Twitch As Your Platform For Content
Drawing in nearly two million broadcasters every month and boasting over 100 million active users, both viewers and streamers, Twitch has become the premier platform for daily live content consumption. With data retrieved from Streamlabs, Twitch holds a massive 43% share in all video game content revenue and generates as much traffic as Google and surprisingly more than TikTok. Witnessing this much upsight in the future of the innovative platform, the corporate titan Amazon bought twitch back in 2014 for nearly $1 billion.
Unlike other social media platforms, Twitch can be leveraged to interact live with viewers in real-time and connect with them on a level deeper than seeing each other on a screen; allowing the audience to help you make decisions in game / activity, receiving stream suggestions, and personalized emoticons for viewer use.
Now, with that many active users and streamers, it may seem intimidating to start streaming as a hobby or a side gig, and find yourself at a dead-end just at the beginning. Luckily, the barrier to entry to this streaming thing isn’t large. Creating a twitch account and having semi-decent hardware is all you need – some mid-level laptops can get the job done, just not at a professional level. The next step, however, may seem like the mountain you have to climb – finding your audience with so many saturated categories and genres available.
Growing Your Twitch Channel
Let’s take a look at some successful streamers: Ninja, Pokimane, Sykkuno, and Tyler1 – all completely different streamers but they do have one thing in common: they used to stream to less than ten viewers at the beginning of their careers. Attaining success on twitch does not happen overnight, not even over a week, and even a year for most streamers. Grinding and committing to a schedule can be considered the MINIMUM requirement to steadily increase growth.
Choosing and settling on a niche category on Twitch can be your solution to working triple overtime to get a moderate following on twitch. Don’t get me wrong, you will still HAVE to put in the hours. Finding your niche will narrow down your audience to those who actually care about the content you are creating and allows you to better strategize plans to build your brand.
Picking Your Niche
The first question to ask yourself is “What do I love doing? What am I passionate about?” Even if you start off successfully at a niche, like streaming crocheting, you will burn out and eventually start doing other content. Your targeted audience you worked so hard to work for will reconsider dropping by as well. Looking at the case of Ninja and Tyler1, they are at the top of their respective games on Twitch – Fortnite and League of Legends. Why is that? They are not the best at playing the game, but their personality and passion are what sets them apart from the rest – and their better than average skill. You should be excited to stream that niche, even if you are broadcasting to little to no viewers. Trust me, the energy you will bring to your passions will be felt by your audience. You can start off by searching twitch for categories that you enjoy doing, bonus points if that category is not that saturated.
Another aspect to consider is choosing a niche that you are good or skilled at. No, you do not have to be a top two hundred pro on the leaderboards, but being decently skilled at something or committing to get better at something along with your viewers is both educational and entertaining to watch; and is equally as powerful if you are passionate about this activity. For instance, if you are broadcasting playing basketball, no one who is decently skilled will be inclined to watch you unless you offer some value. Consistently streaming drills with your viewers and actually wanting to improve over time is something people can get behind of and support. You see this all the time with Instagram pages of people getting better over time in activities like basketball and weight lifting.
Being skillful doesn’t always have to be the case in being successful in a niche. Personality and Humor attracts and retains relationships far stronger than anything else. Valkyrae and Sykkuno stream to thousands of people when playing Valorant against people who are bronze and gold, respectfully. They stream multiple games and activities while maintaining viewership, due to the fact that they are funny. This is obviously difficult to pull off especially starting off your journey, but your jokes, reactions, and personality could be a niche within itself. There are viewers out there looking for education as well as viewers looking for entertainment. No one is expecting to watch a TenZ or Faker doppelganger when watching streams, but do look for a laugh after a long day and hang out.
Applying the Growth of Your Niche
Find and choose the game or activity you like, preferably a lesser known one that would be easier to navigate and capitalize on. Remember, you CAN choose a popular category, you would just need to differentiate yourself to a wider extent.
Become a name known within your niche. A tip that is helpful for this is having a distinct channel username that includes this niche. An example would be “ChessMastermindJohn;” your channel would be easier to spot and determine for those who are searching for chess.
Create a discord and other content that build upon your brand on twitch. Having a community on twitch where they can interact with you outside of twitch is something you see with a lot of streamers today. Something you do not see often are extra content, like video uploads of guides or stream highlights, blogs, and socializing on sites with your niche like Reddit or Facebook.
Most importantly, you must stream consistently, especially if you want to establish your brand as an authority figure in that niche. You will not get your consistent viewers when you stream two days a week, once in the middle of the night and the next during the afternoon. Engage with your audience, give value to your viewers to incentivize them to follow your twitch and other socials.
Only once you have built strength in your niche and brand can you expand into other categories with success, like Ludwig, Pokimane, Myth, Etc. Your consistent and loyal audience will know who you are and what you bring no matter what game or activity you perform.