In a recent post we took a look at The Top 10 Gaming YouTube channels. The reason for this was so that we could take away the good things these channels were doing and use it to our advantage. Clearly if there is a common thing amongst the top channels, they must be doing something right! Now we’re going to take a look at 3 Things Every Successful Stream Has. We’ll be using Twitch.tv for these examples, so strap up your boots and get ready.
I’m sure you’ve all had your moments when you said:
“Why don’t the viewers stay in my channel?”
“How do I get people in here to stay?”
“How the heck did the big name streamers do this!?”
And most likely some other key quotes I’m forgetting, but you get the jist of it.
Well, let’s take a look at some of the things the big guys at the top are using to there advantage, and talk about how you can get there too.
1. Eye Grabbing Quality and Interaction
It doesn’t matter if the streamer is basing his “performance” off his/her gameplay or even with his/her charm (funny, entertaining, etc.), they have a way to grab a viewers attention and keep them in their stream. Sure, we’ll say they have an advantage because they now have hundreds, even thousands of viewers in their channel to help keep the new ones there, and even to get them to click in the first place; but they all started like you. You have about 10 seconds to grab your new viewers attention and convert them before they are ready to click that back button. It’s the sad truth. You can make an argument that you have a little bit more time, BUT if you really look at it, some people click the button in even less time. So, what can you do to grab there attention if you are currently not getting many viewers (or even no viewers) when you stream?
We’ll start with quality. The quality of your stream matters because the top streams all have it. If someone realizes that your stream looks like a flip book, they’re most likely not even making it to the 10 seconds we discussed. Unfortunately, upgrading your internet and building a new PC could be expensive, but those are two things that might actually be needed, eventually. If this is a factor for you, you can start by slowly building up your channel, making sure this is definitely what you want to do, and then looking into upgrading.
Another thing that could be possibly holding you back that might be a simpler fix is that you could possibly be streaming directly from your console (XB1, PS4, etc.). This is not always an issue and gamers have definitely build up their channel while doing this, but when you’re up against the competition it definitely helps to have a capture card. I highly recommend looking into purchasing Elgato Systems Game Capture HD when the time comes.
Okay, so that gets the quality portion out of the way a bit, but what about the grabbing their attention myself? Well good sir, you’re going to have to keep your pinky up when you play….. No, I’m kidding and I sincerely apologize for that horrible line. One thing I notice is that streamers don’t always know when to interact with their viewers because a lot of the time they don’t know when new ones are there. It can be hard to constantly look over and check the chat to see if someone joined or said hey; and sometimes Twitch is a little slow on loading in the name and by the time you notice, you lost your shot anyway.
So, you talk. Literally talk about what you’re streaming constantly. You can look over from time to time and when you notice someone or some people are in your chat you can redirect your focus to a more direct conversation, but you are going to have to start by talking. If new viewers go into a stream and theres great quality but the streamer is bland and doesn’t say a word: bye bye stream. You don’t have to talk about what you ate for breakfast, just talk about your game as if you’re a commentator for the NBA. Have some fun with it.
The key points of eye grabbing attention that you can use to your advantage are:
- Stream Quality
- Your Voice
- Your Webcam
That’s it people. Sure you can make sure the Twitch page (below your stream) looks professional as well, but we’re focusing on keeping viewers and it’s time to step up and do it.
2. Something they’re known for (their Brand)
Every big streamers got something. When I go into SodaPoppins stream I know he’s either scewin’ around (excuse my french) and making me laugh, or slaying people on his Druid. I also know Towellie is most likely tanking and giving me some tips. And BestRivenNA is most likely playing Riven…. Okay, that was a joke, kind of. You get the point though. These streamers build up their brand because they’re consistent and people know what they’re getting.
Another way they’re able to build up their brand is by using Social Media to their advantage. Almost all these streamers have a ton of followers on Twitter and a ton of likes on their Facebook page. This brings in a whole new level for interaction. All of a sudden you’re interacting with new people that you’re current viewers are bringing to your attention (or vise versa; they’re interacting with you because their friend brought you to their attention). Okay, that was confusing, but I promise it made sense. The point is, Social Media is huge for building up your brand.
A lot of people (mostly younger people watching Twitch) don’t check their emails. I’m not kidding. You might actually be one of them. This heightens the importance of a Social Media presence. Next thing you know, you have thousands of followers waiting for that post that lets them know your live. A handful still might be waiting for that email, but that’s great, now you’re killing two birds with one…doesn’t work here.
Build up your brand, be consistent and don’t fall off the wagon. When you give up and stop, the followers and viewers stop with you. Starting from scratch isn’t fun.
3. Audience and Killer Chat Discussion
This is something else you’re going to definitely have to build up. It’s actually pretty obvious, though. All great streams have an audience to support them. We talked about this a little when we discussed interaction, but now we’re actually talking about getting people to chat. I know you’ve been in a top streamers chat room and noticed the amount of interaction they’re getting. Most of the time they form a community amongst themselves (and the streamer) in the chat room. The Mods interact, the regulars interact, and guess what, they keep coming back.
Building your audience is one thing, that will come over time, but we also discussed some ways to get viewers to interact in this post here.
Another key component to building your audience is to create friendships early on. You don’t have to talk to 5 people viewing you as if you have 1000’s of viewers watching. You can talk to them directly and build a connection with them so that they want to come back into your stream and chat again. Then you do that a few times and you have a few viewers coming back, and then they’re talking amongst themselves to, and boom, you did it. That doesn’t mean you stop doing what you did right, though. You keep pushing and building your audience until you break Twitch’s follower record!
Building your brand, audience and stream is really hard. I won’t lie to you. I always talk about persistence being key, because it is possible, but to many people give up right before their big break. Don’t let that be you. If you give up, you’ll never know how close you were.