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Which Stream Graphics Are Most Important?


On the 18th June we ran a poll and asked “What do you think the most important part of a stream design package is?” (You can find the original post here https://twitter.com/getrektlabs/status/1141111557650300929).


Your answers were varied, and with good reason. Here’s what came out on top:


Stream Overlay/Cam Window 38%

Twitch Panels 27%

Animated Alerts 25%

Cinematic Intro 10%


And we’re happy to announce….you were all right.


So to set the scene, as with anything in marketing you need to look at your current environment and what your goals are. That’s not going to be the same for everyone, and we’re going to create some “personas” to best explain a few different scenarios which you might find yourself in. Personas are a great way of creating a basic outline of a viewer or in this case a streamer, using a number of basic criteria.


The 3 profiles we’re going to look at are:


New Streamer

Established Streamer (Affiliates)

Partnered Streamer


The next thing we’re going to need to do is to work out what we’re going to measure. Science isn’t science without evidence so we’re going to look at the 4 graphical aspects above and consider:


Time spent on screen

Time spent in front of viewers

Time spent on channel overall


This will give us an idea of the impact each design has in your specific situation. Deep breath, here we go!


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NEW STREAMER


Followers – 0 – 1000

Hours spent streaming per week – 10

Average Viewers – 0 - 25

Goals – to establish and educate a new audience


You’ve got your Twitch channel, you couldn’t get the Twitter handle you wanted without adding TTV to it but you’re ready to go! You’ve got a blank canvas in front of you, but where do you start? Before you approach a designer, make sure you’ve put some good thought into what you want to achieve, and in this case it’s to gain followers and educate them on who you are. So let’s look at the 4 graphical elements and the main metrics we want to measure!


Stream Overlay


Ok so this is core to your channel and will have the most eyes on it during your stream. It’ll be on the screen for the 10 hours you’re live. You can use it to advertise your social media channels and your schedule if you’re smart about how you implement it and a clean, sharp overlay creates a good impression for new viewers visiting you for the first time. All in all a great investment and the perfect place to start.


Time on screen – medium

Time in front of viewers – medium

Time spent on channel overall - medium


Grade B


Twitch Panels


You’re live for 10 hours a week and people are giving you complements on your overlay! The problem is there are only 10 of them and they’re probably only in your time zone at this point in your streaming career. What about the other 158 hours of the week? Not only do Twitch panels give you an awesome chance to be creative, (we’ll be writing an article on how you can innovate with your panels in the weeks to come) but they’re also on your channel 100% of the time, educate your viewers, help you to gain followers and give viewers an insight into what they can expect from your content. If you’re new, this is where you need to focus and consider how you’re going to present yourself.


Make sure you complement your panels with a matching offline screen to make it even easier for viewers to learn about your channel!


Time on screen – high

Time in front of viewers – high

Time spent on channel overall - high


Grade A


Animated Alerts


We’ve got you set up with the basics, you’re looking professional on and offline, but you want to start building your package around your new brand and what better way to do so than with animated alerts? Animated alerts are an amazing way to set your stream apart and make your viewers feel rewarded for following or subscribing to your channel. However when you’re starting out, the screen time these are going to get in front of your viewers will be limited. Custom animations will improve your engagement and stream growth but at this stage it’s third on the list.


Time on screen – low

Time in front of viewers – low

Time spent on channel overall - low


Grade C


Cinematic Intro


As you dive more and more into customising your channel, having a cinematic intro and matching animations for your intermissions and the end of your stream are a great way to showcase your commitment to your content and gives a great way of engaging people whilst you’re away from the camera or just chatting. In this case we’re just looking at an intro, and as a new streamer you’re most likely to be discovered when you’re live through hosts and raids or people browsing the directory. As you grow custom animations will continue to separate you from the ever growing competition, but as you’re starting up it may be the bottom of your shopping list.


Time on screen – low

Time in front of viewers – low

Time spent on channel overall - low


Grade C

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ESTABLISHED STREAMERS AND AFFILIATES


Followers – 1,000 – 10,000

Hours spent streaming per week – 20

Average Viewers – 25 - 75

Goals – to grow your audience and hit partnership through consistent viewership


You’ve been around for a while now, people are starting to learn who you are in your community and more and more viewers are coming back consistently. Now is the time to push for partnership and the dream of full time content creation! Your needs have changed and so should your priorities. Show your viewers how you’re different from the crowd.


Stream Overlay


If you’re growing quickly and have an established community, it’s likely you already have an overlay or if not, what you’re doing seems to be working! As your time live goes up, so does the screen time for your overlay so look to invest in animations to show off your partnerships, encourage subscriptions and continue to gather momentum with your following.


Time on screen – medium

Time in front of viewers – medium

Time spent on channel overall - medium


Grade B


Twitch Panels


Nothing here has changed, your panels are still the most consistent thing on your channel! Your goals however are different and you should review your channel content. Make sure it’s up to date and serves it’s purpose of audience growth and clearly showcases your now more consistent schedule. Think about how you can create a mosaic similar to top Instagram feeds, you don’t need to stick to the typical letter box buttons!


Time on screen – high

Time in front of viewers – high

Time spent on channel overall - high


Grade A


Animated Alerts


We’re rolling, you’re affiliated and you’ve got subs and support coming in from your community! Now’s the time to look at your custom animations and make sure when an exciting event happens that your community knows about it and wants to trigger it for themselves! Engagement goes up, sub trains start and the gifting begins! Make sure you accompany your alerts with suitable sound effects, audio branding it part of your overall brand, choose wisely!


Time on screen – medium

Time in front of viewers – medium

Time spent on channel overall - low


Grade B


Cinematic Intro


With your viewership at an all time high and your content schedule more regular, you’re now much more likely to have people lurking in your chat ready for you to go live! Make sure you reward them with a stunning intro that will get them talking, increase hype levels to 11 and give you the energy and momentum going into your stream! Accompany your intro with "be right back"/intermission animations to make sure your viewers don’t abandon ship when you go to the bathroom, and use them to encourage following your social media channels whilst there is some downtime!


Time on screen – medium

Time in front of viewers – medium

Time spent on channel overall - medium


Grade B


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PARTNERED STREAMER


Followers – 10,000+

Hours spent streaming per week – 30+

Average Viewers – 75+

Goals – to separate yourself from the competition and engage your community!


The importance of your overlays and panels doesn’t change when you’re a partner, it’s still your best option for making sure new and current viewers get the information they need about your channel. The difference now is that you have a large viewership who can help you to spread the word, your network is growing and the best thing for you to do next is to give them as many reasons to interact with you and each other as possible!


Let’s skip the basics and get on to the fun stuff!


Animated Alerts


Now your viewership is reaching new levels, your alerts will be popping up every few seconds as new followers pile in, subs become a normal part of your day to day and emotes are flowing in your chat! Showing how active your community is can be huge in making sure new viewers stick around and give your community something to be proud of triggering! The more you can do to customise their experience within your stream, the more often they’ll come back for more. Steady introduction of variation can also work well here as it gives them new content to be excited about. Think about how all of your animations interact and represent different viewers. Does a follower alert welcome the new community member? Does a repeat sub reward their loyalty? Think about how you can refine your communications.


Time on screen – high

Time in front of viewers – high

Time spent on channel overall - high


Grade A


Cinematic Intro


Similar to our comments around affiliated streamers, as your channel grows, more of your community will be waiting for your arrival on stream! (we’ll talk about the importance of consistency in your schedule in a later article which can impact effectiveness). Remember intros are great but to really make an impact you’ll need some variations that you can use in your channel down time to make sure you get as much value out of the animations as possible. Static variants are a good placeholder but to keep your stream engaged you need to be wary here as people entering your channel may think you’re offline due to the lack of movement!


Time on screen – medium

Time in front of viewers – medium

Time spent on channel overall - medium


Grade B

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Conclusion


Thus concludes our insights on a few of the ways you can impact your stream through your brand. The big takeaway is to really think about how you want to represent yourself and how you can use your designs smartly to drive audience growth.

Remember the biggest channels are built over years of time investment in community building, and the best way to do that is to give them a great experience when they join you live!


Thanks for reading and join us next time as we dig deeper into the options available to you, how your behaviour can affect your channel growth and much more! Check out our latest work over on our portfolio page at www.getrektlabs.com/portfolio.


Matt

Founder and Director, GETREKT Labs

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