Game promotion. Zero budget marketing and advanced ways of promotion
Marketing, Technology26 June 2019
When you launch a new game to the masses, no one knows about its existence, respectively, no one knows how to find you and what they should find you. You as a developer are required to inform people about your existence! No matter how you do it: with or without the help of advertisers – you should be heard and seen to buy your product.
Each developer is faced with the next step, and there are 2 possible outcomes: either you will advertise a game on your own, or you will attract marketers.
7 steps to marketing your new game on a zero-dollar budget
Why marketing the game is necessary
Unfortunately, most indie games do not bring profit. And, unfortunately, the creation of a great game does not undertake its excellent sale. You can be sure of the originality and quality of your creation, but this is not a guarantee that it will be noticed. In a crowded gaming market, your first problem is to reach out to people. To prove to them that your work is worth their time and attention. That is why you have to communicate in a smart and innovative way.
Advertising won’t be 100% free, even if you do your own marketing. It will cost you a plethora of time and energy. But if you don’t do it, you won’t sell anything. No communication – no sales.
Step 1: Optimize your landing page
The main goal here is to convert site visitors into players. Your goal is for people to follow you on social networks and hope to buy the game. Try to talk directly with your visitors or target audience in the page header.
Enable social network icons. Also, tell the visitor on which platforms the game is available. Steam, Apple Store? Windows, Mac, Linux?
Include some reviews or testimonials. Same as your trailer.
Step 2: Create a catchy trailer to attract people
Trailer is your best way to get people interested in your work. Why?
It would be foolish not to use it, having such an opportunity. This is a powerful tool because it transmits all the information you want to share with the viewer within 1-2 minutes.
Here are some secrets to creating a successful trailer
- The ideal length is from 60 to 90 seconds. This is enough to demonstrate the gameplay, to attract people and to get the opportunity to hold the attention of the video before the call to action.
- Show footage from the game! This is a gaming trailer, which means viewers expect to see your game. They want to know what is happening in your game world 🙂
- Leave feedback and quotes about your product. Words of popular people will add credibility to your work. I’m talking about the words of experts, not your friends and associates, but experts in the gaming industry. If journalists or well-known developers give a good comment on your game, add it into a trailer.
- Complete the trailer with a call to action. Tell viewers where to get your game, everything they need to do after watching. Specify where they can buy it, download or try a demo version.
Check it out for a good example 🙂
Step 3: Reach places with potential customers
Reddit and Unity Connect are ones of the most visited sites on the Internet that allows all users of all levels of experience to interact with each other. This is a gigantic community in which users can create their own subcommunities organized around topics that interest them. Users can subscribe to any topic.
You can share your project with others. This is a great opportunity to collect thousands of opinions absolutely free. But… be ready that the people there may not be very friendly. Criticism will not always be true, but these are opinions that are important to you. Collect the comments you need and make your game better.
Step 4: Publish the weekly developer blog and pages in social media
A blog is a great way to reach your target audience. But it should be fun and interesting to keep gamers’ attention. “Ghost of the Tale” offers an excellent example of an exciting blog of developers.
The creators of the game explain how they overcome technical obstacles in the project. This not only proves their experience but is also very interesting both to fellow developers and players, as it shows their progress and can give ideas at the same time.
Social media presence is also important. Using your own resources to manage your pages in social networks, talk about the development process, cool moments, share the achievements of other people, generally gather a team of fans, motivate them in the game to subscribe to the social networks of the game, give bonuses, etc.)
Step 5: Be active in game forums and groups in social media
Game forums – one of the possible ways to make themselves known. You can introduce yourself as a developer or be a simple gamer in the eyes of others. Gaming communities are very cohesive. An analysis of ones will give you a lot of necessary information. And also this is a great advertising opportunity. But be careful. Try to be friendly and open to suggestions and criticism.
By the way, you can use groups in social networks. Share a link to your site there, show the trailer – and the outcome is going to get resolved within a few days.
Step 6: Grab the press attention
By sending a press release, you have one chance. You cannot be fabulous, you should be as interested as possible to the readers, keeping their attention from beginning to end.
Most people will read only the very first sentence of your PR, so make it meaningful. Give the reader a link he can visit to find out more about your game and find your press kit; give readers ways to reach you (this can be your email address, physical address, and phone number).
Step 7: Cross-promotion
Today, the most effective way is the cross-promotion of goods or services through social networks.
There are many social networks in which you can promote your product. The main thing is to choose where the most activities will take place. For instance, you may find another indie developer who just finished his game and negotiate about cross-promotion of your products. Of course, your audiences are not wide to reach so many users at ones, but what if you will find several indie developers? Be creative and don’t be afraid of acting! Create joint promotions, offer bonuses for subscriptions and activity and loyal users will find you.
Advanced ways of promotion
I think the most important advantage worth mentioning is saving your time.
You can transfer to the hands of professionals preparation for acquaintance with your creation and in the shortest possible lines get an excellent result. After all, an entire team represented by a marketing agency or a professional marketer working at home will work on your PR.
Step by step (all of the above) will be implemented so that your game will come out in the top queries and receive as much attention as possible, therefore, it will bring you profit.
In addition to the points mentioned above:
- At your disposal will be advertising (of course, how to do without it, when there is finance). The advertisement is the engine of the trade! Hire the right people and reach your target audience: PPC, in-game advertisement, Social media ads, AdWords;
- Take advantage of the influence of bloggers. At the present time, advertising from bloggers is very popular. This may be a video blogger who will shoot reviews and talk about updates, tricks, and secrets, offer bonuses for subscriptions, etc. This person is trusted and people willing to listen. The authority of a person in social networks is determined by the number of subscribers (over 5 thousand people). The influencer is able to clearly speak and explain, convey information to the audience. Marketers choose them for promoting a product. Statistics show that opinion leaders began to be trusted even more than to the mass media. They must work together with the marketer to make the result even better. Try it.
- You can pay for an article in the online magazine of the gaming industry or in other media. This is the true way to reach most of your target audience because it is the niche area and people who are not interested in gaming won’t buy/subscribe to such magazines.
In order for your game to get the audience’s attention needed for sales, you can use the help of professionals or you can do it yourself. In the article, I tried to show the necessary steps to achieve your goals. I hope the article will be useful. Good luck! 🙂l.sidorenko