something called the rule of repository. Also don’t worry about trying to just network with people at your own level (it makes no sense) because the main difference is that you might have to give a lot more before you get anything back. And that’s OK.
This isn’t your content on Twitch but your content outside of Twitch. It’s a great strategy to have something more then just your main Twitch content. That doesn’t mean you should force yourself yo have something you don’t want to have. As with your social media it’s an extension of your brand, a great way to generate more follower and a great way to give value.
Putting on shows, blogs, podcasts, etc. all have a value in them. This is what you can provide to both your current viewers and use to get more viewers. There’s way too many different and it’s (when I do it) very specialized around that particular streamer for me to be able to over it. What I can say, and that’s the reason why it’s the last item on the strategy part of branding, is that it most of the time becomes the most clear when you know the rest of the steps and overtime develops with your brand.Twitch Branding Checklist
Been meaning to do this post for awhile so it feels good to get it out. Tomorrow I’m having Mark Turpin on for a podcast on keymailer.co, we actually even talk a bit about some one of the things mentioned here so tune in for that.
As for the rest of the week… I don’t really know. I have a lot of work a head of me so I can’t focus that much on my passion projects until the weekend. I also want to go on a date but that’s not looking to good as I write this, but hey it’s better to ask then to sit and do nothing. Same goes for your channel, don’t put limits on your channel and don’t wait for x-amount of followers before you do something you want to do. That thing you want to do might be the thing that will give you a lot of followers and that number might never go up. So yes this week we’re all going to do something we’ve been putting to the side for too long, it’s time to get your channel moving forward and not stand still.