Tips and tricks to differentiate yourself from the other 7 millions streamers on Twitch.
When it comes to differentiating ourselves from others, people always say: Be you, be unique. It’s like the laziest advice ever, because “Duh, I have been me and the only me ever since birth, yet nobody cares!”. Here at Gimbl, we believe in the power of continuous efforts and a good mix of tactics, rather than some innate gifts. Digging streamers’ discussion on Reddit and the likes, we’ve picked up a few interesting tips that you may find useful:
Peacock a little to get noticed
Believe it or not, people do judge a book by its cover. When someone hops in your stream, you have less than 30 seconds to impress them. How would you do that though, besides some basic greetings? It’s the look that would do the job, bro. However, we didn’t mean you have to get all the expensive streaming equipment, but rather a consistent theme that people can tell at a glance.
FuturemanGaming makes a perfect example here. This streamer actually came up with a whole story for his channel: Futureman travels back in time in a mission to save humanity from video games that have transformed into deadly killing machines. His stream setup is a crudely assembled CGI spaceship, yet it is by no means inferior for the audience. Futureman also incorporated other elements that enhance his sci-fi brand like: futuristic suit, badass visor, neon colors, etc. On top of that, Futureman takes his narrative to the next level by playing several characters on stream (with the help of a voice changer) who all portray their own personality. It’s not exaggerated to say Futureman is a real storyteller: he has a well-thought-out backstory and character development.
Futureman knows how to capture people’s attention and always have something fresh to keep viewers coming back. On his channel, this guy also created a special activity called DJs in Space, which is an insane dance party with a guest DJ. He managed to create some wild blaze visuals to replicate live while the DJ plays the music. The fact that this guy is not only a gamer but an entertainer means he has become an inspiration for other streamers to come to take a look every once in a while to see what more he’s doing to improve their own channel.
Leverage social media
It took Futureman more than just a swag idea to get noticed. Before launching his channel, he posted a mysterious message to Twitch subreddit announcing his humanity-saving mission. The post was linked to a one-minute teaser on Youtube, which was roughly self-produced but was not without its charm.
Smart, right? But all these efforts didn’t bring him instant success – the follower base was standing modestly at 2000 with a recurring viewership of about 30. It was not until a Twitch staff member came across one of his streams that his viewership ballooned to 2000 and beyond.
In an interview with Plox, Futureman revealed that it took him months to research the streaming technology, brainstorm ideas, and pick up some basic Photoshop to finally arrive at the sci-fi theme. He thought it through like a Marketing person: how to come up with a unique selling point, how to make his branding consistent, how to build up excitement before the launch, and how to organize different social media channels like an orchestra to maximize his reach.
Be you, of course!
It may sound cheesy, but yes, you are unique in your own way. And this does not necessarily come from your wacky personality, but rather from all the cumulative experience: the people you encountered, the place you’ve been through, the job you did, the place where you live, etc. All that knowledge is yours and cannot be duplicated. Also, our personality is capable of a wide spectrum of attitudes. Therefore, the trick here is to be yourself but magnify the part of you that you want to present.
If you are the kind of person who loves trolling in real life, we have an example for you. Knightenator is a British streamer with 51k followers on Twitch who has mastered the skill of converting trollers into regulars. Very often, people would come in and troll her about her tooth gap: “OMG, you got the London look.” While many streamers would get offended and ban these people right away, Knightenator would “sass them right back, sit them down and make content out of them.” She sees it as an opportunity to show people her quirky personality and brings some entertainment to the audience. “Oh yes, would you like it in an emote form?” – she talked back (and she actually has an emote for her tooth gap). It turns out that people like it when she makes comedy out of such situations because now they can see her as a person, and they know this girl has a sense of humor.
So think about what people like you in real life, do what makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, and bring it on the streaming sphere. You may need to multiply it several times until you find a spot where people like it. Hype things up, be more entertaining than you actually are. It doesn’t mean you’re faking who you are. It’s just exaggerating for the sake of entertainment.
It’s also important to not care too much about people’s expectations. Some people will like you, some will probably not. Don’t try to please everyone, otherwise you’d become a very generic, bland person. In fact, the most successful vloggers are those who have a strong opinion on things and don’t give a **** about what haters are going say. And once someone decides to stick around, they are gonna be your loyal fans.
Adapting instead of inventing
Let’s get realistic. While invention is truly amazing, with 7.5 million content creators out there, a lot of things have been done. Your idea doesn’t have to be 100% original to be awesome. Do research on what successful streamers are doing, pick the cool stuff, and combine them to create your uniqueness. One streamer opens dare to the audience when certain thresholds are met; one streams with her dog and allows the audience to convert their channel points into dog treats; one runs a horror stream integrating all kinds of fun stuff: cosplaying horror icons, turning the background into a haunted house with green screen, using a bot to trigger spooky sound.
Show off your skills
Last but not least, if you have some excellent skills at the game you’re playing, advertise it, and give people the chance to test you out. Let your audience be part of the fun. Bring that real-world gamer experience to the stream. There’s nothing more exciting, inclusive, and honest than that. There are various free tools to add this layer of audience engagement to your broadcast, but Gimbl stands out for its simplicity and monetization capability.
In a nutshell, here are some key takeaways for you:
- Come up with a story and make the theme consistent across your channel, from how you look/speak to background setting & panel design. Diversify activities on the channel to keep the audience coming back.
- Leverage social media to market your channel. Think of it as a marketing campaign with different phases.
- Be you, but polish that up.
- Combine and adapt things. It’s easier than innovating from scratch.
- Show off your skills and differentiate yourself by your talent.
Finally, be patient. Success may come in a roundabout way. If you’re having a limited number of viewers now, it’s okay. Take it as an opportunity to try out ideas, learn new skills, and perfect yourself. Oh, if you struggle with social anxiety, it may help to take a few shots before going live to help with anxiety 😉 May the force be with you!