Streamer Guide: 20 Effective Tips for Acquiring and Retaining Viewers

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Streaming can be very rewarding, especially once you’ve gained traction and built a solid following. However, it is likely to become stressful and unfulfilling for most beginners. Don’t fret though, this is a normal stage to go through before things get better.

Viewers are relatively hard to please. As a streamer, it is your job to show them you’re worth their time. With hundreds of other streamers playing the same game, one simple letdown can cost you a viewer to add to your channel size. And if you’re aiming to attract views and grow your channel over a short period of time, you might need a lot of planning and luck.

The good news is there are things you can do to attract more views to your channel. Accordingly, this article will help you get more views on your streams and build your brand more efficiently.

The Art of Attracting More Views

Perhaps you’re aware of the basics, or maybe you’ve tried livestreaming a few times now. But, despite your efforts, the results were underwhelming.

To address this, keep in mind that you wouldn’t want to do a video halfheartedly. A haphazardly done stream can just earn the dislike of your potential viewers. You also wouldn’t want to risk being branded as a ‘problematic’ streamer just because of it.

In making your live streams as effective as possible, you need to do some things at your end. Ask yourself: what can I do to take my live streams to the next level? Just like a genie to your wishes, below are some fool-proof tips to help you get more views for your channel.

Make your streams as efficient as possible

Perhaps you’re aware of the basics, or maybe you’ve tried livestreaming a few times now. But, despite your efforts, the results were underwhelming.

To address this, keep in mind that you wouldn’t want to do a video halfheartedly. A haphazardly done stream can just earn the dislike of your potential viewers. You also wouldn’t want to risk being branded as a ‘problematic’ streamer just because of it.

In making your live streams as effective as possible, you need to do some things at your end. Ask yourself: what can I do to take my live streams to the next level? Just like a genie to your wishes, below are some fool-proof tips to help you get more views for your channel.

20 Fool-proof Tips for Acquiring and Retaining Viewers

1. Stream consistently and frequently

The key to attracting more viewers is to stream consistently and frequently. Create a schedule around your streaming patterns. Once you successfully enter a pattern, try to stick to it. This creates a habit in the journey of your avid fans who tune in every time you go live. Not to mention, it gives them something to look forward to on a regular basis.

Viewers are attracted to watch a streamer who’s established consistency in his or her craft. More specifically, they appreciate streamers who stream on time slots that are available to them.

Bonus tip: Find the most optimal schedule for you!

A pro-tip is to try different streaming slots throughout the day. This helps you figure out what time is more comfortable for you and what time yields more average viewers.

2. Offer your audience value

Nobody wants to watch a livestream of some player just fooling around and throwing the game for “fun”. At the very least, game enthusiasts tune in to every stream to learn pro-moves and study the game from another perspective. Watching streams is an avenue to learn from other players for them to improve at their own matches. Because of this, you must work hard on offering your viewers value.

Make every view count. You wouldn’t want to waste the first view you get from a new fan, so treat every stream as if it’s your first. Give them a reason to check your content out on a regular basis. In short, do not waste their time.

Remember that there are hundreds of other streamers playing the same game as you do. You wouldn’t want to lose view counts, especially when you’re just new to the whole streaming career thing and building your channel.

3. Share your impressive gaming knowledge

If you’re particularly good at a certain game, you can also share your insights and tips to other players who are watching your stream. It’s highly likely that some fans and game enthusiasts are watching your gameplay, so make the experience worth their while. Share proven pro-tips, tricks, and other strategies you think may help other players.

Let’s be honest, viewers are more compelled to watch gamers who are good at the game than those who aren’t. Unless you have an X-factor that can attract more views even when you’re doing so-so, do your best to be great at your chosen game.

This isn’t only limited to showcasing your skills. You can also share an extensive background story and lore to amuse curious fans. If anything, they’ll be left impressed as they watch you play the game. They might even find a reason to regularly check out your streams!

4. Make your channel visually appealing

In case you haven’t noticed yet, the biggest stars in the streaming industry do not only have a great audio and gaming set-up but they also invest in amazing video overlays and visuals. This includes transitions, special effects, lay-out, and other small quirks to make your stream feel a little bit more like home to your viewers.

Nowadays, it’s considerably simple to create different scenarios around you with the use of a green screen. Take advantage of all the technology you have access to. Be creative and search for the best overlays and animations that you think are in line with the type of content you are planning to offer.

If you’re not the most techy person, you can ask help from your friends or some professionals. Ensuring that your stream has next level overlays, effects, transitions, and even stream emotes can make your viewers’ streaming experience one of the best.

Some streaming platforms also have personalized panels where you can customize it to your liking. If you plan to be a Twitch streamer or become a partner, make the best use of your Twitch panels by using visual headers and text presenting information about yourself and your stream.

Use high-quality and visually appealing images to make your channel look fantastic. Doing this allows you to communicate with your audience more efficiently, especially among those who landed on your stream for the very first time.

5. Play the games you enjoy and are best at

Your chosen game is a crucial factor in determining the success of your career in the long run. With this in mind, consider the pros and cons of every game you plan to play.

Some games might make it difficult for you to break in the scene since there are hundreds of other players streaming their own gameplays. You might even have to compete with established gamers, which is relatively difficult for a newcomer. Some games might also have a small player base which lessens the chances for you to build a large following.

Strike a balance in between. In selecting the game you want to stream about, consider the games you enjoy playing and are best at. This makes it easier for you to stick to a schedule in streaming the game on a frequent basis. If you’re particularly good at the game, more views will just naturally come in.

Some A-listers in the streaming industry made it far thanks to their prior background of the game by playing competitively and joining esports competitions.

For example, established Fortnite streamer Ninja first came into prominence for playing competitive Halo in 2009. His esports career was pretty successful since then, but it was only in 2017 when he decided to focus more on streaming. Twitch streamer Dafran also has had a rich history in competitive Overwatch before he began to stream his games— although he has long since retired from his streaming endeavor to pursue a full-time career on farming.

If you’re good at what you do and obviously enjoy your time playing the game, the views will definitely come rushing in.

6. Mix it up (Add variety to your stream)

Streamers who made it big in the industry owe it to their hard work, perseverance, and just the right bit of variety. Streaming only one game in the majority of your career can get exhausting at some point. In order for you to avoid the notorious streamer burn-out phenomenon, try to check out new games from time to time.

Stick with your primary game, but try to play new games in between. You can choose to try out indie games or games with a much smaller player base to intrigue your viewers who haven’t heard of the said game yet.

Your fans and viewers are likely to be curious, considering the game is new to them. Try to keep them interested throughout the stream by showing them the potential and what the game has to offer. You never know, it may be because of your stream that a new player might start playing the said game.

If you want to spice things up a little bit further, you can also choose to offer your viewers content that is beyond gaming. Some platforms generally allow other categories for you to stream. This includes:

  • Creative – Art, Hobbies & Crafts, Beauty, Cooking, Painting, Reading, and Motion Graphics
  • Music – Remixing, Singing, Performing Arts, and Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos
  • Special events – Conventions and expo
  • Other – Real life streams, Travel & outdoors, Sports, Podcasts, Web shows

Since every streaming platform is unique with each set of guidelines and policies, you might want to check out your chosen platform’s community regulations first before branching out. You wouldn’t want to get banned or suspended because you didn’t abide by the guidelines.

7. Be interactive with your viewers

Nobody wants awkward dead-air while on stream. If your stream is flat and monotonous, your viewers might end up ditching you for another streamer who is more well-versed at entertaining and interacting with them.

Think of streaming as a job where you need to entertain your viewers. You need to pay attention to them and make them feel important. To do this, be as interactive as you can get. Ask questions, recognize new subscribers and followers, and reply to their inquiries or comments in the chat box.

If you make them feel appreciated and seen, chances are your viewers will regularly tune-in to watch you stream your next games.

8. Motivate top fans with recognition

You can also opt to customize every stream alert with distinct audio and animation. Choose carefully how you want to represent your channel on your stream. Make sure you pick what looks and feels right, not something too vulgar or crass which you may just regret later on in your career.

There are animations and audio clips you can select that will play when certain actions happen. For instance, it may be triggered when there’s a new donation to your channels (different levels), a new subscriber (different subscription levels), a new follower, or a re-subscriber. Either way, different actions can lead to different effects.

This allows you to keep your stream as unique as you can and on-brand with these visually appealing power-ups!

9. Ask questions (For in-depth discussion)

Keep your viewers curious and interested as you play the game. One way to do this is to ask them questions and encourage an in-depth discussion. Some viewers may gladly respond to you on the chat box, so always keep an eye out and try to reply in the best way that you can. A stream is a great way to facilitate discourse.

You may even ask your fans about strategies, recent news, patch updates, glitches or bugs — giving them the impression that they are contributing to the stream. Streaming doesn’t have to be solely a one-man act. In the case that they do contribute to the discussion, fans are made part of the stream most definitely.

Other viewers might even learn a thing or two about the insights you provide while on stream. These discussions help other players improve their gameplay, at the same time you learn new things about the game (which you wouldn’t normally know if not for discussing it).

10. Use high quality equipment

Nobody wants to watch a stream with unsatisfactory audio and video quality. If you give your viewers a poor experience, chances are they might lose interest in your channel and never check out your streams again. This might also affect your brand name in a bad way, since you might earn the reputation of a streamer who offers poor quality streams to his or her viewers.

To avoid this, make sure you use high-quality equipment in your streams. It doesn’t have to be pricey. There are budget-friendly yet good quality streaming gear you can choose. For example, the Logitech C270 Widescreen Webcam (720p) and the Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone are both great equipment for beginners to check out.

11. Promote yourself on social media

Your goal is to make your channel known across all social media platforms. Your visibility doesn’t have to be exclusive only on your platform of choice. Besides, how can you attract more viewers if you limit yourself to the platform alone?

A great solution is to stay active outside of your streaming platform. Streaming isn’t all about you, it’s also about your audience. Keep them engaged even if you’re not streaming and try to market your content through other channels.

Creating additional content outside of your streams can be greatly appreciated by your followers. Build a sense of community around yourself. You can choose to keep an active Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook page. You may also branch out to create a discord server, YouTube community, or a mix of those.

Some established streamers stay active and connected with their fans even if the live stream button is off. Ex-C9 member Shroud, one of the most famous FPS and Battle Royale streamers, has a huge 1.8 million Twitter following and an audience of 6.67 million on his Youtube channel. He figured out that an omnipresent social media can help him better interact with his followers while he’s offcam.

12. Think before you speak/click

You wouldn’t want to be branded as a “problematic” streamer in the online community. There has been a lot of cases where streamers allow their rage and anger to get the better of them while on camera, which resulted in unfavorable impressions and a suspension period. Even worse, some streamers got banned from the platform or the game itself because of improper conduct.

Keep your channel safe from any hate messages or slurs. Always think before you speak to avoid unnecessary controversy your way. If you have nothing nice to say, keep quiet about it and try to talk about something else. Your viewers are likely to appreciate the efforts that you do in keeping your name away from any drama or issues.

This also helps you build your brand name for other streamers to look up to. In a way, you can be a role model to others.

13. Manage giveaways from time to time (skins, raffle prizes)

Giveaways are considered as the most effective way to gain more views and followers. The premise is pretty simple: when you organize a giveaway, each viewer who watches the stream is automatically a part of the lottery where they can win something.

Prizes vary. You may choose to give special in-game skins, raffle prizes (equipment and gaming gear), in-game currency, and more. This can guarantee at least a bunch of viewers to stick around throughout your entire stream!

Conditions can also be altered to your advantage. Before they can enter the giveaway, ask your viewers to share the stream on various social media accounts and use a hashtag to increase your channel’s cross-platform visibility.

14. Prepare occasion-themed streams

Once in a while, prepare special streams for your fans. Think of something out of the ordinary! This will provide variety in the content you offer. You can take advantage of occasions such as Valentines, Halloween, or Christmas to decorate your stream accordingly.

For Valentines, you can dress up as cupid or re-create your stream lay-out filled with red and pink colored hearts. For Halloween, you can playfully dress up as your favorite character as if you’re about to go trick or treating.

Your fans will surely appreciate the effort you put into your streams. A hardworking streamer will surely attract more views by the day.


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15. Add humor in your streams

Humor is a way to attract your viewers. In between streams where there is dead-air and awkward silences, try to show them your humor and make it a challenge to make your viewers laugh. Think of appropriate jokes to add some fun in your content! Be both witty and spontaneous at the same time.

Just stray away from personal and poorly thought out jokes, though. You wouldn’t want to offend your fans or viewers with insensitive jokes. This might just make you trend on the internet for all the wrong reasons, especially with the persistent online cancel culture. Consider it as a big No-No!

As you begin on your journey to become a big streamer, the last thing you’d want is to get cancelled at such an early point in your career. This could potentially disrupt your momentum and channel growth, as well as hinder your prospects at landing brand sponsorships and the like.

16. Collaborate with other streamers

Doing stream collabs with other streamers is important, since it doesn’t only grow your potential audience but it also increases your brand recognition in general.

How do you make yourself known out there, with hundreds to thousands of other aspiring streamers? You can always rely on your individual channel reach, but it doesn’t hurt to reach another content creator’s audience base. It will also provide fresh new content on your channel aside from your usual offering.

Who knows— another potential audience might strike an interest in the content that you offer, thus paving the way for channel growth. This means more subscribers, followers, and donations!

17. Create a Discord server

An observable trend among many content creators these days is having their own private Discord server, where they can directly interact with their following and share updates (both IRL and in-game discussions).

There’s so much you can do on Discord, especially when it comes to establishing a solid bond with your online community. Your audience are likely to stick around and continue supporting you if they see you acknowledging their support.

It’s a good trait for streamers to be appreciative of their audience; so use this platform to your advantage. You can also send alerts to users in a particular channel whenever you’re about to go live; increasing the chances of more viewers tuning in.

18. Host a viewers’ game

Another way to establish a bond with your audience is to hold viewers’ games on particular days, where you can play together with them. You can also opt to do this with your supporters to thank them for showing some financial support.

Of course, you are not obliged to do custom games like these on a daily basis. If you’re grinding for a game’s ranked leaderboards or aiming to immediately complete side quests, you must also focus on playing on your own. A break from the normal won’t hurt, though!

A viewers’ game once a week (for one hour or so) would be enough, especially for small streamers.

19. Choose the right Streaming platform

You might find success in one specific live streaming platform more than the other options available. To choose the right one, decide according to the type of audience you intend to reach. You must also take into consideration the different pros and cons you’ll stumble upon to weigh in which platform suits you best.

It’s quite a challenge to start from scratch on titan platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming, but you will also have more chances at building a loyal following on these platforms over time since the active audience count is notably higher compared to the underdog choices.

However, you might also consider fresher choices like the mobile-gaming focused Trovo Live, where you can keep up with other pioneer content creators in building a name for yourself. A newer platform doesn’t exactly mean it would be difficult for you to build a following.

Given the right mindset, dedication, and a bit of luck — you may also turn out to be a streaming A-lister in the long run.

20. Learn from the pros

One fool-proof way to discover how to acquire new viewers and successfully retain a loyal following is to study how established streamers do it. You might learn a thing or two from the way they handle their streams; from alert customizations to their distinct personalities on camera.

This is a great way for amateur streamers to immerse themselves in the industry, giving them an idea of what they’re entering in the long run.

Although, you mustn’t copy a certain content creator word-for-word. Being a copycat streamer is an instant turn-off! Just get some ideas and add some personal spin to it.

The possibilities are endless!

There are so many tips and tricks to acquire more views to your stream. In this article, we’ve only presented 20 of them — but the truth is it doesn’t stop there. The key to attract more viewers is through consistency and hard work. You need to be bold in trying out new ways to get your channel more known.

The possibilities may either go your way or not. With the proper attitude, patience, hard work and considering all the tips on this list, you might just be surprised to find out that you’re catching up to the streamers you’ve been watching or looked up to before.

Each day of streaming is always a fresh new turnout of events. You’ll never know which stream could make you lose views or grow it. As advised, better make the most of the resources around you and give it your best shot!

Conclusion

Bottomline, you need to focus on creating quality content for your audience to love. Do your best to get your channel known and promote your content across other social media platforms. Remember that you’re not restricted to promote solely on one platform, anyway.

Be involved in good publicity. Become a part of gaming communities and nurture the relationship you have with your viewers. There’s no secret recipe behind instant viewer boost. If you see your channel growth has become stagnant, do not fall short to shortcuts like buying view bots or fake followers. Things like that will eventually be discovered by the platform and bite you in the back.

Most importantly, work hard but make sure you are having a good time. Enjoy your streams and have fun with each game that you play!

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