This is a topic that me and moblord talked about after our podcast. It’s also a topic that I’ve been planning to cover eventually so why not now. On top of that it’s a topic that I haven’t really been seen covered before, probably because it’s a bit difficult to cover with limited information. This isn’t about getting the word to your follower but getting them, or others, spread the word of your channel by having content that’s shareable for you Twitch channel.
Content that’s shareable for you Twitch channel
First of all in general Twitch content is pretty hard to spread. The main reason is because Twitch happens at that moment and it’s all live (there are exceptions and we’ll get to those). Spreading something with limited life is pretty hard, if it’s a 8 hour stream the shareable moments are during those 8 hours and if it’s something that spreads during that moment it’s gone after it’s done. For instance a great gameplay moment happens and then it’s gone a few seconds later, sure someone can tell a friend but the friend can’t see it so it’s kind of useless to spread since there’s no value for anyone but you and the ones that watched it at that moment. We need to look beyond that to have content that’s shareable for you Twitch channel
Instead of being about spreading the content on Twitch it’s about spreading the content but spreading the personality of the streamer or a longer event. When it comes down to it it’s the “This streamer does X”, or different versions, that is what you’ve probably used when describing a streamer and not referred to a specific stream (exception are unique events).
The other side are of course Past Broadcasts and Highlights, however these tend to get a lot less spread then a YouTube clip. I used to wonder why this never really worked to really spread content. But it’s become more and more clear, for awhile now, that it’s about the community around it. It’s been solidified with the Bob Ross stream. A stream that is all a re-run, and still it’s bringing in thousands of concurrent viewers. Remember that I talked about exceptions about content spreading? This is one of them. When the content is constant of a set period of time it spreads, or rather it has the life and ability to be spread. That’s also why 24 hour streams have been used this way in great effect (with a big emphasis on have been). It gives it time to spread. However that is about to change and actually have already changed. A “normal” 24 hour stream isn’t interesting anymore for the sole reason that it’s not unique, it’s unique to your following but has a limited reach beyond that. There’s really nothing there to be spread it’s just another 24 hour stream for everyone else.
So what makes the Bob Ross a success? It’s a specific (popular) person, doing a very specific thing over a set amount of time. Is it possible to emulate? It is. Two things however, you might not be popular and (as mentioned) a 24 hour stream isn’t enough anymore. What will set you apart and allow it to spread is the concept of the stream. As mentioned someone doing a 24 hour stream in itself isn’t interesting to that many people outside of your circle but doing a 24 hour stream with X or during X or because of X is still something that generates a share. It’s interesting but we need to dig deeper for content that’s shareable for you Twitch channel.
What can be shared?
So what can you do stand out? Let’s start with something very simple: Visuals. For instance a text tweet, while informative, is lost in the masses of steady flowing feed. We’re very visual people and a image or a video will catch more eyes then text. Video is one of the tools that are very underused on Twitter at the moment, and I don’t mean linking to a YouTube clip or to a Instagram image. That would only mean one more step for the user to click on, not something we want happen, and not something that will be shared since it has less value. Instead the native tools on Twitter are what’s being underused. People tend to link to their Instagram photos or videos on YouTube, but fail to realize that those will not show up as a player/image on Twitter.
Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the statistics instead. As many as 80-90% of Tweets with the hashtag #Twitch or Twitch in the tweet all have images uploaded through Twitter (not linked via Instagram). Are these super solid metrics? Of course not they only measure Tweets with Twitch in the tweet and not a general look at what get’s most shares from different streamers. However it would not surprise me if it’s the same there. Using images and videos beat out giveaway and 24 hour stream by a long shot in the limited test.
Is that all? Of course not there are a million of different things that can spread. Even things we can’t even track spreads. However if you’re going to use a social media you need to look at what that platform does compared to others. You can’t really push the same content on all of the social media platforms, it will only end up being unpersonal and out of the loop. If a strategy don’t work then stop doing it and try a different approach, the keyword here is to experiment with your content until you find a way that works for you. A key thing, as with you stream, is consistency and being able to curate what you share the same way you curate your stream. I’m going to write a better overview the different platforms and a few simple examples that you can do at a later date.
I know it’s hard to see and the main problem is that Twitch don’t show where viewers come from to your channel. That might sound like a small thing but knowing that data would let you see where to focus and where not to focus your efforts. That also depends on what you want to do, how much time you have and what platform you’re comfortable with. What can you do? This might sound a bit out of the left but a survey, ask your community to do a survey. The ability to see age group, where they heard about your stream etc. can be very vital information not only for you but for your viewers as well. This isn’t a must and you know your stream better then me and if you create a survey be careful with the questions.
There’s so much choice for millennials. Millennials have a choice to what content they want to consume […] you need to create content that will engage them in some way […] it have to be able to connect with them.
– John Tass-Parker (Instagram)
The content we share
Why do we share certain things of value? It’s simple, it’s easy to share because it don’t feel like advertisement. It’s fun, light and since the person that received it got a laugh or educated from it, are then more willing to share in hopes that it will help/entertain someone else. Sharing an “ad” that only really happens when someone is super dedicated to you and have lesser spread beyond that since it’s not a give. A ad is a take, and it takes away peoples time and people don’t want to waste time.
I’ve also talked with a few news sites that share a lot of Twitch content and they gladly publish things that isn’t related to big streamers. However that content have to be something unique (not a 24 hour stream) and is of value to their readers. Are you starting to see a trend yet?
In review things that get’s shared are things that touches people, be it entertaining, education or feelings. The ones that share want to extend that VALUE (yes I’m talking about value again) to their friends, so when you give valuable content on Twitter for instance others want to and can use that as value to spread it further.
You can/should do the same when sharing others content.
Sharing others content
It might sounds really simple and all that you need to do is paste a link on Twitter or Facebook and click share, right? While true that’s how you can do it’s probably not what you should do. While the content you link should be related to you it should also have your spin, opinion or thoughts on it as well. A link don’t mean that much to your followers unless it starts a conversation around it and around your opinion. After all your followers are following you since they want to hear more from you and about you, not just a link. If you want you can still post just links but they will have a bigger impact if you put you spin on them.
A better Twitch VOD system is coming
With the coming upgraded VOD system and being able to upload videos will hopefully open a lot of doors. It wouldn’t surprise me if we start seeing streamers getting fame through uploaded videos rather then a good stream. Strange? Maybe, but it has a lot of potential to different marketing strategies and planned marketing. Meanwhile not having to split it between YouTube and Twitch.
With that said I wouldn’t be surprised if streamers leave YouTube behind. Not because it’s a better system but because of the ability to collect everything about your brand under one roof. I don’t think that a website, where you have full control, will go away but for someone that can’t create/afford a website it might be a good option.
There’s a lot of variables there and since we don’t know enough yet. It’s something that I want to get back to eventually when I’ve tested it out.
Alright that’s it for this week! Sadly I haven’t found a guest for next weeks podcast, you want to be on let me know. I gladly talk to anyone, streamers, non-streamers, big or small as long as I can see the potential of a good interview and good content that can be shared.
Tomorrow I’m gone in the morning and talking with King (Candy Crush). Not in any official way but during a meet-up and while listening about their approach to work participles in the game and comic industry. As well as innovation inside of those two industries. Let me know if you have any questions for them and I’ll ask them during the Q&A.