Since its launch in 2015, the VOIP and chat app Discord has been a major part of online communication, and many people have been using it to make money and promote their side hustles and hobbies. Here are some game-changing ways to promote your Discord server to get you the member base you want!
Step One: Optimization
Before you go any further with thinking about promoting your Discord server, you need to make sure that it looks good and functions well. We’re not going to go too deep into how to optimize your server structure, but if you’re running a big server, it can be very helpful to have opt-in roles. For example, if you’re running a sports betting server, users can request roles based on their preferred sport or sports and have access to only the channels they want. A big, disorganized server is intimidating and unwieldy and will see a lot of churns. You can also use plugins and integrated tools to make your server look better and more organized.
Also, while Discord is free, the paid premium options are very helpful for creating a server worth promoting. Little elements of branding, like a banner, custom emotes, and increased bot support, can make your server look more cohesive and professional– and that is very attractive to users, even if they don’t really think about it.
Once your server is set up and looks awesome, it’s time to promote it!
Step Two: Social Media
If you want to promote Discord servers, social media is a great strategy. It takes some effort, but it’s free– and it has the potential to reach a wide audience who might not know that they even want to join a Discord server. By casting a wide net, you can develop a broad potential audience.
While there are lots of places you can post your Discord server, here are a few that make a lot of sense:
- Facebook groups related to the server’s main topic
- Subreddits related to the server’s main topic
- The /r/discordservers subreddit, which is a list of Discord servers by topic
- TikTok– you can even add a direct link to your Discord server so that people can access it from inside the app
- Instagram– use hashtags to make it easy for your side hustle or hobby community to find you
- Twitter alternatives like Mastodon and Post– while these sites are new and may or may not have long-term viability or the overall audience that Twitter has, take advantage of the discord amongst the Twitter audience over platform policy changes. Some short-term time investments on these new platforms, while they have a flurry of interest, may be very helpful.
Figure out where your people hang out on social media and promote your server on those platforms. Don’t spread yourself too thin on a social media site that isn’t a great home for your content.
An important element of a social media strategy is being social. Don’t just drop the link and disappear! Stick around to hype up your server and answer people's questions in the comments. You want people to feel that your server is a friendly, inviting place that will give them access to incredible content and opportunities.
An important (and fun) aspect of Discord servers is the community spirit they develop. For example, look at the reviews for MeezyPicks, the top-rated sports betting server. Virtually all of them mention the supportive community or the server’s atmosphere in some way. Developing a Discord server and attracting new members isn’t just about getting people to join– it’s also about getting them to stay.
Step Three: Discord Server Finders
There are lots of places out there where people go looking specifically for Discord servers to join. If you aren’t posting there, you’re missing out on potential members! Discord server finders are a great way to attract new members. To make the best use of these platforms, you should make sure that your server has a good description that says exactly what it’s for and what it offers.
Few people will want to waste their time on a service without any kind of description or something vague and unconvincing. Instead, hype up what your server does and highlight its unique, exclusive features in the description.
There are many places for this kind of promotional listing; here are some of the most popular:
While many of these server finders are free to list, you can boost your server’s visibility with paid advertising.
Step Four: Join A Marketplace
To promote Discord servers that have paid entry, you will want to join a marketplace. Joining a marketplace makes it easy for people to access your server and sign up. It also makes it easier for people to find your server. While there are other ways to paywall your server, it can be hard to promote Discord servers that have paid entry without the ease of a marketplace.
Marketplaces also track server performance, provide a place for people to review your server, and make it easier for communities to find each other. You can run promotions for discounted admission or even free temporary access through your marketplace– people love feeling like they’ve gotten a deal and will likely be happy to pay full price once they see how awesome your service is!
Step Five: Paid Advertising
There’s an old saying: “You have to spend money to make money.” Well, that’s true when you want to promote Discord servers, too. While free advertising is useful, paid advertising can really pay off to promote Discord servers. When you pay the listing site, they rocket your server to the front page, making sure that everybody sees it. Paid promotions on social media sites expose your links to more users.
There is a balance here; too much-paid promotion can often seem “salesy” and be more of a turnoff than an enticer. Instead, be smart about what you’re promoting and when. For example, if you’re running a shoe reselling server, buy some promoted Twitter posts leading up to an exciting drop. If you run a sports betting server, promote it around playoffs, bowl games, or tournaments.
Step Six: Partner with Influencers
Whether you love influencer marketing or hate it, here are a few facts:
- The primary audience of Discord is millennials ages 25-34; 42.4% of the platform’s user base falls within this age range.
- The next biggest sector is Gen Z, ages 16-24, with 22.2% of the platform’s users.
- Two-thirds of Gen Z and half of millennials trust influencers’ recommendations for purchases and experiences.
With that in mind, it seems like a pretty straightforward and good idea to reach out to some influencers for your Discord server. Just make sure that you pick the right influencers– look for people who are active in the scene surrounding your Discord server’s topic. If you have a gaming discord, pick a popular gamer.
Influencer marketing also opens up opportunities for cross-promotion; if the person you talk to has a server of their own, you might be able to bring some of their fans on board.
Step Seven: Host Events
When you’re promoting your Discord server, you want to give people a reason to join now. Not “think about it for a week,” but join right here, right now. One way to do this is to play on people’s fear of missing out or FOMO. FOMO is a powerful motivator to get people to take action, and by playing up the exclusive events and promotions your server has to offer, you can encourage people to take the step and join the server.
One great way to do this is with events. Discord servers run events all the time. Live chats, giveaways, contests, games, and more are great ways to reward server members, increase activity, and attract new members. Holding these events regularly decreases churn, and you can even incentivize people to stick around longer by having special channels and events for longtime members.
Discord makes events easy to host. You can easily schedule events even without bots, and Discord has a guide to setting up these events. Another feature that’s extremely important for Discord events is the ability to stream on the platform.
Step Eight: Streaming
Discord’s integrated live streaming feature makes it very popular with the gaming community– but all kinds of servers can use this streaming feature for promotional purposes! For example, live-streaming giveaways is a great way to attract people to your server. Set a time and date and promote it heavily on social media– and watch members stream in to watch you stream!
Streaming adds an exciting extra element to your Discord server's exclusive promotions. People love to watch and react to things in real-time, and because the streaming feature is integrated into the app, they can easily watch it on mobile or desktop without having to navigate another site.