An indie mobile game is not always profitable. Or at least not from the beginning. That’s because it competes with tens of thousands of other games that are released on the market every year and just making a great game is not enough to sell it.
Potential customers need to know that your playing exists. In the crowded gaming market, your first (and biggest) problem is connecting with people, both to show them that your work is worth their time and attention, and to persuade them to get involved in your mobile game.
That’s why you need to find innovative and smart ways to market your product. But most low-budget game development teams can’t afford to spend large amounts of money on marketing or PR campaigns. What can you do then? How can you market your game when you have a tight budget?
Well, we have some good news for you – marketing your game doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are 10 easy marketing tips for you, that require no money!
- Develop a stunning website
- Create a trailer/demo video
- Add a blog to your website
- Make beautiful screen shots
- Connect with gaming influencers
- Use the power of social media
- Create a landing page to convert visitors in users
- Store ranking optimization as part of your promotion strategies
- Use cross promotions
- Come up with promotional offers
Create a simple, yet impacting website
Creating a website is the very first step in telling your world about your game. But to make a great impression and convince your potential audience to play/buy/or download your game, it must be unique, informative, easy to scan, and include stunning visuals. The best part is that, unlike the description pages of the app stores, you can be as creative as you can with your site, as long as you don’t forget to optimize it for SEO.
When planning for your website, don’t forget about these elements:
- Game name and icon
- Supported platforms (Android, iOS etc.)
- Game sales pitch
- Call-to-action (mailing-list subscription form, download button, and landing page)
- Promotional video
- Social proof elements (testimonials, user reviews, awards etc.)
- Key features and screenshots
- Support contact information
- Social Media links and buttons
- Press Kit
Create a trailer/demo video for your mobile game
Why? Let’s see a few statistics that demonstrate the demo video is your best asset to get people’s interest in your work:
- people retain 95% of the information contained in videos
- 79% of people claim to have downloaded an app or software after viewing a marketing video.
- 84% of people declare that they have been convinced to purchase as a result of video marketing efforts
- 81% of marketers credit video with helping them to generate leads
- 37% of the average video keeps viewers all the way to the end
- 80% of people prefer videos over written text
And the list can go on.
A trailer is that kind of video content that helps you to creatively promote your game. It combines beautiful images, engaging music, fast-paced animation, and a strong call-to-action (CTA).
To have a great trailer, you must follow a few rules:
- keep it short – your demo video should have less than 2 minutes, the ideal length being between 60 to 90 seconds. That’s enough time to show gameplay, to reel people in, but not too much so you don’t lose them before your call-to-action.
- impress your audience from the very beginning – your target audience needs just 7 seconds to make their opinion. That’s why is important to get your viewers hooked with a powerful intro.
- have great music and sound effects – when you want to convey different emotions, music is your best ally. So, choose your audio background carefully.
- use real footage from the game – as we mentioned in this post, people viewing your trailer want to get a real idea of what your game looks like, what the action and key characters are, and how they can play it. Therefore, it’s important not to mislead them and use real gameplay footage in your demo video.
- include reviews and quotes from professionals – adding testimonials on landing pages or websites is one of the best ways to raise the credibility and authority of your work. If journalists, gaming influencers, or famous developers give a nice comment on your game, include it in your trailer.
- end your demo movie with a strong CTA – tell your viewer what you want them to do (play/buy/download) after watching the video; also let them know where they can find your game (Apple and Google store, Steam, etc) and where they can find your landing page.
Create a blog about your mobile game
Creating a website to present your game is absolutely mandatory, especially because gamers are by default internet users. But adding a blog to your website is the easiest way of connecting and engaging with your audience.
You can use it to share, for example, the story of your game: how you came up with the idea for this playing, how you developed it, even the difficulties you had to face. You can also provide information on gameplay mechanics, features, and tips on how to play the game.
And most importantly, you can use this blog to feature notes on important game updates. Tell the user what is coming in the next patch, or you can give them little sneak peeks of special time-limited events.
Create beautiful screenshots
When video content is the king, image is the queen. And this is because an image is worth one thousand words. Especially online, where people don’t have too much time to read. On social media, posts that include images receive 2.3 times more engagement than those without. Also, social media strategist Jeff Bullas reports that Facebook posts with photos receive an average 37% increase in engagement.
In addition, have to know that bloggers and press need vivid and bold images to insert in their own posts when featuring your game.
So, it’s important for you to take high-resolution pictures, that present your game the best. You don’t need too much, but what you have should be at an impeccable resolution. Think of them as your game’s portfolio, that anyone might check out.
Create a landing page to convert visitors into users
A landing page is the best way to convert visitors into players. But “just” creating one is not enough. To get the most of it, you should consider following some best practices:
- your landing page should be clean and simple to navigate
- include screenshots and demo footage of the game above the fold, the best place for the visitor to observe it. Using videos on landing pages can improve conversions by 86%
- Know your audience and make A/B testing. Targeting and testing correctly can boost conversions by 300%.
- optimize your landing page(s) for mobile, as 53.3% of web traffic is now mobile
- you can also include download links for various stores such as Steam or Twitch, so users can immediately check out your game
- include reviews from the press, along with ratings from players.
Use the power of social media
Using social media is a great way to reach out to your target audience and connect with your potential players. Create your social media profile on the most important platforms, where your fans spend most of their time, share news, quotes, memes, videos, and stories related to your game.
It’s also important to bring value and interact with your fans, so like them, follow them, retweet their tweets, thank them and answer their comments.
Connect with gaming influencers to feature your mobile game
As in many other industries, influencers in the gaming niche have a big impact on their followers and their purchasing behavior. What do you think will happen when a relevant influencer will talk 30” about your mobile game at the beginning of a video? Or he will stream himself playing your game?
Your playing will become one of the most trending games in the store. It’s important to reach out and connect with those influencers who share your values and are relevant both for your target audience and for your game.
However, you should know that for getting the most out of working with gaming influencers, you should follow some best practices.
Use App Store Optimization (ASO) as part of promotion strategies
When having mobile games, App Store Optimization should be one of the very first things you do to boost your playing metrics. ASO includes multiple factors, all of them focusing on helping your game rank higher. It includes keyword analysis, your game description, and visuals, it is designed to improve the review score/ ratings for your game. Optimizing store ranking for your mobile game will help with user conversion rates as well, and you will have a higher chance of reaching new players.
As a game development studio, if this is not your first game, you should already have some other playings published on the stores (iOS App Store, Google Play, Twitch, or Steam, to name just a few). If so, you can do a cross-promotion by inserting new game ads into older games and vice versa.
If not, you can also partner with other games or brands from complementary industries to advertise each other. This is a great option when having similar audiences.
Come up with promotional offers for your mobile game
Promotional offers work great when want to advertise your game for a specific period of time, create a sense of urgency, and increase sales. All brands do this. You can do the same thing with your game.
Give new users a bonus in-game currency or a special discount price for certain items within the game. By lowering the price compared to the competition, you have a competitive advantage, resulting in higher sales. You can do this with both free as well as paid games. Try coupon codes, giveaways, or setting up free trials of premium features within your game for a limited time.
These low-budget tips to market your game should help you boost its metrics significantly. However, you should also know that you must be patient and devote a larger portion of your time towards designing, implementing, evaluating, and adjusting them to get the best results
There are more marketing techniques out there that you can use when having a tight budget, so do your research and remember to try out all the stuff we listed here. Used individually, none of them will help you too much. But when combined, these 10 tips will help you increase your mobile game ranking, increase your user conversion rate, and set your game up for long-term success.