9 Ways to Grow Your Twitch Channel in 2018

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Ahron Burstin’s Picture

Ahron Burstin

We've laid out the top strategies used by big channels to grow on Twitch, are you game?

It wasn’t all that long ago that when a new video game was released, the only way to check it out was by watching over the shoulders of friends or family who had already managed to get their hands on it.

These days, the process of watching a new game in action has become a lot simpler thanks to the prevalence of online videos and live streaming platforms like Twitch.

Twitch is the world’s largest online video game streaming platform. Within its first month of launch Twitch received 8 million unique visitors, and today the platform accounts for an astonishing 43% of all revenue generated by video gaming video content. Twitch even accounts for almost as much peak traffic as behemoths like Netflix and Google. It’s no wonder Amazon shelled out $970 million to purchase the streaming platform back in 2014.

twitch-homepage

It should probably now go without saying that Twitch has become an outstanding place for streamers to find an audience and generate some revenue. Twitch streamers can make money in a lot tof different ways including ad revenue, subscriptions, donations, affiliate links and even merchandising. The top Twitch users have been able to turn their streaming into a lucrative career, with some earning as much as $350,000 in a single month.

The numbers don’t lie, and what they’re saying is that there’s a huge and profitable audience waiting for you on Twitch. You just have to go out and get their attention.

twitch-viewership-metrics

So if you’re looking to grow your presence on Twitch and reap the rewards of being a highly successful streamer then you’ve come to the right place. In this post we’re going to take you through 9 key tips that will help you kickstart your growth on Twitch, and we’ll even show you some best practice examples for inspiration along the way.

1. Set Yourself Goals

If you want to take advantage of the fantastic opportunities that Twitch provides, then it’s imperative that you treat your streaming like a business. A great way to get started with this approach is by setting yourself goals, and developing a strategy on how you will achieve those goals.

Since you’re trying to grow your Twitch presence, your goals should be focused on gaining more views or subscribers, and remember, the more well-thought-out your goals are, the more likely you are to follow through on them. We recommend you set your goals using the SMART framework. It’s a simple and memorable goal-setting tool that will help you craft meaningful goals that produce real outcomes.

smart-goals

To help you get started on your goal setting, we’ll take you through exactly what each of these points means.

  • Specific: The goals you set for yourself should be precise and clear. You shouldn’t leave yourself any room for excuses or misinterpretation. Instead of setting goals like “Increase my Twitch presence”, you should be setting goals like “Have X amount of subscribers by X date”.
  • Measurable: It’s crucial that you are able to precisely measure your progress towards goals. This will help you understand the effectiveness of your strategies and keep yourself on track. It won’t be too hard to make your goals measurable in this instance, as you should be using metrics such as number of views or subscriptions to define your Twitch growth goals.
  • Attainable: You should set yourself goals which you can realistically achieve. If you set goals which you cannot reasonably expect to achieve then you’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. If you’re just starting out as a streamer then don’t set yourself a goal of 1000 subscribers within your first month.
  • Relevant: Make sure your goals are in line with what it is that you actually want to achieve. If you’re a streamer looking to become partnered, then your goals should be focused on developing a consistent viewership. If a high subscription count is your ultimate objective, then gaining new subscribers is exactly what your goals should focus on.
  • Timely: Any goals you set for yourself should have a precise time-limit. By giving yourself a deadline you put yourself in a position where you can’t afford to slack off or waste time. This is a fantastic way to ensure you’re actively executing strategies and working towards your goals.

Once you’ve set yourself some goals, you’ll need to start developing strategies to help you reach them and establish yourself as a major presence on Twitch. We’re going to spend the rest of this post going over some highly effective strategies that you can use, but before we get to that there are a few more things you need to keep in mind when setting goals.

Firstly, you need to be patient.

Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a whole lot of patience, hard work, and dedication.

But if you have a passion for what you’re doing and a clear strategic guideline then the process will become a whole lot easier. Just remember, it’s perfectly normal to start off with a few (or even zero) followers. What’s important during these early days is that you don’t lose confidence, even if your follower base isn’t growing right away.

This period of time provides you with a perfect opportunity to try out any ideas you might have and figure out what does and doesn’t work for you, so make it count.

This is what Twitch streamer Futureman Gaming did when he was first starting out on Twitch. Without a solid following he knew he needed to find a way to stand out and improve his channel, so after some brainstorming he built a CGI spaceship to use as a backdrop and started streaming in character as a time traveller sent from the future to save mankind by beating video games before they gain sentience. He now has over 68,000 followers on his Twitch channel.

The other important thing to keep in mind is that it helps to break down your goals.

Setting ambitious goals is a great way to make yourself work hard and strive for greatness, but you don’t want to be working towards the same goal for years on end. This is why it’s a good idea to break down your goals into steps that you can achieve one at a time.

An example of progressive goal setting like this is aiming to reach 100 subscribers by the end of one month, 150 by the end of the next month, and so on. You can even make the goals harder and harder as you progress. This will help you stay focused and force you to constantly look for new ways to improve.

A fun way to engage your audience and get people invested in the success of your channel is by publically sharing your goals and rewarding your followers for helping you achieve them. You can even share some more personal goals as a way to boost engagement.

For an example, just take a look at Twitch streamer loserfruit.

Just remember to follow through on your rewards…

Fruitline Bling!

Fruitline bling. Hotline loser. Either way, here is a thanks to all my subscribers. We hit the 700 count on Twitch and it's just going up. Going to have more challenges at 800/900/1000 etc Hopefully will have more SUPER COOL challenges and NOT EMBARRASSING ones :^)

Posted by Loserfruit on Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Once you’ve set yourself some SMART goals you should be itching to get out there and grow your Twitch presence. So to help you do just that, we’ve got some key strategies and pieces of advice that will allow you to gain more views, followers, and subscribers. Let’s start things off with…

2. Stream Consistently and Frequently

If you want to gain a loyal following then you need to stick to a frequent and consistent schedule.

It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s the single best way of letting your audience know when they can tune in to watch you. Creating a schedule and sharing it with your viewers is a great way to promote trust and encourage regular viewing.

By developing a consistent streaming schedule which you share with your audience you will establish yourself as a professional who takes their streaming seriously. If you don’t have a schedule then viewers who find you and like what you do won’t know when to come back, and as a result they’ll probably just move on to someone new.

A lot of streamers make this mistake, so just by setting up a schedule and sticking to it you’re already differentiating yourself from hordes of others who haven’t done the same.

Your schedule can be simple like Dr. DisRespect’s, or more thorough and complex like the one provided by Geek and Sundry. What matters is that you’re letting your audience know when they can find you on Twitch.

twitch-schedules

When creating a schedule, it’s a good idea to include what you’ll be playing as well as when you’ll be playing. This will help your audience find the content they’re looking for, and give potential viewers more of a reason to check you out.

Once you’re operating on a schedule your viewers will begin to expect consistency from you. This is great, as it’s a sign of a loyal viewership, but it also means that if you stray too far from your schedule you’ll run the risk of alienating your viewers and losing your audience. The best way to avoid this is simply by sticking to your routine, but if you do need to break schedule for whatever reason remember to use your channel feed or social media accounts to let your audience know about the change.

Creating and following a consistent schedule is undeniably crucial, but it’s not enough to just be consistent. You need to stream frequently.

Streaming frequently and for long stretches of time allows you to maximise your chances of being discovered. Also, by providing your audience with more content, you’re also providing them with more value, which will do wonders for their loyalty and personal investment in your channel.

Ideally, you should be streaming several times per week in sessions lasting at least 4 hours. If a session lasts less than 4 hours you may find yourself struggling to pick up viewer momentum and failing to provide your audience with a satisfactory amount of high-value content.

Remember, you might be the most likable and entertaining streamer in the world, but if you’re not putting yourself out there on a consistent basis then no one is going to pay attention.

Streaming with consistency and frequency is certainly one of the most powerful ways you can grow your audience and build loyal relationships with your fans, but keep in mind that all the consistency in the world won’t get you a devout following unless you…

3. Offer Your Audience Value

Remember when we said that if you want to make it as a streamer on Twitch, then you need to treat your channel like a business? Well, what this means is you need to think of your streams as your products, and your viewers as your customers.

It follows from this that if you want to start attracting first-time and repeat customers or viewers, then you need to provide them with something valuable. You need to give them a reason to watch you instead of one of the other 2 million broadcasters out there.

twitch-live-streams

In order to figure out exactly how you can provide your target audience with value, you first need to figure out what it is that people are looking for when they jump onto Twitch. And while everyone has their own unique reasons for watching Twitch streamers, there are a few general reasons that cover the main motivations of most viewers.

To Help Make Purchase Decisions

When a gamer is making a purchase decision the first port of call is generally trailers and reviews. However, there’s no better way to get a feel for a new game and make a well thought-out decision than by watching real gameplay and listening to feedback from a trusted authority. Twitch can offer exactly that, with many streamers using their platform to play new games and help their viewers decide whether or not a game is worth purchasing.

To Get Tips and Advice on Games

Many viewers come to Twitch as a means of improving their own gaming performance. They may watch streamers and e-sports professionals play their favorite games in pursuit of new tactics and strategies, or they might watch playthroughs to figure out how to get through difficult stages or even just discover a few in-game secrets.

To Watch Professionals

Another reason gamers come to Twitch is to watch their favorite players and teams competing in large tournaments like The League of Legends World Championships or the Overwatch World Cup. Twitch even lets viewers support, cheer and discuss gameplay with other viewers for a complete fan experience.

Additionally, many professional players have their own Twitch channels which they use to showcase their talent, often streaming practice matches and trying out new games.

Here’s some footage from professional Overwatch player a_seagull to show you what we mean.

To Be Entertained by a Streamer’s Personality

Another reason many gamers watch streamers is purely for the entertainment that comes from watching an engaging personality play a game you love. For example, streamers such as PewDiePie, Dr. DisRespect, and CohhCarnage have loud, boisterous, and humorous personalities which makes watching them play a fun and entertaining experience.

Understanding the main types of value people are seeking out on Twitch should help you figure out the type of content you should be producing. If you can satisfy some or all of the viewer needs we mentioned above you should be in pretty good shape, but there are a few other tips you should keep in mind if you want to provide your audience with as much value as you can.

Be Unique

Your channel will get lost in the crowd if all you’re doing is offering the same content as everybody else.

To put it simply, your survival as a streamer is contingent on your ability to stand out. Luckily for you, there are a lot of different ways you can differentiate yourself from the pack.

One method of standing out which has proven to be effective is donning a unique and interesting persona whilst streaming. This can be as simple as highlighting your own individual, likable, and engaging personality, or as intricate as crafting a fictitious persona. This was the approach taken by Guy Beahm, who has become one of the world’s most popular Twitch streamers by playing in character as an arrogant competitive gamer called Dr. Disrespect.

Another way you can leap out from the pack is by playing games in a unique and creative way. For instance, you could play games whilst impairing yourself in some way, such as wearing a blindfold. Another option is trying to beat games in a particularly challenging way, such as playing through a stealth game without killing a single enemy.

A great example of this type of unique content comes from Twitch streamer, Rudeism. In his streams, he often plays multiplayer games using guitar controllers, household items, or even food in lieu of a regular controller.

Another way to offer unique value on Twitch is by playing games that no one else is playing. Thousands of streamers will be playing the newest game titles, so a great way to distinguish yourself is by playing niche games such as retro titles, indie games or early access games.

Something else to remember is that even though gaming is the bread and butter of Twitch, it isn’t the only yhing you can use the platform to stream. If your passion lies outside of gaming then Twitch could still be for you. For example, you can stream tutorials in areas such as animation, music, or cooking and immediately stand out from the abundance of gaming streams. A lot of streamers even opt to stream additional content as well as their gaming.

Share Your Gaming Knowledge

As we mentioned before, two of the main reasons people watch Twitch streams are to improve their skills and decide whether or not they should buy a game.

You can help satisfy both of these needs just by sharing your gaming knowledge and giving some insightful commentary while you play. You can share any tips you have, show people easter eggs and in-game secrets, or even just share your opinion on games to help people figure out if it’s worthy of a purchase.

Even if you aren’t a professional level gamer, just doing a playthrough of a game is often enough to give people the help they need.

Make Your Stream Channel Visually Appealing

An aesthetically appealing channel page is never going to be enough to grow your channel on its own, but peripheral value like this will still aid your success more than you might think.

A neat and organized layout which helps users find exactly what they’re looking for will help you attract and retain viewers, and graphically edited images that are visually pleasing will make your channel look professional and inviting.

Great ways to visually optimize your channel are by expanding your description, revamping your channel art, adding color, and using images instead of text on headlines.

For some examples of terrific Twitch page layouts, check out the channel pages put forward by Riot Games and Syndicate.

twitch-panel-layout

To get started editing your own channel layout all you need to do is log in to Twitch, go to your channel, click the box that says “Edit Panels” and start adding panels to your channel.

Between all of these tips and tactics you should be feeling pretty well equipped to take your streaming in a direction that will provide your viewers with all of the value they seek. There is, however, one point we brought up that should be gone over in a bit more detail…

4. Play the Right Games

We’ve already alluded to this point briefly, but it’s well worth going through in some more detail.

If you want to attract an audience and grow your presence on Twitch then it’s vital that you’re playing the right games.

This is an aspect of streaming which9 often proves to be surprisingly difficult. You need to find the balance between games that you love and games that your audience loves, between games that no one has heard of and ones that everyone is eager to check out.

twitch-games

If you’re just starting out on Twitch then it’s a good idea to spend some time streaming different games to figure out which ones are most effective for you, but for a bit of help getting started try following these 4 tips to finding the perfect game to stream.

Play Games That You’re Passionate About

It’s important to play the games that you truly enjoy rather than just sticking to the latest or most popular titles.

If you stream games that you don’t enjoy then chances are you’ll be disinterested, and thus, a whole lot less entertaining to watch.

On the other hand, if you stream games that you love then you’re much more likely to come across as engaging and interesting. People gravitate towards those who show a genuine passion for something, so streaming games you’re zealous about is a fantastic way to capture your audience’s attention and boost your following.

Play What You’re Best At

This point will generally go hand in hand with the last, as it’s quite common for the games we’re passionate about to be the ones that we’re best at, but this is not always the case.

The reason it’s important to mostly stick to games you have a real knack for is because, as a general rule, viewers prefer to watch streamers complete or win the majority of their games and matches.

When you play games you excel at you’ll also be able to show off your mastery and expertise, which will generally lead to some highly entertaining content. You’ll also be much more knowledgeable about the games you play which will allow you to offer more insightful commentary, as well as share more fun-facts, easter eggs, tips, and strategies. This type of content will greatly appeal to the significant amount of Twitch viewers looking to improve their own performance, so it’s a good move to provide it.

When you play games you have a proficiency for you also open the door to wider types of play styles, including walkthroughs, speedruns, and extra-challenging playthroughs.

As evidently beneficial as it is to stream games you excel at, you shouldn’t always stick to these games exclusively.

The power of schadenfreude is strong, and if you have an engaging persona then people will enjoy watching you struggle from time to time. Don’t be afraid to dabble in games you’ve never played before, or ones you find particularly difficult. They can make for a welcome break from your usual gaming regime.

Play Non-Saturated Games

If you devote all of your streaming time to the most popular games on the market then you put yourself at risk of getting lost in the crowd of other, more well-established, streamers who are playing the exact same games as you.

A better approach is to try to find brand new or niche games that most streamers haven’t touched. Try researching new games on Steam or gaming websites to find some untouched gems that are likely to interest you and your audience.

One particularly good approach to choosing non-saturated games is playing games that are similar to the popular ones that you normally stream, but are less well-known, or even in early access or beta.

For example, if you’re a PUBG streamer you could try streaming battle royale games that are coming out soon, like SOS or Island of Nyne.

In addition to providing you with some unique content, streaming these types of games can also help your channel get some free promotion.

If you’re happy to highlight the game and its publishers (which you most certainly should be), then game producers may offer you keys to show off their game, and it’s quite likely that they’ll even promote you on their social media pages.

As outstanding as it is to play non-saturated games, you should keep in mind that popular games are popular for a reason. People enjoy playing them, and they enjoy watching them, so don’t be afraid to spend a bit of time on them, just don’t let over-saturated games take up too much of your stream.

If you want to find games which are popular amongst viewers but aren’t over-saturated by streamers try using sites such as What To Stream or Twitch Strike to help figure it out.

what-to-stream-website

Mix It Up

It may seem like some of our game-selection strategies are in conflict with each other, but this won’t be the case if you remember to mix-up your streaming content.

Streaming different games and types of content throughout the week is a great way to give your channel variety, keep your audience engaged, attract a wider variety of viewers, and prevent your stream from going stale.

Mixing up your streaming content will allow you to strike a balance between all of the different kinds of games you want to play, and all of the different types of content you want to produce.

You could spend some days playing retro classics and others playing new releases, or some playing a single player story driven game and others playing multiplayer online games.

You could even devote some streams to gaming and others to your non-gaming talents and interests. For example, 3PMUSIC, streams games on some days and does live and interactive music production on others. He even gives the track away to subscribers once he’s finished.

A great way to manage your streaming schedule is by creating a content calendar that keeps track of what you’re streaming, and how long you’re streaming it for. This will make it a lot easier to balance different games and genres without neglecting any types of content, or segments of your audience.

As great as it is to have variety, remember that it’s still crucial to maintain consistency. Try to stick to a fixed weekly schedule, don’t switch games mid-stream, and only rotate through 2-3 games or segments at any given time. This will help you retain an audience and establish a powerful channel identity. If you’re constantly abandoning games don’t be too surprised if your audience begins to lose interest and devote their attention elsewhere.

5. Interactivity

One of the keys to making your mark on Twitch is audience interaction. Being able to interact with the streamer and other viewers in real time (and with ease) is one of the main reasons people use Twitch instead of just watching gaming videos online.

Viewers aren’t just coming to watch you play, they’re coming to get to know you and chat with others in your audience. Interacting with your audience is one of the best ways for you too earn followers and keep viewers coming back to your stream for more.

It’s because of this that maintaining high levels of audience interaction is incredibly important, especially if you’re just starting out. So pay attention to these next few tips, as they can help make interacting and engaging with your audience a breeze.

Always Keep an Eye on Your Chat Room

If you want to properly interact with your audience then it’s crucial that you know what they’re saying, and the way to do this is by keeping an eye on your chat room.

If you’re a small streamer you should be able to keep track of the chat room and directly interact with each viewer. However, this will become a lot more difficult as your audience grows. Despite this, you still can monitor the chat room to pick up on some general conversational topics and even respond directly to individual messages which catch your eye.

Keeping track of the chat room whilst playing a game can be quite a challenge, so we recommend you get a second monitor which you devote solely to interactions.

Keep Talking On Your Stream

If you remain silent then your stream might as well be a YouTube video.

If you want to keep your audience engaged and the entertainment flowing then you should try to talk constantly on your stream. This means chatting even if you don’t have any viewers at that time. This will keep you in a rhythm and allow viewers to start watching a stream that is instantly engaging.

When you do get viewers, a great way to start your interactions is by letting them know the schedule, welcoming new viewers when they start chatting, thanking new followers and subscribers, answering any questions, responding to any comments, and farewelling those who need to leave the stream.

If you are playing a game that requires a lot of concentration then you probably won’t want to be paying constant attention to the chat feed. In these situations, it’s a good idea to talk about your thoughts and strategies as you play.

Something else to note is that some viewers would rather watch than chat, so it’s important not to call them out or they might feel uncomfortable and leave the stream.

Ask Questions

As well as responding to chat room messages you should also try to prompt conversation yourself, and there’s no better way to do this than by asking your audience questions.

You can start with personal questions at the beginning of a stream, such as asking about how they’re going, how their day has been, or what their thoughts on the game you’re streaming are. This will show viewers that you actually care about them and make them more active in the chat.

You can also create more in-depth discussions by asking viewers questions about the game you’re streaming, future games they’re looking forward to, games they’d like to see you stream, and suggestions on how you could improve your stream.

A great way you can use questions to get your audeince involved is by asking them to help out with a character creation process, or with any in-game choices you may encounter. This will help you get your viewers involved while making sure your stream is catering to your fans.

Asking your audience questions will make them feel more welcome, engaged, and entertained, all of which should translate into increasing levels of viewer retention, follows, and subscriptions.

Select Moderators

Once your channel has grown to a decent size, it can be a good idea to assign certain viewers to be moderators who will help you keep the chat room interaction active and constructive.

Moderators will help you enforce channel rules, remove inappropriate content, chat with viewers, and welcome new followers. Assigning moderators is one of the best things you can do to keep the interactivity of your channel up to a high standard, so if you feel like you could use some help monitoring and participating in your chat room then finding some willing volunteers is well worth your time.

Just check out how P4wnyhof uses moderators (who can be identified by the green sword icon) to both engage viewers in friendly converstion and disseminate important information such as giveaway winners.

The number of moderators your channel needs depends entirely on the activity levels of your chatroom. For smaller channels, Twitch recommends having 2-3 active moderators, but you’ll need to keep adding more and more as your viewership increases and your chat room gets progressively more inundated with messages.

If you want your moderation team to be effective, then it’s important that you choose subscribers to be moderators based on personality and activeness. You want to choose moderators who are friendly, helpful, love interacting in the chat room, and are consistently watching your stream when you’re live.

Use a Moderator Bot

In addition to using moderators from your audience, it can also be a good idea to use Moderator Bots to help monitor your stream’s chat room.

There are a number of excellent moderator bots available to use such as Moobot, PhantomBot, Nightbot and Streamlabs Chatbot, all of which can carry out a wide variety of functions including…

  • Providing users with answers in response to common questions
  • Taking music requests and queuing songs to play on your stream
  • Scheduling welcome and thank you messages in the chat for visiting hosts or new followers.
  • Protecting your stream from vulgarity by setting taboo words, preventing spam, and banning users who break the rules.

For an example of how moderator bots can work, check out this Nightbot which has been programmed to provide information about a streamer’s Amazon affiliate link.

The great thing about moderator bots is that they can handle all of the mundane and repetitive moderation work, all you have to do is program some shortcuts and automated responses. This takes away a lot of pressure and lets you focus on your content, and your human moderators focus on more meaningful interactions.

Get the Audience Involved

As undeniably effective as it is to converse with viewers whilst you play, if you really want to go all in on interactivity then you should consider making an effort to get your audience actively involved with your gaming.

If you can make your audience feel like they are playing an active role in your gaming rather than just watching you play then their investment levels will skyrocket, leading to repeat viewings, follows, and subscriptions.

There are games such as Jackbox Party that are perfectly suited to this as they allow viewers to connect online with their phones, tablets or computers and join in on your game.

Another great approach is giving your audience some control over your gaming by letting them select strategies, outcomes, character options and any other decisions which may arise. You can let your viewers choose your path in adventure games, or your weapons and equipment in first-person shooters.

One more effective way to involve your audience is by letting them decide the games you play. This will allow your audience to be active participants in your gaming, without you having to switch up your play style too drastically.

If you keep all of these tips in mind then you should be able to turn your channel into an interactive community where your viewers are provided with value that goes far beyond watching someone play a video game.

6. Use High-Quality Streaming Equipment

We’ve gone over how important it is to interact with your audience, but if you want to be able to do that properly then they need to be able to see and hear you perfectly.

Because of this, it’s important that you invest in a good camera and microphone.

A good camera will allow your viewers to see your face and expressions clearly, which will allow them to form a connection with you a lot more easily. A good microphone is even more important than the camera, as if your audience can’t hear you loud and clear, then they won’t be able to hear your commentary or interact with you in a meaningful way. If this is the case then they may as well be watching a YouTube video.

In addition to a good camera and mic, you’ll also need to set yourself up with a stable internet connection, and some streaming software.

When you’re choosing your streaming software you’ll be met with a whole lot of options. If you’re just starting out as a streamer, then Open Broadcast Software is probably your best option. It’s a free tool with an intuitive interface and solid customization options, filters, sound mixers, and transitions.

Another good option is Gameshow. This will cost you $29 for the full version, but the wide variety of templates, customizable widgets, and on-the-fly editing tools may make it well worth the investment.

If you’re a more established streamer who is already generating some revenue on Twitch and is willing to spend a bit of money on their software then you might want to check out Wirecast. It comes at a cost of $500, but if you want a top of the line broadcast application that gives you personalization options beyond those offered by any other application, then Wirecast might be for you.

If what you’re looking for is a more complete broadcasting tool then Streamlabs or Streampro are likely what you’re looking for. These broadcasting tools are both free, and they are both known as all-in-one Twitch streaming tools. In addition to functioning as customizable streaming software, they can help you customize your chat box and set up donations, polls, alerts and much more.

Here’s an example of an alert you can set up with Streamlabs which is a great way to keep on top of your audience’s activity and interact with them in real-time.

If you’re streaming from a console such as a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One you have the option of using each console’s native streaming app, however, we advise against this. If you instead opt to connect to a PC capture card or capture device then you will not only be met with improved performance, but also the ability to customize your stream using one of the great broadcasting applications we’ve mentioned.

Once you’ve set yourself up with all the software and equipment you need, remember to test it all out before every stream session. This will help you avert any technical difficulties during a live broadcast, and allow your channel to retain a strong sense of professionalism.

To help you monitor your stream’s technical performance you can use the Twitch Inspector to keep an eye on any potential internet connection or encoder related issues.

7. Promote Yourself On Social Media

Your success as a streamer doesn’t just depend on what you do on Twitch. Your activity across other social media platforms also plays a vital role in the growth of your channel.

When you’re a new Twitch streamer, you’ll need to find ways to get your name out there and attract the attention of your target audience. One of the best ways you can do this is by cross-promoting your channel on social media and relevant forums.

The more attention you get the more likely you are to find viewers and grow your audience, so it’s important that you remain active across as many platforms as you can.

To help you get started on your online promotion, we’re going to give you a rundown of how you can utilize the most effective online platforms for Twitch promotion.

Twitter

As a Twitch streamer, you’re likely to find that few other social media platforms can put you in front of your target audience the way Twitter can. Much like Twitch, Twitter’s age demographics skew towards a younger crowd. As a result, there is arguably no better platform for finding individuals with keen interest in gaming who are likely to be interested in your stream.

In addition to allowing you to find your audience, Twitter also makes it easy to create and post content which can be easily shared from user to user. This means that if you are able to create highly engaging content for social media then you put yourself in a position where you can both consistently engage your existing followers and expose yourself to a new and highly relevant audience.

When it comes to the type of content you should be posting to Twitter, perhaps the most important thing you should be doing is letting your followers know when you’re going to be streaming.

Posting your Twitch schedule and announcing when you’re about to go live is a great way to keep your followers in the loop and your stream full of viewers, so don’t forget to make these types of posts the cornerstone of your Twitter activity.

When you do post about your stream, it’s important that you include a few key components that will maximise your chances of converting Twitter users into viewers. So don’t forget to incorporate the following into your tweets:

  • A brief description of what games or content you will be streaming
  • An image, video or GIF to make your post visually appealing
  • A link to your Twitch channel so it’s easy and fast for viewers to access your stream
  • Relevant hashtags to increase the likelihood of your tweet being discovered and ranking on Twitter search results
  • Tag other relevant users such as publishers, streamers, sponsors and other influencers to widen your reach

These posts are the most important ones you will make, but it’s important that you use Twitter for more than just posting when you’re going live. If this is all you do your audience will grow disinterested and start to think of your account as spam.

To avoid this you should also tweet about giveaways or promotions you’re running, happenings in your life, thoughts on games, and any other content that your audience will find humorous or entertaining.

With these ideas in mind you should be able to produce some highly engaging content which will attract an audience and draw them to your stream. And remember, what works on Twitter is likely to work on other social media platforms like Facebook.

When it comes to building an online presence, the more platforms you use the better. So don’t be afraid to put these ideas to work across several channels, and if you want a more in-depth guide to creating content for social media check out our ultimate guide to marketing on Facebook.

YouTube

YouTube is another platform which you may find incredibly useful as a Twitch streamer. YouTube provides you with an easily accessible and densely populated channel through which you can find an audience, highlight your content, and promote your Twitch channel. So if you’re not already using YouTube as a promotional tool, the time to start is now.

The best way you can use YouTube to promote your Twitch channel is by posting videos which put all the value your stream has to offer on display. You should aim to upload videos which will give viewers a taste of your personality and play style while presenting your content in a highly endearing way which will leave viewers hungry for more.

This can be done by uploading memorable moments, whether they be comedic events, special achievements or impressive actions.

Or by putting together highlight compilations.

This highlight video comes from Summit1g, who excels at using highlights to promote his Twitch channel, uploading several compilations every week.

summit1g-youtube-videos

Also, whenever you upload a video remember to include your Twitch link in the description or the video itself. This will make it a lot easier for viewers to find you on Twitch and check out your stream, which in turn will lead to growth in your viewership and following.

Discord

Discord is a free online chat platform dedicated to gamers. It allows users to create and join groups in which they can socialize and discuss games with others.

Many game publishers and streamers use Discord as a community group for their subscribers and followers, and if you want to grow your Twitch channel and build a vast and loyal audience then it’s a good idea for you to do the same.

Once you’ve created an account you will be able to create categorized servers dedicated to topics such as announcements, giveaways, or general conversation. Discord also allows you to house videos on your servers, so you can even use the platform to display your stream, or highlights from your stream.

Discord-page-magic

Discord is a great way to maintain communication with your viewers, foster a sense of community amongst them, and help you build a loyal following. The social nature of Discord also means that if you develop a strong presence on the platform, your fans are likely to share your material with their Discord friends, which is an outstanding way to grow your audience.

Just remember to post links to your Twitch channel across your servers on a fairly regular basis. It’s paramount that your Discord account feeds directly into your Twitch channel, as if you don’t use the presence you build on Discord to grow your Twitch viewership then your efforts will have been essentially wasted.

Discord-post

By the same token that you use Discord to feed into your Twitch channel, you should also use your Twitch channel to let your followers know about your Discord presence so they can help build your online community. A great way to promote your Discord channel on Twitch is by setting up a moderator bot to post links to it in your stream’s chat room on command.

Just take a look at what happens when you type “!discord” in P4wnyhof’s chat room to see what we mean.

As advantageous as it is to set up your own servers on Discord, when you’re first starting out it’s an excellent idea to actively participate in servers related to Twitch streaming or games you play. This will provide you with a perfect opportunity to tell people about your stream and hopefully attract some early viewers.

Online Forums

In addition to using the social media platforms we’ve mentioned to promote your Twitch channel, there are numerous other online channels you can use to draw attention to your Twitch stream.

The internet is filled with various blogs, forums and other online communities that are dedicated to discussions about Twitch, streaming, and just about every gaming related topic you can imagine.

Reddit is filled with countless active communities devoted to Twitch streaming and gaming, so if you want to attract even more attention and draw viewers to your stream then this is a platform you shouldn’t ignore.

twitch-reddit

A great way to grow your audience is by maintaining an active presence in threads related to your stream, streaming in general, or any games you play. All you need to do is converse with other users, answer questions, and casually mention your stream from time to time.

While Reddit is certainly a great option, it’s a good idea to contribute to as many relevant gaming forums as you can. After all, the more people you reach, the more likely you are to attract viewers. IGN Boards, GameFAQs Boards, and GameSpot Boards are all good options, but you need to remember that people aren’t necessarily coming to these forums to find Twitch streamers, so try not to spam them. Instead, try to make connections and build up some goodwill before you mention your stream. Another subtle way to plug your channel is by adding a signature to your forum posts that contains a link to your channel.

gamespot-boards-forum

When you’re trying to grow you can’t afford to sit back and wait for an audience to come to you. If you want to make a meaningful impact on Twitch then you need to be proactive and promote your channel wherever and whenever you can. So try to build up your online presence as often as you can and expose your channel to users on platforms all across the web.

8. Networking

Leveraging the followings of well-established Twitch streamers is one of the most powerful things you can do to grow your own following and enhance your presence on Twitch. It’s because of this that networking should form an indispensable component of your growth strategy. It will take a fair amount of time and effort, but networking and forging connections with other streamers and organizations can be well worth your while.

To get started with your networking efforts, try using these strategies to gain exposure and connect with potential allies.

Attend Twitch Events and Conventions

Attending cross-streaming events such as Twitch Con, Cooperative Adventuring, or Community Face-Off, as well as gaming conventions like PAX is an excellent way to showcase your gaming skills and connect with fans as well as other streamers who may be able to expose you to a wider audience.

When you do attend events, there are two main ways to grow your channel. Firstly, you can showcase your stream to fans who like the games you play and encourage them to check out your channel. Secondly, you can meet and connect with other streamers who may be interested in running cross-promotional efforts such as hosting your stream or stream raiding. But we’ll tell you more about that soon…

If you do attend any event, the key is to treat other streamers as friends, not as business opportunities. Get to know them, what games they stream, their personality and their channels before you even try to initiate any form of partnership or promotion. Authentic connections are a powerful tool which shouldn’t be overlooked, you don’t want to spoil them by rushing into a business proposal.

Connect With Others on Social Media

We’ve already discussed how you can use social media to promote your Twitch channel, but it’s also important to note that using platforms like Twitter to actually socialize can be hugely beneficial.

Twitter is the most commonly used social media platform amongst Twitch streamers. So when it comes to connecting with other streamers, this is where you want to devote most of your efforts. Try finding, following, and connecting with your favorite streamers, or ones with an audience that are likely to enjoy your stream.

The aim here is to connect with other streamers and engage in cross-promotional activities with them, so you want them to like you. This means interacting with them, but not spamming them. Try replying to their tweets and mentioning them in your own. If you give their channel a shoutout, link to their stream, or retweet announcements when they go live, they will most likely appreciate that gesture and return the favor.

Once you’ve built up a rapport with some other streamers you should find yourself being promoted to their audiences just as often as you’re promoting them to yours. Mutually beneficial relationships like these are a great way to expose yourself to a new audience and bond with other streamers who can help your promotional efforts in a number of ways.

Be Active in the Twitch Community

Another great way to connect with streamers and audience members alike is by maintaining an active presence within the Twitch community.

Try visiting other streams and chatting with other streamers and viewers. When you’re doing this you want to make sure that you’re not spamming users with your Twitch channel, instead you want to interact with others in a friendly and natural way. If you act in a kind, interesting, and selfless way (and only mention your stream if it comes up authentically) then you will find yourself building a rapport with both viewers and streamers. This is an excellent and naturalistic way to attract attention and get people to check out your channel.

When you’re choosing what streams you should visit there are two key points to keep in mind.

  1. Visit streams that are broadcasting games that are the same as, or similar to, the ones that you stream. For example, if you’re primarily a Counter-Strike streamer then you should focus on Counter-Strike streams or streams of other first-person shooters like Call of Duty or Battlefield. By doing this you maximise your chances of being put in front of a relevant audience with a pre-established interest in your content.
  2. Stick to streams with smaller viewer counts. By staying away from streams which are too densely populated you give yourself a much better chance of standing out and forging genuine connections with streamers and viewers. Any messages you send in an extremely busy chat room are likely to be drowned out by the countless other messages being sent at the same time. After all, it’s better to have a meaningful interaction with a few people than a meaningless one with a lot of people.

These last three points have shown you a few ways you can build your audience and connect with other Twitch streamers. But what exactly can you do to make the most of these connections?

Well, we’re going to spend the next couple of points teaching you exactly that, starting with…

Hosting Other Streamers

Once you’ve connected with some other Twitch streamers through conventions, social media, or Twitch itself, it’s time for you to put these relationships to work by taking part in some cross-promotional activities.

One strategy you can try out is hosting other streamers on your channel when you’re not live. Twitch gives you the opportunity to display a fellow streamer’s live feed on your channel so you can share content you enjoy with your audience while supporting another channel.

This can benefit you in a few different ways.

Firstly, it means that even when you’re offline you can provide your audience with value, which is a great way to keep them coming back time and time again. Secondly, if you show this kind of support for fellow streamer they will be quite likely to reciprocate and host your stream on their channel from time to time, which is an outstanding way to get exposed to a new audience.

Stream Raiding

Another tactic similar to hosting a stream is “Stream Raiding”, which is when you redirect your audience members to another channel right before you finish your stream.

All you have to do is type “/raid” followed by the other streamers name into the chat and your viewers will be presented with a prompt to join the other stream.

Stream Raiding is very similar to hosting a stream in the sense that both tactics aim to provide your audience with engaging content while you’re offline and provide another streamer with an audience boost with the hopes that they return the favor.

Here are a few examples of what Stream Raids can look like:

If you do decide to orchestrate a Stream Raid there are a few things you should be aware of:

  • Consider asking for permission before raiding. In the past viewers have been sent to other streams purely for harassment purposes, and raids do have the potential to distract or overwhelm the streamer due to the rapid influx of messages. So it’s best to make sure the streamer is aware of, and happy to accept, the raid.
  • Only Stream Raid small Twitch channels. Larger channels with huge followings probably won’t even notice, and they will be far less likely to reciprocate the gesture.
  • Ensure that the streamer is playing an identical game to yours to keep the flow going. This will greatly enhance the viewer’s experience, and thus increase their satisfaction with you.
  • Perhaps the main question you need to ask is if your viewers will enjoy the other streamer’s content. You’re not doing anyone any favors by sending your audience to a channel they won’t like, as they’ll quickly leave the stream and think less of you for sending them there.

After doing some Stream Raids you should start to find yourself on the receiving end of a few. If you do get raided by another Twitch streamer make sure to give them a shoutout, and if you get flooded with a reasonable amount of new viewers take the opportunity to introduce yourself with a brief elevator pitch. Tell the new viewers about your content, your schedule, and your social media accounts to really make the most of the extra attention.

Play With Other Streamers

In addition to hosting other streamers and taking part in stream raids, there is something else you can do to make the most of the connections you’ve made and expose yourself to a new audience.

You can team up with other Twitch streamers to play games together and stream it on the channel of everybody involved. This is a stellar way cross-promote your channel, boost your awareness, and get yourself in front of a new and interested audience.

A cross-promotional stream like this is a perfect opportunity to find a lot of new followers, so don’t let it go to waste. Make sure all the parties involved are talking about the stream on their channel and across social media to ensure audience maximisation.

9. Run Contests

We’ve spent a lot of time in this post showing you exactly how you can grow your Twitch presence both inside and outside of the platform, but we’re yet to go over what is arguably the single most effective way for you to gain awareness and grow your viewership with a single promotional effort.

What we’re talking about is running a contest or giveaway.

Why Run a Contest?

When it comes to generating new leads, growing your audience, and spreading your message there isn’t really anything you can do which will be more effective and cost-efficient than running a contest.

Running a contest is the perfect way to both grow your audience and solidify your relationship with pre-existing viewers. A well-tailored contest will be able to encourage social sharing of your channel, expose you to new and relevant audiences, reward your viewers, and promote a sense of loyalty amongst your following.

With all this upside you should be itching to run a contest right away. Well luckily, you can run one at any time, but keep in mind that contests can be more engaging when they have an underlying reason or theme, such as the launch of a new game or reaching a subscription milestone.

Using Gleam to Run a Contest

As undeniably effective as they are, contests still take a lot of work to set up and run.

That’s where Gleam comes in.

With Gleam’s Competitions platform it’s never been easier to run and host a contest or giveaway. All you need to do is pick a prize, decide how you want people to enter, and customize some setup options. Gleam will handle the rest. From a sleek and intuitive layout, to winner selection and fraud prevention, Gleam’s got you covered.

Gleam contests have been hugely successful for Twitch users in the past, and the same can be true for you.

Just check out this Gleam contest run by streamer Littoralis, who garnered 48,000 actions and substantially grew his Twitch following thanks to the giveaway.

For more information about using Gleam to run a Twitch contest check out our overview here, have a look at some live contests, or play around with our demo below.

As easy as Gleam makes it run a successful contest, there are still important decisions to be made. For one, you’ll need to pick the entry methods for your contest. We recommend using the options used in the demo as a starting point, and then adding any other entry methods that you believe will help grow your channel, whether it be following your various social media accounts, or sharing your live stream with friends.

entry-actions

Another key decision you’ll have to make is what prize you want to offer. This can be a tough decision, as ideally you want to give away something valuable enough to encourage mass entry, yet not so universally valuable that people with no interest in Twitch streaming will enter just for a shot at the prize.

Your best option is choosing a prize that appeals directly to your target audience. You can give away a game you think they’ll like, additional packages for games you stream, or even some relevant memorabilia.

Once you’ve got your contest set up and running, all that’s left to do is make sure people know about it.

Ready To Run Your Own Competition?

Check out our documentation on setting up your own Competition or get started right away!

Get Started

Promoting Your Competition

You can set up the perfect contest, but unless you promote it, no one will ever know it existed.

There are a lot of fantastic ways you can promote a contest, but as a Twitch streamer there are a few key promotional tactics that it’s crucial you implement.

Firstly, it’s vital that you use your Twitch channel to promote any contests you run. Your dedicated viewers are the strongest brand ambassadors you have. As a result of this, they’ll be more likely than anyone to enter your contest and spread it around their circles, which is a surefire way to get your contest some online traction.

You can promote your contest on Twitch by mentioning it on your channel page, talking about it on your stream, or even including a contest link in your stream description.

Once you’ve shared your contest with your viewers it’s time to share it with the rest of the world, and the best way to do that is by using social media.

There isn’t a segment of your target audience that you won’t be able to find on social media, so it’s imperative that you promote your contest across as many channels as possible, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit or any other platform you use. The more people you reach the more effective your contest will be, so don’t hold back.

Promoting your contest from your own social media accounts is great, but if you want to reach a massive audience then you’ll need others to share the contest around for you. The best way to make this happen is by encouraging your audience to tag their friends or share the contest, as well as implementing Gleam’s Viral Sharing action which gives participants additional contest entries for referring the contest to their friends.

These are the most important things you can do when promoting your Twitch contest, but there’s still a whole lot more you can do. If you want to know how you can make the most of your promotional efforts and expose your contest to a massive audience then check out our in-depth guide to contest promotion.

So there you have it.

By following these strategies you’ll be on your way to increasing your Twitch presence and building an audience full of loyal and enthusiastic followers.

So with these tips in mind it’s time for you to open up Twitch, turn your camera and microphone on, and do what you do best.

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