Starting out a career on various live streaming platforms can be rather rough and challenging, especially if you’re beginning from scratch in the most popular ones.
For instance, Twitch had approximately 9.52 million active streamers as of February 2021. YouTube Gaming raked over 100 hours of watch time and more than 40 million gaming channels, and over 800 million people use Facebook Gaming to play various connected games.
Carving a name for yourself with these humongous numbers can turn out to be more of a struggle than you’d initially expect it to be.
If you want to achieve success and results in the streaming industry, you must become an efficient strategist. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen overnight. It requires time, patience, and a bit of luck for the odds to be on your side.
First off, let’s talk about being a Strategist when it comes to doing self-promotions.
There are dozens to hundreds of different ways to promote your content and channel on the internet― but it doesn’t really guarantee solid results. What works for some may sadly not turn out well for you. You may learn from the best streamers to date but once you apply the same tips to your content, it may not turn out the same way you’d expect.
To know which strategies work best for your goals, you must brace yourself for a trial and error process. You’re the only one who can figure out which strategies work for your channel. After all, it’s the one fool-proof way for you to discover which promotion tactics work best. This will save your precious time and effort from being wasted.
With that in mind, here are 20 beginner-friendly tips to help you get your live streams discovered:
1. Know your platform’s strength and weaknesses
With a number of social media platforms you can choose to promote your streams, it’s important to keep in mind that each has its own different set of strengths and weaknesses.
What works for one platform doesn’t particularly work perfectly for another, and vice versa. With this in mind, you must consider finding out the pros and cons of your chosen platform. Having this knowledge will help you make the most out of your strategies.
Accordingly, you should be mindful of your platform’s community guidelines. Some platforms are strict when it comes to self-advertising, such as the popular anonymous discussion website Reddit. You wouldn’t wanna be flagged for violating the rules at some point.
2. Figure out your selling point
Ask yourself questions like, what sets you apart from the thousands of other aspiring streamers? What makes your streams unique from the rest? Once you figure this out, you can use that as your selling point.
This will give your viewers a solid reason why they should continue supporting you in your career. For new audiences, they’ll likely turn to be one of your followers if they find your content fit to their tastes.
If you’re a naturally bubbly person with lots of charm, this can just be your selling point. If you’re someone with god-like skills on par to that of pro eSports players, you can use it to your advantage in enticing new viewers.
3. Do creative promotions
Simply attaching a link to a text post wouldn’t entice new viewers to check out your content. If anything, you’ll just garner a bad reputation as a possible spammer or promotion bot.
Add a human touch to your promotions by using your in-game clips or video footages to promote your channel. Make sure to post it around, not just on one platform, to see if it gets you initial traction.
Instead of opting for plain text posts, you are most likely to get attention with photo and video posts. Feel free to run wild with your creativity!
4. Host or raid other similar channels
Regardless of your chosen platform, there are dozens to hundreds of other streamers who are offering the same content as you. You can use this to your advantage by hanging out in their streams and host or raid them once you’re done with yours.
In particular, Twitch raids are considered as a good strategy to promote small streamers. Once you become more active in this endeavor, you will get to know more people. Eventually, your fellow streamer might decide to come by, host and raid you in return for your favors.
Networking is always a great strategy especially in the streaming industry. Instead of treating others as your competition, you can view them as potential friends who may help you grow your channel.
5. Help others
Aside from posting nothing but gameplays, you may also play the role of an in-game analyst or strategist which can then help others― especially beginner players.
You can conduct research to give excellent game tips and share it on forums and other platforms. By helping others, you are also increasing your chances of getting discovered as a content creator by like-minded individuals in the community.
This will also give you the branding of being a reliable streamer, hence new viewers might just drop by your live streams to see if you have any new information or tips/tricks to share.
6. Make friends
Nobody wants to support a streamer acting all-mighty and snob, especially if you’re just starting out in the industry. As a small streamer, make it your goal to make friends in your every livestream.
You don’t have to search far. You can simply treat your viewers as your friends, so your promotion strategies will not be self-centered. Forming a connection with your audience is another way to make new friends.
Who knows, these new friends may just be your very first donators or solid, loyal followers at the peak of your career.
7. Promote on Social Media
Being active on social media is a great way to promote your streams. For instance, there are quite a number of retweet bots on Twitter that will automatically retweet your promo tweets if you use their hashtag. In particular, using the #supportsmallstreamers hashtag is ideal for beginner streamers.
You may also opt to browse other game-specific hashtags on the platform to find some interesting posts from fellow enthusiasts. Engage with their posts, such as giving it a react or a reply.
Doing so will give you a chance to be discovered by other gaming enthusiasts and like-minded individuals in your niche.
8. Rely on word-of-mouth promos
Every streamer wants to establish a good reputation for themselves. Having a favorable reputation will most likely invite new viewers to check out your content and at the same time keep your loyal supporters around.
We’ve already mentioned the importance of promoting on social media and networking with other streamers, hence you may rely on them to do the promos for you as long as you’ve established quite a nice reputation as a small streamer. For starters, be friendly and engaging and don’t be rude!
The last thing you’d want is to deal with the internet’s notorious cancel culture, especially in the early stages of your career.
9. Consider less-saturated games
With thousands of other aspiring streamers, it will be quite a challenge for someone new to the scene to break into a saturated category. Starting with games such as Fortnite and Overwatch will be considerably difficult for new streamers to gain their traction.
With that in mind, it’s not really a bad idea to consider less-saturated games such as indie titles and the like. A smaller game might have less average viewers compared to titular ones, but its tight-knit community will likely help you grow your channel faster.
More like-minded people will check out your channel naturally, simply because they can find you as opposed to being buried under hundreds of other streamers in mainstream games.
10. Host giveaways
One good way to get your name out there is to do giveaways for your chosen community. This will maximize possible exposure for your channel.
For example, you can choose to have a gaming headset, gift cards, or in-game character skins up for grabs. Have your audience share your post if they want to participate in the raffle. This will likely get your channel more known in the community.
You may even use a unique hashtag, such as your channel name + “Giveaway” for easier tracking of participants. It will also be a great strategy for branding.
11. Set clear goals and work on achieving them
To be a successful streamer, you must set clear goals for your streaming career and carefully come up with a plan that’ll help you achieve results. Aspire to maximize your channel’s audience reach from day one. Outlining your main objective will help you focus on what you prioritize for your channel or wish to achieve, either impressions or engagements.
Howevr, you must not set unrealistic goals if you’re barely starting out in your journey. Make sure your goals are attainable— so you can measure your progress from time to time to see if you are getting there.
It may also help to put a time frame on your objectives, so you’ll have a grasp on the time you need to achieve such goals. Do not be too harsh on yourself, okay?
12. Stick to a consistent schedule
Another way to be discovered by new audiences is to follow a consistent streaming schedule. If you follow an exact time and day when you’ll be online and live, it’s easier for your followers to check out your livestreams every time.
You can also share your stream schedule on social media as a way of self-promotion. Interested viewers will then have an idea what time or what day of the week should they tune in for your streams.
Once you’ve set up a schedule that works, considering your other day to day activities, do your best to stream consistently. The last thing viewers want is to follow a content creator that’s prone to disappear every once in a while.
13. Study other streamers
If you feel like you’re not gaining any engagement despite your promotion efforts, it might help to check out other streamers and figure out what makes them successful in the industry
In general, gaming streams follow a standard proven format but other categories are still pretty open to various approaches. This gives content creators a bit of freedom to think about their strategies.
Regardless, it doesn’t hurt to check out what approach other successful streamers follow. You might learn a thing or two from their broadcasts, which may just lead your content to be discovered! Quality live streams are what viewers appreciate the most.
14. Prioritize your branding
If you use clunky overlays or poor-quality graphics for your streams, this might have a negative effect on your branding as a content creator. Bad branding is something you’d want to stray away from, especially if you’re aiming to make it among the streaming A-listers.
Keep in mind that first impressions are important. These elements are usually what your viewers see first before they even see you and your gameplays/content.
Hence, having seamless scene switching transitions, a personalized logo and other animated effects will undoubtedly impress your viewers. Score those awesome points and take them away!
15. Be genuine
A good rule of thumb as a streamer is to just be yourself. As you do the stuff you like such as playing games or talking to your audience, it’s also ideal that you have fun while doing it.
The adage ‘fake it until you make it’ only gets you so far. Trust us, your viewers can recognize whether you’re truly passionate about what you do or you’re just forced into doing it.
Having genuine intentions in your streaming endeavors can entice new audiences into checking out your other content and channel. Watching a genuine talent is considerably a breath of fresh air on the internet, so make it a goal to become one!
16. Be proud of your work
Viewers tend to stay away from self-deprecating streamers, especially when they make it seem like they’re not proud of their content. Never say something like “my gameplay is trash,” or something along those lines. It only shows possible insecurities and an inferiority complex.
Your streams are a product of effort and hard work, hence it deserves any attention it gets. Try to be proud of your content instead of dragging your spirits down.
If an aspiring streamer doesn’t have any pride in what they post, chances are no one else will. Instead of wallowing in self pity, you can say “Check out my recent stream, I worked really hard on it” instead. The tone commands more respect from your audience.
17. Make use of live notifications
Live notifications are there for a reason, where your followers will get an alert whenever you go live. This can help you build your brand in the long run.
Don’t forget to remind your viewers to stay updated with live notifications during your broadcasts. Mention it whenever you have breaks in between gameplays, or whenever you need to feel the gap for IRL streams. For instance, typing !notify in the live chat notifies a viewer regarding a streamer’s particular live streams on Facebook.
If you want to wait for organic promotions when viewers are going to promote in your place, it might take an enormous time as a small streamer. Most likely, you may even get bored before this happens.
18. Be a part of the community
Explicitly doing self-promotions on any platform can be generally considered rude. However, you can do your part by becoming a part of the community first before you do any promotion.
Remember to be an active, positive member of the particular community you are aiming to join. This will give you the chance to be a part of the conversation easier.
If you’ve built a positive reputation for yourself, chances are more people are likely to check out your channel and content for themselves. They might even decide to give you a follow or a donation if they’re feeling generous.
19. Do all necessary preparations
Every streamer must aim to impress their viewers. This doesn’t have to be solely in the form of having expensive, state-of-the art equipment, as you can impress your viewers by doing a little bit of preparation.
Before you go live, make sure that everything around you is in order. Your connection must be ideally stable as you wouldn’t want to deal with network connectivity problems in the middle of your stream.
You can set up a work area that’s exclusive for your streaming activities, jot down key things you want to follow in your stream, and set specific timings as a structure for your entire broadcast. A little bit of preparation on your part can save you.
20. Give your viewers a reason to come back for more
Once you figure out what makes you unique and different from the rest— there’s no stopping you from using that as your trump card.
Remember what League of Legends’ K/DA recently sang? “You look like you could use some more.” This exact mantra will help you give your viewers a solid reason to keep tuning in to your livestreams.
Think of what you can offer your viewers that other streamers don’t have, and work on enhancing that. Merely interacting with your live audience won’t suffice. You must also work on finding other ways to strengthen those connections and relationships.
Self-promotion on Discord
We would’ve added Discord as a part of the 20 tips mentioned above, but the opportunity present in the platform calls for a separate header for an extensive discussion.
In particular, the instant messaging and digital distribution platform has a number of servers designed for your self-promotion needs. Once you join these servers and read their community guidelines, you can distinguish whether or not channel links and advertising posts are allowed on the said server.
Some servers are more lax than others— which is something you need to keep in mind. The last thing you’d want is for your account to be flagged for violating a clear house rule.
Nowadays, Discord has become one of the most important platforms for aspiring streamers to be discovered by the community. Once you’ve built a decent number of audiences, you may even create and manage a Discord server of your own.
Most A-listers in the gaming/streaming community have a server for their audience to hang out in, which provides a great avenue for a beginner like you to promote your content and channel.
In general, unsolicited self-promotion is generally discouraged for beginner streamers. Doing bad self promos can ruin your reputation before you’ve even made a name for yourself.
There’s no rulebook to clearly distinguish bad self promos, but what you can do is to word and compose your promotion posts better.
For instance, don’t lurk on other established streamers’ live broadcasts and have an approach that suggests a tone of self-pity. Instead, try to ask them for good tips to follow if you’re aiming to become an affiliate or partner of your chosen live streaming platform.
It’s also not good to force others into following you back, even if you’ve followed them. Remember that it’s entirely up to them if they want to stay updated with your content. What you can do is to ask them to check out your channel if they have the time in a nice, polite manner.
At the end of the day, it’s not forbidden to self-promote as long as you don’t violate any community guidelines.
Solely depending on your channel’s organic growth is generally slow, which is pretty much the same thing for every streamer out there— unless you happen to go viral in a day or are extremely talented.
A little self promo never hurt nobody, just make sure to do it as polite and proper as you can.
Featured image from Blinkx_ on Twitch