While Twitch is a great platform for streaming, new streamers can find it difficult to make an impact. With so many streamers to choose from, it can be a hard job to convince new viewers to stick around, even if they manage to find your stream in the first place. There’s only so long you can motivate yourself to stream to zero viewers.
If you’re building a new Twitch channel, or if you’re just looking to build up your existing audience, you’ll need to consider some tried-and-tested methods for building your profile and increasing the number of followers and subscribers. If you want to know how to get more viewers on Twitch, these ideas should help you get started.
Use Social Media Effectively
When you start a new Twitch channel, the hardest part is streaming without a large audience (or any audience at all). If you have a reasonable social media presence, however, there’s no reason why you can’t leverage it to get viewers on your stream from day one.
Family, friends, even other gamers you’ve met online—get them all on board and aware of your channel through a careful social media marketing strategy. Post on your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds, letting people know that you’re streaming (and what you’re playing or doing).
Don’t forget more unusual methods of social advertisement, too. For instance, if you’re helpful on Quora by answering questions about the games you play, you could encourage users to follow your channel organically. Just don’t overdo it—be helpful above all else, and don’t over promote, or users might stay away, regardless.
Connect with Other Streamers
New streamers are popping up on Twitch every day, but most fail to make an impact. If they do, they’re probably not taking advantage of the biggest networking opportunity of them all—other low-viewer streamers.
For instance, if you decide to raid on Twitch, you’ll be helping another streamer grow their audience by lending your own (even if it is small). This is a free, easy networking opportunity to meet and help other new streamers, who will (hopefully) repay the favor by raiding your streams with their audience.
You should also get to know other streamers by joining their channel, watching their streams, and chatting with them. The more streamers you know, the bigger your network. You may also see a crossover between your audiences, where similar users watch and subscribe to your stream with paid or Prime Gaming subscriptions.
Invest in Good Streaming Equipment
Pixelated streams in a dark bedroom with a crackly mic are a surefire way to cause new Twitch viewers to switch off your streams. After all, why watch an amateur when so many Twitch streamers (even with few viewers) have professional-grade equipment for streaming?
If you’re using the right streaming software, such as OBS or XSplit, you’ll need equipment to match. This will help give new viewers the impression that you’re a professional streamer. We’re not talking thousand-dollar equipment here, but with budget webcams offering HD-quality streams, you don’t need to break the bank.
You’ll need a PC that can handle streaming, as well as a good enough internet connection to handle a stream (although you can tweak the bitrate). You’ll also need a HD-quality webcam and lighting, a good streaming microphone or headset, and if you’re streaming from a console, you’ll need a capture card like an Elgato HD60S.
You don’t need to spend a fortune, but if you’re thinking seriously about streaming on Twitch, to get more viewers on Twitch you’ll need to stand out with the right production quality from the beginning, where good (but not top-tier) equipment will help. Once you’ve grown your audience, you can also set up donations to help build your equipment further.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Different Things
When you’re figuring out how to get more viewers on Twitch, the hardest part of the process is figuring out what’s working and what isn’t. Streaming on a Friday at 2pm might be perfect for you, but it might not be appropriate for your target demographic.
You’ll need to find the right strategy for streaming that works for you, but is also something that works for your likely audience. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and try new things, whether it’s a new style of game, trying different community-building events such as giveaways, or changing when (and how often) you stream.
You won’t know what works and what doesn’t straight away. By giving yourself the opportunity to change course at the beginning, you can find a way to build a channel that really matches up to your interests, values, and (most important) speaks with your voice.
After all, you’re streaming for your audience, but also for yourself. You might dedicate yourself to streaming every day, but if you don’t have the audience yet, you can risk burning out if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing. If things aren’t working for you, change course and find a strategy that works for you instead.
Use YouTube to Build Growth
If Twitch is hard, building a YouTube channel is arguably harder, but there’s a good reason why building a YouTube channel alongside a Twitch channel can make sense. You’re creating content for live audiences, but Twitch isn’t a great platform for video playback, so why not reuse that content and create matching YouTube videos.
The more videos you post, the more likely that your YouTube channel will become noticed by a new set of viewers. If they like your content, they may be encouraged to catch you live on Twitch.
This can help to build your brand, grab new viewers and subscribers, and create a new income source (once you reach the 4000 YouTube hours minimum for monetization). It can also give you another creative outlet, taking your live streams and editing the videos to give the content new life on a different platform.
Build Your Own Brand with Originality and Consistency
When you’re trying to grow as a new Twitch streamer, your brand is important. Whether it’s just your name, your logo, or your style of stream—they’re all identifying elements that viewers will associate you with. If you don’t have an original brand, it’s unlikely that you’ll succeed on Twitch.
The best way to do this is simply be yourself. Don’t try and copy other streamers (especially big name streamers) because you’re unlikely to succeed. By creating your own style of stream, you’ll be more comfortable and more likely to attract a higher number of viewers and subscribers.
One underrated and often-forgotten part of a Twitch channel’s brand is consistency. If you’re streaming at random, often with little notice, then dedicated viewers and fans aren’t likely to turn up. You need to stream to a consistent schedule, making it clear to your viewers when and how often you’ll be streaming.
That doesn’t mean you can’t change when you stream, but the bigger your audience gets, the more important consistency becomes. If you build your Twitch channel with this mindset from the beginning, it’ll be second nature to follow this strategy once you have an audience that’s willing to watch your streams each time you’re live.
Building a Successful Channel on Twitch
Success doesn’t appear overnight, so if you’re trying to figure out how to get more viewers on Twitch, don’t expect these strategies to work immediately. A few posts on social media and a new streaming webcam might help in the short term, but you’ll need to be consistent to really grow, with regular streams and audience interaction.
If you’re not finding success on Twitch, don’t be afraid to try major Twitch alternatives like YouTube or Facebook Gaming. Whether you’re streaming on Twitch or Facebook, don’t forget to build up your community on a platform like Discord, where you can interact with your followers and promote your channel off-stream for free.