When beginning the PR campaign for your latest project, learning about and beginning to establish your game’s audience is a vital component. After all, you need to understand who you are marketing to! However, why should it progress forward from there? Cultivating a smaller, close-knit community that is eager for your game takes time, money and a lot of creative and strategic planning. Surely, if your game and its marketing are good enough, your audience will find and buy your game? This blog post will look at the benefits of a consistently engaged community, covering both pre and post-launch.
We sometimes have clients come to us who have been running their own marketing for a while, but have hit a brick wall: they simply cannot get more than a handful of people interested in their game. Often, these clients are stumped, and at their wits’ end. They’ve tried everything, but nothing seems to work.
When you work on enough marketing projects (and I’d estimate I’ve publicised upwards of 200 games in some capacity over the years), you start to spot trends that make these issues a lot easier to diagnose and treat. Here are the top five reasons we find indies aren’t getting the attention their developers were hoping for – and how to steer things back on track for your game!
Last year, I wrote about the most common indie game PR mistakes, and how to avoid falling into those traps. More than ever, those tips remain true: it’s vital to have a clear proposition, allow enough time to prove your value to the media, and ensure everything you present is on-message and slickly produced. But good indie game marketing covers more than just PR, and we often see studios follow the rules when it comes to their public relations, yet fail to capitalise on this success due to having a less-than-robust overall marketing strategy.
Once upon a time, releasing an indie game was enough to get people’s attention — especially if your game was on Steam, the holy grail for the indie developer looking to gain visibility with a large audience. There was a time when a Steam release would guarantee you millions of eyes on your game, and drive sales without you having to do anything. That fabled time now has a name: 2013.
It is not 2013 any more.
And as such, we hear from many developers who are about to release a game, and who know that they need to do some marketing to be in with a chance of success. The problem is, it takes time to construct a scenario where success is likely, or even possible. Developers who begin thinking about marketing just weeks before their release are shooting themselves in the foot, and instead engendering a situation in which their hard work is destined to fail.
It’s often suggested that social media is the secret key to marketing success in the indie game sector. It’s free, it requires relatively little technical knowledge, and it has the ability to reach a nearly endless amount of your target audience. Or so the theory goes.
As with most things in life, the reality of the situation doesn’t quite align with this assumption. I’m glad to say it’s not far off, though: after all, it is free, it doesn’t require a huge amount of technical know-how, and you can reach some of your target audience by following some core principal rules for social media interactions.