The 5 Best VR Game Marketing Strategies

by Game Marketing Genie, on 01-Nov-2022 09:00:00

Virtual reality-related products and services are already selling like hotcakes. 

Samsung has built VR-gaming devices that can quickly connect to your phone, while Meta Quest maker Facebook has even created a virtual reality social media platform.

In 2020, the global VR gaming market size was USD 6.26 million. Fortune Business Insights study findings predict that the market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 31.4% between 2021 and 2028, from USD 7.92 billion in 2021 to USD 53.44 billion in 2028.

vr market

Figure 1: VR gaming market is set to grow in the future. Source: Grand View Research

This surge in VR growth is good news for game marketers. That is why, now more than ever, VR studios must grasp how to promote their games. Only creating a high-quality, "must-have" title isn't enough.

Early in the process, studios should have a PR and marketing strategy, define their product's audience, formulate their tone of voice, and choose promotional techniques.

Still trying to figure out where to begin? Here are five strategies for VR gaming studios!

1. Build that community!

VR is still in its infancy. Developers, publishers, agencies, and influencers are in the early phases of attempting to master the art of communicating the possibilities of VR to early adopters and the general consumer base.

That means taking a break from aggressively marketing your games. It may seem contradictory, but creating a community and educating people about new technology will pave the way for when your game is ready. Everyone is familiar with console video games and how they work. However, the same cannot be said for VR. Your fan base may need help to grasp your new product. You need to educate them on much more than just playing the game.

Advertising to huge audiences is unlikely to benefit VR games, especially as VR technology is still relatively uncommon. You could persuade consumers to buy VR hardware alongside your game. But that's a tall order when this hardware costs hundreds or even thousands.

If you can't communicate the experience directly, you must share the experiences people will have after playing the VR game. The problem is akin to selling someone a trip to an exotic destination they've never been to before. People will have to go on the journey to understand what makes the experience unique, but you can express your sentiments. Make videos of people playing the VR game while showing the joy they experience.

Additionally, include player interviews and testimonials. Remember, people are not only interested in the game but also in how you made it.

When Pokémon Go was released to the mobile gaming market in 2016, it swept the world by storm. In fact, it outperformed even the top social media apps at the time. Sure, it's not a VR game, but it was a new form of technology that got people talking and excited to try it out. Maybe your game is the one that'll open the world to VR experiences!

gaming channels

Figure 2: Pokemon Go outperformed even top mobile apps when it was launched. Source: 42Works 

2. Create a press kit and get it out there

Many developers employ pre-launch announcements to generate interest in their work before release and do this by engaging VR bloggers, gaming journalists, or media houses. A press release can get the word out while helping you start an early interest list. 

An early interest list has lots of advantages:

  • Creates anticipation for your VR game by doing early marketing
  • Determines how many people may be interested in your concept (are people willing to pay for it?)
  • Generates a consumer base. When you publish your VR experience, you should already have a consumer base in place (which is incredibly useful for email marketing)

Here is what your press release should include: 

Your trailer

A visual sneak peek into what the game is all about is the best way to get people talking about your game. A trailer can help give an experience better than a written press release alone, so it is best to create a trailer in advance and share it. 

If you need inspiration on creating a game trailer, check out 5 Video Game Trailers That Did It Right.

Gameplay examples

Traditional video is still helpful for VR but will not provide an accurate representation of your game. To offer consumers a clearer picture of what they will see in a VR game, you could provide a 360-degree video of your gameplay. 

Screenshots

Attach screenshots for your PR partners to include in their promotional materials. 

Release date

Have you set a tentative release date? Add that in the press kit too. If you plan to give early bird discounts, now is the time to promote them. 

Price

Are you offering any subscription offers to your players? Any special discounts for early interest listers can be a great promotional tactic. 

Platform it's still available on

What VR platform can players access your game on? HTC Vive, Meta Quest, PlayStation VR, and Windows Mixed Reality are some of the top-performing platforms for VR games. 

Ratings and reviews

This is optional, but if you've had people test out your game and give reviews, you could share these in your press release. 

Who your company is and what you do

Remember to introduce the brand behind the product. Also, discuss any games you made in the past and share your vision about the new tech. 

An elevator pitch

If you're looking for publishers or investors, include a pitch that outlines the story, characters, gameplay elements, hardware requirements, the market the game is for, and other information. But keep it short and compelling, so you keep their interest. 

Pitch white text

3. Influencer marketing

The only thing better than VR games is meeting influencers who share your passion for virtual reality environments. In addition to niche VR gaming influencers, you can collaborate with podcasters, bloggers, and game reviewers. Despite significant technological advancements, VR and AR are still relatively new to influencer marketing. Regardless, influencers embrace this new form of communication with open arms, diving deeply into the realm's limitless possibilities.

The use of social media — specifically streamers, YouTubers, and Facebook video makers — is a marketing approach gaining traction in the gaming industry. Finding independent voices to talk about the VR game and show them having fun with it will aid your marketing efforts. However, for busy game developers and studios, finding influencers who can get your game the exposure it needs can be a daunting task. You ideally want someone who not only is interested in VR games but also knows how to creatively engage and lead potential players to try out your game. 

Influencer marketing platforms like AtisfyReach cut down significant time and resources for brands looking to scale their influencer marketing initiatives. From influencer discovery to access to real-time data and campaign management tools, a platform can be the outsourcing partner you need. Try out a free demo. 

Shadow of a gamer

4. Get visual

Virtual reality content presents a unique set of challenges. Players can't glance at screenshots and trailers like they would for console or PC games. VR materials must give the viewer a sense of what it is like to wear the headset and be in the world.

GIFs are a holy grail for visually appealing social media content. They are easy to create and way more scroll-stopping than static images. Similarly, short videos and Reels can work wonderfully with your content marketing strategies. 

Cinematic game trailers are also well-loved by the gaming community. If creating cinematic trailers is too much for you at this point, you can always make a great gameplay trailer (or get our team to help make it for you). 

Here are some ways you can use visual media: 

  • Email: When done right, emails are a fantastic tool for marketing your VR experience. Most of the time, it is the highest-converting channel in terms of sales. That is why you must build an email list. The secret to effective email marketing is to offer special deals for your email subscribers and a deadline by which they must redeem them. Finally, link your VR experience page to your email signature.
  • Website: Optimize your website or blog to attract new email subscribers and include a button. Create a blog post to announce the launch of your VR experience and share it on social media.
  • Social media: Social media channels, particularly for virtual reality, can be highly valuable in your marketing approach. Share trailers, GIFs, and other video content. This will also help you build a community, as we recommended before.
  • Online communities: There are already several popular VR communities like the Oculus and the Virtual Reality subreddits, so why not make one of your own? Share screenshots, videos, or even a text post outlining what you're working on, and ask for comments. You can create a community on many platforms, but one we recommend is Discord.
  • Events: Presenting at gaming events is a terrific approach to meeting potential users and the press! We recommend you go to meetups, VR events, or even virtual events where you can demo your game.

PlayStation controllers on colored background

5. Demos are key

How do you encourage people to engage with VR? Well, for one, you need to show how amazing it feels to be in this virtual world. No matter how many screenshots or trailers you share, if your gamers aren't able to experience your game, they won't "know" for themselves. Even if you initially create a demo that doesn't require a VR headset, you can still increase the number of people who sign up. 


VR gaming is here and now!

VR gaming will go mainstream soon, and its marketing will be very different from games for other platforms. The starting gun has been fired, and we're off to the races with virtual reality (VR) hardware now available for all platforms. But there's no hard and fast manual for marketing a VR game. Experiment and push yourself. Failing is part of the learning process and will only strengthen you in the future. Feel free to experiment with novel marketing concepts or asset types.

You can access a full-scale package for marketing VR games with Game Marketing Genie. We offer graphic design, content creation, and marketing strategies for games of every size, and have experience in the VR industry.

Book your free consultation call today!

Topics:Video Game Marketing StrategyVideo Game MarketingGame LaunchDigital MarketingSteam Games

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