Start using StreamBee Analytics!
Best growth analytics for Twitch Streamers
Although watching popular streamers do it on an everyday basis might look easy, getting into streaming has gone exponentially harder with time. The competitive aspect of the business has forced content creators to deliver some top-notch content in order to get noticed by the masses. And this great content now is conditioned by how prepared the streamer is.
In this first part of our streaming checklist, we will go over the important steps to cover before even starting your stream.
Whether you simply plan on playing the same game for several hours or try to win the award for the best talk show of the year, you are in charge of what happens on your stream.
As such, we highly recommend preparing a script of what you envision your stream will be and answering the 4 most basic questions anyone needs to have in mind:
What is the core of your content, what can someone expect to find when they tune in to your channel? Are we aiming for an entertaining and relaxing stream, or rather an informative and educative content? This is the most basic requirement to fulfill in the streaming industry, as it is a major part of our identity.
In this section, we also want to decide on potential looks or overlays for the stream, the various scenes we are going to use as well as the various messages we want to deliver to our audience.
If you are having guests, make sure they are on the same page and accept to comply with the stream’s identity.
Our audience determines a ton of things, as, without a public, our content isn’t worth much.
Depending on who you are aiming to talk to, you might also be influenced to pick one platform over another. For example, Twitch or Youtube are the most common gaming platforms, but Linkedin is much more renowned when it comes to talking to professionals in a specific industry.
Are we only streaming on one platform or are we multi-streaming? Is the content going to be only used during the stream or are we planning to make VoDs afterward for potential replays…
In this section, we want to ask ourselves about the availability of our content and the different ways one can gain access to it. And although we usually focus on who we want to be able to access it, depending on your content, you might also want to think about potential entry barriers if you are planning sensitive content for example.
Lastly, we need to decide about the time we are going to stream as this is a key factor in our audience showing up for it or not.
This usually is the last piece of the puzzle as once we have all the other answers, this one usually comes fairly naturally.
In order to determine the best time for our stream, we need to think about how long will our stream last and the expected availability of our audience. Another important concern is whether one could jump into the stream in the middle of it or if it is important to catch the whole thing.
It doesn’t matter how good your content is, if nobody knows about it, then your average viewership numbers will be disappointing.
Sharing your upcoming stream, alongside the important facts about it, or part of the rundown you prepared for it is a good way to let people know that it is happening and what to expect from it.
Especially if you are starting in the streaming business, you need to catch the eye or hear of potential viewers in order to grow an audience.
A video, a meme, a countdown, or the promise of some perks are proven ways to create some interest in your content and separate yourself from the classic announcements.
Make sure to promote your teaser early enough so it has time to spread on the internet.
The internet is a place where we are constantly being stimulated one way or another, and it makes it very easy to forget things we wanted to do in the first place.
With notifications to know when your stream will go live, you will retain a considerable amount of the audience that would otherwise be doing something else simply because they received other stimuli in the meantime.
If you are a professional or doing an informative, educative stream, it is also a good way to communicate the material to your audience before or after the stream.
A good first impression is key in an industry where your competition is 1 click away for your viewers. As such, you cannot allow having something go wrong, as it gives the opportunity for your audience to do something else while you fix it.
This is the single most important thing to do before streaming, as it is the key to appearing professional and being recognized as a token of quality.
Your stream is now on the way and all the technicalities have been taken care of. It is time to be an entertainer and deliver the best possible performance for the viewers who tuned in to our channel.
Your webcam might be just a small portion of your screen, but it can have a big impact on the overall feeling of your stream.
Although you are focused on what you are doing, and trying to deliver the highest possible gameplay, establishing eye contact regularly through your webcam will reassert the link between streamer and audience.
Also, you will appear more confident and sincere if you look to pull your viewers to you and help them be a part of the content rather than keep a distance from them.
The big difference between watching a stream and watching a video is the interaction with the content creator the first option allows.
Indeed, a lot of Youtube videos are cleaner than most streams, because of the possibility to edit, make cuts, and such options. If people are choosing to come to your stream rather than watch the replay of a video about the same topic, it is because they value that possibility of interaction.
As such, you should embrace and encourage interactivity, planning some times dedicated to it and ways for your audience to be motivated to participate.
Join one of the biggest Discord servers for content creators.
The title of your stream should be a clear indication of what to expect when tuning in for a viewer. A title should always contain 2 pieces of information: the activity and the mood that one can find on the stream.
The activity should be very clear and written in the title, while the mood is a more subtle way of sharing the culture you are trying to spread. A funny pun would relate to a relaxed stream, a very serious and simple title is a symbol of a focused atmosphere…
If you change your activity during the stream, like playing another game or a change in the people joining you, make sure to adapt your title accordingly as well.
Unless you signed a contract with a platform, nothing prevents you from streaming on several platforms at the same time.
Obviously, this requires a little bit more work as you would have to set up a screen with the various chats and be aware of where are people interacting with you. But in return, you can gather much more information as you reach different audiences at the same time.
Particularly for streams where you are focused on showcasing something and the audience interacts with the environment or in between viewers, cross-platforming is a very useful way to develop a brand.
Streaming on Twitch has largely evolved from its original form. While the platform still features a ton of gaming-focused streams, a rise of Just Chatting or Art-oriented channels happened in recent years, making Twitch a heterogeneous platform nowadays.
This article won’t tell you to make a switch and stop gaming on your stream, but we instead will focus on how to make some use of the moments when you aren’t gaming. How to take inspiration from the newer generation of streamers that are focusing on other aspects of their content, and how it could bolster most streams, even the ones who spend more than 90% of their time playing games.
Streaming usually has 2 main components to it. An entertainer does it with its content and towards an audience, the balance between both being difficult to find at first.
While we are focused on our gameplay, we automatically are less aware of our audience and neglect the interaction part of streaming. When there is a break in the game we play (in between games, a break in the story, a planned break after some time…), it is therefore important to refocus on the audience so they don’t feel like they are watching a youtube video.
When we are playing, we usually have less attention to give our viewers, who usually will commentate on your gameplay and discuss with one another more than interact with us, as we are focused on the gameplay.
The first thing to do in between games is to reconnect with the people that asked questions and answer those.
One of the most important things, in order to retain new viewers, is to make them feel welcomed. When focused on our game, it is easy to miss a message in the flow of a chat room.
Having a small welcome protocol ready, something as short as a few seconds that we can shoot during a short break will be a simple yet effective tool in order to boost our retained newcomers.
Just like newcomers, viewers showing us support deserve to be recognized. Once again, having a simple protocol that you can shoot to thank your contributors during breaks is a must-do in the streaming business nowadays.
Depending on the kind of game you are playing, you might not be available to deal with problems or realize there is one going on.
When on a break, making sure everything is going well and planning ahead of what could happen is important so you can focus completely on your game and deliver the best possible content afterward.
Once you have a larger audience, new discussions could start on their own and your chat will be able to sustain itself. But when growing your channel, and without enough regular viewers who are helping you create solid interaction, you will be the starting point of most of what your chat talks about.
As such, you can use breaks in your gaming session to start new topics, rekindle old ones and make sure your chat stays active while you play your next game.
A basic rule when trying to grab someone’s attention towards something is to not give them something else to focus on at the same time.
If you want people to remember the most important messages you are trying to get across, deliver them in times when there isn’t anything else to focus on.
Also, talk about those before announcing a break or when returning from it. Saying you are going on a break before delivering your message will already make your audience less attentive to what you might say.
Something that a large portion of viewers is looking for is learning more about the game they are watching.
While making a pure theoretical stream usually ends up boring those looking for entertainment as a first deciding factor to tune in. Having part of your stream incorporates those elements will be an added value while allowing you to rest, especially in fast-paced games.
Replays or detailing a specific moment that happened in the game is, therefore, a common practice amongst streamers with a competitive aspect to their stream
StreamBee offers business intelligence software and DM monetisation tool for streamers.
While playing, it is hard to encourage interaction as we cannot really answer it completely. When on a break from playing though, we can deal with much more demands from our viewers.
That means, we usually won’t encourage complex interaction while playing, but the rather very basic things we can take care of in a few seconds.
When on a break, with more availability, we are able to encourage more complex interactions from our audience, like using channel points or requesting songs for example.
Most streamers have other media and content to promote outside of their stream, a youtube channel, social media accounts… and promoting them usually also means giving our audience the time to check them out. Nobody is going to leave in the middle of an actual game in order to go check a recorded one from the same person, and the message will eventually get lost before the viewer has a chance to actually go to the other platform.
While it usually is at the end of the stream that we promote these kinds of platforms, creating a bridge to keep us on our viewer’s radar, it also works to promote those when we are in a break.
When most of your streaming content relies on gameplay, it can sometimes be tough to develop a big personality and to get yourself across to your viewers.
In order to develop regular viewing numbers, and not rely solely on the game and your reputation related to it, working on your personality is a crucial aspect of streaming.
But doing so while being focused on your gameplay can be difficult at times, especially if you are trying to be competitive while playing. If that is the case, non-gaming moments are the perfect time to showcase who you are outside of just a good player
Who you are as a player usually is what will attract most of your new viewership, but if that creates interest, it doesn’t create the necessary connection to build a returning audience.
Breaks are the perfect time to show something else than your gaming qualities. It can either be through an alternate activity aiming to show a new side of your personality or simply using the game differently, with it being the support to you rather than the opposite.
Breaks can be a way to develop your gaming content in other forms than simply playing the game.
Talking about the Lore, relevant anecdotes about the game or cosplaying for example are ways to keep the universe of the game alive while not actually needing to be focused on the game itself.
Bringing your touch to the game you play will go a long way in separating you from the other streamers on said game
In most competitive games, we all have our little secrets on how to prepare before we take on the ladder. Showcasing part of those little secrets is a great way to invite your audience into your world and make them feel special.
If you are a recognized or pro player, share your tournament tips and how you prepare to focus for a long period of time. If you are an occasional or aspiring competitive player, you can share your goals and how you plan on getting better over time.
If you do not have a competitive temperament, you can still talk about how you prepare for your streams and talk about your routine for example.
Popular streamers usually share one main quality: they know what happens inside the gaming community.
Whether it is reacting to something huge happening in the game’s ecosystem (new expansion, a broken record, an event…) or talking about more trivial matters, showing interest in what happens around you is key to being able to interact with your viewers.
That will give you easy topics of discussion while being more aware of what your audience might discuss in the chat during the next stream.
Games usually are conceived to be fast-paced and immersive, requiring most of the attention of its players in order to grasp the full story offered to them, usually through both visual and audio channels. That is also true for a viewer that would be watching someone else playing, as it alleviates the thinking process of making decisions inside the game but still requires paying attention to understand what is happening.
In a “Just Chatting” stream, the visual requirements are much lower, making those a perfect fit for a viewer using Twitch as background noise. Similar to family TV shows in the previous decade, non-gamers are starting to represent the part of Twitch that appeals to audiences not looking for anything mentally demanding to follow.
Outside of the interaction with your audience, social happenings have started to be a huge trend on Twitch, whether it is podcasting or more elaborated events like talk shows and such.
If you enjoy spending time with friends and have a common passion for something related to your usual content, bringing them on stream for a different kind of content, focusing more on the social aspect is a good way to showcase different parts of your streaming identity.
Make sure to advertise to your community about this different content too.
Once you know your content is appreciated and you have a solid regular audience, your stream might receive inquiries for advertising other products.
While hardcore dedicated gamers tend to be the best to promote new gaming gear or an upcoming new game close to the one they play on a daily basis, IRL-based streams can open the door for pretty much any business looking for publicity.
With Food, Music, Art, or Sports now being showcased on Twitch, streamers have the possibility to market their audience to much larger fields than just the gaming-related corporations. This being at the cost of the occasional different content on your channel.
If streaming was seen as a side activity or even a hobby a decade ago, creating content and attracting audiences towards it has become a full-time business nowadays. Because of that highly competitive environment that literally anyone with internet access can venture into, professionalizing your approach to streaming is mandatory.
That approach includes the preparation, promotion, and the stream itself, as all three steps of the way are key to a stream’s success.
Whether it is before starting your stream and during the various activities you might showcase during it, it is your duty as the content creator to be in control of the various elements that will impact your stream’s success.
Ideal streaming checklist should be a comprehensive list of the things you should do before the stream, during the stream, and also after it. It should contain a variety of tasks ranging from easier like preparing yourself or sharing when you go live, to the harder like content repurposing on different social media platforms.
Most of the time you don’t need anything special to start streaming! The most important factor is lighting in your room. Besides that, you can use your smartphone and open-source software like OBS.
Before the stream, you should make sure you have your software setup properly, you are ready for the stream and all the distractions are removed.
After the stream is beneficial to create content for various social media channels in different formats and lengths.