As a writer with many by-lines for the AR and VR industry, marketing is a big deal. I frequently get asked: What can indie developers or studios do to market their video game or application?
After researching thousands of AR, VR, and video game studio websites (AAA to indie), I’ve got some tips and takeaways for you. Marketing doesn’t have to mean you need a million dollars at your disposal. Many do it with effort and free tools.
Make life easier by marketing your game or application with:
1. A Free Website (Or pay for one.)
Having a website is an essential part of marketing. If you have a Twitter but don’t have a website, what are you even doing? Get on WordPress or another website hosting platform now.
Start putting up pictures of your game, product, people, and also a logo. Hook up your website with links to your social media sites, so visitors can see it and don’t have to hunt on the internet for it. (More on this later.)
Put a contact page or link to your email address on your website, so it’s easier for people to contact you directly. Don’t rely on DM’s, tagging, or luck for people to get a hold of you.
To be direct, I’ll say this – please don’t assume we all know who you are. Market to the person who hasn’t heard of your game or app. Even if you were famous, don’t rely on your reputation to precede you.
Most importantly, get a website to set yourself up for success. Especially so potential buyers, partners, investors, developers, studios, and other website visitors can see what you’re selling and distributing.
2. A Press Kit
I’ve seen my share of studio and developer websites without a press kit. What’s a press kit? It’s one part or page of your site, which can also be a link that directs people and PRESS to images, videos, and press releases!
Press kits not only save time, but studios make new ones for campaigns, launches, and any newsworthy event or milestone. It’s up to you what you include, but make it represent your studio in the best light.
Add high-quality photos and videos, as well as media contact information. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to email studios and ask them for gameplay photos and videos, logos, and other information. The outcome – they responded weeks later, when interest dwindled, and they lost out on an article.
Finally, make a press kit and put it up on your website so you will not have to send out detailed emails about it! Direct everyone to the link so you can get back to making your game or app. Trust me, it will be worth the effort. Plus, it looks professional as heck.
3. A Social Media Profile
It seems like common sense, but some studios don’t have any social media presence. What is a business if there’s no social validation? Not much. They probably wouldn’t last very long. Just saying.
Marketing is about getting valuable attention to your new game or application. When done right, using hashtags on Twitter and tagging businesses on Instagram can attract your kind of people and even companies for collaboration or sponsorship.
Words of wisdom – don’t spam people with a wall of posts every day. Plan and space them out, let people breathe. Give us all something to keep coming back to. Some of your social followers may like your game developer updates, while others want to read press releases or watch new game content. See what works.
4. A Video or Streaming Platform
YouTube, Mixer, and Twitch are dang near replacing cable television. Streamers and those that post videos for viewers online have an advantage over those that don’t. Use this medium to your advantage.
Streamers and studios set a schedule to stream a game or apps road to creation. Game studios have had their developers host Q&A sessions, live streams, gameplay videos, how-to tutorials, and other segments to boost attention to their game or app.
If you are going to do this, make sure you post when you know the content will go live on social media. Get people excited about it! Of course, you will have to DIY with video editing or hire someone to do it. This may cost a bit in money or time, but is totally worth it. Especially with the growth of viewership and fandom, and the content.
5. Community Forums and Email Outreach
No one can do it all alone. Gamers and studios love Reddit and Discord to post about their upcoming games and to get valuable input from fans. Reddit is the place to post to specific groups about topics of interest that also acts as a forum and content aggregator.
On the other side of the coin, Discord is a voice and chat-based platform where studios and even individuals set up a profile to directly communicate with subscribed members and friendlies. Studios use this as a way to share information about a game or app, get input, and moderate community discussion for research and overall usefulness.
Email marketing can be done by plain email or something fancier like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Either way, game and app studios will want to use their website and people’s interest in it as a way to gather emails from subscribers.
Like social media posts, spamming emails does not guarantee sales. Use emails wisely and update subscribers with significant game or app news, press releases, video and photos, and whatever else.
Marketing and Writing – Don’t Go It Alone
All of this can seem like a giant to-do list, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. As a writer and copywriter, I can help you forge your marketing path, so your next gaming or app adventure isn’t a rough one.
If you’re interested in my assistance with writing website content, a press kit, social media posts, digital content, email marketing, and community content creation, please reach out.