If you're one of the many gamers out there who dreams of starting your own gaming channel and reaching a large audience, you're in luck!
In this article, we'll walk you through the process of getting battle-ready, gearing up, and heading into the content war.
In order to aid you in battle, we'll give you insider tips on growing your gaming channel with cutting-edge marketing strategies!
Whether you're starting from scratch or just looking to improve your current viewership, we've got you covered.
Let's get started!
Step one: Develop your gaming channel strategy
We know that you want to jump straight into the gear, buy the cool microphone, set up your gaming desk, and start gaming already.
That's the fun part, but before you start reading guides about the best keyboard or what specs your new microphone should have, you need a strategy for how to make your channel stand out.
The content creation game, especially gaming content, is ultra-competitive.
In fact, here is the actual battlefield that you'll be entering:
We know that looks daunting, but don’t worry! It's never too late to enter… if you have a solid content strategy.
Take Mtashed as an example. He started creating videos covering Genshin Impact 2 years ago.
At the time of writing this, he has 923k subscribers! It's never too late to start streaming, but you'll need to plan out a strategy beforehand.
Here is the absolute most vital part to nailing your battle plan:
Research, research, and research some more!
Your gaming channels' potential for growth and getting off the ground with a bang depends almost entirely on what game you choose to play.
Yes, ONE game only.
When it comes to gaming channels, people are more likely to subscribe if the content first and foremost covers a game that:
- They know they are interested in playing.
- They want to learn more about before deciding whether or not to buy.
- Or they are already playing and want tutorials and community.
Let's review Mtashed gaming channel again as he is a perfect example.
Previously he was making tons of content about Destiny 2 which he loved to play, but he never got many views and just couldn't take off when it came to growth.
Then he pivoted to an entirely different game.
A new game that had just come out and was massively popular overseas in Asia, but had yet to hit the US.
As soon as he launched his first few videos about Genshin Impact, the views EXPLODED and with them, his channel’s revenue as well.
From a marketing perspective: He found his niche. Specifically, he found a niche that was new, trendy, and emerging with lower competition.
The lesson? Choose the game you stream carefully.
We recommend spending some dedicated time researching new and emerging games, especially GACHA or MMORPG-style games that you could continue playing indefinitely, as there’s no technical “endgame.”
Once you have a solid subscriber base, you can diversify your gameplay to include other new games you’d like to try or classic favorites that are fun to play.
Step two: Level up your gamer gear
Next up is to create A+ quality content that blows the competition out of the water. Viewers usually consume and come back to a gaming channel if it:
- Covers a new game they want to play or are already playing
- Features engaging, interesting, and well-produced content
When it comes to gaming videos, low video and audio quality aren’t going to cut it. Not when it’s such a saturated genre with such stiff competition.
Viewers also appreciate gaming content that is well edited. Popular channels usually cut together their gaming footage with funny sounds, bloopers, funny voice over, music, memes, and more!
This is where a solid video editing software comes into play. Not a video editing pro already? Not a problem. You can still crank out quality content FAST without worrying about a steep learning curve or expensive software. We recommend using an online video editor, like Kapwing.
Kapwing is easy and intuitive to use but powerful enough to make complex, engaging content your audience will love.
As a gamer, you don't want to be stuck editing videos forever. You have better things to do – like play video games.
Now for the fun part – actually choosing your gear. Here is a non-exhaustive laundry list of what gear you'll need:
- A quality camera specifically suited for streaming
- High-quality headphones
- An external studio microphone
- A nice gaming setup/environment with cool lighting
- OR a simple green screen for the background
- Video editing software
- Screen capture software
Spend some time getting your gear and gaming environment on point. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time here using these items, so you really want to love them.
Step three: Start your gaming channel
Previously, we discussed just how many new streamers enter the content battlefield each month. That means it's you against millions.
It's important to set realistic expectations for channel activity and growth when you’re just starting out.
Be prepared for trial and error
You don't have to have all the answers as soon as you start your channel. Instead, be flexible while you figure out what works. In fact, "be flexible" is solid advice no matter how long your gamin channel has been around.
What both viewers and the algorithm find appealing changes pretty frequently. So being willing to try new strategies is important to maintain growth.
This is true for all aspects of your channel, from how your content looks to how you perform on camera to how well your thumbnails generate clicks.
And speaking of thumbnails...
Create a recognizable brand
Having a cohesive, recognizable look to your channel will make it stand out.
You'll want to make a unique gaming logo as well as carry elements of your branding over into your thumbnails and video editing. Doing so will help viewers recognize your brand when they see one of your videos show up in search. If they've already seen and liked other videos of yours, they'll be more likely to click this one.
You have mere seconds to grab their attention. They should be able to glance at your thumbnail and logo and know immediately that's your content.
When developing your brand, browse other popular channels and take inspiration from them. There's no need to reinvent the wheel, but never blatantly copy someone else's style. You want to stand out from the crowd, not blend in.
Take small, daily actions consistently
In his book, The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson talks about how taking small daily actions, consistently for a long period of time almost always guarantees you success. It's your slight edge.
And starting a YouTube gaming channel is pretty much the same as starting an online business. It will be gruelingly slow at the beginning. You might get barely any views at all in the beginning.
And this is where most people give up. But not you.
Keep at it! Growth is not linear, it's exponential — as long as you take action, daily, over a significant period of time.
Growing a successful gaming channel takes patience and dedication, but it’s worth it in the end!
Tips on effective growth strategies for your gaming channel
If you've made it this far, congratulations! The hard work is already done, but there are always some nifty growth hacks that we can employ to take your channel to the next level.
Use social media to your advantage
Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and even Facebook offer great opportunities to connect with new viewers and grow your audience. Be on as many as you possibly can and repurpose content from your main channel.
Post interesting content and interact with your followers. Once you've collected some data and feedback on where your best viewers like to hang out, double down on that platform.
Get creative with your marketing approach
Try unique tactics like giveaways or collaborations with other content creators to attract new viewers and grow your audience. Reaching out to other creators in your niche is an excellent way to kickstart your channel. It’s also nice to know other creators in the industry.
It might be hard to collaborate with someone who already has millions of subscribers, so start with a smaller brand and work your way up as you grow.
Use tools like YouTube Analytics
It's essential to track how well your videos are performing, especially when it comes to the two key metrics that determine success on YouTube:
- Watch time
- Click-through rate
By regularly analyzing your content, you get the chance to collect feedback and adjust. You can also ask for feedback from your viewers themselves. This is where having an active community on social media comes in handy, but you can also do this right in the comments section of your videos. Ask what kind of content your audience would like to see next. You’ll be giving them exactly what they want and you’ll have a folder full of video ideas to pull from.
Sounds like a win-win to us.
Be consistent with your content output
We already covered this in step three but it bears repeating. Stay consistent, take daily action, and keep uploading new videos on a regular basis. The algorithms will love you for it, and it will keep your audience engaged and wanting to come back for more!
And that’s it! Those are the three steps you need to get started growing your YouTube gaming channel.
Chris Starkhagen is an engineer turned synthesizer, combining tech expertise with content marketing. Chris writes and carefully curates the best tools for new technical trends, content creation, and marketing. Connect with him on Twitter.