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How Did Famous Streamers Get Big? [Case Studies]

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One of the best ways to become a better streamer, and grow, is to analyze famous streamers’ success. What did they get, right? What mistakes did they make? How can I put my spin on these ideas? These are all the right questions to ask if you’re looking to grow in live streaming.

The platform is no longer about simply sitting down and playing games, those days have long passed, Streaming has become a more competitive field, and the bar for quality content is only going to continue going up.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at successful streamers and what they did to get their initial growth – along with maintaining it for their current size.

How Do Famous Streamers Grow?

There isn’t one single way that famous streamers grew their audiences. In fact, most have used several different marketing strategies at different times in their careers. As they grew, they learned what worked for their channel and changed the way they operated.

Here are three strategies that famous streamers have used to get big on Twitch and YouTube:

  • Leveraging YouTube Audiences
  • Getting Big on TikTok
  • Creative Niches

Leveraging YouTube Audiences

If you’ve been paying attention to Twitch recently, you will probably have seen the all-time viewer concurrent of 1.2 million being smashed by “The Grefg.” This Spanish streamer broke the record and clocked in a staggering 2.4 million concurrent viewers, during the showcase of his new Fortnite icon skin.

It’s easy to look at Grefg‘s success now, but we’ll have to take a retrospective look into how he got into this position in the first place. The answer comes from his YouTube. Grefg has been consistently uploading content for eight years on his YouTube channel, beginning with Call of Duty. Now, his latest content revolves around Fortnite. 

Like most beginners, Grefg’s titles and thumbnails weren’t very visually appealing. It’s important to know that content creation is a journey, and you will gradually improve the more you do it, and when you do, the rewards will increase.

After eight years of experimentation with his content, thumbnails, and titles, his YouTube videos now accumulate between 1 – 2.5 million views within the first 24 hours.

So how does this help his Twitch? Essentially, YouTube audiences have the least amount of resistance to switching from YouTube to Twitch, as they’ll happily check out their favorite content creators live as well as watching their videos. Grefg, through his hard work, currently sits at 16.6M subscribers. Grefg can leverage his YouTube audience with this large subscriber base and notify them about his live streams. Since there’s little resistance in migration, his enormous YouTube audience will carry over to his Twitch.

As you can see, by leveraging YouTube as a platform, any content creator can have massive success on Twitch. Live Streaming is seen as a reward for fans, and the ability to watch their favorite content creator live on air is an exciting prospect. This method isn’t unique to Grefg. Many large content creators on Twitch see the potential of having a YouTube audience: Shroud, Ninja, Drdisrespect, Nickmercs and more all create content for YouTube, and they can merge both of their audiences for a massive return.

Ultimately this all culminated in Grefg having an astonishing amount of success on Twitch. It shows that one very reliable growth tactic is to grow on Twitch is prioritizing YouTube first.

The Explosive Potential of TikTok

Tiktok is a platform that has a tremendous amount of potential to build new, popular live streamers. For this example, we’re going to look at a smaller creator, who has used TikTok to get to Twitch Partnership. Sanka is an OCE Fortnite content creator, that has been consistently posting on TikTok, and has used his TikTok audience to convert them to live stream viewers. Sanka typically posts Fortnite highlights, funny moments, and other bits and pieces. 

Sanka also practices content diversification, and essentially diversification is a method of taking content from one platform and repackaging it into something for another platform. In Sanka’s case, he has clipped moments from his Twitch stream, edited them and added subtitles, and posted them to Tiktok. This is a really efficient method of content creation, which reduces the amount of time it takes to make a piece of content and lets you output more.

Sanka’s TikTok views vary greatly; however, the one consistent factor is that at the end of his TikTok videos, there’s a Call of Action asking the TikTok audience to view his stream; also he has his stream linked in his bio.

It’s worthwhile experimenting to see if your content can be cut down into 60 seconds or less and if it’s something shareable to TikTok. Note that not every game has an audience in TikTok, evergreen games such as Minecraft, Fortnite, and Roblox are enormous on the platform; however, more niche titles such as Skyrim have a smaller interest. 

Creative Niches

Creative Niches tie nicely into hobbies or crafts. If you specialize in a skill, or you have a vested interest in an activity, there is a more immense potential for growth than focusing on gaming content. The first example of this strategy is Pokimane.

Although Pokimane has now since been primarily in various gaming and just chatting, Pokimane leveraged Tumblr. Tumblr is a website used for posting images, creating blogs, and connecting with other people with similar interests.

In her video “Pokimane’s Top 5 Tips for Small Streamers” she says “…basically, I had a Tumblr blog with 800 followers and I would post my stream link; so people who were already interested in what I was doing would stumble across my stream.”

Similar to Grefg and Sanka, Pokimane understood that she would have to use an external platform to bring viewership over to gain a live streaming audience. In this case, her passion for using Tumblr, and gathering an audience there, allowed her to gain her initial viewership.

Another example of using a hobby is TaehaTypes. Typically you’ll find Taeha streaming under the “Makers & Crafting” section of Twitch. Taeha is responsible for some of the largest growth in custom mechanical keyboards and has created keyboards for some of the most popular streamers.

Taeha is a fantastic example of a content creator using his passion for reaching a core audience. He produces consistently high-quality YouTube videos, and streams under a much less competitive directory. Combining these two factors paints a clear picture of how TaehaTypes grew so quickly on Twitch.

As well as streaming in a niche for his craft, Taeha also implemented collaboration tactics to gain his Twitch channel exposure. He reached out to popular individuals and asked them if they’d be interested in a custom keyboard. Since then he has created products for popular creators such as Tfue, Imaqtpie, Lilypichu, and more!

In summary, the best growth strategies for Twitch, in reality, happen outside of Twitch itself. Here’s a quick bullet-point summary of the key growth strategies:

  • Using outside platforms and building content, such as Youtube, Tiktok, Instagram, and more. This will allow you to bring those audiences to Twitch.
  • Finding a niche to build your platform under can be streaming less popular games, going down a hobby route, and more!
  • Collaborating with other creators can be providing a product or service to someone who would find value from it, or finding other similar size creators to create content with!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Fastest Way to Grow on Twitch?

The fastest way to grow on Twitch is by creating platforms on another social media website (YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter) and using the algorithm on those platforms to gain an audience. Once you have an audience you can notify your followers about your twitch stream, from there it’s getting them interested in staying!

How Long Does It Take to get Twitch Partner Status?

Twitch Partner status is heavily dependent on your content quality, your ability to retain an audience, and your consistency. If you have a good balance of all 3 of these factors, you’re going to grow on the platform inevitably. 

Can Anyone Become a Successful Streamer?

Anyone can become a successful streamer; however, it requires a very hard work ethic; you’re going to be competing with other individuals chasing the same profession. It’s your job to produce creative ways to provide value to people in your niche; if you do, your viewers will be sure to let you know!

About the Author

Igi

Igi is a Content Strategist from England and makes streams on Twitch and YouTube. He's big into self-improvement and loves fitness! He excels at data analysis and experimenting with new ideas.

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