5 Effective Marketing Strategies that Keep Your Video Game Ahead of Competitors

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To keep your edge in the competitive game market, a highly effective strategy is vital. Your overall marketing strategy needs to be tailored to the unique aspects of your game. This includes the business model you will be using, who your target audience are, what platform your game will be built for, online markets your game will be selling in, your budget, and the results of testing.

Really getting to know the limitations and advantages of each of these will help you in creating a tailored marketing plan for a game that profits on your strengths while pinpointing the areas that need to be improved on.

In contrast, a one-size-fits-all approach will leave you lost in a sea of similar cookie cutter strategies, reducing the chance of your game getting its chance to rise above the rest.
Are you ready to start building your strategy?

Here are some key components to consider:

  1. Know Your Business Model
  2. How to well position your Game
  3. Right Target Audiences
  4. Extensive Testing
  5. Prioritise Your Budget

We understand that there's very little crossover between game development and marketing; and for a lot of people, stepping outside of their comfort zone can be a jarring and unnerving experience. Thus far, we have covered: common problems faced when marketing new games, things to ask a potential agency, and how to price your game.

Effective Gaming Marketing Strategy

What is your business model?

  • A premium game (customers purchase it upfront)
  • Freemium (the game is free, but additional content is for a price)
  • Free to Play (the game is free, but ‘in-world’ items can be purchased to use in the game)
  • Advergaming (having ads as an integral part of the game)

Often, developers can run the risk of waiting too far into development to decide on this aspect, which can make game design more difficult, costly, and lengthy. It is better to decide what you will be doing with your game app marketing strategy before development really begins.

While making your decision, keep in mind that in-app purchases are becoming the largest chunk of game app revenue, making an astounding 43% of the total revenue.

Whatever you choose, you will want it to be something that helps to keep players coming back. The majority of apps lose 90% of daily players after just one month. That’s a lot of potential customer loss if you don’t have a strategy for retaining players.

So, how do you decide on which business model to go with?

What platform will your game be on? Where will you be selling it?

One of the first steps is to consider the platform as well as stores that your game app will be made available on. What options do they offer? What model generates the most response (and money) within them?

Spend some time and get to know what will work best with what they are capable of offering. You want to make sure that the type of purchases that are easy for potential customers to make and are already seamlessly integrated into how they access your game. For example, Epic Games’ Fortnite is doing well with nearly one and a half million in revenue with its free model on iPhone.


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Who will your target audience be?

This is an aspect to consider before choosing what type of marketing will work best. Consider the following questions:

  • Is your target audience younger or older? How much does that demographic spend and will they make you enough money?
  • What marketing channels will be most effective to them? Should you focus more on social media or on certain television time slots?

Knowing your target demographic will go a long way in making sure that your advertising is getting to them where they can see it. It will also help when it comes to designing a game that appeals specifically to that audience.

What does testing say?

You can learn a lot through early or limited releases with a good-sized test audience. This will give you an edge in game app marketing with a chance to see if the game really appeals to your target market. Keep the feedback lines of communication open and learn about what is and is not working for players so that changes can be made before the official release.

If you are testing your game on a platform like Facebook (a good place to start thanks to its affordability and usability as well as easy app install feature for customers), use analytics to determine the likability as well as demographics that you are doing the best with.

Don’t think testing is important? A team of just eight developers created the Monument Valley game that raked in 4.5 million dollars. They say that a lot of that is owed to extensive testing and refining of the app, including throwing out aspects that simply didn’t work well for their test audience.

What is your budget?

If you have a very limited budget, you may find yourself limited to marketing options that have the lowest up-front cost. However, if you have a larger budget, it comes down to where you want to prioritize your spending. Should more of it go into the game or advertising? As we’ve mentioned previously, Intel’s Patrick DeFreitas has advised: "if you spend x hours developing your title, you must put in an equal amount of time toward its promotion”.

Money is a very real-world constraint, especially for indie game developers who may not have a large amount to invest. Definitely look into what you can afford and consider getting creative when it comes to free (or almost free) advertising such as creating viral video content or in-game social sharing incentives that are likely to results in sharing (at no cost to you) on social media and other platforms. Also, don’t forget about the power of SEO. A large percentage of games are still found by people using traditional search engines.

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Final thoughts

Have a look at what you have to work with before formulating a strategy. You may find that some aspects can be altered to better fit what you are doing, while others will take priority and begin to shape how your strategy develops. This is the basis of a strong marketing strategy and the beginnings of an even stronger advantage in the gaming market.

Want to know more?

Game Marketing Genie will take away any uncertainties you have with forming a strategy. We know how daunting the task can be. Our team of specialists has been assembled from the best that the industry has to offer and our experience is second to none. Don’t believe us? Let’s have a chat!

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