Stream giveaways are a great way to bring new viewers to your channel to experience your content. The idea behind giveaways is that you offer a prize like steam keys, game codes, skins, DLC or other prizes for viewers of your stream to win.
It’s like fishing with bait. You are using the giveaway as tool to bring in new viewers to your channel that would not normally stop by. Everyone likes the chance to win free stuff, right? This is especially true and effective if you can cater your giveaway prizes to your audience and give them something they really value.
But leveraging a giveaway to bring viewers to your stream is just the hook - you want to them to stick around and come back day after day to your stream. If you can effectively capture new viewer from a giveaway, you can quickly turn them into a new subscriber or follower and get some serious audience growth.
How To Run A Stream Giveaway
There are three main elements of a successful giveaway:
- A good prize that your audience wants
- Building hype of the giveaway itself
- The actual giveaway
We'll break down these components in depth and explain how to pick a giveaway prize that your viewers (old and new) will be dying for, how to build the most hype and spread the word about the event, and finally how to properly conduct a giveaway on stream.
Picking The Prize
Depending on the size of your stream, you could try and find a company to provide you with a prize to giveaway. Contact gaming company decision makers to try and convince them to give you something like a new game, a beta key, a cosmetic, a gift card, or any other prize that viewers would love to win.
This is a great way to build a sponsorship and grow your stream while getting free items to give to your viewers. If you're interested in learning about how to get your first sponsor, check out our in depth step-by-step guide on how to get a sponsor for your stream.
Make sure the company you’re pitching to understands that it benefits them as well. You could drop some viewership numbers, some statistics about giveaways or try and smooth talk them into giving you a console to giveaway.
You could also pay for the prize yourself. In this case, you need to compare the price of the prize with your potential gain. Are you paying $60 for a new game to giveaway only to bring in 200 viewers for one stream?
For the best results, ensure your prize is actually a prize.
People will flock to a giveaway for a console, a new game, or something exclusive. Not many people will care about a $5 cosmetic. The key difference here is that with smaller prizes, you can do a lot more giveaways. There are some CS:GO streamers that give away skins every stream! If you had a chance to win a new skin every day, you would definitely be tuning in to that channel as often as possible.
Some ideas for great prizes would be:
- Newly released games or key codes
- New or rare in-game cosmetics
- DLC content or key codes
- Graphics cards
- Mice or mousepads
- Any peripheral or gaming accessory
Remember, the most important thing is: cater your prize for your audience. No one knows your viewers better than you so you should know if they want a new cosmetic for their League of Legends Champion or a new Xbox game. Give them what they want!
Building The Giveaway Hype
Now that you have your prize(s) picked out, you have to let people know about it. Without any hype or buildup, the giveaway will be a total flop. The idea here is to get your existing viewers excited and talking about it while also reaching out to new viewers and bringing them into your channel.
Also, the bigger the prize, the longer you should be promoting. A console giveaway deserves at least 1 week to a month of promotion. A video game should be a few days to a few weeks, and a cosmetic item or game skin could be done in the same day. Try to match the "lead up" time of the promotion to the value of the prize.
Building An Email List
Besides building hype, it is also critically important that you can continue to benefit from the traffic and eyeballs that you attracted through the giveaway. You don't want to put all this work into a giveaway only to have all that traffic drop back to zero afterwards, right?
By collecting people’s emails as their entry into the giveaway, you are able to connect with that person more times than just your one contest. Building an email list is a powerful marketing tool. There are whole marketing courses, books, blogs and YouTube videos just on email marketing.
Once you have start building an email list of people who you know are interested in your channel's giveaways, then you have an existing audience that you can leverage for future giveaways. This makes each giveaway easier and more successful than the last one.
Make sure you read up on email marketing best practices though because you don’t want to be considered as a spammer. The key here (like almost everywhere in internet marketing) is providing value first and asking for something later.
Social Media Outreach
Your promotion for your giveaway doesn't have to be limited just to Twitch. What is your current reach? If you have a few hundred followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc… you could simply use the platform you have built for the promotion.
Of course, you want to make sure that the people you are promoting your giveaway to are interested in both your stream content and the giveaway prize.
If you are working with a sponsor for your giveaway, ask them to help cross-promote the giveaway on their social media pages as well. This often does wonders for your viewership numbers and can seriously increase your audience.
Even if you aren't working directly with a sponsor, it's still worth reaching out to the company who makes the product you are giving away. This works really well if you are giving away a new indie game release. Reach out to the developer and let them know you are promoting their game! They will usually help you out with a retweet or a post on their page.
Forums & Message Boards
Forums and message boards are a great way to find targeted members of your game. This is where gamers hang out to discuss their game. You can look for subreddits, message boards, steam groups, etc.
Unfortunately the type of individual who visits these boards hate advertisement of any kind. If you have never contributed to the forum and start asking for people to visit your stream you might face hostility.
The Giveaway Event
This is your time to shine. You’ve just asked a bunch of strangers who want your prize to watch your stream. Here is where you reel them in with your amazing content if you want to convert them into repeat viewers, followers or even subscribers. Be on your A game because if you don’t convert new viewers into subscribers then your efforts have gone to waste.
You should have a plan and put on a performance. If you can really impress your new viewers by showing them you aren't like any other random streamer, you can capitalize on the new traffic. Try to stand out from the usual, low-effort giveaways.
I would suggest providing something unexpected for your new viewers as well. Nothing makes a positive mark like an unexpected gift. If you have some cheap cosmetics or something similar and you give away like 5 of them to random people, your viewers will leave with a better impression of you than if you were only giving away your promoted prize.
Above all, don’t try and force people to stay. A low conversion is predictable since most new people came for the prize and not the streamer. Also, don't "tease" your viewers or constantly delay the giveaway. Have a deadline for when it will happen and stick to it!
An Important Note About Trust
Giveaways have been abused in the past to bring in traffic and then not following up with the actual giveaway. It’s important to be honest because nothing will ruin your reputation faster than a mob of internet users that have been lied to.
If you’re trying to establish your stream as a legitimate brand, you cannot participate in any sort of shady activity. You need to be honest all the way through because stream viewers are well informed internet participants who can sniff out a scam from a hundred miles away.
It is very important that you read the Twitch rules regarding giveaways on the platform.
Keep Your Audience Happy
Leave no room for interpretation! Be detailed and clear with your rules about your giveaway. This is your gift to your audience, so you are the only authority on the issue. You cannot leave any space for a troll to twist your words and make it seem like you’re a bad guy.
Announce your rules from beginning to end. For example:
LOCATION: My stream live! Twitch.tv/streamer1
START: The giveaway begins at 7:00pm EST, on Tuesday August 20th, 2017.
DURING: Between 7:00pm and 8:00pm EST, a random viewer will be chosen to win the prize of a beta key to a new game.
END: I will announce a winner during my stream. Winners will be contacted by my moderation team to retrieve their details.
There is no room for interpretation for this giveaway. The location is set on your channel, the time is posted, the prize is posted, and the selection of the winner is done by you during your stream.
If you can choose a giveaway prize that your audience loves, you can build hype and excitement around the event and you can conduct the giveaway in a professional and trustworthy way, then you can find your stream growing very quickly. If your first giveaway was successful, keep at it! Use the email list you built to reach out to your audience again and begin promoting your next giveaway. People will always love to hear about the chance to win free things, so don't be afraid to use giveaways as a way to grow your stream.