Tips for Attracting and Retaining a Bigger Viewership on Twitch

Getting viewers (or should we say just one viewer) on Twitch is one of the hardest things to do as a new streamer. You realize this is a different animal compared to YouTube Gaming and Facebook after broadcasting to an empty room for a week, a month, or even a year. This is despite the fact that Twitch averages over 2 million concurrent viewers at any given time. So, where do all these viewers go?

Biased discoverability algorithms

The biggest problem with Twitch at the moment is low discoverability for smaller channels. Although it has a few inbuilt tools that should help grow your fan base, it’s evident that Twitch focuses mainly on successful streamers. That’s why prominent channels keep on growing in viewership and revenue, while the smaller ones lag far and far behind.

All in all, Twitch remains a paradise for video game streamers. It might not seem like so at the moment. But the truth is that even the most successful streamers who are already in Twitch affiliate and partnership levels started with zero viewers before working their way up.

Practical Tips on How to Get More Followers on Twitch

Design an outstanding Twitch overlay

Your channel’s overlay- that is, the screen that your viewers see and interact with- is the most critical branding tool. Besides providing information about the current gameplay, the overlay also represents your brand persona.

Your Twitch overlay is what your viewers use to gauge your level of professionalism. It also determines your new viewers’ next step- whether to stay and start engaging or hunt for other streamers. Viewers are seeking creativity; thus, your channel needs to stand out right from the design of your outlay.

There are no hard and fast rules when designing your Twitch overlay. However, there are a few essential pointers that might help create a stand-out outlay;

  • Get inspiration from your favorite streamers and come up with something original and unique.
  • Keep it minimalist, so your viewers concentrate more on the gameplay.
  • Ensure every element serves a purpose

What elements should you include in your Twitch overlay?

Again, there are no must-haves here. Here are a few good-to-have items for your outlay;

  • Your webcam
  • Webcam border
  • Logo preferably alongside the border
  • List of latest events, for instance, subscribers, donations, raids, and followers, etc.
  • Pop-up alerts

Choose your games strategically

The major mistake that most new players make is going for the most popular games on Twitch. Mainstream games, such as League of Legend and Counter-Strike, attract bigger audiences and greater viewer engagement. Unfortunately, you’ll find yourself buried under 1000 other streamers making it almost impossible to break through the clutter.

Our advice is to use a tool, such as Twitch Strike, to identify games that are in the middle of the road. Provided you have an outstanding layout, it will be much easier to get noticed in a game with at least 1000 viewers and around 20 streamers than another one with millions of viewers and thousands of streamers.  

Importantly, you must choose a game that you enjoy playing. If you’re having fun, your viewers will have fun, too and will stick and engage. They will also tell if you’re faking it.

Establish a schedule

As a streamer, choosing a game that your viewers love watching is one thing. Consistency is another. If you are serious about having loyal followers, then your stream time needs to be consistent. Streaming at a given time every day creates a pattern that helps your viewers know when they can find you. This is where the need for a stream schedule comes in.

A stream schedule or stream time shows when you go live and for how long. Establishing such a schedule boils down to your personal life and daily obligations, such as your daily job, school, and family time.

Ideally, you want to stream for at least 4 hours. So, it’s important that you identify a time block that you’ll be able to commit to.

Another crucial factor when setting up a schedule is your viewers’ availability and competition from other streamers. Avoid streaming during peak times (between 6 PM and 8 PM on weekdays and 4 PM to 11 PM on weekends). You’ll be competing directly with big name streamers. Instead, consider when there is a decent number of viewers and fewer competing channels.

There isn’t a clear cut answer on the best time to stream on Twitch. However, you’re more likely to get more viewers and fewer competing channels as from 4 PM.

Connect and network with other streamers

Success in any streaming platform is all about connecting and working with others. This is, especially true on Twitch where discoverability is a real issue.

So, what exactly is networking? Networking means connecting with like-minded people for mutual benefits. This means that the connection needs to have benefits for both parties.

Unlike in the business world where networking involves letting others know that you do this or that, networking as a streamer is all about trying to add value to another streamer’s community. This means not mentioning that you’re a streamer looking to grow your channel right off the bat. Instead, use your skills and talent to build other streamers’ channels and their community and you’ll be noticed eventually.

When done correctly, networking not only wins you a follower from the streamer; you also get support from them in form of shout-outs among their communities and viewers.

Where do you get networking contacts?

Most streamers rely on Twitch, Discord, and social media. Before creating your own Discord account, consider being useful to others first. On this note, we recommend going for channels that are dedicated to personal promotion and being active there. Most Twitch streamers have links to their social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) displayed in Twitch. You can use these links to identify their online presence and contact them.

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