Using Platforms Appropriately
Content creation is not equal across all platforms and a creator must learn to respect each medium for what it is.
What works on a stream won’t necessarily work on a video;
what works on Twitter won’t necessarily work on Instagram.
Each platform caters to a specific audience, and you need to learn how to deliver what those unique audiences want.
This isn't to say that you can't link between the platforms, you certainly can and should but never make the mistake of thinking that one of the platforms is secondary to your chosen platform. Just because it is secondary to YOU, doesn’t mean its secondary as a platform. If you make this mistake you will have alienated the audience you are trying to cultivate on that platform and this can hurt you in the end.
Don’t look down on Tik-Tok video creators, some of them are experiencing viral growth, because that’s what the platform does for them.
The two most accepted platforms are Video Making and Streaming, however, you can also be a very effective and profitable Twitter user, Instagram Personality, anything. If there is a way to profit from content creation you can bet that people are making content on that platform.
With that said I'm only going to discuss using Streaming and Video Making, and mainly as Twitch and YouTube. I'm going to talk about using Twitter and Instagram as secondary promotional avenues, but I am not going to go in to what it takes to be a content creator for those in your own right, mainly because I don’t make content on those platforms, I only use them as to promote my Stream and my Twitch.
YouTube is the primary destination for Video Makers. It is possible to be on YouTube and only on YouTube, however, chances are you are going to want to use other Platforms to grow. Before we talk about those other platforms, there are some things about YouTube you want to know. In the video where I talk about not chasing subs I talk about focusing on your content, this means focusing on every step of your content from inception, through creation, to advertising and marketing.
One thing you cannot afford to do is ignore what few viewers you get early on. Those early viewers are the ones that will help you form your community.
If someone makes a comment, you answer it. If you don’t have time to answer comments, you don’t have time to build a channel. Until you are getting 500+ comments a day, you better find time to answer the ones you get. Not with just some copy and paste answer either, that’s disingenuous. Respond to everything. Thumbs up and heart good comments, even if they are negative or constructive criticism.
Even a negative comment about your content might be the feedback you really need. Read every comment, but don’t necessarily change due to one nasty comment. Keep pushing through. Sometimes those nasty comments are coming from your competitors who want to slow you down so they can catch up.
Now there is advice all over the internet about what the secret formula for a viral YouTube video is.
DO NOT CHASE THESE TRICKS
Remember what I told you at the beginning? If anyone knew the secret they would keep it to themselves, because everyone wants to have that success.
Focus on building and cultivating your audience one viewer at a time. Not one subscriber, one viewer.
One meaningful viewer.
As I said before, 70-75% of my views come from non-subscribers. Do not worry about getting people to click subscribe. It will happen. Sure, you can ask them to subscribe if you are trying to reach that 1,000 number so you can get monetized, but I promise you, if you put your effort into the product, the subscribers will come.
Streaming is an art form, and not everyone is a natural artist.
It doesn’t matter what platform you are on, the reason people tune into small streamers is basically the same. They want to watch YOU. Not the gameplay, you. The difference between good streamers and bad streamers is the engagement they do with the audience.
On a Stream you need to talk. Talk, talk, talk. Be entertaining. Genuinely entertaining.
Don’t try to force it, but don’t sit there doing nothing for hours on end either. Nobody is tuning in to watch you game, they are tuning in to watch you entertain. I don’t care if the Red Person icon reads 0 the entire time, keep talking. Keep talking until you get a viewer, and then keep talking anyway.
Obviously the best way to start off streaming is by having a few friends who are willing to dive in and occasionally make comments to you so that you have talking points.
Also, do your homework. Have a notepad next to you of 4-5 topics that you can go for 20 mins at a time for. That way if nobody is talking to you, you can just keep on talking to the camera.
Several Things I’ve learned since I got started
1: Do not call out lurkers. They haven't talked because they don’t want to. If they say something, great. If they don’t, let them be. They are supporting your channel. Thank the lurkers though. Tell them their silent support means a lot to you.
2: Chat is more important than anything else going on. If someone says something, say something back. Now, sometimes this is hard to do, you might be setting up a shot for photography, you might be playing an FPS/MOBA/BR game, you might be live reading something or having a conversation with someone, but as soon as what you are doing is done, go back and catch up on comments.
3: Gamers - do not be in discord when you are gaming. I know some games require it, but you really need to think about how you are going to present this. Again, the viewers are here for YOU not for the gameplay. They can go and watch YouTube videos for the gameplay, they want to interact with you, and if you are spending all your time talking to your team, the viewers are going to feel left out.
4: Don’t take troll bait. You will no doubt get trolled while streaming. Don’t take the bait. Just move on. Learn how to ban people, make sure you have some moderators who can help you ban people.
Stream to YouTube Content Transfer
So, you can absolutely exist as just a Streamer. You need to recognize there are some growth issues when you are just a streamer, the biggest being that it is a live platform. If people can’t catch you when you are live, they can’t see your content live and can’t engage with you. Some people will watch videos of your content, which is cool. Make sure you know how long your content is going to remain on your platform. For Twitch after 60 days even Affiliate videos are removed, that means the record of that day is gone.
So with that there are a couple of options which can help streamers grow. Make sure to download your video. After that, make sure to go through it and chop it up into a highlight reel. Did 5 amazing things happen during the stream? Make a highlight reel and put it up on YouTube. Don’t skimp on your production quality here, make sure it's outstanding. This is going to serve as an advertisement for your content, which will drive people to your Twitch the next time you are on.
You can also load the entire Stream to YouTube for the historical record. Some people advise against this, but several of mine have gotten hundreds, even thousands of views. So, you figure out what works best for you and your product.
No matter what platform you are creating content on, you will eventually want to create a Discord server for your users, especially if you run a gaming or some sort of life advice channel. Discord allows users to interact with you in real time.
Sure, you want them leaving comments on your YouTube videos, but they are often waiting for you to respond to them. When you start getting videos with 100+ comments, it does require a time investment to answer each one, and until you are getting thousands of comments a day you better be answering each and every comment you get because you are cultivating an audience.
Discord is great because not only does it get your audience talking to you in real time, it gets them talking to each other. If they are talking to each other about your content guess what they are highly likely to watch?
That’s right: Your Content.
What are they likely to share with their friends?
There are a bunch of tips and tricks for using a Discord to auto pull your Tweets, Streams, YouTube posts, etc. When you are first getting started only use the basic ones and dedicate your time to making better content. As your content gets better and you start growing your audience, start doing more and better things with your Discord.
There is a sub-Reddit for every topic on the planet, usually more than one. Here is the thing, you are going to be tempted to join every sub-reddit for your topic and then link bomb all of them whenever you make new content.
DO NOT DO THIS
Sure, it's going to get you views, but it's going to get you 00:10 retention viewers. These are not the sort of views you want. You want views that are going to be 50% retention viewers. You want views that are from viewers who are going to leave a comment. You want views from people, who dare I say it, are going to subscribe.
If you are reading this it is because you are new and you don’t even know what you don’t know. You’ve been looking for all this advice on how to get big quick. You won’t. Grow small and stable at first. Link bombing your new video everywhere is only going to result in a horrible retention rate and then YouTube won’t push your video out there. If it’s not out there you can’t get impressions and if you get no impressions you can’t get any click-through.
What you want to use Reddit for is being known in your community. Build that relationship, that reputation first. When the sub-reddit knows you you are more likely to get people wanting to go check out your most recent work. Not showing casing a video as a main topic on the reddit will cost you some views, but the quality of the views you get will be better.
So, I made a Twitter for all the wrong reasons. I was using my Twitter as a drive by bulletin board for just pushing my content. Let me ask you, have you gone to Twitter looking for a video on any subject?
I’ve found it is better to use Twitter to engage with people on a topic, and then let them find your content naturally. I also found it is better to create a short teaser video and upload that to Twitter instead of just uploading a link to a video. It is time
Finally Instagram. I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not going to bullshit you. There is an art to using Instagram to promote content, but I’m still struggling with it. When I get this figured out, I’ll be back here to update you.