Have You Hit a Streaming Plateau? How to Get Your Channel Growing Again
As a streamer, do you feel like you’re stuck? Instead of growing, has your streaming channel flattened into a plateau?
Let’s assume you’ve laid out a strong foundation for your channel. You’re relying on high-quality software and devices to create broadcasts that look professional. You have a passion for what you’re doing and a determination to produce something valuable, memorable, and entertaining.
However, if your follower count and viewers remains relatively small, what can you do to grow your channel? It’s important to take a step back and evaluate who you are as a streamer, who you want to reach, and how you want to reach them.
What Is Your Streamer Persona?
When focusing on certain practical goals, such as a particular amount of streaming income or number of followers, make sure you aren’t losing sight of your purpose, style, and uniqueness as a streamer.
Losing sight of yourself will result in streaming that’s unfocused or unnatural. You’ll come across as stilted or bored. You’ll also be less motivated to stick to your streaming schedule and push towards success.
What sets you apart as a streamer?
Let’s say you’re streaming games. Which qualities define you and your channel?
- You’re passionate about certain kinds of games or gaming experiences. Maybe you display a compelling level of skill.
- You’re an enthusiast about technology, graphics, or the kinds of stories told in games.
- You love teaching. You enjoy showing people techniques and strategies for a game you’ve mastered or demonstrating the learning process as you work through a new game.
- Your wit and sense of humor make a game much more entertaining to watch.
- You have an inviting, down-to-earth personality and a genuine desire to meet and chat with people.
- You find creative ways to connect games to other interesting topics or passions in your life.
The games you play may also influence your streaming personality. A specific game may affect:
- The way you dress, the style of your speech, and the music you choose.
- The overlays, panels, and other features you incorporate into your broadcast.
- The topics you focus on during your commentary and the way you interact with viewers.
How adaptable are you?
Although you should stream games that you sincerely enjoy, pay attention to the supply and demand for a particular game. Some games generate little or no interest. Others are already heavily covered by numerous channels.
You don’t need to give up entirely on popular games. However, you may want to diversify your streaming with a mix of games that vary in levels of popularity.
Sites like Twitch Strike and TwitchTracker may give you a clearer idea of the supply and demand for a variety of games. Staying current on gaming industry news also helps you become more adaptable. You’re more likely to spot trends and choose games that are growing in popularity but aren’t covered by too many channels.
Your streaming schedule
Work, school, and family life are the main obligations that shape your streaming schedule. Your schedule also depends on how frequently you can stream without compromising quality.
- On average, how long are your streams?
- What times of day can you stream with the most energy and enthusiasm?
- Are you sticking to a consistent schedule?
It’s also important to know when your viewers are most likely to tune in. Are they primarily young adults? Are they a mix of children and parents?
Along with maintaining an understanding of yourself as a streamer, make sure you’re developing a clear picture of your viewers and followers. Your efforts to grow your stream will become more focused and effective.
Who Are Your Viewers?
To develop a better understanding of viewer demographics, review analytics data from your streaming channel and social media accounts. Because social media plays an integral role in funneling traffic to your channel, you want to know who your followers are on different sites.
Twitch offers its own analytics page for each streamer. For other streaming platforms, you can use sites like Social Blade. As your streaming channel grows and brings in a steadier income, you can also look to more expensive analytics solutions, including Livestream.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media platforms have their own analytics pages. A deeper understanding of your audience can also come from social media management tools like Tweetdeck, Followerwonk, Buffer, Hootsuite, and SocialRank.
The invaluable information these tools give you include:
- Age, gender, geographic location, and other demographic factors.
- The times of day when your potential and existing viewers are online and most likely to engage with your content.
- The kind of content they’re most likely to enjoy, respond to, and share.
- The way they’re finding your content. For example, are they more likely to come to your streaming channel from a pinned tweet or from a link in a YouTube clip? Is someone else referring them to your channel?
Guided by these insights, you can more easily gain new viewers and strengthen your relationship with the people who already follow you. You can also figure out if you’re neglecting a segment of your audience or overlooking topics they may want you to explore.
On your streaming channel and social media accounts, pay attention to what your audience tells you.
- Poll them about their preferred content.
- You don’t need to feel swayed by each comment, but you should notice general trends in what your viewers like. If they’re signalling approval of a new overlay or panel, or if engagement is shooting up with the use of a new chatbot, you can be more confident in your decisions.
- Make note of how you can improve. Do multiple viewers think your stream is too noisy with graphics or that you have a tendency to mumble?
Your goal is to determine what gives your viewers value. What do they like about your streaming? What do they enjoy about your personality or your approach to games and other topics? Once you can answer these questions, you’ll have an easier time attracting more followers.
Gaining Viewers and Followers
You have a clear idea of yourself as a streamer, and you understand the characteristics of your viewers, the patterns of their behavior, and why they like you. You’re ready to start growing your stream in a more focused and effective way. What are some of the best strategies for growth?
Connect with other streamers
Collaboration can be an excellent way to catch the attention of more viewers and broaden your following.
- Invite other streamers to your broadcasts for gaming and discussions. You can set up playful competitions or collaborative challenges.
- Using sites like MultiTwitch and Multistream.me, viewers will be able to watch you stream simultaneously with other people.
- Join or form a community related to your interests. Twitch, for example, hosts numerous communities. Reddit has a range of gaming groups, including groups for particular platforms and specific games.
- Use social media to connect with fellow streamers. Find people through relevant hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, and join Facebook groups.
- Sign up for a stream team. The streamers you work with should be reputable. You should also feel comfortable with them and genuinely respect their work.
In addition to finding streamers to collaborate with, you’ll also meet people who are interested in your channel and may become followers and subscribers.
Stay consistently active
Periods of inactivity can cause your channel to stagnate. Viewers will drift away from your channel and social media accounts, and they may not remember to return.
Some of the social media management tools mentioned earlier, such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, can help you schedule posts and ensure consistent online activity. You should also develop the habit of making clips of your broadcasts to immediately share on YouTube, Vimeo, and various social media platforms.
Time management is also a challenge. You need to make sure you’re carving out sufficient time to prepare for your broadcasts, film them, and engage with viewers and followers across platforms.
- You can track and manage your time with tools like Toggl or Remember the Milk.
- If you’re collaborating with other streamers or managing a more complex project of your own, use Trello or Asana.
- If you struggle with focusing on different tasks, you can try relying on the Pomodoro Technique or similar methods.
Show a genuine interest in other people
Part of your authenticity as a streamer stems from the way you engage with people. Don’t simply copy and paste the link to your channel across sites. Wherever you post content, make substantive contributions.
- Leave comments on people’s streaming channel and social media accounts.
- Share other people’s content, and add your own meaningful commentary to it.
- Respond to questions during your streams and on social media.
- Ask people about their concerns, frustrations, and interests. This knowledge can give you new ideas to work with during your streams and strengthen the impression that you’re a thoughtful person.
If you take these steps, you’ll attract more interest and develop a reputation as an influential and knowledgeable streamer.
Don’t ignore your viewers during a broadcast
Streamers sometimes fall into the habit of talking to themselves or neglecting their viewers. While you don’t have to constantly interact with viewers, you should remain attentive and responsive to them. There are also many ways to encourage their engagement, including the following:
- Use a sophisticated chatbot to encourage and manage your interactions with viewers. Some good examples are Moobot, Nightbot, and the chatbots offered by Streamlabs and StreamElements.
- Create fun polls.
- Post trivia questions with prizes.
- Reward viewers and followers for subscribing to you or referring people to your channel. Rewards can include personalized streaming experiences.
- Use overlays and panels to display icebreakers or discussion questions and to highlight comments from your streaming channel or social media accounts.
- Encourage a greater degree of viewer interaction with your games. Twitch Extensions and the Go Interactive feature on Mixer are two examples of how to get viewers more involved in game play.
- Set up a contest or giveaway.
Clarity and Consistency Increase the Chances of Success
When streamers become discouraged and lose their motivation, it’s usually because of the following reasons:
- They expect instantaneous results.
- They lack insight into themselves and their viewers.
- They don’t consistently apply strategies for growing their channel.
Your follower count likely won’t shoot up overnight. However, there’s no reason to give up and assume that your channel has stopped growing. With renewed focus and effective strategies, you can breathe new life into your streaming and keep attracting a greater number of viewers.