In the emails I get or in the conversations that I have with streamers I often see the following combination of words: My channel is an extension of me and I want my audience to be apart of what I love. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. It’s actually a pretty accurate statement of how you build a tribe. They often go on a bit more than that line or they use different words. Still when it comes to describing their target audience all of that go out of the window for some reason.
Instead I hear/see: Gamers between this age and that age. What does that even mean? Who are they? The truth is that you might as we’ll say that your target audience is everyone… because that’s pretty much the target audience of Twitch — I say pretty much and I’ll get into the exceptions later and why they’re important.
What’s the next step?
So most people are spot on with why they’re on Twitch but the confusion starts who and where to find the right people for their channel. The result is often empty channels or channels with 1-2 viewers. Now at time it is a matter of no attention but sometimes it’s a matter of YOU. Yes YOU, you have to take responsibility for your channel. You might think you’re doing things right but if things aren’t working for you then you’re doing something wrong. But you did everything that other streamers have done? Well then you’re not those other streamers. Remember the earlier paragraph when the channel was an extension of you? What part of that is following what another streamer have done is you?
Let’s get to the gamer thing. What really is a gamer? I thought we had gone past that. Seeing how a gamer is more than the games that the person plays. Remember that initial statement that you channel is a reflection of you? While that dosen’t mean that it’s all the 1000 things that you love it still means it can be more than the game that you play. After all the game might be the attention but the value is what you provide with your channel. Sure you can provide deep insight into gaming and really go deep on the gaming aspect but then that’s it. That’s your angle, and, that is your value proposition.
Your oddities and specialties
You are you so don’t be afraid to show some of that. Only at that point will be people that like the same things as you do start to identify themselves with your channel. When you channel speaks that same language, and not only the mood, but it also exudes it throughout it’s entirety. I know what you might want to “type casted” or “put in a box” but you need to realize that it’s going to happen no matter if or if not you want it to happen. That’s how human remembers and that’s also how people recommend you.
If they can’t have a proper read on you then all they might say when telling someone else about you would be “yeah that streamer is nice”. What does that tell the other person about you? Almost nothing. What if instead the recommendation to their friend went “this person does this thing that I think you would think is awesome”. You can be sure that the person that recommended it will know that the other person probably will like it (they want to provide value to their life) and you have a much higher chance for a new regular. These are the fundamentals of word of mouth marketing. Not a retweet or a shoutout. But instead actual people talking to other people and that only happens when/if they can formulate your channel into words.
Speak your story
That wording will come from your content, your brand and from who you are. In other words; the oddities and specialities that makes up your and your channel. Twitch (as a company) knows this and that’s one of the reason why they have projects like IRL or Communities. Both are attempts (of various success at the moment) to show that gamers are more than gamers. They’ve been explicit about it in the blog posts for the announcements. There’s of course those that still think that it’s only a way for them to allow non-gamers or to “grab more money”. They’ll however be the ones that are going to miss out on some of the benefits that do come with those new features. People tend to have this idea that what they do need to have X-amount of something on first try to be successful. That goes for both big and small streamers. I’ve heard plenty of complaints from some of the top streamers but I keep telling them that they might be using the tools wrong and not really understanding the context yet.
You need to figure out the context
And to be honest I’m not sure about the context of Pules, Communities, Collections or IRL but that dosen’t mean that there’s none. The context might be widely different from your regular content on Twitch or any other social media channel. I do, at the moment, don’t feel as if enough people are pushing to figure out the context of these features and are only trying what they think already works… when in reality there’s no precedence for these new features in the context that they’re currently in.
That’s the week! Streaming is fun and I don’t feel like I need to do it more than two times a week (makes it more special ;)). I hope you enjoyed this article and it’s more of an opinion piece or motivational one. I always like these since they’re more me speaking my mind and I like speaking my mind.
If you’re interested in learning more about what I do for both big and small streamers when it comes to Twitch branding? Then head over to my Twitch branding services and check it out.