Players used to view video games as a product to consume and then mothball on the shelf. However, the internet and digital gaming changed that mindset. Today, developers can continuously update games with fresh content, sometimes keeping popular games running for years.
As a result, gaming companies no longer focus on promoting games up to the launch date and then move on to the next release. Instead, they must continue to employ game promotion strategies to attract new players throughout a game’s lifecycle.
If you build it, they will come. Right? Maybe that works in movies about dead baseball players, but in the real world, simply building a game isn’t enough to get players to play it. If bulldozing your corn and kidnapping James Earl Jones isn’t an effective strategy, what is?
A game trailer gets players excited about your game and gives them something they can share with their friends and social media contacts, which hopefully gets them excited about your game too. You want to show off your game’s best features in your trailer, so hire a professional video editor if you can afford one.
Center your trailer around actual gameplay footage. Featuring too much video or animation that isn’t from your game could give players false expectations and result in backlash when they get their hands on your actual game.
Social media is an ideal marketing tool because you can reach a large audience with minimal effort and expense. Twitch and Discord are popular with gamers. TikTok is a good platform for new developers because the algorithm can push your content in front of people who don’t follow you.
Share your trailer, screenshots from your game, and information about features, characters, and storylines. Post high-quality visuals and engaging content and encourage players to share it. Additionally, incorporate tools in your game that make it easy for players to share gameplay videos and screenshots on their channels.
Gaming websites and magazines aren’t the centers of the gaming universe the way they used to be, but it is still worthwhile to use them promote your game. Send publications review copies or download keys to encourage them to review your game. In addition to traditional gaming media, try to get popular social media creators to feature or review your game on their channels.
If you don’t already have a website for your game, build one. Your website serves as a central location for players to find information. Writing a blog will help you drive traffic to your game’s website.
Post your blog on your site or a platform such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Medium. Write blog posts about the development process, updates to your game, and upcoming events. Provide tips and tricks for players and answer frequently asked questions. Consider featuring some of your game’s higher-profile players on your blog and writing guest posts on other relevant blogs.
Pay-per-click ads on Google, sponsored ads on social media networks, and advertisements in other people’s games are the most popular methods of video game advertising. Some larger-budget games still advertise in traditional media, such as television, magazines, and newspapers, but traditional ads are more expensive.
Some players go directly to the app store to begin their search for a new game. Optimizing your app store page will help interested players find your game.
Use keyword-rich descriptions and titles and high-quality videos and screenshots. Highlight what makes your game unique and better than the competition.
Reviews can make or break your game. Some players won’t even click on an app store listing for a game that has a lot of bad reviews.
By contrast, glowing reviews can generate buzz for your game an motivate players to download it. Offer players incentives, such as discounts or an in-game item, to leave a review for your game. Create a referral program to encourage players to tell their friends about your game.
Influencers are social media personalities who have a large following of devoted fans. Influencers can give new developers’ marketing campaigns a kickstart because they already have a large audience.
Some influencers, such as popular Twitch streamers, specifically cater to gamers. However, you may also want to work with influencers who cater to an audience that matches up well with your target market, even if their following isn’t specifically related to gaming.
If you aren’t sure where to start, research which influencers your competition is working with. If one of the big influencers doesn’t seem like a good match, consider working with a smaller influencer who has a dedicated fanbase.
Post about your game in existing communities or create your own. Ask players for feedback about your game and share content that demonstrates why your game is different and fun. If you decide to post on existing forums, review the rules about self-promotion before you start.
Tutorials and guides are among the video game content players search for the most frequently. Providing videos and articles that help players with your game can drive traffic to your website and increase the chance that players will find your game.
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