Ever think to yourself what the best type of gaming videos are to make for your YouTube channel? This is a question that all content creators of gaming channels come up against at one point or another. For some it is a simple decision, for others it takes time to find their place. As a content creator myself (the trendy word for video-making-person these days) I find myself firmly in the latter group. The main problem is feedback. When you create a video, you don’t get a chance to receive feedback until it is finished, uploaded and published out to the masses. When you fail to get any feedback in the early days, it can become quite demoralising – it’s probably the reason most people quit early on, despite having promises of uploading every day, having lots of great videos coming to the channel etc… we’ve heard it all before, maybe even said it ourselves…I know I have!
So, with this in mind, what are the best videos to make? Is it a simple question? Well guess what – it depends.
It all depends on a number of factors that only you as a content creator (I’ll never get used to saying that) will be able to answer or at the very least have a bloomin' good guess.
The same way that people say that there are only 7 types of story, the same can be said for gaming videos. Over the last few years, gaming has become one of the most, if not THE most popular video type on YouTube. Add to that the meteoric rise of Twitch fast becoming a viable career choice for some, and you really have to do something to stand out from the crowd.
Traditional Let’s Plays
Let’s face it, one of the easiest formats to record, can be as simple or complicated as you like, and at the end you have gameplay, with or without commentary. You can have a radio quality personality and voice, intros and outros, inserts, face cams, reactions funky editing… but how much of that will grab a viewer? Unlikely that one thing alone will, but the more care you take in the finished product, the more people will notice. Pewdiepie didn’t start out with 35million subs – and neither will you…
The topic of game is always important too. This is why knowing your audience can help immensely. If you are varied in Let’s Play videos like we are over at OverbyteGamingUK (shameless plug) then it can be difficult to cater for someone who just wants you to play one particular title or style of game. TIP: record the best quality video and audio that you can and make the Let’s Play WORTH WATCHING. If you don’t do that, you won’t get any views… FACT.
In my experience, this format takes more effort but again can take as much or as little as you want to. You can record a piece to camera, script what you are going to say, gather game footage to splice into and over your speech, edit down the runtime to a decent amount, cut out what doesn’t work… it all adds up eventually. Despite all this, we’ve found that more people search for and find our review videos over and above our Let’s Plays. Maybe that’s just been luck, but the numbers speak for themselves. One of the biggest benefits of reviews is that you can do a second take without having to film / capture everything again. You can craft a final performance like you would do in a music recording studio, rather than the Let’s Play ‘live performance’. People also like to hear views that agree with their own – it’s called ‘confirmation bias’ and is very powerful. I’m not suggesting that you jump on any bandwagon going, but if you say what your true opinion is, then viewers will be more likely to come to see more of your stuff, if they agree. Just sayin’…
Most of the same applies here as it does for Reviews. Only difference in my opinion is that they can be slightly more relaxed as these videos are often time sensitive to release dates or topical trends, and if you are lucky enough to get hold of early release / reviewer copies of games, etc. Generally this fact, added to the shorter length these videos end up being, makes them a good candidate for views, and engagement. Mind you, if you are receiving reviewer copies, you probably don’t need to read this!!!
These can be your chance to go viral… generally restricted to horror survival games, these can evoke the most replayability value in a video. Due to some weird Schaedenfreude effect, we all like taking pleasure from someone else’s misery or discomfort. You have to be able to perform naturally or otherwise for this though. The effort involved is again in capturing THAT moment with enough background to give it context. A 5 second video won’t have the same effect as one with ample set-up for the big payoff. Putting it together isn’t too taxing either. Well, no more than a review would be.
Let’s face it. these are your clickbait of the video world, just shy of putting sexy people on your thumbnail. (which is against YouTube’s terms of service, unless you are actually …er…sexy) but people can’t get enough of videos like “TOP 5 HEADSHOTS OF ALL TIME EVER” and so on. They can be tricky to do, but the payoff can be great. The only downside is that despite the potential for views, the videos are equally as disposable. You may get views, but will you get subscribers from it? only time will tell… However, these are a way to engage conversation in the comments if you ask for it. “let me know what you would have in your top 5” is a great way to stimulate those dormant, voyeuristic, inactive subs that may just be waiting for their moment to shine in your comments section :)
How to Videos
These can also take many forms, but they don’t have to be too taxing. Are you good at a particular aspect of a game? Are you able to teach others how to improve on a skill? Do you have tips and tricks on a certain stage or level? All of these can be valuable to those people searching for the weird, the abstract, and the obtuse. OK, you have to remember that YouTube is the 2nd or 3rd most popular search engine, so your potential reach could be massive.
Ok – now this is the category everyone would LIKE to make. But we are talking eSports level ability here. The kind of skill where if you started streaming your ability with a game, others would stop. Again, this kind of video would certainly do the rounds in gaming media if your ability is impressive enough to translate into video. I’m not talking about the kind of freak, lucky moments where you land perfectly in a HALO warthog (unless you planned it of course) but I’m talking one arm behind your back, eyes closed, levels of skill. If you are able to showcase your experience and skill on a game, exploit it. Add a dash of personality, you might have yourself a winner. I must confess that as I don’t possess this level of skill, and therefore I won’t be making any of these – but they are out there…
No matter what videos you decide to make and how much effort you put into them, just remember to be open to constructive criticism, be genuine, and you will find your place in this crazy gaming video industry.