Giveaways are a great way to get people to check out your stream. They help draw people to your channel hoping to win a cool game or prize. Many businesses use this method to promote a new product, service or just the business itself. The goal with this giveaway is to not only draw new and existing viewers into your channel, but to get those viewers to remain in the channel long after the giveaway is complete to retain them as a loyal supporter of your stream. The challenge in doing this making sure that you are proper planning and execution during the giveaway.
Giveaways Do’s and Don’ts
Ok before we dive deep into Giveaways and how to and not to use them to “promote” your channel be sure to understand that follow things:
1. I am NOT a LAWYER or LEGAL advisor. When you do Giveaways on any streaming platform please research your local/state/federal laws. While giveaways can draw your potential new viewership, it can always get you into a legal trouble if you do them improperly and while Twitch is ok with promotions if you make it clear that they do not Sponsor or endorse anything you do on your channel, every stream platform is different and these rules can change at any time. Please consult your stream platform rules and regs and that of the laws that will impact you.
2. GIVEAWAYS will not guarantee you viewers, subs or tips/donations. Accept this now or do not do giveaways. They should be looked at a way to reward your current viewership and have other potential viewers come by your channel to check it out. Many viewers will only come by if you do giveaways and if you develop a support base of “giveaway only viewership” you may fall into the slippery slope of feeding the beast. This can result in spending way more than what you bring in and saltiness for both you and your viewers.
3. Be honest with your viewership, do not set the expectation that you will always do giveaways unless that is your plan. Setting this tone early on is important for retaining viewers.
4. Giveaways should be open to everyone. I do not care what loophole you think you read, what scheme method you have seen someone else use, if you do not open the giveaway to everyone and you create a pay wall to enter (subscribers only) then you have created a lottery and in the U.S., you can be prosecuted.
Now that that is out of the way let’s get to the fun stuff.
What to Giveaway?
The first thing I always do is to make sure I know what I am going to giveaway. You can determine this through asking your existing viewers, perhaps a straw poll or use your bot. Making the choice of what to giveaway can be a fun interactive process and allow for more content for your stream if you let it. Just be careful not to let your chat take over all your giveaway decision else this could result in you only rewarding existing members of your channel rather than drawing new ones.
Another option you can use is to directly tie your giveaway with a launch or update of a new game or product. Say the latest game is coming out, many streamers always do this, myself included, but for newer streamers without established communities this can be hard because the competition can be stiff and if your stream is one of 100 other streams doing the same thing, it will be challenging to stand out. For those streams with this issue I recommend offering up a different kind of prize than everyone else or focusing on games that you built your community around. I do lots of Star Citizen giveaways even when I am not playing it because that is what I built my community from. It also helps draw more people into our favorite game which any MMO group always appreciates.
Regardless of the method you use to choose your giveaway I find it is always a good idea to keep your audience engaged as long as possible by making the giveaway last a decent amount of time. That’s right, you should milk it. Remember the entire purpose in running this giveaway is to grow your viewership. Do NOT cave or be pressured by your viewers to give something away immediately, it builds no hype and does little for your channel. This can be accomplished several ways. My favorite methods are to make a higher value giveaway that runs for several hours or do a progression style giveaway where your giveaway is comprised of several smaller prizes leading up to a larger prize. This is a good hype builder and gives people a chance to walk away with something.
Promote the Giveaway
The next and probably most important part of running a giveaway is the promotion of it. Some streamers may tell you that they do giveaways whenever they feel like it with no real planning or promoting. Leveraging social media and letting your current viewers know is almost more important than what you are giving away. Gamewisp has cool the ability to send notifications to all your supporters that use it. Which is just as important to notify your current supporters and include them in the giveaway as it is to hope for new ones, especially since if you are doing it right they are the ones helping fund the giveaway in the first place. They also bring hype to the channel because the more viewer that you start with when you run the giveaway the higher up the lists you are on the streams. This is what gets you noticed by new viewers. The more effort you spend on promoting the better the results you will see when it comes time to do the actual giveaway.
Ok now it’s time for the actual giveaway. You know what you’re giving away, you have promoted it and now it time to stream! Make sure before you hit that broadcast button that you are ready to give the best, most interactive stream you possibly can. Don’t be something you’re not, just put the best you forward you can. While the giveaway is a great draw of viewers, its your personality and stream that will keep them coming back! Be aware this during your entire stream, for many people this is their first impression of you, make it count. Remember to set the tone whether these giveaways are something you do on a regular or if it just an occasional thing. When viewers first hit your channel is the time to set their expectations so that you deal with less disappointed viewers later.
The Wrap Up
Ok Stream is over and it was a blast! You got some new followers (and hopefully new Gamewisp Subs). You got the winner or winners info to send the prizes. Do this asap! People love it when they get their winnings right away. Remember to announce your winners through tweets and show bits of the stream in Twitch clips. The post promotion is good so that it gives people a glimpse of the fun they missed and builds hype for the next event. Keeping that audience engaged is important in retaining their viewership. Also, don’t forget if your stream is your business to expense out your giveaway (if you paid for it) as a promotion. Most importantly after all that take a self-assessment. Did you have fun? Is this something you want to do again? Giveaways on stream are not for everyone, some people enjoy doing them while others find they kill their stream flow. To each their own I say, but when done right and used with great tools that Gamewisp provides they can be powerful in growing your channel.