Are You Wasting Time as a Streamer? Consider These Tools for Success
As a streamer, you may feel like you’re short on time. Along with dedicating hours to the streaming itself, you spend time coming up with original content, preparing for your broadcasts, and connecting with your audience through your channel and social media accounts.
When you also factor in work, school, and other obligations, it isn’t surprising that you feel pressed for time. It’s a challenge to regularly create excellent content, stick to a streaming schedule, and engage with people online.
Fortunately, there are powerful software tools you can turn to for assistance. By making it easier for you to produce high-quality streaming, keep viewers engaged, and build a loyal following, these tools save you valuable time.
What Are Some of the Best Tools to Rely on as a Streamer?
People will stay away from a streaming channel for a number of reasons.
- The quality of the stream is unprofessional. The lighting is dim, the audio is weak, and the camera angles don’t adequately capture the action. The layout and visual elements are poorly designed or aren’t configured well.
- The content isn’t engaging or original.
- The streaming is sporadic and unpredictable. Viewers don’t know when the next broadcast will take place.
- The channel is virtually unknown.
- The streamer seems uninterested in participating in the community and engaging with the audience.
The right tools help you prevent these problems. They boost the production value of your stream, and they allow you to accomplish more and become more productive. They’re relatively easy to set up and use, and their features relieve you from time-consuming, repetitive tasks.
Recommendations for broadcasting software
Broadcasting software gives you the ability to stream on different platforms and helps you produce live video that looks professional.
Open Broadcaster Software
This open-source software is free and works with Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can feed it multiple visual and audio sources, introduce overlays, and configure the layout of visual elements. People streaming games will rely on the software’s Game Capture mode.
Geared towards people who stream games, this open-source software is free and works with Windows. Its popularity stems from its ease of use, its potential to draw on fewer computing resources, and its enormous library of themes, overlays, and other visual elements.
For Twitch users who rely on Windows, Bebo can be a strong choice. It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it comes with a variety of features that enhance the quality of your stream and its appeal to viewers.
XSplit Gamecaster gives you a simple way to stream games. XSplit Broadcaster is more advanced and allows for a greater degree of customization for your stream. Although you can use XSplit for free, the premium license is affordable and grants you access to a wider variety of features. XSplit is compatible with Windows.
Among the options presented here, Wirecast is the most expensive. If you’re using Windows or Mac and aiming to produce a broadcast that would be at home on a TV network, Wirecast is worth exploring. For example, you can use Wirecast to interview remote guests during your broadcast. A free trial allows you to test the numerous features without committing to a purchase.
Tools to boost viewer engagement
Along with a professional look and clean layout, interactive features are essential for engaging viewers and strengthening their loyalty.
Use StreamElements to easily create and customize the overlays you need for Twitch and YouTube Gaming. StreamElements also offers a sophisticated chatbot that encourages viewer interaction. Other features allow you to quickly set up giveaways, contests, and your own store, offering gifts redeemable by stream points.
Streamlabs Chatbot and Widgets
The Streamlabs chatbot comes with a plethora of features, including raffles, small games, and song requests. Streamlabs also facilitates engagement through various widgets. You can form a guild with other streamers, award loyalty points, and collect donations.
This Twitch and YouTube chatbot is easy to set up and comes with a wide range of features to help you manage your stream chats. These include automated messages, moderation, and the ability to quickly offer giveaways and other rewards to viewers.
This Twitch tool helps you cut down on the time you spend managing and moderating your chats. It’s free, and you don’t need to install it on any of your devices.
Streamlining your social media use
A strong social media presence is critical for becoming influential in your community, promoting your stream channel, and developing a relationship with your viewers and followers.
If your social media posts are irregular, poorly timed, or overlooked, turn to powerful tools that will help you make a more effective and efficient use of your social media accounts. These social media management tools include:
- TweetDeck, a free Twitter tool.
- Buffer, which allows you to easily manage, monitor, and analyze your social media activity across multiple sites.
- Hootsuite, another powerful management software for multiple social media sites, including Facebook and Instagram.
With these types of tools, you can schedule posts and optimize their timing. You can also check engagement levels. Are people liking, sharing, or commenting on your content?
Furthermore, you can use these tools to pay attention to social media chatter. They’ll easily find search phrases, hashtags, and other content relevant to you, and they’ll keep track of what other people in your community are posting. Additional tools to help you with these functions include:
- Social Mention, a free tool that extends beyond the major social media platforms to blogs and other sites.
- Mention, which you may want to use once you have a larger following and a revenue stream.
- Hashtag Expert, an application for managing and tracking hashtags on Instagram.
Make sure you stay informed about developments in your area. If you’re streaming games, you should keep track of gaming trends, new technologies, and new releases. Use Google Alerts and feed readers to receive focused information. Along with staying active on forums, blogs, and social media, read major publications in your area. By helping you figure out what people are talking about, some of the tools mentioned here will make it easier for you to use your streaming channel to respond to your viewers’ needs, answer important questions, and offer fulfilling content.
How Are You Charting Your Growth?
As you share your content and use various tools to produce and promote your videos, you want to make sure that you aren’t wasting your time on an approach that isn’t yielding positive results.
Granted, you probably won’t see surges in traffic to your stream channel from one day to the next, but you’ll hopefully perceive progress over weeks and months. To measure the growth of your streaming channel and online presence, you can use analytics tools.
Streaming platforms may provide viewers with various data on channel performance. Twitch, for example, recently came out with a Channel Analytics page. It includes information on follower count, average viewership, revenue, subscribers, chat activity, and top clips and streams.
Other sites will provide you with data about your performance, help you compare yourself to other streamers, and show you trends in content and viewership. TwitchStats, TwitchTracker, and SullyGnome display information about individual streamers on Twitch and give you critical insights about your streaming area, including games that are gaining in popularity. Social Blade is another recommended site. It offers important data analytics for Twitch, Mixer, YouTube, Dailymotion, Twitter, and Instagram.
Social media analytics
Social media sites generally offer users key performance data. For example, if you’re using YouTube to post highlights from your stream, YouTube will give you information on number of views, view duration, and traffic sources.
Some of the social media management tools mentioned earlier, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, also provide data on follower growth and the performance of specific posts.
Additional tools to consider using include:
- Likealyzer, a Facebook tool that gives you insightful reports about your performance on the site and makes recommendations for what you should post.
- The free search engine from Talkwalker, which gives you an idea about the reach of your content and who is discussing you online.
- SumAll, a social media tool that aggregates data from multiple sites, giving you a clearer picture of your online presence.
What are you learning about your growth?
Analytics information helps you figure out what’s working for you and what isn’t. As a result, you can make adjustments to your content, pick a better blend of tools, and change your social media strategy.
You should also periodically ask yourself what you’re hoping to accomplish and make sure you can clearly define your purpose and objectives. If you aren’t doing as well as you hope, it’s possible that your goals are unrealistic. You may have also lost sight of who you are as a streamer.
What Kind of Streamer Are You?
Before producing content or deciding on the tools you want to use, make sure you’re clear about who you are and what you intend to do.
As your channel grows, you can revise these assessments. The strategies that work for a novice streamer likely won’t be useful for someone who already has a large following and a steady flow of revenue.
The following are some of the issues to reflect on:
- Your personal traits and style. These include your creative talents, sense of humor, emotional warmth, knowledge, skills, and ability to offer clear explanations.
- The content you’re focusing on.
- Your standards for high-quality content.
- Your audience. Who are they, and what do they expect from you?
- The benefits you give your audience, subscribers, and sponsors.
- Your budget.
- Your short-term and long-term goals, including milestones and ideas for future projects.
- How you define success.
If you don’t know who you are as a streamer, you’ll be wasting your time by producing unfocused content and diverting your energy to efforts that lead nowhere. Even if you use the best tools for video production and social media management, you won’t receive their full benefits or know how to properly assess your growth.
However, if you have a clear understanding of your purpose and goals, you’ll be in a much better position to figure out the right blend of tools to use and how to make adjustments to your strategies. As a result of your focused and thoughtful approach, you’ll have more time to devote to creating memorable and original content. You’ll be on a path of growth, influence, and success.