Live streaming on Twitch had a big year in 2020. When lockdowns shuttered clubs and venues across the globe, online platforms like Twitch gave musicians a place to call home.
Artists flocked to the platform to engage with fans in a unique way and promote their work to new ears. Twitch, which was once synonymous with video game streaming, has developed a bustling online music community.
It’s not just independent artists, too; big names like Logic are jumping on the Twitch train.
But, how can you use Twitch to promote your music?
Why Use Twitch to Promote Your Music?
With all the names in social media, you may be wondering if you should even bother with live streaming on Twitch.
You’ve already got the ability to live stream on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and even Facebook. So, is it worth the time and effort to engage through a new channel like this?
Here is where Twitch's unique characteristics come in.
See, it’s not just about the live feed. Like we said before, you can stream on almost every major platform already.
With Twitch, it’s all about the community.
The platform centers around the two main aspects of live streaming:
- Immediacy - Putting you in front of your fans in real-time
- Community - Building an engaged and loyal fanbase.
Since it is solely a live streaming platform, stream feeds don’t get bogged down by other content. It gets in front of users who want to see the content and engage with the streamer.
Being smart, nurturing, and interacting with your viewers will build a strong and loyal fanbase.
Additionally, music is seen as a second category on Twitch.
With video game streaming still dominating the platform, there is ample room for musicians to make a mark. But that could soon end with music becoming the fastest-growing category in 2020.
So now is the time to build a presence on the platform.
Can You Make Money Using Twitch?
While things like brand sponsorship and merchandise might come to mind, Twitch’s real beauty is the viewer donations.
The platform’s take on monetization allows viewers to donate directly to the streamer. This creates a really fun way for fans to support their favorite artists.
It's great for independent musicians too.
What Twitch’s monetization style does is promote organic growth and community building. It incentives quality content and helps smaller channels make money even without a large fanbase.
It also creates a unique fan-artist relationship. When a viewer tips you, it hits your screen in real-time. This means you can add a personal thank you or note in the chat.
Imagine the effect this has on the fan. It adds a personal touch that really can’t be quantified.
Ways You Can Creatively Use Twitch
The obvious answer is by playing your music, right? You would be correct, but creating a loyal following requires you to provide more than just performances.
To help you build a community around your music, you need to provide exciting content. This can come in a wide variety of streamed events.
Here are a few ideas to help fill your Twitch streaming schedule:
- Q&A - Fans love to hear more from you; give them what they want by answering questions from the chat. If you can nail down the format, you can facilitate thoughtful and engaging conversations with your fans that will leave an impact.
- Stream while you create/practice - Twitch is all about being genuine: people want to see you practice your craft. They want to see your band just jamming. It helps demystify the creative process for your viewers and can be invaluable.
- Host a class - Also known as “Masterclasses,” hosting an education session where you share your expertise can be a great way to build a fanbase. This can be a production session, vocal lessons, songwriting class, anything you want to share.
- Informal/behind-the-scenes content - Twitch is all about tearing down the facade between fans and creators so provide some real-life content. This could be just a hang-out session, you talking about other passions, or talking about the music that is inspiring you to create.
These are just a few ways to get creative, and there are a ton more out there to be discovered.
Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Twitch
To get the most out of the platform, you need to be a part of the Twitch ecosystem. It’s not exactly like other social media platforms.
But, if you can develop a content strategy that plays to your strengths and Twitch’s characteristics, you can really reap some benefits.
Here are some tips to succeeding on Twitch:
- Be genuine - Twitch is all about being real. People want to see you as a person. So don’t treat your streams as just another performance. You need to engage with fans, answer questions, and be vulnerable.
- Focus on community - Community is the heart of your success on Twitch, so make sure you are doing all you can to cultivate that following.
- Engage with other streamers - Not only is it advantageous to make friends to find out what works for them, but there is also the streaming phenomenon called raiding. Basically, if you can get in good with a popular streamer, they can recommend your channel after their stream ends, sending all their viewers to you.
- Keep a streaming schedule - People like consistency, so give it to them. Much like other marketing aspects, creating a schedule and sticking to it can help you grow. Try and stream at least twice a week at first.
- Stream for at least 2 hours - This will give viewers ample time to come in and out of your room and engage with you.
There are plenty of other strategies you can adopt to get the most out of your streams. But, if you keep in mind the fundamentals of Twitch and focus on your fans, you are setting yourself up for success.
We have learned a lot about the potential of Twitch. Hopefully, you now have some ideas of how you can make a splash with your music on the platform.
Remember that Twitch is all about community, so build a strategy that focuses on creating that loyal fanbase.
Creativity is essential here, so don’t just perform your music for your audience. You need to engage with them in other ways.
Above all, be genuine and consistent. These two actions will help your exposure on the platform grow and show fans the kind of content they want.
Stick to your schedule and strategy, and you will have a packed house every time you go online.