Retaining an Audience: How to Keep Your Viewers!

image of user live streaming with a crowd in the backgroun

You’ve built your channel, you’ve established your content and your brand, but your views aren’t keeping pace with your channel’s growth. How come those eyes you got on your early content aren’t sticking around?

Kick Community is here to provider all the tips and tricks you need to retain your audience on! These are the best ways to keep your output fresh as a content creator and engage the community you’ve managed to build around your streaming personality.

Do Your Research - Know Your Target Audience

Before you even think about retaining the audience you’ve managed to build, you need to have an idea of who they are. What demographics are you pulling in to your video streams? If you have an idea of the wider audience you’re attracting, you can tailor what you offer slightly. For example, do you see mostly viewers from the US in your streams? If so, you will probably want to make sure that what you discuss is relevant to them and doesn’t alienate them from the conversation.

Perhaps your audience is into eSports and gaming, or maybe they prefer music and creative arts. Whatever it is, it's important to know what your community likes to watch. If you can keep the audience and the type of content they enjoy in mind throughout, you stand a good chance of keeping them hooked.

Stay Current - Try Not to Fall Behind

One of the key things in content creation is to ensure you’re not behind the times. Any outdated content is going to seem stale very quickly in the live-streaming ecosystem. Audiences expect you to be keeping on top of all the latest developments in your particular niche. It’s also important to keep up with the streaming platform. Kick is always evolving and updates and news are regularly announced. You need to know what is happening on your platform and in the wider world in order to give your audience the up-to-the-minute content they’re looking for. Audience attention will wander if you’re falling behind.

Build a Real Community & Connect to Your Viewers

The live streaming experience is ultimately a social form of content. People will flock to where they feel comfortable and to streamers or a sense of community that they feel a connection to. Focus on the persona you put across when you go live and ensure that you keep your viewers engaged throughout your streams. It’s not enough to focus simply on your content output while neglecting the people who are devoting their spare time to watching you. Remember, audience engagement is key. Communicate with them and offer them something in return for their views. Use the chat features regularly, shout out those who are contributing to the conversation, and make sure to foster a two-way conversation with your audience. This will help create a real connection.

Start Conversations With Your Audience

This might sound similar to the last tip. However, communication doesn’t have to begin and end with your stream. Social media is a key way to engage with the audience you’ve managed to build, as well as get your content and personality in front of a whole new set of eyeballs. Use official social media accounts that link to your Kick account to ask questions to your audience and fans of similar content. Pose open questions or polls to your audience, especially around future content. Is there something that your regular viewers want you to cover? A piece of media that they want your reaction to? Using your official accounts to test the water on what sort of streaming session your viewers are looking for is a good way of giving them a stake in your streams. xQc regularly uses his official socials to post insights into his life, with a look at his purchases, his home, and what he’s taking part in off-stream. It’s part of what keeps him at the top of the pack.

Use Q&As for an Interactive Experience

Social media is a powerful tool and offers so much to your arsenal as a Kick streamer. In order to build a rapport with your viewers, you shouldn’t limit your use of social media platforms to asking questions on the content your audience would like to see. Instead, think about offering something back to them. Q&As are a great way of offering fans an insight into who you are or your creative process. It builds a personal relationship and provides a glimpse backstage for a community that is actively connected with your content. Think about running Ask Me Anything virtual events, where you can answer questions on whatever topic the crowd wants to hear your voice on.

Be an Individual - Stand Out From the Crowd

As a content creator, you are your brand. Make sure that yours offers something that others don’t. In business, when there’s a competitive marketplace, the onus is on brands to innovate and disrupt. What can you do that is different to the rest of the content on offer? What makes you … you? Do you have particular insight into a topic that will prove interesting to your audience? Look at what other streamers are doing in the User Stories section and think of what you can build on top of that. Certain content will always be popular but to keep viewers coming back, you’ll need to make sure it’s fresh.

Create a Scene - Establish Your Look

Not every creator will stream from a professional studio area - everyone knows that. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t make an effort with your streaming setup. Try and keep your environment in keeping with your channel and your personality, while making sure it looks fit to stream. Maybe invest in some branding and place it around you. It will help send a message to your audience and project your commitment to your video content and to them. An attractive stage for you to stream from will send a positive message.

Keep it Regular: Stick to a Consistent Streaming Schedule

Yes, online media consumption has made it easier to consume content wherever and whenever you want. However, it’s important as a creator to still try to follow a regular publishing schedule as part of your overall content strategy. Not only is it something that keeps social platforms’ algorithms happy, but it will mean any viewers you’ve attracted know just when you’ll be live and when they’ll get their fill of your content. You can use tools such as restream studios and pre-recorded videos to enable to you to schedule videos consistently, and keep your community happy and engaged.

Ultimately, reliability is a virtue when it comes to video streams. No one likes waiting for their favourite media.

Ask for Help & Support

Trying to maintain a regular streaming schedule can seem daunting if you’re putting a lot of work into production, alongside your offline life. The key is to not allow yourself to become swamped with the smaller details, giving you the time to focus on the important parts of your context. Consider approaching someone who can help you out with some of the tasks that are eating into your vital streaming time. Side Kicks is a volunteer community program where people can offer their support to streamers, as well as in our moderation process. Reach out if you need assistance with keeping your channel on track.

Consider a Collaboration

Asking for help doesn’t only need to be something you do for the small tasks that build up and get in the way of your streaming. Are there streamers that share similar interests or produce content that complements yours? Think about combining your content strategies and forming a partnership. Having someone who can help carry the burden of performing on stream can give you some time to focus on something a little extra. Not only that, having a collaborator can be a great way to bounce ideas around and push each other creatively. It can’t hurt to bring two online communities together.

Consider Adding Some Extras

Competitions & Giveaways

Adding value to your streaming video content isn’t always restricted to what you can do in terms of entertainment. You can literally provide something to your viewers. Brands have long seen competitions and freebies as a great way to encourage loyalty with their customers. As a streamer, this is something you should consider to reward your audience for returning week after week. Try and offer regular giveaways of merch or prizes that relate to your content. If viewers see that they could physically (or digitally, depending on the prize) come away with a little extra, they will feel appreciated and want to return to your channel.

Subscription-Only Exclusive Content

Obviously, it’s great to have an output that’s available to anyone who wants to watch it. Free video content has always been popular. If you have paid subscribers to your Kick channel, though, you should consider what these people in particular would like. Think about creating extra content for these subscribers only. If a paid subscription doesn’t give someone access to anything that a non-paying viewer would get, there’s no incentive to open your wallet. Add some behind-the-scenes content or even answers to some audience questions in order to add value to your subscription. You could even offer your subscribed viewers an invite to a Discord server where you keep the conversation going.

Go Offline & Keep the Conversation Going

It’s one thing to engage with an audience on another online social media channel but it’s easy to overlook the importance of connecting away from the internet and online events. Attending conventions and meet and greets will help you form a connection with the people supporting what you create. Try and make yourself available to any fans you have at streaming events you attend. This way, there’s a personal link between you and your audience. They will appreciate your time and could continue to support your work because of it. It doesn’t even have to be a particular event - streamers like Adin Ross use IRL streams as a way of connecting with people and generating engaging content for viewers, as they offer a real-time look at their offline (but still online) antics.

Be Authentic

Perhaps the most important streaming tip of all is to be yourself. There will always be ways you can build and retain an audience using streaming engagement tools and improving your video quality. But the key thing is to ensure that the content you create feels true to you and that it fits within your own personal brand. Think about what you would like to watch and build around that. An audience will be able to tell if you’re not fully invested in what you’re creating. If you can nail your colors to your mast, your personality could help you get noticed, too.