So, you're on Twitch, Mixer or maybe even Facebook Gaming and now you want to grow your following and get millions of dollars from people watching you get destroyed in WarZone? Is that about right? Well, you're in for a shock: it ain't going to happen! If you think hundreds of thousands of people are just going to automatically watch you play video games just because you're playing video games...you're already going about it the wrong way.
Don't worry though, I have some steps that can help.
Lesson 1: Engagement
It really surprises me that people refuse to engage their audience when they are LUCKY enough to get someone to swing by. You've probably seen this, right? You click on their link, you see the action and you decide to reach out and say hello. But then what happens? They don't even bother to acknowledge your presence. How does that make you feel? Probably not good enough to ever return to that channel, wouldn't you agree?
My biggest and most important lesson is simply to engage your visitors when they actually watch you play. Call them out by name, ask them questions and please give them the respect they deserve by spending their own precious time to visit your channel. Giving them this "good feeling" of being seen is absolutely the best way to engage your audience.
Retaining your audience is important as well. If you're asking questions, make sure you respond to their answers! You're not a robot, so don't act like one. It is pretty easy to keep a conversation going by simply responding to the messages that you see on your feed. If you're confused, ask them to clarify, if you agree with something, go ahead and agree with something. If you disagree with something, be polite, but don't be afraid to offer your viewpoint.
When you converse with your audience, do you know what happens? They start to feel heard, they feel included and, most importantly, they have a reason to come back. Even if you talk just a little bit with your audience, you'll be doing better than MOST channels out there.
Lesson 2: Social Media Channels
If you rely on simply streaming everyday, you will struggle with growth. Exposure is a massively important part of a streamer's life and should be taken very seriously. Even if you engage with the viewers of your stream, that's not enough to build compounding numbers. The biggest streamers out there consistently say that outside marketing of the channel is one of the most important actions that a streamer can take. It's also something they wish they would have done sooner.
Even though I will break this down further in future blog posts, you can start today by engaging on other platforms. The two that come to mind first are simply Instagram and Twitter. Both of these platforms feature HUGE user counts and the ability to search for exactly what you want. For example, you can look up Twitch on Twitter and begin interacting with their posts. On Instagram, you can do the same thing or even begin to connect with other streamers.
When I speak of engagement, that doesn't mean to "like" their posts. It certainly doesn't mean to drop your links every chance you get. In fact, if you attempt to spam your links you may get blocked from the channel or even reported and have your account banned. You can imagine you don't want that to happen!
Engage people by simply being a human being. If they have a cool video clip, you can hit the like button and add a simple comment like, "hey, cool video! I like how you did this move there and that move here." It's really quite simple, isn't it? If you want to go up a level, you can even provide advice, tactics or techniques that you use. The more helpful you can be, the better! Give it a try.
Lesson 3: Produce Outside Content
Okay, so now we're streaming, we're engaging and we are reaching out on other social media channels, so what do we do next? We start to produce content! This is a very exciting phase of development that could really land you a lot of viewers and potentially other sources of revenue if done properly.
When you complete your stream for the day, you probably know that you can download that footage from your channel. Once you have that downloaded, I highly recommend that you make little clips of your best moments and push that out to YouTube and other video hosting channels. Creating a great library of your game play will definitely get you the attention you crave.
A bonus tip would be to create one minute clips of your best action. Take these short clips and upload them to all of your social media channels including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The videos that are uploaded directly to these platforms tend to do very well with the current algorithms that are in place. Do this and you definitely won't be disappointed.
I hope this very simple approach will help you gain more followers and increase your average viewer rate. It's important to have fun and yet stand out. I for one wear a bandana on every stream as my sort of "signature". Dr. Disrespect goes full out with that ridiculous wig, massive shades and those red overalls. You see how much of an audience he has, don't you? Stand out!
Feel free to swing by my stream and say hello. I'll be happy to talk about basic channel marketing and communication techniques that I mastered over years of recruiting people for the United States Army and Army Reserve. It's worth it!
Follow me on Twitter, too!