So you want to make content, huh? Choosing the correct platform can make or break your chances of making it big, so it’s important to consider. Now, cross-platform marketing strategies are important--so much so that we’ll be covering that next, but for today, let’s figure out which one of the Big Four content platforms are right for you, based upon what content you intend to make. So, let’s take a moment to look at what Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok can do for you, as well as considering strategy for looking at smaller, newer platforms.
Are you wanting to simply stream gaming/art content, or “just chatting” streams? Twitch might be a solid place to start. Twitch has a robust platform, with all sorts of tools for making your streaming life easy. Community building functions are average-to-subpar, so most Twitch streamers take their community building to Discord. Requirements to unlock monetization are challenging, but not impossible (be sure to check out our guide to hitting Twitch Affiliate!). Twitch has the most streamers, as well as the biggest audience for streaming content, making it quite saturated, so don’t rely on native discovery features. Overall, while Twitch has its drawbacks, it is still a solid option for the budding streamer.
Looking for a different option for gaming streamers? Do you stream non-gaming/art content? Check out Facebook. While the platform is a little light on streaming features compared to Twitch, it is far superior in baked-in community building. Requirements to monetize your stream are also slightly easier to hit than Twitch’s, but a smaller viewer base can impact those earnings numbers. Discoverability is interesting on Facebook, since you can integrate it into the rest of the platform, especially if you are willing to purchase Facebook Ads, which can get your content in front of eyes that wouldn’t necessarily seek out streaming content. All told, this makes Facebook a solid Twitch alternative for streamers.
If you’re like me, you’re less into streaming, and more into long-form video creation. If this sounds like you, YouTube is the platform for you. YouTube is a behemoth for video production, even including features like basic editing and DMCA-safe music baked into its Studio platform. YouTube does have, by far, the most difficult path to monetization, but it is attainable. It is probably even worth its own guide in the future, so stay tuned for that. With that said, discoverability is one of the platform’s strengths, so long as you can game the algorithm and step up your SEO game. At the end of the day, nobody distributes recorded video quite like YouTube, whose app is even baked into every single Android phone on the market, making it the choice for long-form video
Now with all that said about YouTube as a video platform, it is a very different experience if you are streaming on the platform. The streaming features are extremely limited, monetization is even harder for primary streamers, and discoverability is virtually nonexistent. While there are somewhat successful streamers on YouTube, they built that success upon their published videos, not just pure streaming.
Want to upload clips or short-form video? Maybe even casual mobile streams? Then you need to check out TikTok. Equipped with robust tools and baked in audio, TikTok’s editing platform makes creating polished videos and clips a breeze. There is also a solid platform for casual mobile streaming, which I feel is a solid improvement over it’s closest competitor, Facebook Live. Monetization isn’t too terribly hard to accomplish, but the platform does suffer from a bizarre striking system that can impact your revenue. Where TikTok truly shines is in discoverability. While the early heyday of the platform was in early 2020, it’s still the easiest platform on this list to go viral on. Just make sure you are posting at least daily to keep your content higher in the algorithm. All in all, this is a fun way to enjoy trending success with short-form video!
But what about Trovo/Caffeine/Some other random new platform? Jumping into a new platform is a bit of a gamble. If you can establish yourself on that platform at an early stage, and that platform takes off, it sets you up to be a leader on that platform. With that said, in the much more likely event that the platform never really takes off, it will often be a much harder climb into relevance and profit, than on a mainstream platform. These are also often good candidates for multistreaming strategies, which we’ll cover next time.
While there is no perfect platform for everyone, it is absolutely possible to find the right one for you! There are great platforms out there for everyone from gaming streamers to short or long form video creators. With all that said, even once you pick your platform, cross-platform promotion and multistreaming can build your brand even faster! Keep an eye out for part two in this series, where we’ll explore both of those concepts. Let us know what your experience with these platforms has been like in the comments, and of course, stay tuned for more great tips and tricks!