With the wealth of video game-focused YouTube channels available, it may seem difficult to make yours standout. As more competitive, skill-based games launch, there’s an ever-growing audience for educational gaming content to help players improve. Tapping into this market can be an excellent path to growth.
The age of online gaming has made hopping online and having a blast with your friends easier than ever. Times have changed. Gaming isn’t as simple as it once was. Now, you have to worry about more than just a couple of buttons. Competitive online games (e.g. Fortnite, Apex Legends, Dota) are far more complex and jumping into them can feel daunting.
After all, the fun is dampened a bit when you’re knocked out of the game within the first few seconds. No one wants to feel like a noob. With that in mind, crafting educational gaming content helps give gamers a head-start. It also opens new potential revenue options.
Being a teacher
We’re not talking about gaming walkthroughs focused on showing viewers how to achieve specific goals. Educational gaming videos are about showcasing strategies and techniques to improve someone’s overall gameplay performance.
Essentially, you’re acting as a teacher. Like any teacher, it’ll be important for you to have a thorough, inside-and-out knowledge of the subject you’re talking about. After all, no one wants to learn winning techniques from a person who’s barely played the game. As such, there will be more research, playing and overall pre-production work to be done before you begin recording.
No one wants to learn winning techniques from a person who’s barely played the game.
It’s important to understand that educational gaming content will require you to shift your overall approach to creating content. It is markedly different from traditional Let’s Play, or even walkthrough videos. If you don’t plan and execute it properly, viewers will look elsewhere to learn the gaming skills they need.
Two ways to teach
There are a couple of ways to present your educational gaming content. One way is to go over strategies for playing the game — something YouTuber Jayne does in his Overwatch videos. This is more about discussing things players should or shouldn’t do in order to see success in a match. This approach is ideal for competition-based games like Overwatch, League of Legends or StarCraft II. In these kinds of games, victory has as much to do with positioning and tactics as skill.
The second way is to show exactly how a game is played and how to improve. This is great for fighting games where mastering controls can be difficult. With this style, you can play around more with the format. Plus, you can have fun with the actual teaching aspect. For instance, you can have a controller overlay on your video to highlight the specific button inputs you’re using. This would be invaluable as gamers try to learn the combinations necessary to perform devastating moves.
Both approaches have a place in your channel. Using both, even for the same game, makes your channel an even richer resource for subscribers. Not only does a multi-tiered approach give you more content to share, but it also allows you to hit a range of audiences — your audience will range from newcomers to longtime gamers — while still keeping the content on your channel varied.
Making educational gaming content work for you
The primary benefit of implementing educational gaming content is to tap into an all-new audience while still appealing to the masses. That said, there are other benefits to having an education-focused channel:
Staying relevant without the rush: With new games launching every week, YouTubers feel the pressure to stay on top of all the big new releases. Educational gaming content gives you a little more leeway. It’s often hard to tell which games will take off. However, focusing on evergreen educational content lets you keep your focus on other games (until you know which big title to tackle next).
After all, Fortnite launched in 2017, but its community is still as vibrant as ever. You could launch educational content centered around the game now. Two years later, you’ll probably still be relevant.
Easily integrate with other gaming content: Gaming offers a wide variety of content to viewers. It’s easy enough to integrate different types of content into your channel. In between your educational uploads, you can post traditional walkthroughs or Let’s Play videos. This is especially helpful, as you’ll need to log plenty of game time to be conversant.
These tips keep your subscribers engaged with your channel, while giving you the necessary time to craft strong educational content on popular titles. PurgeGamers focuses entirely on a single game (Dota). However, they keep subscribers engaged by making use of all the different kinds of content options available.
Whether you’re starting a new channel focused on video game education, or simply adding to your current slate of videos, the benefits of diversifying your channel are worth the extra effort. So, put your teaching hat on and show gamers how to get the most out of the games they love to play.