In this article, we’ll be giving you our best YouTube gaming channel tips.
In mid-2015, YouTube made waves by releasing YouTube Gaming. To many, this may seem odd, especially since YouTube Gaming hasn’t changed a whole lot about YouTube and how it works. Many subscribers to the biggest gaming YouTubers don’t bother using the separate platform at all.
However, it was launched for a very good reason. This is because gaming content is the most prevalent content on YouTube, and with huge streaming services like Twitch, gaming content is bigger than it’s ever been on the Internet.
So what makes a channel a gaming channel?
What’s a YouTube Gaming Channel?
YouTube gaming channels can be loosely-defined as any channel that covers gaming, but that’s a bit too general a way to describe a diverse array of content creators. YouTube gaming channels do all kinds of different things: some create gaming-inspired comedic skits, others focus on in-game commentaries, others dive in deep with criticism and analysis, others speculate and theorize about a game’s lore, others serve as tutorials…
It’s a fairly wide spectrum. Most YouTube gaming channels can fit into one of the following categories:
- “Show” channels are a diverse group, but typically focus on a personality and share common themes. Videos are presented as part of a series, and sometimes multiple series exist on the same channel.
- Commentary channels. These channels are focused on gameplay content with background narration. This is a flexible format that can crossover with others, but these channels usually have commentaries discussing the game itself or the creator’s personal life.
- In-game comedy channels. Some channels will create comedic skits within the constraints of the game and its tools. This is especially common with titles like Team Fortress 2 and Grand Theft Auto V: two games with in-depth replay/cinematic editors.
- Out-of-game comedy channels. Meanwhile, other channels will make comedic skits about games without using the games themselves. This includes the popular video game-themed raps and “in real life” skits.
- Informational/trivia channels. These channels focus on Did You Knows about video games, video game consoles and their development. Content like what you find on these channels can be found on others, too, but channels hosting exclusively this kind of content are becoming more popular.
- Tutorial/raw gameplay channels. These channels host either tutorials on game mechanics/improving with those mechanics (this can crossover with commentary) or raw gameplay. Raw gameplay channels are a rarer breed, however, since without commentaries or significant editing it may fall outside the range of “fair use”.
Our YouTube Gaming Channel Tips
15. Produce Regular Content
To stay relevant on YouTube, you have to produce content on a regular basis. Due to the way that YouTube’s algorithims work, you become more popular based on the amount of time people spend watching your videos. Focus on high-engagement videos that can be released relatively regularly- smaller channels can start at a weekly pace, but as a channel grows it’s a good idea to release two or three pieces of content per week.
14. Focus On Audience Engagement
By nature, gaming is an interactive medium. By extension, this entry in our YouTube gaming channel tips is about utilizing that. Your viewers will regularly comment on your videos and attempt to contact you through social media outlets or YouTube itself. Respond to user comments on your channel, and pay close attention to the words of your loyal subscribers.
13. Consider An MCN
An MCN, or Multi-Channel-Network, is an easy way for YouTubers to gain access to helpful resources for their growth, as well as ad revenue, YouTube partnership and copyright protection. We wrote an article about this topic over here. MCNs are their own beast, and that’s a little too much to cram into this article on YouTube gaming channel tips.
12. (Or Learn Your Rights)
MCNs aren’t the only option for getting partnered as a gaming channel. By properly studying Fair Use on YouTube, you can enjoy posting gaming content while receiving one hundred percent of your own ad revenue through Google AdWords and YouTube RED. Even if you choose to go with an MCN, it’d be wise to learn the rules, as an MCN doesn’t protect you from a copyright strike if you’re in blatant violation.
11. Get Custom Channel Art/Profile
Think of it like this: you dress up for a job interview because you want to get the job. This is called presentation, and this YouTube gaming channel tip is all about that. Gamers enjoy great-looking graphics in their games, and video purveyors are used to tight editing and slick graphics. Your channel should have a nice avatar and banner that fits you and your content.
10. Consider Intros/Outros For Your Videos
Intros/outros are popular on YouTube. In general, you want intros to be short title cards that include your name and imagery related to the video. Outros can continue on for 10-20 seconds after a video ends, plugging annotations for your other videos and perhaps playing a catchy tune of your choice.
9. Mind SEO
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, and SEO is God for all kinds of content creators, YouTubers included. For YouTubers, this is mostly about properly titling and tagging your videos. Be sure to include the name of the game, the type of content you’re doing and other vital information in your tags. These tags are what people will be using to search for and find your videos.
8. Choose Your Niche
Niche has quite a few definitions, but the one that’s most relevant in this context is one referring to products/services succeeding by being sold to particular groups of people. In gaming terms, this means focusing on a particular kind of content, or a particular genre/series of games. Niche channels may not have the widespread popularity of the biggest ones out there, but working in a small niche is advantageous for initial growth and collaboration with other YouTubers within that niche.
7. Work With Other YouTubers In That Niche
This wouldn’t be a list of YouTube gaming channel tips if we didn’t encourage you to work with other YouTube gaming channels! All the biggest channels on YouTube take advantage of collaboration, and gaming channels are no exception. Some particular channels are simply hubs that people from all over gaming YouTube work together on to promote their own channels!
6. Always Listen To Feedback
To improve as a content creator, you have to listen to your audience. You can’t please everyone, but you should take into consideration their opinions and feedback so you can learn how to improve. Remember what we said earlier about being engaged with your audience? Your audience will typically praise or criticize your videos, and you need to focus on both of these forms of communication.
5. Bring Friends/Co-hosts
Something you don’t see often in YouTube gaming channel tips is the idea of working directly with your own friends on your channel. This is baffling, since many big channels are popular for this reason. In general, most channels can’t be carried by a singular personality, especially not show channels. Having a co-host or group of friends you play with regularly in your videos can help your viewers feel like they’re personally a part of your friend group.
4. Use Social Media To Your Advantage
Gaming channels don’t typically benefit from making videos for every little thing going on in the creator’s life. Videos should be reserved for your main content or important announcements: for everything else, plug your social media outlets in your descriptions and encourage your subscribers to follow you there.
3. Consider Streaming
Streaming alongside YouTube is a great way to grow your gaming channel. There are two main streaming services for you to use: Twitch and YouTube Gaming. Twitch is better for growing your following and exposing it to new viewers, while YouTube Gaming is better for engaging with your current following on YouTube. Either method is a great way to engage with your audience.
2. Prioritize Yourself Over The Games
Games are, in truth, only the initial draw of most YouTube gaming channels. This is another one of our lesser-known YouTube gaming channel tips- people come for the games, but they subscribe and stay for you. They come because you’re covering a game they’re interested in, but you get likes and subscribes when they enjoy your presentation and style.
1. Establish Your Own Voice
Elaborating on the previous point, this is very important. Even if you share a niche with other YouTubers, you want to be unique enough to stand out. Remember: there is no one exactly like you. It’s important to learn and take inspirations from other YouTubers, but at the end of the day you need to be unique enough to earn loyalty of subscribers and viewers.
How We Can Help
Here at Grin, we’re focused on helping you grow as a YouTuber. Our goal doesn’t stop here with YouTube gaming channel tips: it continues with our coverage of YouTube’s biggest earners, the benefits of collaboration, and more.