When and how to grow your audience
Everyone wants to grow their following, but when’s the right time to really double down on it? Growing your audience takes time, effort, resilience and consistency. It takes a lot of effort to get your channel to a sizable following and even more so to keep growing. In fact, even the most popular streamers struggle with maintaining their audience growth.
When you first start streaming, your focus should really be on creating good compelling content that will attract new viewers and keep them coming back. Once you find something that works, stick with it until you’ve thoroughly developed all possible revenue streams from it. Just remember not to make the mistake of trying to drag out a broadcast when you have abnormally high audiences. End on a high note and leave your viewers excited for your future content.
However, at one point you will find that you’ve started to plateau and your old content strategy is not enough to keep growing further. This is when you need to re-evaluate your content, your audience and the current streaming landscape. What are the untapped opportunities out there? Is it changing your streaming schedule, playing a different game or collaborating with another streamer?
Tips for Growing Your Community
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 a simple, easy, and the best way to let your audience know when they can tune in to watch you. By developing a consistent streaming schedule, you will establish yourself as a professional who takes streaming seriously.
If you don’t have a schedule, then viewers who find you and like your content won’t know when to come back. Don’t make this mistake and differentiate yourself from other streamers who haven’t done the same. You should stream frequently and for long stretches of time to maximize your chances of being discovered.
Create a schedule and share it with your viewers. When creating your schedule, 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 potential viewers more reason to check you out.
Let's create your schedule!
Offer your audience value.
You need to provide valuable content if you want to attract first-time and repeat viewers. Give them a reason to watch you instead of the other millions of broadcasters out there. What are people looking for when they jump on Twitch or YouTube?
Everyone has their own unique reasons for watching their favorite streamers, but here are a few general reasons:
- Get help making purchase decisions: Other than trailers and reviews, gamers like to get a feel for a new game by watching streamers play them and provide live feedback on stream.
- Get tips and advice on games: Many viewers watch streamers and e-sports professionals play their favorite games as a way to improve their own gameplay. They might want to learn new tactics or watch playthroughs to figure out how to get past a difficult level.
- Watch professionals play: Many viewers may just want to watch their favorite players and teams compete in large tournaments like The League of Legends World Championships.
- Be entertained by a streamer’s personality: Many viewers will watch streamers purely for the entertainment value. Be on the lookout for entertaining things to capitalize on while streaming. Some streamers will even craft fictitious personas in order to differentiate themselves from everyone else.
Play the right games.
To attract an audience and grow your presence, you need to make sure that you’re playing the right games. Find the right balance between games that you love and games that your audience loves.
Not sure how to pick the right game? Here are some tips for finding the perfect game to stream:
- Play games that you’re passionate about. There’s nothing less entertaining than watching you muddle your way through a game you’re not interested in. When you stream games that you love, you’re more likely to come across as engaging and interesting.
- Play games that you’re good at. Most viewers prefer to watch streamers win the majority of their games and matches. Show off your mastery and expertise. Provide insightful commentary and tips to your viewers.
- Play non-saturated games. Don’t devote all your streaming time to the most popular games on the market. You may get lost in the crowd, especially if there are more established streamers out there playing the same games as you. Consider finding brand new or niche games that most streamers haven’t touched. Who knows, those games may become popular one day like Among Us and you’d be an established expert at the time.
- Mix it up. Don’t just stick to one type of game. Strike a balance between all the different kinds of games you want to play. Maybe you’ll spend most of your time on games you’re good at and the other two-thirds on untouched gems or games you’re passionate about but might not be mainstream.
A little preparation can go a long way to saving yourself a lot of perspiration. When you’re prepared, you can focus on creating good content and interacting with your community. Your preparation work starts a few days before your live stream takes place.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for your stream:
- Set up your work area. Use a dedicated space for the stream where you are free from interactions. Add some touches such as themed items or other decor. Make sure there is suitable artificial or natural lighting. A green screen works great too if you can afford it.
- Practice streaming before going live. A practice stream to test all equipment and the internet connection will ensure everything is functional before going live. Record yourself during this practice to check your voice and appearance on screen.
- Prepare guest speakers if applicable. If you are featuring other guests, go over questions and information they may need to address. Inviting viewers to forward questions ahead of time can also ensure the guest is adequately prepared to answer them.
Interact with your viewers.
Engaging with your audience is one of the best ways for you to earn followers and keep viewers coming back to your stream for more. It might be hard to talk and work at the same time at first, but as time goes on, you will learn how to strike the right balance.
Here are some tips for interacting with your viewers:
- Always keep an eye on your chat room. Monitoring your chat room can help you pick up some general conversational topics, and respond directly to individual messages.
- Keep talking on your stream. To keep your audience engaged and entertained, try to talk constantly on your stream. Keep chatting even if you don’t have any viewers at the time since you never know when someone pops into your stream. If your chat is quiet or you can’t split your attention to watch the chat feed, consider talking about your thoughts and strategies as you play.
- Ask questions. In addition to responding to chat room messages, you should also prompt conversation yourself. Ask your audience questions. Ask personal questions like how their day is going or create more in-depth discussions about the game you’re streaming.
Reach out via email and social media to summarize the live event with an embedded link to share on social media. Post on all social media platforms where you are a member. Write a blog in communities where you are a member. The more platforms you advertise the scheduled stream, the more views you can potentially receive.
One of the most effective and cost-efficient ways for you to gain awareness and grow your viewership is by running a contest or giveaway. Not only is it a perfect way to attract new viewers, you can also solidify your relationship with your existing audience.
You can either run the contest on your own or use a platform like Gleam to help facilitate your giveaway. Make sure to pick a prize that appeals directly to your audience. Once you have picked your prize, promote it! Share your contest with your viewers during your stream and from your own social media accounts.