You’ve done it—your new game has just finished development and is expected to be released on app and game stores in a few weeks. Pat yourself on the back and take a break. You probably deserve it. But don’t think that your work is over just yet because you still have to sell your game to make all that hard work worth it after the hard part is done.
Whether you’re a mobile game developer or an indie dev team working on PC and console releases, game marketing should be an essential part of your development plan. Without effective marketing, your game won’t sell, and if your game doesn’t sell, then there goes all the time and effort you put into it, and maybe even your prospects. The way a game is marketed could make all the difference in its sales, so don’t take it for granted.
So here are four game marketing strategies that you can use to promote your game.
Partner Up With Influencers and Streamers
In the early days of YouTube and online gaming, there were YouTubers and Let’s Plays of all the popular games. But while YouTuber playthroughs still exist, plenty has moved on to platforms like Twitch to stream their games and create a more interactive environment with their fans.
Partnering up with a streamer can help immensely when you’re marketing a new game. The most popular Twitch streamers and YouTubers broadcast to thousands, even millions, of fans worldwide, and even smaller, less well-known streamers still have a significant following that’s nothing to sneeze at. You get to show off your game and its mechanics, get tons of people from your target audience to notice it, and get some much-needed input from that target audience.
Fans of micro-influencers, like streamers, are more likely to trust that streamer’s opinion and actually use a product or service that the streamer recommends. Plus, when they see someone having fun playing a game, they’re more likely to want to experience that same fun for themselves. Getting the right streamer to play your game and advocate for it can be just the thing you need to make your game the next greatest hit.
Have Early Access
If your game is still in development or is nearing the completion stage but is missing a few finishing touches that you can’t quite put your finger on, then putting it out for early access might be a good idea. Early access is a crowdfunding technique usually used by small game studios and development teams. Players can purchase a game while it’s still in development, help test it, and debug it in return for exclusive benefits, including being the first-ever players to access its content. This can be helpful if you’re looking for funding and if you want to get actual players’ reactions and feedback on a game while you’re developing it.
Of course, putting a game out for early access comes with the promise that you have to release the entire game, not just give up on the project, and actually hold yourself accountable to any criticism or negative feedback you might get from your testers. Early access doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s a good stepping stone if you’re a small team working with limited funding.
Be Active on Social Media
This should go without saying but building up an online presence can affect how your audience sees your game and team. If you have enough online presence, most consumers are more willing to trust you and your content and take a chance on your game. You can easily do this just by having at least one or two social media accounts and actively posting on it at least once a day or responding to fan questions and comments. You can even enlist the services of a technology PR company to increase your visibility. Just be sure to connect to your audience on any platforms you’re on and cultivate an online presence.
App Store Optimization
Just like SEO or search engine optimization, app store optimization is all about increasing your game’s visibility within the app store or platform you sell it on to get more people to notice it and bring in more sales. App store optimization or ASO can be done by properly using keywords in your app’s title and description, the right design on your app’s landing page, and highlighting the right reviews and ratings. Effective ASO can increase audience click and download rate and improve brand awareness all at the same time. If you want to improve your app rankings, then look no further than ASO.
Making a game isn’t easy. Making a good game is even more challenging. Whatever marketing strategy you decide to use, you must know how valuable your game is and what all of its selling points are. After all, if you don’t want to play your own game, how can you expect someone else to play it?