Standards in Sponsorship (or a Lack Thereof)

Photo by Bob Ghost on Unsplash

Publishers often ask us how best to approach sponsored content. Paying creators to cover your game is trickier than it sounds. Bottom line: how much to offer? For what results?

There is No Magic Number

Let’s be up front here, there is no catch-all fee for sponsored content. There is no perfect ratio of views, subs, or CCVs to dollars that works across the board. That’s why we keep the paid offer system on Woovit flexible. 

Every creator views their worth differently and charges accordingly. This can be based on the kind of content they make, the unique effort they expend to make it, or the way their audience in particular responds to sponsored content. It might just be gut feelings (it’s easy to forget charging for their work is sometimes their first professional experience.) Every creator’s monetary ‘bar’ is different.

While some basic trends will hold true —massive channels will almost always ask for more than tiny channels— expect to be surprised. Your guess of a channel’s price will likely vary wildly from that of the person setting it.

Research, Research, Research!

The best thing you can do to ensure your offer is attractive and to make negotiations go smoothly is to do some research.

Before you ever reach out to a channel, dig into it. Chiefly you’ll want to make sure they’re a good fit for your game. This is also your chance to get an idea of how sponsoring them will play out. Look at their library of content and see if they’ve done sponsored stuff before. Most importantly: how their audience responded. That prior experience will not only inform their price, but what you can expect to get out of doing business with them. Some fans will rotely do whatever their favorite channel asks just to support the streamer, but don’t move the needle for a product. This is especially true in mobile games.

Looking for that right fit, both in terms of content and past experience, will be a lot more effective than just throwing money at any channel with big numbers. Unless you’re a AAA company with a game that’s coming from an established franchise or developer, then massive buys like that aren’t going to work.

Be Specific.

Thanks to a lack of industry standards, even mundane details will need to be worked out on a case by case basis. Negotiation is key here and you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all the details laid out and agreed upon.

The finer points that you’ll want to ensure are nailed down can be broken into two categories.

What the content you’re sponsoring should look like: 

  • What branding & keywords should be used?
  • How long should the video/stream or be?
  • Are there going to be multiple videos/streams, or just one?
  • Can other games be included in this content?
  • How many pieces of content are expected?
  • Will the content be delivered on the usual schedule of the streamer, or off-cycle?
  • What additional marketing efforts are expected (for example, a tweet alerting fans the stream you’re sponsoring is happening in X hours)?
  • What is the exact language regarding sponsorship declaration you can agree on? 

What the terms are for completion and payment:

  • When is the content they’re creating due to be published?
  • Are you paying for the content itself, or are you paying based on how it performs? (Do you have a mutually agreed reference to cite for such performance)
  • Will the creator be paid after completion, in advance, or a split?
  • How will you pay them? Paypal, Interac E-Transfer, or some other method? 
  • Will they or you require tax documentation such as an invoice or 1099-MISC form?
  • What currency are you paying them in?

At the end of the day It all just comes down to practice really. The more you do that research and have these sorts of sponsorship discussions, the better you’ll get at finding and approaching the right sort of creators for your games. This is also where good relationship building comes in, as there’s no better negotiation tool than having an already strong rapport with someone.

All of this creator outreach for sponsored content is a lot of work, and many publishers hire people or firms dedicated to it. It’s not something that you can just throw money at and expect success. With a little care and time though, securing quality sponsored content is doable for publishers of almost any size.

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