So you started a stream and you’re looking for some momentum? Twitch giveaways are a great way to start.
Twitch is the most popular live-streaming website around today, bringing the 4th most traffic after Google, Apple, and Netflix. Although it is now owned by Amazon, it was created in 2011 as a spin-off of the general-interest streaming platform Justin.tv. This website sees about 45 million unique viewers per month, with the average user watching 1.5 hours of streaming per day. This website sees the creation of hundreds of new streams all the time. Game streaming is definitely in it’s peak right now, although it’s not too late to have a successful stream that can not only earn you popularity and viewers on the site; but may even earn you some extra cash on the side.
There are a few tactics to consider utilizing when you’re growing your audience on Twitch to begin with. The most common form of advertising for streaming comes in the form of social media. Posting when you go live on every platform gives a warning to your audience about getting online to watch. This is especially helpful once you’ve started gain some recurring viewers who are within your social sphere.
Another method often used is the giveaway. This is when a prize (like a game code or gift card) is given to one random viewer in the hopes of raising overall viewership and retention of people following your streams. This guide will cover the techniques you should employ in your Twitch giveaways for maximum effectiveness.
So why is this important?
New Followers, New Eyes, and New Reach
Although the concept of a giveaway might be clear, it could be possible to misunderstand the purpose of doing one for your Twitch stream. There are many benefits that can derive from holding a simple giveaway. The first benefit is the amount of viewers that will be drawn into checking out your stream. It’s important to remember that there are many people creating streams on a daily basis. The overall options for streams is saturated, so you have to be creative in standing out and creating a stream that’s all your own. Simply playing and waiting for the viewers to show up will not work. Drawing in new viewers initially is just as important as having a stream that’s different from others.
Giveaways also increase the chances of follower retention. Although you are baiting new followers in with the promise of reward, you can connect with them personally as they watch your stream. When a person feels like they are valued, they are more willing to participate. This newfound interest in your stream can snowball into more followers and shares to your stream onto social media platforms.
Do it Yourself
Running a giveaway on your stream requires the knowledge of what is and is not allowed on Twitch as defined by its Terms of Service. These requisites are easily followed and boil down to not charging a fee to enter the drawing and to follow all applicable local laws. Once there is a clear understanding of your giveaway and what needs to come of it, it’s time to decide what you’ll be giving to your stream viewers.
Common Giveaway Items:
- Game Codes for Steam or other platforms
- Gift Cards
- Redeemable subscriptions for Services
- Sponsored Products
- Merchandise (shirts, stickers, other small items, etc.)
These are the prizes that are most often given out on Twitch. The appeal of the prize will determine the amount of interest it generates in your stream. If you’re only giving away low-end game codes, it’s not going to attract as many viewers as a new game console or beta access. Although it’s absurd to jump right in with high-end giveaways, it’s important to keep in mind for the road ahead.
Once you’ve determined the item to giveaway, it’s time to choose the person who will be receiving the gift. This can be done in a number of ways and really depends on preference. The entire point of the contest is to choose a winner at random so it cannot be done by you personally. If the viewers were to ever find out it wouldn’t reflect so well on your stream. There are different bots that select your viewers at random which should do fine for most application.
“Drawing in new viewers initially is just as important as having a stream that’s different from others.”
The final point to mention is to display a banner outlining the terms of your giveaway. This should include the geographic area restrictions (if any), time-sensitive rules, and anything that might get a person disqualified (like spamming or entering more than once under different accounts.)
Marketing Methods for Increased Outreach
It goes without saying that if you’re running a stream, you should have social media presence online. This means having followers that interact with you and the content you post. This requires outside maintenance and has been covered in other guides. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat are all great social networks to start with. Building a follow base that you interact with on a regular basis will be more successful when posting links versus profiles that are largely empty when not posting links.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr all have similar tagging techniques, which organize your posts into a searchable form that people can look for at their will. These tags should be concise to the main subjects of each post while still being relevant to popular trends at a given time. Try to come up with a tag combination that is unique to you and your stream, this will increase it’s exposure when searched and give you greater control over your online presence.
Other guides have mentioned the importance of not only posting regular content during all times of day, interacting with new and current followers, and using bots to help grow the size of your reach online. These strategies will make you a social media master, dramatically increasing the traffic and content delivered to new eyes.
Giveaways on Social Media
Although it’s not as common as stream contests, you can hold giveaways on social media. These can vary in format depending on the website, but usually include the same type of parameters as with the Twitch contests. When posting one on social media, you’re likely to have to repost about the giveaway several times during the duration of the submission period. This is to keep new eyes on your giveaway and to keep interest high. If you don’t post periodically about your contest, with tags to distinguish it from other posts, it could call into obscurity only hours after posting. Especially on sites like Facebook which edit the average News Feed and could limit the amount of exposure and reach it has.
Other social media platforms like Instagram or Tumblr can approach giveaways a little differently. Tumblr will repost your contest to the top of the feed, with the original post intact. The best way to handle this format is requiring potential winners to follow and “reblog” your post as many times as they like; with each one giving them a chance to win. With each reblog, more people will be able to view your post on the giveaway. This could cause a snowball effect which could dramatically increase your reach on this site.
Instagram giveaways follow nearly the same format as Tumblr’s, requiring a repost and a follow for a chance to win. This seems to be the most effective approach for both of these social media platforms.
Tools to Ease the Strain of Giveaways
There are a feel tools that will benefit not only you, but the success of your giveaway, too. Holding a giveaway that fails or falls apart mid-stream can be embarrassing or detrimental to your overall image and impressions on potential viewers.
Moobot is a powerful tool for use with Twitch. This programs allows you to set-up a moderator that can removed disruptive messages, implement spam filters, run polls or even simplify the usual giveaway process. Moobot is definitely more immersive and feature-rich than the extension previously mentioned, but both are great tools for any streamer.
Gleam is an audience focused suite of apps that can be integrated with websites, social media, and even Twitch itself. This company provides four different processes that assign points to different tasks to increase their chances of winning. These tasks are selected by you and can range from signing up for websites, like / share / comment on content posted, share with friends, to many other tasks. These not only improve the reach of your contest, but allows for interaction with the contestants.
Promote your Giveaways for Effectiveness
Gifts will only get you so far, and if you’re not promoting what you are giving, prepare to give more to less people. Proper marketing is required to bring new eyes into your stream
Social media is the best tool for reach, especially when it comes to mass appeal. Giveaways should be wrapped in content that wants to be seen or is valuable to your followers. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr are all swarming with people who love video games AND free stuff. Social media has been covered extensively in other guides on this site.
Check those out for more information. (Social media guide link)
So what have we learned?
Twitch is one of the largest communities for gamers currently running online today. With people all around the world showing their skills and trying to earn a slice of attention from the millions of visitors every day; sometimes it takes a little bit of encouragement. Giveaways are a tactic used by streamers to attract new eyes to their stream and hopefully retain some of them. Seriously, who can argue with free?
Honestly, did you think free wouldn’t be appealing? Get to it!