New to streaming, or frustrated at the lack of interest/exposure your channel on Twitch or Mixer is getting? Form a Streaming Community!
Streaming is quite saturated compared to just a mere 3 years ago. It is extremely difficult to get a foothold in this hobby to make it a job. But the fact is, and this may surprise you, the streaming hobby isn’t exactly all that big. As reported by Techcrunch Last year, there are a grand total of 2.2 million unique broadcasters.
Now, that might sound like a lot, and it is! However, let’s compare that number to the total number of humans on earth. 7.7 BILLION. There are 3500 Times more people on planet earth there are streamers. This is the group you need to target. The Uninitiated.
That is why it is important to seek outside sources of growth. Simply being live on twitch is no longer a valid way to gather more people to your stream. If you have a strong foothold from social media or manage to catch the wave of a new trend, you Might get a foothold, but this is a fickle, and unpredictable subject.
Something most people may not consider, even the top streamers started right where you are. Struggling for views for months and years. They became popular because the games or content that they streamed took off in some way.
Yes, Ninja, Shroud, Pokimane, & many other large and in charge streamers started right where you did. They used the resources they had available and researched ways to grow, just like you are doing. And I guarantee you they still do to stay relevant. That’s right. Even at the top, it does not stop. I’d even say it’s even more stressful than being at the bottom.
Form a Streaming Community, by advertising to non-streamers.
You don’t want streamers to be your main source of viewers.
Because they are the same as you. They want to grow their channels just as much as you do. And they are also looking for ways to do this, just like you. By slapping your stream link in their chat, (particularly without permission) you effectively alienate everybody who you think will come to watch you.
I can’t even begin to describe the level of streamer to streamer advertisement and viewer leeching that is going on. The worst part is that by doing this, you create an image associated with your stream as a view beggar. People don’t like when you try to leech off the people they have watching their channel. Its Akin to “Black hat SEO”.
Not only that, but these viewers are more than likely fleeting numbers, they will look at your stream, and go back to watching the streamer that you snatched them from.
That is not to say ALL streamer to streamer advertisement is bad. If they ask you if you stream, and to link your stream, do it! That is fine so as long as it is initiated by the streamer, and not by you. Getting shout outs, and forming a team of 4-8 streamers will let you 4-8 streamers have people to host & raid. To that extent, you should only very rarely raid or host people outside of this circle. This is the beginnings to form a streaming community.
Streaming is 70% Advertisement, 30% Streaming (Made up Statistics.)
Think about how a TV show is advertised. There are commercials on many different channels on tv. Then there is the Internet, blog articles, critic review sites and the like, among other many thousand possibilities.
Say the show is targeting a young audience, it usually has physical toys designed to build hype. This creates an ever-present ad, right there in your own home. Your kids may play with these toys, reminded that this new movie is coming out soon because they see this toy. Its Psychological advertisement at work. Fill the heads of these impressionable kids to sell toys, tickets, and other memorabilia. It works because kids can be really annoying and bug their parents to buy them. Adults are annoying in the same aspect, only they aren’t getting their parents to buy something. They are trying to get you to buy something.
Streaming is no different from this TV show concept. Don’t advertise it? Chances are you will have a low turnout. That is bad for business! So they run ads. Ads are literally everywhere around you, and if you don’t join them, you may as well give up any chance of organic non-viral growth.
In your case, if you form a streaming community and run an advertisement campaign that you all partake in, and raid/host eachother; You will all see the benefits of fresh faces to whatever platform you are on.
Creative ideas to advertise your stream and form your own streaming community
Don’t have any ideas on how to advertise yourself? I’ve thought up a few.
Branding is the first, and most important. Get yourself a logo made if you don’t have one already. (You can Hire one of our Artists if you don’t!) Start creating branded things, and scatter them far and wide.
- T-Shirts With your Logo, stream URL, Schedule, etc.
- Car Magnets with your Logo, stream URL, Schedule, etc.
- LCD displays/laptops in the back of your car window with clips looping from your stream, and big bold letters looping with your Logo, stream URL, Schedule, ETC. More on this below
- Hats with your logo, stream URL, etc
- Get creative with 3d printer things.
Basically, a classic advertisement! You can’t afford a billboard ad, sure. But You probably have a laptop or tablet!
Laptop/tablet video billboard in your back window
Plop that laptop or tablet (here is a stand for the Tablet) in the rear window of your car or truck and you’ll want to buy some velcro to secure it in place so it doesn’t move or shift around while driving. Try not to be too distracting though. Some people may be turned off from too distracting.
Then set up Voice attack on the laptop or Windows tablet. (OBS only works on Windows at this time) This lets you control the laptop with your voice while driving. You could, for example, say “Stop ad”(Which will swap to a static image scene of your logo, stream URL, and Stream Schedule. Notice a trend here?) when you are not at a red light, and “Start Ad” when you are! Hands-free, totally legal, and not distracting to drivers!
All you need now is just a mic to listen to your voice attack commands. I recommend a cheap Lavalier mic. The quality does not matter, you just need to be able to reach your laptop, and send the voice commands to it. You may need an extension cable if your lav mic wire is not long enough.
Be sure to remove the laptop or tablet from view to avoid car break-ins when you are not in the car! You have been warned.
I’m not responsible for any damage to your vehicle or theft of property by using this technique.
In OBS on the “Mobile 10′ video billboard”, you will set up the Two basic scenes. “Video Loop” which is a Media Source that plays a looping .mp4 video you’ll make for the purpose of advertising. The other scene will be your static image, with your Logo, a neat blurred background,(or whatever you prefer.) your stream URL, and finally your Stream Schedule. Here is an example.
The important factors when designing the advertisement image:
- Big Logo at the forefront, representing your streaming brand, and instilling a sense of trust.
- Your URL, The largest text and differentiated from the rest of the image. This tells your potential viewers where to go to see more.
- Your Schedule should be the next element. In my case, simply stating when the articles will be released.
- I added my tagline separated out from the main schedule to fill the blank space, but your schedules will likely do this.
- Add previews of any emotes you have in their larger forms, to show what they can get by subbing to you.
The goal is to entice the guys behind you to look up your stream. If it is memorable, their curiosity may get the better of them, and you got yourself a viewer! This is the first step to form a streaming community.
Swapping Scenes in Voice Attack.
To swap scenes, simply assign a hotkey in the Settings > Hotkey for the scenes. Add a Stinger transition if you want to spice things up. I recommend ctrl+Alt+Num1-Num9 for any commands. That should be plenty. Add as many ad variants as you like.
In Voice Attack, mimic the hotkeys you assigned to simple voice commands, like Ad 1, Ad 2.
You can even set up a timed auto-cycle in Voice attack, that will run an ad for 15 seconds, then swap to the next one, and so on. If you make it “run itself” at the end, it will loop without ANY additional input.
Advantages & disadvantages of this advertisement method
As great of an idea as this might seem, It does have it’s drawbacks. Specifically with the costs. If you don’t have a laptop, or lav mic handy, its expensive to buy these things!
However, this should not discourage you, as it also has a substantial advantage over traditional car magnets that can accomplish this same task for cheaper.
- Digital Media Is Easily Modified.
- You don’t need to buy all new advertisement material when you make changes, merely swap out the existing image/media.
However, if you are tight on money, there are cheaper alternatives if you are committed to a certain schedule!
If money is too tight and you don’t already have the existing resources for doing the car video billboard, you can look to more traditional means for business advertisement. Car Magnets are an excellent, non-permanent and affordable means of branding your vehicle with any sort of advertisement. Use it to advertise your channel!
Amazon has many custom car magnet services available, choose one you like, and upload your image, and you’ll get the magnet sent to you. I advise measuring the area on your car to get the right size before you buy it. Don’t ask why I brought this up…
Advantages & Disadvantages of car magenets
Well, they are cheap, that is one big advantage. However, as they are located externally, they tend to get fairly dirty, needing regular cleaning. In addition, their external location means they can also deteriorate in quality over time.
Another disadvantage/advantage is that they can fall off in certain conditions. It is a disadvantage because you’ll need to buy another one to replace it. At the same time…and I hate that I’m saying this…trash is a great way to advertise your business. Why do you think fast food and coffee places brand all their disposable cups, wrappers, etc?
Cause even trash is a functional ad. Please, don’t intentionally litter though! We have a big enough trash problem as is, and you can and will get a nasty fine if you get caught littering your brand everywhere.
As stated, Advertising is the key to draw interested people to your stream.
And when you form a streaming community and share your techniques with your streaming team, you all benefit. You just don’t want to stretch your viewers too thin, so keep the team a manageable size.
Advertising outside of social media will allow you to reach a local audience that may not have even heard of the term “Streamer”. I can tell you they exist, because my sister, parents, grand parents, and even some of my friends never heard of it until I told them. Your audience is out there, you need only get their attention, and tell them about yourself.