Stream Dream: Engage the Audience

It is Day 1. Your computer is on, games are loaded, stream is locked in and you go live. You excitedly greet your audience of… no one.

If you have spent any time watching the plethora of streamers out there you will notice a very difficult challenge: if you don’t have anyone to talk to, and there is nothing to engage or interact with, it makes for very uninteresting material. The best and the most viewed streamers unleash a non-stop wave of comments, reactions and banter to those they play with and those who are watching them. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s actually something new streamers tend to overlook. Giving your audience something they can authentically relate to is one of the most difficult challenges new streamers face.

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Of course, you don’t have any viewers yet. Compared to an active stream, this eliminates a resource you would have at your fingertips and because you have little to no one to talk to, you’re left with a need to be filled. There are a few ways to get around this. However, the simplest method is to ask your friends to either actively play with you while you stream or watch your stream and be active in chat. If you can somehow manage for them to do both, that’s even better. 

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Having someone who you regularly talk to and play games with be on the stream with you goes a long way towards giving your stream a legitimate and official feel. They provide you with someone to constantly engage with which, in turn, gives your new viewers something to really follow and watch. Talking to someone you know helps you to relax and being natural on stream gives you a more genuine and authentic tone.

Getting a few friends to dive into your chat and actively view will also work internally at Twitch. When you are actively streaming you are placed in a list for whichever game you are playing based on how many viewers you have. Having 3-5 viewers puts you well above the vast majority of new streams out there that haven’t taken the time to gather a small audience of personal friends, by pushing your stream up a great deal of pages on the list of active streams.  People don’t like watching something no one is interested in.

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These things are great for getting your career off the ground. Later in life however partners and sponsors could be eyeing your stream. They will be looking for positive, engaging streamers who would represent them well to their community. Even if your numbers are low, a well produced, highly engaging stream will catch their eye much faster than a shoddy production. Conduct yourself well, as they may very well be watching you one day.

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Next Month we’ll take a look at marketing yourself to get your content in front of your future viewers.

Ryan “Fletch” Gero

Follow me on Twitter and Twitch

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