Are you a live streamer trying to make it big on Twitch, but don't know how to get viewers? Don't worry because you're not alone.
There are over 15 million unique viewers on the platform daily, and the number of monthly users is pegged at around 140 million. With that kind of viewership, it's no wonder that everyone is vying for a piece of the Twitch pie.
However, the task is easier said than done. With everyone from pro gamers to "in real life" streamers trying to work their way up the ladder, it's easy for your content to get lost in the crowd.
That's why, to make sure you don't suffer that same fate, we are here today with a dozen tips that you can use to get more viewers on Twitch. With these tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can be sure to push up your subscriber base by thousands.
Without further ado, let's get going.
Let's talk a bit about the platform itself before we dive deep into the intricacies of improving your Twitch viewership. If you are already familiar with Twitch, you can skip this section and go to the deets directly.
Put simply, Twitch is an online live streaming platform where you can watch streams of any topic of interest to you. While the prime driver behind Twitch's growth is video game streaming, it is also an excellent place for music videos, cooking, and even real life streams.
The platform was started in 2011 as a branch of Justin.tv, a general streaming service. However, Twitch soon grew to epic proportions, and Justin.tv was rebranded in the avatar of Twitch Interactive.
Following its enormous success, Twitch was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for a whopping $970 million. Since then, the service has seen steady growth in viewership and has emerged as a lucrative career option for gamers and other creative professionals across the globe.
Using Twitch, streamers stand to make a lot of cash by direct ad sales, donations, subscriptions, affiliate links and merchandising, not to mention sponsorship from big ticket computer and gaming corporations.
With top streamers earning several thousands every month, it should come as no surprise that there is a rush to be at the top on Twitch.
As can be easily understood, the more viewers you have on the platform, the more money you stand a chance to make. That's why every streamer, from the professional eSports player to that kid next door, is trying to rake in the views.
However, with so many streams vying for the top spot, it does not take rocket science to know that a lucky break to propel you to the top of the mountain isn't a viable option. You have to put in some serious work for your Twitch career to be successful.
So, now that you know the basics of the service, it is time we stopped beating about the bush and got to the really good stuff.
Here are the top tips that you can use to get more viewers on Twitch.
As with everything in this world, it pays to be consistent on Twitch. If you are a casual player who just streams when they feel like it, you can expect the audience to pay you back in the same coin.
Being a responsible and consistent streamer shows that you take the job seriously, and are a professional who is out to deliver quality content to your viewers.
This helps establish trust and ensures that you can depend on your audience to come back for more.
For best results, we suggest you make a schedule, share it with your viewers, and, most importantly, stick to it. If you need to deviate from the schedule, be sure to let your viewers know about it in advance.
It may sound weird, but Twitch's success is directly proportional to the length of the videos you stream. Think a bit about it, though, and you'll start to understand that this actually makes a lot of sense.
When you stream for a very short time only, say a few minutes to an hour at most, your viewer-base will consist of casual watchers who might not return for more.
This naturally leads to a fragmented viewership, which is bad for business.
On the other hand, by streaming lengthy sessions of say, at least four to five hours each, you can be sure to draw serious and dedicated viewers who are ready to invest time as well as money in your content.
What's more, when you stream lengthy content, you are essentially providing the audience with more value. This is bound to lead to an increase in loyalty and hence greater investment in your streaming channel.
While waiting for viewers to chance upon your stream might be a lot less work, we suggest you don't leave it all to luck and take up the reigns.
We live in a world of aggressive self-promotion, and you've got to play by the rules if you want to beat the game.
That's why we say: focus on promoting your streams.
The best place to do so is undoubtedly social media. By using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can reach a much broader audience and attract more viewers to your content.
Social media channels are not only great avenues to garner new subscribers, but can also be useful for keeping in touch with your existing viewers. By getting to know some of your followers on a personal level, you stand to create an emotional connection that can inspire brand loyalty like nothing else.
A word of caution, though: when using social media, do remember to be authentic in your interactions. Whatever you do, do not use automated systems to push notifications of upcoming streams.
Instead, focus on creating a profound connection with the viewers so that they feel compelled to come back for more.
This can be a genuinely viable strategy if you are just starting on the platform and need to boost your number of viewers to get affiliate status.
Reach out to your friends, family members, and even the not-too-distant cousins who spend time on the couch all day.
Tell them about your stream, explain the process to them, and ask them to join in as viewers. To make matters simpler, remember to include a link to your stream that they can click and start watching.
Even if you have some acquaintances who aren't that tech-savvy, ask them to pass on the link to someone they know who would be interested.
This way, you can get past the initial viewer threshold and begin your journey to Twitch stardom.
The only way to make it big on Twitch is to gather a massive viewer base.
The best way to do that is to offer valuable content to your viewers. Unless you're offering them something that others aren't, you can't expect them to stick around.
To do this effectively, you need to know why your viewers are on Twitch in the first place. Are they just looking to pass some time, or do they have something more serious in mind? Be sure that you know exactly what your niche is looking for.
While many viewers do spend time on the platform for pure entertainment, some are looking to make a new purchase decision. These viewers are more likely to subscribe to your channel if you provide them with valuable information on new releases.
There's another section of the audience that likes to watch streams that teach them new tips, tricks, and gameplay strategies. If you are targeting this audience, then make sure that you are ready with something new for every stream.
Unless you can offer something fresh each time, you may find the viewers slowly trickling away.
Long story short, repetition is a recipe for failure on Twitch!
Knowing what your audience wants is the key to keeping them hooked. So, be sure to do your due diligence and focus your efforts on producing the right kind of content.
Only then can you hope to reach your goals and get more viewers than ever before.
How do you ensure that you can reach a large audience in a relatively short time?
One of the best methods for doing this is to get your stream hosted on another channel that has more viewers than yours. This way, you can open the doors to more subscribers and followers.
Of course, the top picks aren't likely to allow anyone else to grab their bandwidth, but you can share streams with streamers who are at your level.
Also, your friends who are on Twitch might decide to exchange streams with you just for the fun of it.
Whichever route you choose to take, stream sharing and exchanging can be a viable option that gets you on the map.
But be ready to help others out just as they help you. After all, it only takes a bit of quid pro quo to grow quickly.
We get it; you might be a hardcore gamer who finds it hard to get out of your den and face the sun.
But the thing is, if you want to succeed as a streamer on Twitch, you have got to be ready to mingle with other streamers in the real world.
Even in today's digital age, nothing tops in-person meets.
That's why you need to take advantage of the various gaming events and streaming conferences that are held around the world, throughout the year.
These meetups can serve as great opportunities for gamers to get to know each other, exchange tips, and share contact info.
Also, you can meet with viewers and their friends in person, and boost your visibility. All this will ultimately lead to a quantum boost in your viewership.
Currently, there are over 7.4 million active streamers on Twitch. This means that unless you are offering something uniquely enticing to the viewers, they are certainly not going to stick around and watch your streams.
However, there are some straightforward yet effective ways to do this.
For starters, you can create a unique persona that you use on the platform. This can be an engaging and entertaining version of yourself or even a completely different avatar.
This is the route that brought success to Guy Beahm, who created an arrogantly competitive persona known as Dr. Disrespect.
Here, we should mention that while gaming is still the mainstay of Twitch, this is decidedly not the only way to earn on the platform.
You can stream other activities as well and earn well if you have any other talent such as cooking or music. It all depends on the level of value of the content that you are offering.
This, perhaps, is the holy grail for Twitch streamers.
Selecting the right games to play can be all the difference between Twitch stardom or doomed anonymity. However, don't think that the task is as simple as playing the most popular games out there.
That's because the more popular the game, the more streamers it will have dedicated to it. If that's the case, you run the risk of just remaining another face in the crowd.
That's not something you would want, right?
Hence, we suggest maintaining a judicious mix of popular as well as unheard-of games. This way, not only will you be able to pull in the popular crowd but also attract those viewers who are tired of the tried and tested.
Also, when you develop a talent for streaming new games, viewers will look to you as an authoritative source for unusual finds.
Another point that must be mentioned here is that you should mostly stick to games that you love and play well. After all, no one likes to see their favorite streamer lose, and struggling too much during gameplay might make you come across as a novice.
While it is difficult to get new viewers, it's also essential to hold onto the existing ones.
One of the best methods of doing this is by making your stream an interactive one. Otherwise, you might as well just be streaming on YouTube.
Interacting with the streamers and other viewers is one of Twitch's significant draws as a specialized platform, and you'd do well to take full advantage of it.
Engaging interaction with your audience is the best way to keep them hooked.
To do this effectively, make sure that you keep an eye on your chat room. Granted, it's tough to play a game and keep chatting simultaneously, but you'll have to get used to responding to queries and asking questions if you want to keep the conversation alive.
Another strategy that you can adopt is to keep talking on your stream. This can be in the form of quirky commentary on the game, discussing what to do next, or even thinking out loud.
All of this can contribute to keeping your audience watching for long.
It is important to remember that people are coming to your stream not only for watching gameplay. They also want to get to know you and interact with fellow viewers.
It's best if you give them that chance and reap the benefits of an increased following.
If you're truly serious about making a career on Twitch, then streaming alone won't cut it.
You will also have to spend considerable time following other players and watching their streams. Why is this necessary? Let's find out.
Following other players' streams, and interacting with them is one of the best ways to build up a genuine camaraderie. This way, chances are that they will follow you back, and show interest in your streams.
Doing so can be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship where you can host the other players or be hosted on their channel.
This naturally brings with it the benefits discussed in strategy eight (if you've forgotten, scroll up and get a quick refresher!).
What's more, by watching other, more successful players, you might be able to pick up a few tips on how to make your channel shine.
Either way, it makes sense to keep an eye on the competition; who knows, they may just end up being the best gaming partner you can hope for!
Perhaps this goes without saying, but we are going to go ahead and say it anyway! Anyone who has ever had to sit through a grainy stream with patchy audio knows the annoyance that comes with it.
In fact, most viewers won’t even sit through the entire stream if its quality is not up to the mark.
Also, quality equipment is a prerequisite for maintaining continuous communication with your audience during gameplay. If your audience can't hear and see you clearly, then everything else will probably go to waste.
That's why you need to be sure to invest in a good camera and mic for the best performance. A proper camera will allow viewers to see you properly, while a good mic is essential for your audio to be clear and audible.
Plus, you'll need a stable internet connection, a more-than-decent gaming rig, and professional streaming software. This last one is additionally crucial as it's the conduit that allows you to cast your stream online.
In case you're just a beginner, we suggest starting the journey with OBS Studio which can be used across platforms. If you're already an established player on Twitch and looking for greater customizability, then Streamlabs OBS and Stream Elements are options you can certainly consider.
Finally, make sure that you test out all the equipment before starting to stream. A sudden outage mid-stream is nothing short of Twitch Hara-Kiri, and will undoubtedly cost you more viewers than you can imagine.
Whoa! Still here? Well, good for you, because you've just unlocked the bonus tip: running contests and giveaways.
Nothing beats a good contest for drawing in the audience, and setting up a well-structured one allows you to reap multiple benefits in one go.
Contests can also be great channels for cementing your relationship with the existing audience. Plus, you can get higher social media reach by rewarding your viewers and promoting a sense of patronage among them.
Remember, no one strategy is self-sufficient in itself to propel you to the top of Twitch stardom. You need to be strategic and apply a sophisticated combination of the above tips to glean the best benefits from the platform.
Mastering Twitch is just like any other skill: you need to be patient, persistent, and put in the required practice. It'll take time, but in the process, you'll grow to be a streamer that you're proud of.
Also, don't get overwhelmed trying to implement all the tricks of the trade you just learned. Pick the ones that are most relevant for you and focus on them first. Slowly, you'll find yourself discovering more methods to not only survive on Twitch, but thrive.
And with that, we'll leave you to start streaming. Just remember, Twitch is as much a place to earn money as to have fun, so don't forget to glean your fair share of both.
Keep calm, be consistent…
...and game on!