14 Indie Game Marketing Tips
Oh, that sweet feeling when people download and play your game… Could it be any better?
That’s what all game developers dream of when creating their games. But to achieve that you need to invest much time, efforts and.. let’s be honest — money — in marketing your masterpiece.
You’re probably thinking — I’m no big game dev corporation, how the heck am I going to devise a marketing strategy and finance it? Here’s the deal: you CAN do it. You just need to know where to start ;)
1. Begin before the beginning
Don’t wait for the game to be released to start marketing it. The earlier you do — the better. Run your social media, reach out to press & influencers, create a website — just make sure to keep all those channels updated. An empty Instagram account will do you no good.
2. Build your game’s home page
Make sure you have a place your users can come to and find all they want to know about your game. A website would be a perfect solution, of course, but a social media page would also do the job.
3. Go social, no time to be an introvert
Face it, deal with it, do it. With the projected 3,2 billion social media users by 2021, you can’t ignore Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like.
The wider is your presence — the better. But keep it rational — better have 2 well-kept accounts than 10 messy pages you can’t keep up with.
4. Make your game a movie star
Yes, videos do sell. Yes, it will take time and efforts to create a great video. And yes — you can still do it for free using iMovie or similar tools. If you what to go fancier, you can go for paid solutions and even outsource the whole process. Just make sure your game trailer is short, exciting and tells your game’s story.
5. Make your creatives.. well, creative
Icons, screenshots, GIFs and any other graphics must be spectacular, high-quality and fit for all purposes. Make your game’s press kit that you can revert to at any moment and use for any social media, website or publication.
6. Go for the press and influencers
Analyze your market, choose the right resources and people to contact, create a truly awesome description of your game, attach the collaterals and send it out. Your users will try your game if they see influencers they trust talk about it.
7. In word of moth we trust
Virality is the cheapest and the most effective instrument of game marketing. If you convince gamer community that your game is one in a million, even if it’s one of the millions, you’ll get your piece of the pie.
8. Get the crowd do the job
Try crowdsourcing. Make your pitch good and go for it. You can never tell if your game is going to get great funding. But it will certainly get exposure, which is exactly what you need.
9. Engage your colleagues. Or rivals? ;)
Use specialized groups on social media, developer forums, run a developer blog — if you manage to interest other developers, there’s a great chance your users will follow the lead.
10. Launch your app right
Don’t ignore App Store Optimization. Your app, whether it’s indie or not, will be placed among thousands of others. The better you optimize your app page, the more users will be able to find it. Remember — ASO is one of the keys to your success.
11. Make third parties your first allies
Don’t ignore third-party distribution channels (like casual game portals, like Big Fish, Shockwave or the like) and app/game review services. Why? Because they already have a number of users and you just jump on the wagon and see if it works.
12. Don’t forget to make an awesome app ;)
Your marketing efforts will get your app noticed. But it has to be great, otherwise people will find it, click it through and walk away.
13. Hear out what your users have got to say
Even if you did great job in early marketing and delivered an awesome game — it’s no time to relax. People will comments on your social media, leave their reviews and write to your support email. Embrace it and be prepared to actively communicate with your gamers. Make them happy and they will make you happy in return by spreading out the word.
14. Drive in users. Creatively
You can always go for the traditional marketing and user acquisition tools. But don’t forget about experimenting — new and innovative tools will cost you less and bring you tons of good. Check out Aprofita — it will be your cheapest paying user acquisition source at zero risk — pure CPI works its’ magic after all ;)
Game marketing sounds scary, but in reality it can be done with relatively small efforts and investments. Just make your plan, set up your goals and do it all step by step. It doesn’t guarantee instant success, but it also prevents instant failure. So, go for it — and good luck!