Drawing attention to your YouTube gaming channel can be difficult, but if you learn how to infuse the right amount of personality into it, you’ll have a much easier time standing apart from other gaming channels.
It’s no secret running your YouTube gaming channel can be both thrilling and daunting at the same time. While it’s rewarding to record and edit gameplay that entertains your viewers, you must also deal with the constant challenge of getting noticed and setting yourself apart in the ever-expanding sea of YouTube gaming videos. How can you grow your channel and attract more viewers when you’re competing with thousands of other gamers putting up content on Google’s online video platform?
The answer is simple in theory, but harder in practice; Add some personality to your channel. By developing a dynamic on-screen persona or by amplifying unique characteristics about yourself, you have a far greater chance of reaching more viewers who are attracted to the specific way you talk, act and react while playing video games.
After all, PewDiePie didn’t get to over 46 million subscribers and more than 12 billion views by being tame and reserved.
How to Establish Your Channel’s Personality
Personality is a driving factor for building a loyal audience for Rooster Teeth’s Achievement Hunter and Funhaus brands. James Willems, a Funhaus member, noted how their brand has managed to attract and keep an audience of dedicated fans based on being true-to-life but amplified versions of themselves, a tactic he recommends other YouTubers emulate if they want to separate themselves from other gaming creators.
“Being genuine on the internet is something people like,” James explained in an interview. “Being [disingenuous] about something on the internet is sniffed out almost immediately. The more you can do to make it seem like, ‘Hey, this may not be who I am all the time, but you’re genuinely seeing me…,’ I think people appreciate that, because then they kind of learn to know you.”
At the same time, James cautioned creators from being too extreme with their personalities, which can seem fine on camera but may seem dishonest in person. “If you’re lucky enough to build an audience, and you’re lucky enough to meet some of your community or some of your fans in real life, you don’t want it to be jarring,” James explained. “You don’t want them to walk away feeling like they were disappointed meeting you because they like the person they see on the screen more.”
Geoff Ramsey, co-founder of Achievement Hunter, also added how YouTube gaming creators can choose to create an online personality that’s different from their personality offline. “Some people feel comfortable amplifying their personalities on camera or creating a character that gives them the freedom to explore relationships in ways they wouldn’t necessarily be comfortable with in their personal lives,” he said. “Others want to keep their offline life and persona as separate and personal as possible.”
How to Pick Relevant, Complementary Games
Being selective with the games you play can be important to enriching your personality. Geoff explained how Achievement Hunter’s members view games as vehicles to help create personality-driven content, especially open-world or sandbox games like Minecraft or GTA V, which “enable us to leverage creativity as a tool.”
He believes other YouTube gaming creators should consider playing these types of games, adding, “The more opportunities you have to engage in the game’s world, the better the content.”
Funhaus, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on games to drive their channel’s content. While the channel has, as Bruce Greene explains, become something of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 of YouTube gaming channels since they tend to play poorly-rated games, the Funhaus team can work with a variety of titles because they focus on personality-driven comedy.
“There are videos that I’ve edited where they’ve started with the game as a jumping-off point and expanded on a narrative that is in no way related to that game,” explained Funhaus’s Elyse Willems. She mentioned how these types of videos are perfect for editing as she has an opportunity to create silly visuals related to the jokes the Funhaus team members make on-camera, as opposed to dealing with just game footage.
How to Stay Consistent and Deal With Haters
One of the biggest problems with developing your on-screen personality, however, is staying consistent. Greene expressed a need for creators to evolve their content over time while staying within the bounds of the personality you’ve set up.
“I feel like that’s the challenge there, actually expanding on what you can make on your channel and getting people to watch it,” Greene explained. The solution? Geoff suggests a “slow, measured evolution,” because most audiences are “understandably resistant to change.”
And as for those attacks on your online personality which you’ll undoubtedly have to deal with? Geoff’s invaluable advice is to simply ignore it and move on: “Life’s too short to be offended by strangers you’ll never meet, who feel comfortable judging from the anonymity and safety of a computer screen.”
Leveraging you personality for more views may seem as simple as being yourself, but there’s more to consider. The more intentional you are about how you present your content, the more thoughtful and original your videos will be. Keep this in mind, and you’ll be making standout gaming videos in no time.
YouTuber Magazine is a digital periodical. Subscribe here to have the next full issue delivered for free.