Streaming is one of the toughest hobbies you can have. Growing your channel is such a difficult thing to do because the algorithm that drives Twitch makes it’s challenging for smaller streams to receive any exposure. Ultimately, Twitch makes the most of its money from higher numbers, and for the US streaming giant, it is far less beneficial to it to help new streamers.
While there is more flexibility in discoverability on YouTube Gaming and Facebook, you’re still competing with others streaming on the platform and with a lesser viewership for live content than Twitch.
This is where networking becomes such a valued component of streaming. While the ultimate goal is to grow your channel with organic viewers, those who come from search and return regularly, networking can help get you placed well for this natural growth.
Here is what you can utilize to network effectively.
One of the most powerful tools to any streamer in recent years is Discord. It has introduced many aspects of previous voice communications tools, such as TeamSpeak and Ventrilo, into a simple to use social platform.
Discords are easy to make and invite others, and one of the best ways to utilize them is to spend time in communities with new people. This can be in the Discord community of your favorite streamer or any that you think will align with your interests. A good number of streamer Discord communities will include a channel where you can promote your channel, so it can help to give your channel some exposure.
However, simply heading into a Discord community and posting only your channel will not get you anywhere. You are unlikely to find that anyone will join if you don’t make yourself known in the community. Get to know and befriend the people within these communities as this will present a better chance for new friends to join your stream. It will take time, but it can be beneficial in the long run.
Spend time in other streams
Twitch is one big community split into many sub-communities, with those small groups based around a streamer. Behind every host is a human being, and everyone, especially when you are at the early stages of their Twitch journey, wants to make new friends and grow their stream and as a person. If you feel the same as this, you’ll know how good it feels when someone visits your stream and has a good chat with you.
This works similarly to Discord in that going into a chat with a streamer and communicating with them, and their community is a great way to build rapport with others. The more you get to know them, the better relationships you can build and the more likely they are to join your stream. You may even find something that inspires you to improve your own stream along the way.
The use of social media has become vital to the success of many businesses, and streamers are no different. While it can be tough to build up an audience on social media from nothing, using Facebook and Twitter can be great tools to help with discoverability from those looking out for new streamers to see. Make accounts for your channel, post actively and participate in group chats that offer help and discoverability for your stream. Some popular hashtags relating to your content can also help on Twitter.
The mobile-based social media networks shouldn’t be ignored as Instagram and TikTok are some of the best platforms for discoverability due to keywords and hashtags. If you can build an audience by posting fresh content on those platforms, you can eventually use it to grow a Twitch audience.
Content creation from other sources
If you’re looking to enter the world of content creation, the best place to find the audience you are looking for will be Youtube. Video on demand is far better for discoverability than live content as it’s almost always available, so if you want to compliment your streaming on Twitch, look for ways that you can use Youtube to fuel that passion for creating content.
While you can simply put your stream video on a Youtube account, which will generally not help find the viewers you’re looking for. This is the same with highlights packages as it’s still recycled content from your own stream.
Interesting, original content will give new viewers a reason to check out your channel outside of your streaming. You can even use your stream as a way to complement the original content, such as using snippets of stream gameplay in a review. The more you can produce at high quality, the better chance you have to reach the audience that you want and grow your live viewership on Twitch.