There are millions of gaming videos being uploaded to YouTube every year covering every spectrum of gaming, but in such a rapidly growing genre, creators may find themselves wondering how to come up with something new for their channels . This is where collaborating with your audience comes into play.
If you are a gamer on YouTube there are many possible ways for you to collaborate with your audience in order to create unique content. The steps involved in collaborating with your viewers are simple. You need to first choose a game or games your audience would be interested in collaborating around and then figure out how you want to gather and present the content.
Whether it will be videos submitted to you by your audience or recordings of you playing a multiplayer game with them, the way in which you collect this content will determine what kind of video you will eventually upload. Collaboration can be done in several forms, so it is always important get to know your audience so you can predict what kind of collaboration will get the most engagement. Understanding what they prefer will lead to a more successful collaboration.
Initiating a Collaboration
In order to collaborate with your audience, you’ll need to tell them about your idea. If you have a large enough following on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, you can create a poll there to see which game or games your audience would like to collaborate on. Decide whether you want to record a gaming session with fans or put together a video around some other theme, such as a Photoshop contest for viewers.
Some online games will also offer players the ability to create custom maps with their own design elements and objectives, offering another great way to generate collaborative content for your channel. You can ask your audience to create their own custom maps that you can then play through with them or on your own. Each custom map you play on will provide you with new footage and can be part of a segment on your channel that shows a different side of gaming.
PC gamers will be familiar with game mods. This is when the players are given the option of changing elements of the game they are playing, this can be anything from the appearance of the game to the physics and dynamics, and even the character interactions and behaviors. Many games have seen mods of them made over the years and having your audience run wild with their imaginations can lead to some very entertaining and unusual content for your channel.
Let’s Play — Together!
If you’re planning a group Let’s Play video, once you know which game you will be playing, you can create a lobby or server for that game and have your audience join freely to play with you. However, with creating an online server or lobby like this, more popular creators find that the server will either get overloaded with people and crash, or people with the intent of ruining the gaming experience might join, giving you some material that you might not want to upload to your channel.
YouTube gamers often initiate such a collaboration by holding a contest where they use viewer submissions to decide who to collaborate with. For instance, you can ask you audience to submit their own videos and either choose the winner yourself or hold a vote to select the winner. For the prize, the winner of the contest might get to do a one-on-one gaming session with you, which you’ll record and upload.
Practical Example: Normal Difficulty Gaming
A content creator well known for collaborating with his audience is Normal Difficulty Gaming. One form of collaboration that he takes part in is actively playing games with his audience. He invites his audience to play and interact with him, with Discord, the online VoIP application designed for gaming communities, and online lobbies/servers on certain games as their meeting place. He will either announce the lobbies via his live stream or on his social media platform of choice — Twitter. Once his audience joins him, they play for several hours, which will then provide him with enough editing space to create several entertaining videos.
Collecting the Content
Getting participants for your collaboration is the first step. The next is collecting this content in order to then edit it into a video that you can upload. The first way to collect this content is by recording a video of yourself playing the game with your collaborators. It may also be a good idea to ask the person you are playing with record their screen so you have two points of view to edit into a video.
You’ll then need to find a file sharing service that supports large file transfers if you’ll be using audience-made video footage. For other types of collaborations, emailing files or sharing them via social media may be sufficient. In any case, make sure to give clear instructions to your collaborators regarding file format and size requirements. If you need to complete the collaboration video by a certain date, make sure deadlines for submitting are clear as well.
Practical Example: PewDiePie
One YouTuber who has been successfully using content from his audience in order to create content for his channel is Felix Kjelberg, or as he is better known on YouTube, PewDiePie. Lately PewDiePie has been challenging his audience to create various photoshopped images of him or edit different versions of his videos in either a mocking or a creatively expressive way. Once having these videos or images submitted to him via Twitter, PewDiePie then makes his own video where he views and critiques the creations from his audience.
Get Inspired By Your Audience
Using your audience’s content on your channel isn’t the only thing you can do with it. You can use content like this as a form of inspiration. Take a look at what your audience does with their custom maps, mods or general gameplay and use that as an example for something you can do with the games you have.
Be inspired to create unique content as an alternative to the standard gaming videos on YouTube. Challenge your audience to play your custom maps or mods and have them submit their own videos to you. The possibilities that present themselves when it comes to collaborating with your audience are endless. Not only will you have new and unique content being submitted to you, but you will get ideas on how to change up your own content in order to keep viewers interested and coming back for more.