When you started your gaming stream, you probably imagined hosting a bustling, vibrant online community with thousands of regular viewers who enjoyed watching you play the day’s hottest games.
But, as you’ve probably learned, growing a gaming stream is extremely difficult. Not only do you have to provide high-quality gameplay, but you also have to engage with your audience to earn repeat viewers and subscribers. Even then, the competitiveness of platforms like Twitch and Facebook Live means that you aren’t guaranteed viewership.
As an aspiring streamer, you have to pull out every trick possible to grow your audience and gain momentum in the streaming scene. While there are plenty of algorithm-busting cheat codes available to you, producing and posting video content is the single best way to draw traffic to your stream.
There are dozens of methods that you can use to increase traffic to your stream, but none beat well-produced video content. That’s because 1.2 billion people watch gaming content worldwide, and the demand for high-quality gaming content is always growing. As a streamer, you need to leverage video content to claim a piece of the viewership pie for yourself.
As well as being popular, video content is easy to produce and relevant to your streaming goals. You can quickly download and edit gameplay from the same PC or console that you use to stream, and you’ll never run out of original content as long as you go live regularly. Viewers who find relevant video content on sites like Youtube or Tik Tok also make for quality commenters, as they already understand your particular niche before they tune in to watch a live stream.
Video content also increases your exposure, and gives you a chance to “go viral.” However, it is important to understand that going viral isn’t all that it’s purported to be, and one well-performing video doesn’t lead to a fortune in ad revenue. Nevertheless, if you have a few videos that catch the algorithm’s attention, you’re sure to see a bump in viewership (so long as you provide clear links to your stream and schedule).
To increase your chances of going viral with video content, try to play new games that rank highly amongst YouTube searches. For example, Elden Ring was launched in February of 2022, but it reached its peak search popularity on YouTube in early March. The demand was so great that streamers like Dr. Disrespect and StoneMoutain64 switched from their usual FPS content to Elden Ring to reach an audience that wouldn’t usually be interested in their stream. You can follow in the pro’s footsteps by streaming content related to newly released games and posting to YouTube in the form of tutorials.
Producing video content always seems like a good idea until it’s time to capture, edit, and post your recordings. Most video editing software is either expensive or needlessly complex. This can lead you to lose endless hours balancing audio and attempting to overlay graphics.
Instead of dropping a bomb on professional-grade editing software, try starting with easy, free video editing sites. You’ll still be able to narrate, add music, and overlay text, but you won’t get lost in the weeds of video editing.
When editing your stream, avoid the temptation to post content that runs over 20 minutes. While you might think that more is better, audiences on YouTube and social media are unlikely to view a video that is too long or is shabbily edited. Instead, choose a key moment from your stream that is particularly engaging and trim it down to the minimum.
You can also take advantage of short-form video content which can be posted on YouTube’s Shorts, Tik Tok, and Instagram. These short-form videos shouldn’t last more than a minute and aim to catch people while they’re scrolling. As a general rule, you’ll want to start with Tik Tok as it offers the most intuitive editing program and a wide audience demographic. These short-form videos allow you to put out a higher volume of quality content and can help improve your brand image and visibility.
Consistent Brand Image
Providing video content is a great way to boost your stream’s viewership. However, you’ll still need to post high-quality, consistent content if you want to make a lasting impression on would-be viewers.
You can create a consistent brand image by running your stream like a business. This means you’ll need to reinvest your profits into things like microphones and cameras. You should also aim to cut out visual background “noise” that distracts viewers by creating a professional, consistent background for your gaming room.
As a final word of caution, be sure to clearly identify your target audience and cater to them across all platforms. This will ensure that your social media presence aligns with your stream content and will bring the “right” people to your stream — you do not want your stream to be flooded with toxic comments because of an off-brand video.
Creating video content can help grow your gaming stream and give you valuable skills to prepare you for the workforce. You can wet your feet in video editing by utilizing freely available software that helps you provide consistent, high-quality content across all the platforms you post to. Just remember to track your videos with analytics so you can see which content is driving the most traffic to your gaming stream.