Guest Post by: Kristen Heller
When someone mentions streamers like, imaqtpie, Shroud, or KittyPlays, you probably know who they’re talking about. Each of them are some of the most successful streamers on Twitch, loved and followed by many.
What propelled them to such heights and how did they get so many followers, subscribers, and active viewers? Well, it’s a long journey and it takes a lot of hard work, but the most important thing to know is that you can reach this goal as well.
The Importance of Branding Your Stream
One thing that everyone can agree on is that the moment you see anything related to a successful streamer, you instantly recognize it’s them. Branding, as it turns out, is not something reserved for marketing departments; it’s super important in streaming as well!
Not many streamers think about branding when they first start out. In order to really succeed and grow your channel, you need to be easily recognizable. There are no templates here: be unique, be yourself. Viewers should know it’s you the moment they see your emotes, colors, and mascots, or hear your quotes.
What are the Key Elements of Stream Branding?
In order to start building your brand, you must think about what you wish to achieve with your stream, how you want your viewers to perceive and identify you. This is what branding is all about.
When a viewer enters your channel, what is the first thing they see? The game of course, but what else is there to it?
- Are you streaming gameplay only, or are you actively commentating on gameplay?
- Are you interacting with your viewers, do you talk about your day?
- Do you have a camera set up, can your viewers see you? What about what’s behind you?
- What does your channel say about you?
All of this is covered by branding, and here are some guidelines on how to make it work.
1. Stream Channel Design
The design is the most recognizable feature of your stream. It includes all the graphic elements that you can manipulate and design to represent you and your stream, like the logo, color palette, overlays, images, and emotes.
Unless you’re a graphic artist, chances are you’ll need someone to help you with your streams designs. Thankfully there are plenty of options, ranging from free to paid, for you to get someone to create your graphics for you.
Websites like Streamplay Graphics, and REKOYL would fall under your paid options for graphics, and if you’re looking for something designed for free, then you can often find designers on Twitter looking to offer free services, so they can build up their portfolios.
When you’re ready to start creating your graphics, make sure to choose a color palette that you will use throughout all the elements, from logo to overlays, images and emotes.
The logo is the most important of these elements – this is how viewers identify your stream. Build a logo that represents you – it can be linked to your username, your persona, your mascot, whatever you think will represent you best.
2. Recurring Themes on Your Stream
These can be various traditions that you set up on your stream. They can be anything you want, like a unique quote that viewers associate with you, a unique name for your follower community, your mascots and more. Your viewers will associate them with you the moment they see them.
The background is also important, so pay close attention to what you put behind your webcam.
You can highlight various game merchandise, sponsor gear, fan made gifts, plush toys or mascots. A mascot can be anything. Many streamers go for plush toys, and later also turn into special icons for their community chat.
Some streamers, on the other hand, prefer to use a green screen so that only they can be seen on stream, so this is entirely up to personal preference.
3. Consistency and Quality of Your Stream
Consistency is very important for any stream, and it’s a broad subject too. You have to be consistent with your streaming schedules and games that you play.
Erratic streaming is hard to follow. Have a stream schedule: choose days and times that work best for you, and stick to them. Also, stream as much as you can! The more you stream, the higher your chances to get more followers and subscribers.
Streaming quality is important too: the highest quality might seem like a no brainer, but your users might have slower connection speeds, which will result in buffering and ultimately them leaving your stream. Make sure to choose a quality everyone can see.
In order to make the stream enjoyable to the widest possible audience, think hard on what you wish to promote with your stream. Build an environment with a good, positive community, and say no to toxicity when in your games and community.
4. Community Guidelines and Moderation
Foster a positive environment by establishing rules for your community in your about section. Clearly explain what is not allowed in chat. Do not stop with rules only, apply them to your behavior too. If you discourage profanities, do not use them when you have a bad game.
Make sure to moderate your chat, as sooner or later you might stumble upon trolls, spammers and viewers who will try to make you lose your cool with negative comments. You can assign moderators to help you with chat, as well as chat moderator bots that will make sure your chat is neat, tidy, and positive.
5. Cross Promotion and Networking are Essential
Cross promotion is super important, and helpful to make you recognizable and grow your stream. Your usernames across various platforms and media, as well as logos and colors should be as consistent as possible.
YouTube is great to feature awesome, funny, and epic gaming and stream moments. Twitter and Facebook come in handy to let your followers and subscribers know when you will be streaming.
You can post your scheduled times on Facebook, and also post a quick update on Twitter when you go live. Make sure to include links to all your accounts on each of these platforms.
Streaming is a great way to connect to the gaming community and broadcast your games, goals, and ideas to your followers. Branding your stream means that your followers will instantly recognize you based on your logos, overlays and colors, but also by what kind of environment you promote with your stream, be it high energy, engaging environment, or laid back streaming.
Streaming takes time and it’s hard work. At the end of the day, it’s about having fun and enjoying streams, so make sure to keep a positive attitude, as your viewers will enjoy your stream only if you enjoy it too!