Considering the exponential growth of the gaming industry and the fierce competition in this market, it’s no wonder that the dream of creating a best-selling game can be destroyed quite easily. That if you don’t have and implement the right game marketing strategies.
You created, developed, and launched your game. But this is just the beginning of your long (or short) journey to success. Without a solid and coherent marketing strategy and a consistent implementation, your game will get lost through the multitude of other games, and all the money, time, and effort invested in developing it will go to waste.
The hardest part lies not in creating an excellent game, but in making it stand out from the crowd and convince gamers to play, download or buy it. Whether you improve an old game and want to relaunch it or want to launch a new one, expand on a new market, or just look to have more game players, there are several game marketing tactics you can implement.
If you are a large corporation, the situation is not so complicated. But what do you do when you’re a startup or medium-sized business and you can’t afford to invest in marketing the same impressive budgets as the big companies do?
In this blog post, we’ll talk about how to market your game. We’ll explain to you 7 effective and easy game marketing strategies you can start using right now, some of them being free or inexpensive. However you choose to combine them, they will all help to increase your game’s download rate and get people talking about it.
When it comes to promoting, content marketing is for sure a great strategy to use not just for gaming businesses, but for all kinds of companies. In fact, according to a HubSpot report, 82% of responders stated that they actively use content marketing to attract and convince their customers.
If the content is helpful, interesting, and unique, it will immediately draw the people’s eyes and will also engage with them. There are many types of great content – from playing guides and blogs to infographics, video content, and podcasts – that can drive traffic to your website or other platforms where you publish your game.
But we also have to mention that if you want to translate and localize your game for specific markets, you should also consider localizing the marketing content, not just the game.
The Content Marketing Institute report reveals that when the content marketers were asked which type of content they used in the last 12 months, 82% of them answered that blog posts/short articles produced the best overall content marketing results for their organization in the last 12 months. And they are followed by email newsletters (tied at 26%), and pre-produced videos (13%).
That’s why creating a blog on your website is one of the best long-term investments you can make and brings you many benefits. Basically, a blog lets you:
- use SEO best practices to increase the traffic of your blog/website. This means that your blog posts must be not just optimized for off-page and on-page SEO, but also solve some pain points of your readers
- attract new players
- show and tell people about your game(s)
- turn your website into a place where people want to spend some time reading valuable and interesting information, allowing your games to attract customers
A blog is a great way to publish updates and news about your product and company, about the gaming industry, its trends, and developments. But you must keep in mind that especially because players are a very sophisticated audience, with a different mindset than the other audiences, your posts must be informative and creative.
This way you will ensure that your articles have all the ingredients to be shared also on social media and draw people to your game.
When it comes to attracting the millennial audience and getting your game in front of millions of potential customers, then influencers are kings. Be the bloggers, VIPs, streamers, YouTubers, and other social media celebrities, these people are followed by your potential audience. That’s why their opinions are important and working with them is extremely useful in promoting video games.
If you are lucky enough to know an influencer in the gaming industry, then you can reach out to see if he/she would want to work with you. Many influencers will ask you for money, so this could cost you a bit, depending on how big their audience is.
But what should you do if you don’t have any connections? How do you find the right influencer?
Well, social media is the best place for connecting with the top influencers in your niche. Depending on their specialization, you may reach them out on different social media networks and social sharing websites. All you have to do is to look for their profiles and contact them.
If you can set a collaboration, you will not have just their recommendations, but you will also benefit from their own audience.
Video content – the king of game marketing strategy
A Smart Insights study shows that video content accounted for 78% of all global data traffic in 2019. At the same time, according to the Wistia State of Video report, people watched 12.2 billion minutes of video last year, 85% more than in the previous year. That’s 23,211 years’ worth of content!
As gamers also enjoy watching games not just playing them, we can say for sure that gaming habits have also changed lately. So, it’s reasonable to say that you should use video content as a key marketing technique for your gaming products and services.
That’s why promoting your game on platforms like YouTube and Twitch is essential. With the live streaming of video games becoming more popular, you can easily reach an established market. You can stream your game, get your product promoted by an influencer, or create your promo video.
Even though the order of popularity of certain social media platforms may change over time, the presence and power of social media itself aren’t going anywhere. If you want to reach an audience that matches your target demographic, using platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is essential.
To find out the most efficient social media networks from your business goals point of view, you should first use the analytics tools offered by each platform. This is the best approach when you want to figure out how to market a new game. Once set the social media channels, you should post quality and engaging written and visual content to build and develop your brand. On Facebook and Instagram, you can also take advantage of advertising options, which will help you strengthen your brand, but also drive traffic to your own site.
The email has always been and still remains one of the classic and effective ways of marketing. In 2021, 77% of marketers reported seeing more engagement with email than in the previous year. By sending hyper-personalized and authentic messages, that include information about the latest sign-up offers, tournaments, and new features, you will immediately grab the attention of your potential audience. In addition, if you also include a link that takes them directly to your website, app store, or other platforms from where your potential customers can download the game or play directly online, many will click on it out of curiosity. Nowadays, more and more people are using their smartphones for everything and in some cases, they throw away emails without reading them. In-app notifications, push notifications and text messages promoting your offers are also great marketing techniques.
One of the main characteristics of young people is their willingness to socialize and make new friends. And even now, or better say, especially now, when the pandemic changed completely the way of people interact, what can be more interesting than a live event? Even if it may be online. And to make things more exciting for them, you may consider organizing a limited event, where everybody is gathered around one main thing or topic.
You could also invite to your event the same influencers, celebrities, and bloggers who accepted to write or share positive reviews or opinions about your game. And if you stream the event live on social media, that’s better. Think about combining four marketing techniques: influencer marketing, event marketing, video content marketing, and social media marketing.
Potentially you can trigger the interest of the most popular of them by providing some kind of additional incentive. Afterward, many of these would provide reactions to the visit, giving you a free video game promotion.
Bonuses, free plays, and downloads
Everyone likes to get something for free, and the use of bonuses and free games has been the not-so-secret weapon of many game developers and creators since the beginning. So players actually test out the games before they decide to invest money in their hobby, and you give them the sign that they’re getting something special.
Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of such offers?
Reviews – one of the most powerful game marketing strategies
Considering that 93.4% of consumers and online shoppers rely on customer reviews when dealing with brands they are not familiar with, social proof is one of the most powerful methods of promotion.
And getting reviews from your customers where they describe the positive experience the game offers will encourage others to buy and download the game. The more positive reviews you get, the more potential customers you will attract, and the higher the download and purchase rates will be. After all, that’s the goal, isn’t it?
Once you’ve created and launched a website for your game, make sure it contains at least some positive reviews.
People love direct, honest, interesting, and creative communication, so now’s your chance to think of unique ways to get attention for your game. The sky’s the limit to what you can do, but of course, you have to keep your budget in mind. Think about what game marketing strategies you can use to create a buzz and get people talking about your game. Then consistently implement them, analyze the results and adjust your marketing plan accordingly so you can attract visitors to your website or app store and increase sales.