How to use Twitch for live product feedback

Twitch is an amazing video platform. One that is far more addictive than YouTube, Vine, and Periscope combined. My experience on Twitch led to exploring an AMA “Ask Me Anything” with early users about my next startup MODD.

Initially, I sent out a simple email to some live streamers that I had been following, indicating that I wanted to host a product AMA event. Not expecting much from the email (it is email!), I was surprised to have pretty high conversion rates across opens, clicks, and sign ups. Conversion across our funnel was well above industry average. So needless to say, I was pretty excited and a little nervous at the same time. I knew Twitch was fantastic for eSports streaming but what I didn’t realize — it is great for product storytelling as well. Live streaming allows you to explore what you are working on with the audience you are trying to reach.

Twitch allows you to explore your product live in front of potential customers. Sorta like, a social QVC.

There’s something pure about being live. You have to let go of yourself and authentically tell your story. Why does your product exist? What is the reasoning behind it? Why the hell are you building it?! This type of open user discussions is amazing for everyone on your team. At MODD we not only believe making product is extremely creative but programming is also very creative in it’s own right. Sometimes, making software tends to lessen the human side of building a business, but there are ways of humanizing it. Twitch is one of them.

What did we learn?

Best AMA Question: “On a scale of 1 to 10, How excited are you about this product?” Funniest AMA Question: “What did you have for lunch?”. We learned that our beta users were asking similar questions were are actively trying to answer within our product. We also learned that our messaging needed to be changed to help all parties understand the importance of it. My experience is now turning into a weekly show for beta users to ping questions and get to know the team. We plan on making it more organic than rehearsed so who knows what’s in store. Want to see TeamMODD LIVE? You can — every Thursday at 2pm PST.

So how do you host your own product AMA on Twitch?

Hardware

Unfortunately, you can’t really go around this one. Window PC’s still run the gaming, video, and streaming world. You just have to face it. Macs are really slow when it comes to streaming, especially 1080p. So I built myself a i7 PC with 8G of ram accompanied by an Elgato HD video capture. I finished out my setup with an HD Web Cam and decent Microphone.

Setup

Broadcasting Software

Next you will need some broadcasting software. XSplit & OBS seem to be the standard. OBS is an open source project with a nice size community so I went with that. It is rudimentary software but allows you to setup your stream, control layers, and connect to third party plugins. My experience is that OBS is better community wise on PC over Mac. Once you have OBS running you will need to set your stream settings to allow you to upload the best quality video your connection will allow. Generally around 3,000 KPBS will be good enough but Twitch does not recommend going over 3,300 KPBS so this might require some testing. You can find out how much you can upload per second at speedtest.net.

OBS Screenshot

Twitch Account & Profile

Next you will need a Twitch account, profile, and Stream Key. You can dress up your profile, add a bio, and let people know who you are. Twitch is a community of gamers and creatives so please keep that in mind when you are setting up your channel. Repeat >> Twitch’s community is unique, so make sure you are truly making something people want. No Spam, all Kappa.

Twitch Path Key inside OBS

Stream Graphics

Your profile is up. Now add some overlays — such as chat, follower alerts, subscribers, and more. Overlays and plugins for various tasks will make your stream seem alive & connected to your viewers. Users take pride in their overlay graphics and some even hand draw their graphics. In addition to your profile, overlay theme and graphics, you should create custom emotes for your channel. It’s a fun way to allow users to express themselves under your stream’s brand. Note that Twitch comes with many emote options that are free inside chat, but custom emotes tell other chat viewers that you support the streamer (you are a “Sub”).

Most important

Be yourself. Twitch is booming with creativity. If you do choose to host a Twitch stream please make sure that you don’t abuse the platform. It is always good to tie your non-gaming stream back to Programming or being Creative. This will help other Twitch viewers know what to expect before they start your stream.

What is MODD?

MODD is building the world’s first device designed specifically for eSports & creative streamers. Learn more at modd.live.

The One Beta Program

If you are interested in being a part of the MODD One Beta Program you can sign up here. The One Beta Program will give you access to early sketches, 3D prototypes and physical device beta testing when the One becomes available.

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