This is something that comes up a lot in my emails a lot. This dosen’t make it wrong but at the same time it dosen’t make it right. What I want to do is to shed some light on what might, or might not, work for you.
One might think that the obvious answer from someone like me would be to always get Twitch branding. However in my opinion it’s very much a case to case thing. Let’s go over a few scenarios and hopefully you can recognize where on that you fall and what the best approach would be for you.
You haven’t streamed yet
My personal opinion is that you at least stream over a period of 30 days—no need to stream 30 consecutive days—to at least get an idea of who you are as a streamer. The reason for this not only to get you used to streaming but also to get a feel for how it’s going to feel starting that stream up for possibly years before reaching partnership.
It’s not impossible to get it within months, weeks or even days. It’s less so about the volume but rather about the history and the future of who you are. And while branding has been a part of what Twitch partnership have been looking it I do feel that it’s been mostly misunderstood.
Branding can have a few different meanings on Twitch. Sure it is what people see, the colors, fonts, logos and layouts. That’s the visual part of the brand and that’s important in it’s own rite. It’s something that allows current and future audience to understand who you are at a glance.
As an example when you have an anime character as a avatar, in your overlays, your alerts and your Twitch panels. That sends a very clear message about who you are or at least what you’re interested in. That’s a brand.
However this visual brand is worth nothing unless there’s an understanding of who you are. When you haven’t streamed you don’t know who you are. You can say that you know who you are since you are you. But do keep in mind that Twitch streaming is a new social situation that you probably have never experience before. Even if you are the funniest person in the room with your friends dosen’t mean that it will carry over into Twitch. You might very well be someone completely different once that camera starts.
That’s why I think having those 30 days to get a somewhat better grasp is a good idea. Specially if you’re going to be basing your brand around you and the games that you play.
You’ve streamed for a few days
If after a few days you feel that this is the move you want to make. That’s fine. You know yourself better than anyone else. Everyone is different so perhaps it only takes you a few days to really see that Twitch streaming is for you.
However you might not be able to put that into words. I probably have the longest contact form (and that’s by design) around Twitch branding. It contains some specific questions that allows me to better understand who you are. At the same time people have even said that the questions have helped them better understand who they are. These questions can do the same for you. You don’t have to press send—all you need to do is copy them to a text document and answer them on your own time.
If you’re able to answer these easily then you’re fine. You have a great understanding of who you are and you’re able to explain it to someone else. At this point you can start looking to get Twitch branding for your channel.
You’re unsure about your brand
If you’re unsure about your brand during that contact form (see above) that could mean a couple of different things. Of course it could mean that you’re just not yet really sure about who you are on Twitch, and that’s fine it only means you need a bit more time exploring your options.
It could also mean that you’re just not sure how to describe yourself. This could be a good idea to reach out to someone that has a firm understand of Twitch branding. Since they’re going to be the one that can help you understand that better. For instance I will directly see in your answers what holes you might have in what you write.
You’re playing specific game
When you’re playing a specific game there are a few differences. First of all people are coming in to your channel for the game. Be it that you’re a skilled player, or someone that gives great advice, puts on great gameplay or perhaps uses the game for it’s entertainment foundation.
Of course there’s always going to be those that stay for you. However if you ever decided to move to a different game or switch to having the channel more centered around you. You are going to see a large portion of your overall viewers drop. This isn’t a bad thing, but is something that you have to take into account and to understand why it happens.
Speaking from a branding perspective. This type of branding would be more so to get people to directly see that you are a streamer that streams this game (or stream a specific genre). Sure it’s always helpful to have something that ties it back to you, specially if you know that you eventually want to branch out into your own thing.
Still the main goal with a brand for a specific game is to show that THIS is the channel for that game. Then use the type of stream it is to fine-tune it (skill, education, entertainment). Give them that insight as soon as they visit your channel, reads a Tweet, sees an gif/image that you post or clips that are being made. So it dosen’t matter if it’s the visual brand of the overall brand it all has to speak towards this message.
You’re a character streamer
This is very similar to the above statements about playing a specific game. The main difference here is of course that you’re using some sort of character to draw in an audience.
This has proven to be a great way to get attention since it can create some great moments. Of course every character streamer is different (even if the core concept is the same) since behind that “mask” there’s a different person.
While is is similar to playing a specific game in that you have to gear a lot of it around the core concept of the character. You still need to look at if as if it was a stream about you. The difference is that you are the one that makes up the story and background of your character.
In film this is called character development. The more you can develop your character the better you’re going to know who they are in every situation. Form that you can then craft a stronger brand around that.
Streamed for a long time
As mentioned above a few times it’s all about understanding who you are. You can stream for several years and you can even be successful without understanding it. However you overall brand isn’t going to be as strong as it could be.
You should easily be able to answer all of the questions from my contact form. If there’s too much hesitation it might be a good idea to get some guidance for your Twitch branding,
There’s of course a endless amount of these scenarios, but I do think that these are some of the most common situations out there. The whole reason for this article is since this does come up a lot in my inbox. There’s only so much you can get into a quick email reply so I wanted to expand a bit on it. Give it a bit more meat on the bones and something you can hopefully get something out of.
I might delay next weeks articles since I want to have articles on both Dropped Frames and RollPlay: A Christmas With Cox.
If you’re looking for your own Twitch branding. Then don’t hesitate to check out my Twitch branding service and get in touch.