Getting Started with Viewer Engagement

Streaming on Twitch, YouTube Gaming, or any other platform can be really frustrating, especially when it comes to making your first streams. You will probably get very few people, wonder if things are going well, and when you get a new viewer you may even ask him for a follow. Well, you’re probably doing it all wrong.

This isn’t a technical guide, and there are many other articles out there that will help you get started with this particular aspect. This is a compilation of general tips that I’ve learned over the past few months that will definitely make your streaming’s quality improve if you learn how to master them all.

A channel’s possibility to grow is based on three possible alternatives:

  • Distinctive material: your channel has something fresh and unseen on Twitch until now. Tough choice, as there are thousands of channels live right now streaming at video games, creative talents and talk shows.
  • Professional gameplay: you’re among the best in a particular game and people will watch, learn, and cheer for you. This is an awesome way to go if you’re skilled enough, and the reason why there are many partnered pro-players on Twitch.
  • Pure entertainment: stick to a schedule and focus on your viewers. Being consistent, entertaining, and friendly can boost up your channel’s viewer count week after week. If you don’t fit in the previous categories and you like playing a variety of games, this one’s for you.

Keep in mind that every new viewer that comes into your channel will stay for around 1 or 2 minutes to see the way you’re streaming. That’s a reasonably short time frame for you to convince them to stay, or at least to leave a follow hoping they’ll come back someday. That means you need to be aware of random people watching the stream at every minute, so be yourself and have fun!

Get Technical

If a new viewer comes to your stream and all they get to see is the “buffering” icon, then keep in mind that viewer won’t be coming again soon. Technical difficulties are always a deal-breaker when trying to get new followers so make sure everything is flowing smoothly. Test your bandwidth, audio, camera, and overall streaming setup. Having a second channel for testing purposes is a very good idea.

Get Social

As social media becomes more and more indispensable, you need to make sure you’re going in the right direction. Make sure to build relationships with your viewers when you’re getting started with your channel, especially on the two “giants”: Facebook and Twitter. Also remember you’re not alone in this: hundreds of streamers are going live at the same time. Make some friends, drop by their streams, chat around with other people, and whenever you go live try to let them know through your social media.

Stick to a Schedule

Try to keep a steady schedule to make sure people will be able to find you whenever they want to. This will make your streaming more organized and will help you display your commitment to the streaming cause. If you want to get big, then you need to commit yourself.

It’s all about Interaction

Your viewers want to make sure you’re there for them as they are for you. Interact with them while being on stream: when you see a new nickname say hello, ask them how they’re doing. Try to remember a couple of facts about them so next time you see that same nick, you’ll know what to ask about. “Hey, did you try out that game you mentioned the other time? “How did it go with the exam?” Building a strong bond between you and your viewers will make them feel at home when watching your channel… and there’s no place like home.

Feedback

Pay special attention to your viewers comments. If one of them has trouble watching your stream, try to help him out. If they report bad audio quality, try to fix it on the fly. If your webcam overlay is blocking the game’s HUD try switching to the other side of the screen. Your viewers need to feel comfortable watching both you and the game.

So…

To all of you getting started in this universe, patience and commitment is key. And of course, lots and lots of energy! Be yourself, have fun, and try to generate a comfortable environment for you and your viewers. If the stream is fun to watch, then they will certainly come back for more. Keep your viewers entertained, make them feel at home, sit back and… enjoy!