Twads.GG has reviewed the broadcasts of several thousand streamers. Based on this experience, we decided to write basic instructions on how a beginning streamer should prepare his channel for active promotion and advertising.
We can also summarize as follows: many users received our rejection because their channels were completely unprepared for promotion.
When you have to promote stream and invest your money in promotion?
If you are serious about replacing your current job or other work activity with a streamer, then you must understand that it is like a classic business - it will take up all your free time. Consequently, the following conditions must be met:
1. Are you ready to stream daily for 5-8 hours a day at least 4-5 times a week.
2. In addition to streaming time you have to spend 2-3 hours for additional activities: analyzing your streams, preparing for broadcasting, improving content, creating content outside of Twitch (maintaining groups in social media, creating video content for YouTube, marketing activities, etc.).
3. You are ready to invest money and time in promoting the stream (you will need a budget for advertising, for paying the salaries of invited moderators, for a designer for the artwork of the channel and posts, for buying new games, etc.).
Of course, at the very first stage, you can save a lot of money on promotion at the expense of your personal time for posting, editing, etc.
The main stages of development of the stream channel
You have to take care of the equipment on which you plan to stream. Until the streaming picture is perfect, do not even think about investing in the advertising of the channel at all. Therefore, you will need a powerful PC, high-speed Internet, necessarily two monitors, a good not cheap webcam, a microphone and headphones.
Just in case it's worth mentioning that everything should be good in the webcam picture too - properly exposed light on the streamer, decoration of the room where you'll stream, so that your dirty socks aren't lying in the back, unmade bed, etc. For more information on how to set up a webcam and what to broadcast there, we've already written in this article.
And most importantly - if you think that you can start streaming even with a simple or minimal set of equipment, and can be collected with donations for a quality webcam and microphone, then we hasten to disappoint you: you can indeed stream, but you need to collect donations for a month, maybe a year, because only acquaintances and friends will watch you, while other users will choose to another stream channel with HQ pictures and content to pass the evening.
Remember! For some people, streaming is a business, their only source of income. Such people will take all aspects of streaming extremely seriously, with a business approach. If you act like a lamer, doing a shoddy job, you're not going to succeed. You’ll have to play with your competitors and raise the bar even higher.
Broadcast settings and channel design
Besides the fact that you need to set all broadcast settings and parameters correctly (bitrate, frame rate, etc.) in order to provide the HQ picture on the stream, you can also improve your stream with additional overlays and widgets on the screen. These include cool webcam borders to match the overall atmosphere of the stream, the name of the channel or the streamer's nickname in a prominent place, the nicknames of new subscribers and donators, the donation scale, etc.
You also have to configure some information chatbots to welcome new viewers, subscribers, and other important announcements. A little review of chatbots read in our past article. Make the best possible description of your channel, including an avatar and a big banner in the website header in the top section of the stream page.
The description should include all the important information - about the streamer, all possible contacts, communities in social media, link to donation system, broadcast schedule, etc. It is important to be creative in design, you can hire a designer for this purpose or do it yourself if you have such skills (the ability to draw in Paint is not considered). Include your personal information, system parameters of your PC, FAQ, and rules. Do not limit yourself to only links to pictures. Write a text. People read the text, images are much less clickable. If you want to convey important information to the viewer, first of all, it is the text in the channel description, not the link on the picture.
Before start, your stream, invent a cool headline (it can be clickbait, but don't overdo it), and fill out the tags on Twitch, so you can get more clicks to the stream.
Popular streamers become famous because their broadcasts are interesting to watch for a large number of people. Viewers may have different reasons, but it is they who make the viewer constantly come back to the stream. Some people are trying to learn how to play as cool as a streamer, some people like communication with the streamer's subscribers and moderators, and also the streamer himself, and some people like the manner of communication and the streamer charisma and etc. You need to decide on the content and its pitch, including choosing 1-3 games that you plan to stream regularly.
If it is difficult to improvise or come up with some topics of the stream on the fly, the first time you can write an example version (script) of the stream, throw in the news you want to discuss, or limit the topic in which you want to communicate. To decide on the format of content, you will be assisted by a corresponding article in our blog.
The first 2-4 weeks of the stream
It is important, even at the first stage, to accustom yourself to streaming every day, to observe the necessary frequency of streams. This will strengthen your will and get you into the habit of streaming every night. Also, you can quickly correct all your errors in content and image quality. MUST keep all of your broadcasts on video for later review.
The most common mistakes of beginner streamers:
1. Incorrect video settings. You need to optimize the bitrate of your stream to be of the HQ, but at the same time not to lag due to technical limitations of the hardware and the speed of the Internet. Watch not only for technical indicators but also observe your stream on a separate monitor. Often your indicators fps, drops, etc. will be stable, although the audience will complain about the lags or freezes. Don`t rely just only on indicators, it is necessary to watch the live stream and catch all the problems with the picture.
2. Incorrectly mixed sound. On a stream, several sound sources usually overlap which need to be properly mixing by selecting priorities in volume. Adjust all sources so that your voice is heard first. But don't forget that it's also important for viewers to clearly hear the sounds of the game you're streaming, especially if you're playing a story game with dialogue. Also, if you have music playing on the stream, and viewers can use the donate to set their own tracks, then they should also be well heard. And if you're on the stream playing with partners and talking to them, the audience should also hear them well, so as not to lose the conversation line of thought. In the end, all these sources have to be mixed correctly. Often beginners have many difficulties in this aspect.
3. Wrong widgets position on the screen. Do not abuse a large number of widgets on the screen (webcam, donation scale, list of donators, name of the playing track, name/logo of the channel, etc.). Position them correctly on the screen so that they do not overlap important interface elements in the game. Viewers will probably also want to see a mini-map or character ability bar to understand your tactics in the game and not lose the threads of the gameplay. Don’t cover up them with widgets.
4. No webcam and dead air. Many beginners think, why do I need a webcam, why stare at me, because everybody wants to see games. According to our data, the involvement of the viewer in the stream increases up to 85% when there is a webcam and a TALKING streamer. Because another common mistake on the stream is that a streamer with a microphone and a webcam just sits silently and plays, and thinks that someone will come to see it... In 2021, this kind of stream is not interesting to anyone. No one at all. Not even your friends probably. No need to pay attention to the fact that you'll have 0-3 viewers on the counter at first, and no one will write in the chat. Just comment on your actions in the game, or play with friends, so there was some communication on the stream.
5. A pointless chat restriction for followers only. As long as you're a beginner, never activate this setting. Some streamers mistakenly believe that setting the chat to "follower-only" mode will provoke sociable viewers to subscribe. No, it won't, and you'll be sitting with an empty chat for a very long time. Also, maybe you're afraid that you will have on your stream some haters or spammers to write in the chat, it's easier to block these users than to limit the ability of other adequate people to communicate. In general, this setting is needed just for popular streamers, to slow down a little chat and let the permanent community have a conversation, and also make life a little easier for moderators, because most spambots are not programmed to subscribe, therefore there is less spam for popular channels.
6. Ignoring Chat. Many beginner streamers pay attention to the chat very rarely or do not display it in front of them at all. Often have to see a streamer track a chat on a phone that’s in an uncomfortable place or just lying on a desk. Eventually, to read the chat, he has to turn away from the camera or look down. Firstly, it's inconvenient for the streamer himself and as a result, he begins to check messages in the chat less often than he should, and secondly, it looks very silly and unprofessional on the webcam screen. It is important that the chat window is right at your eye level with a minimum distance from the main monitor.
7. Wrong timing for the stream. For beginners, there is one sound advice – to stream at a time while the top streamers (in terms of the number of viewers) are not yet online, and they usually take the afternoon and evening. This way there is less competition from the popular channels, and it's easier to rank high in the category.
Preparing the stream for promotion
If you did not make the mistakes written above, then after a month, you should already have more than 30 followers, more than 3 regular viewers each stream, and more than 1000 views on the channel. Let's tell you what else you need to do to go to actively attracting traffic to your stream.
Search for first viewers among acquaintances and in social media
The first followers and viewers on your channel are your friends, relatives, and acquaintances. You can also find like-minded people in social media and gaming communities. Assign the most trusted contacts as moderators, and task them with moderating the discussions in the chat between themselves and with the streamer. Potential chat moderators can also be found among like-minded people in gaming communities.
For example, you can write messages like this:
"Hello! A team of developing streamer requires moderators. Good content, regular giveaways among subscribers. Become the one who will keep order in our chat room!".
Also, don’t forget to talk briefly about the games you stream and what results in you achieved in them (if it is a esports discipline or multiplayer). Create a group in social media, where you will also post clips from the streams and something thematic, notify about the schedule and start of broadcasts. Send invitations to all your friends, asking them to support you and join the group just for the crowd.
A few more words about promotion and advertising options
There are methods that violate Twitch's rules and those that don`t. This does not mean that Twitch will necessarily ban you if you use prohibited methods, but it is more likely to deny you partner status in the future.
All prohibited promotion methods on Twitch are listed in the Twitch guidelines. These are spam, tampering (such as artificially inflating follow or live viewer stats) and etc.
But legal advertising methods such as targeted ads on social media, video ads in pre-rolls and content-rolls on third-party websites are not prohibited. Directly advertising inside Twitch.
How to distinguish an advertising company (agency) or advertising network from a bot cheaters
If you find a company/website/service that offers to "promote" your Twitch channel, you need to make sure that their technology does not violate Twitch rules. What's the easiest way to tell the difference between bot cheaters and legitimate advertising methods?
There is one way. Tariffs of botmasters in 99% of cases are offered with a time limit because the main expense part of such services is proxy payment, which can be per minute, hourly, or daily. So if they limit your tariff in time, it’s most likely that it’s a bot cheaters.
So, if you've noticed at least a couple of mistakes or defects in your stream, fix them as soon as possible.