The rapidly-expanding live streaming platform Twitch is taking the world by storm. In 2015, Twitch became the fourth most significant source of online traffic in the United States, behind only Google, Apple and Netflix.
According to the platform itself, Twitch receives more than 100 million unique visitors each month, each of whom spends almost two-hours a day watching amateur and professional gamers in action.
So, if you’ve got the itch to get on Twitch and stream your own gaming experiences to people around the world, you’ll want to make sure your channel stands out from the crowd. After all, there are over 1.5 million broadcasters now active on the platform, and it’s therefore important to have a strategy in order to develop a sustainable following of fans. Some Twitch streamers do it so well that they get donations from followers—and even sponsorships from Twitch—to maintain their channel, so it certainly pays to get involved. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to market your Twitch channel as a newcomer to the platform.
Pay close attention to, and interact with, your audience – Admittedly, there’s nothing more annoying than the trolls who will enter your channel and attempt to spam your chat box. It’s important to rise above them, as they’ll soon disappear. They will disappear even quicker if you ignore them and only respond to legitimate questions from genuine followers of your stream. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with those genuine participants and commentate on your feelings throughout your game.
Bring your followers on your journey – What the most successful Twitch streamers manage to achieve is a sense of inclusivity. Whether it’s a historic million-dollar victory at an online tournament of sit-and-go poker or a must-win League of Legends battle, streams can make viewers feel that they’re part of the action, just like watching live sport.
Use social media to shape your channel – New steamers on Twitch can quickly build their ‘brand’ by creating social handles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to connect with prospective followers on a more personal level. Don’t fall into the trap of flooding your social feeds with notifications of your next Twitch stream. Try and use social media as a window into your life and your passion for gaming. It’s a great way to demonstrate your channel’s personality before someone has ever even viewed it. Once the channel is well-established, you could consider attending some of the main Twitch meet-ups and conferences to network and meet followers in person. TwitchCon is the world’s biggest celebration for Twitch broadcasters and their communities.
Maintain a consistent streaming schedule – If you are committed to getting your Twitch channel off the ground, set a streaming schedule and stick to it. Loyal viewers will quickly realise that you are broadcasting at those set times, making them more likely to return and engage with you again.
Plan and promote special streams – A quick way to boost short-term viewership is to host special streams that capture the imagination. Whether it’s a 24-hour-long stream, a fun-filled show on your birthday or a tournament with friends, don’t be afraid to mix things up a little. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to experience small spikes of traffic to your feed with a little creativity.
Combine your creative shows and your passion and personality for gaming with some reliable hardware. Get yourself a microphone and headset and a high-definition webcam and you’ll be well on your way to becoming the next Twitch superstar. Most importantly, have fun and be yourself!