How to Highlight Your Game’s USP in Your Marketing
by Game Marketing Genie, on 14-Jul-2020 13:47:03
Your game is special. You’ve put in a lot of time, effort, and money into making it and now it’s ready for the market. To attract the right players, your game needs to stand out among all the other noise. You must prove to players why your game is better than the competition, and you get to do this clearly by defining your game’s USP.
There are the things that make your game special and this is what your USP conveys. Gamers are a tough crowd to please and they will not download your game just because it’s the latest title on the market. If your game doesn’t address their needs or meet their expectations, they will avoid it. This calls on developers to understand their target audience and create games that appeal to them. They should also try to communicate what makes their games unique to get more players on board.
In this guide, you will learn how to court the attention of gamers through a properly defined USP.
What’s your USP?
A unique selling proposition (USP) refers to the factors that make a product or service differentiate from its competition. In the gaming industry, a USP answers the question, “how is your game better than the others out there?”
A clearly defined USP is an effective tool that will help you focus your marketing objectives to successfully set your game apart from your competitors. A USP that clearly communicates the unique benefits of your game to players is an integral part of your game marketing strategy, and will help you remain memorable and create a positive impression in the gaming community.
As a developer, you know what makes your game unique and different from other titles out there but if you don’t highlight that clearly through the viable marketing channels, you will find it difficult to penetrate the market.
It should be noted, however, that a USP isn’t just a tagline. It’s a promise to solve the problems consumers face in the best possible way. By researching the market extensively, you will figure out the issues players care about and what informs their purchase decisions. A successful USP then communicates the things that make your game different and desirable in a few words or a full paragraph.
How to define your USP: 7 things you’ll need to think about
To effectively communicate your USP, ask yourself these questions:
1. Who are you as a studio?
Start by creating an overview of your development studio. Highlight the ideas that you stand for, your strengths and weaknesses. Assess your development team to see what extra skills and technologies you need to invest in to ensure you can meet the development needs of modern games.
2. What does your game do to fill a role in the gaming industry?
You don’t necessarily have to be a pioneer in the industry for your game to be successful. There are a lot of games that are built on the success of other titles and the secret has been to find a role in a specific niche and play it well. Work with your development team to find the issues your target audience needs to be addressed and craft a USP that signifies your promise to address those issues.
3. What part of your game addresses that niche?
Make it clear what part of your game addresses the pain points gamers experience when playing titles in your niche. This will make your game relatable and entice more players to try it out.
4. Why is your game different from the competition?
Your USP should highlight what makes your game different from the competition. Gamers value authenticity and your USP should clearly point out the factors that make your game unique. The main role of your USP is to give reasons why prospects should download your game, and stating the unique issues that make it different from the competition will help generate more interest.
Learn more about the fast-paced nature of marketing in the video game industry in our guide - The Gaming Industry: How Competitive Is Video Game Marketing?
5. Why are these reasons better than what the competition does?
Stating what makes you different from the competition is not enough. You need to show how your game’s uniqueness is good for your audience. By matching your USP with the specific needs of gamers in your niche, the value your game brings to the prospects becomes evident, and this will help you persuade them to choose you over the competition.
For even more ways to outshine the competition, read 6 SEO Strategies That Help Game Developers Beat Their Competitors, which will tell you how to set yourself up for success.
6. Who is it aimed at?
To effectively convey the competitive advantage of your game you, first of all, have to know your audience. Understanding the goals and desires of your target users will make it easy to come up with a USP that will immediately capture their attention. If you don’t have a clear description of your target users, check out your competitors to see what kind of people they are targeting with their marketing messages.
7. Why should they care?
For people to care about your game, it needs to show authentic value and give your players something they want. The gaming industry is highly saturated and for gamers to even glance your way, your game needs to satisfy the above criteria. Game marketing experts advise that developers sit down with everyone involved with the game and list all the issues that may influence gamers to choose their title over the competition in the industry.
If you haven't made your customers care the first time around and want them to return, check out our guide - How to Retarget Your Audience: 4 Smart Strategies.
How can you call attention to it?
Once you have defined your game’s USP, it is now time to bring attention to it to ensure players understand what your brand is all about. Here are some tips that are useful in this regard.
Visual content is crucial
Using visuals to highlight your USP is a great way to showcase your game. 37 percent of marketers say that visual content is vital when marketing brands to the masses, and as such, you shouldn’t shy away from sharing visuals to support your USP message.
The visuals could be a screengrab or artwork that shows the beautiful elements of your game. They should connect with gamers at an intimate level and show them what they are missing out by not playing your game. You can also incorporate data visualization to bring your USP message to life.
The visuals you select should naturally tie to the underlying message and as such, it’s advisable to work with a gaming marketing agency to ensure you add the best visuals that will have a big impact.
One of the best places to highlight your USP with strong visuals is on social media, and one of the most engaging mediums to do this with is video. Read more in How to Make the Most of Videos In Your Social Media Marketing Strategy.
Each of your ads should make a proposition to your audience
When running ads to promote your game, your USP comes in to tell prospects why they should buy your game. It’s at the heart of your business and it shows the problems you solve and the value you offer. A strong USP highlights the specific benefits – those that your competitors don’t offer – that make your game stand out.
When all games have the same features and gameplay, your prospects will not know which one to choose for their enjoyment. Being clear about what makes your game unique helps them differentiate the variety of titles available to them, and choose your game. This is an essential part of effective marketing especially in the gaming industry where users have a lot of options.
Highlight your niche
As a developer, you need to consider and illustrate who your game is for, what drove you to create the game, and how you plan on having an impact with that niche. Your USP is the key differentiator and the main reason gamers will download your game, and an important part of your game marketing strategy for attracting new players.
You should be precise in your targeting to ensure you reach players effectively with your ads. Your game and the USP should appeal to this niche, and the reasons why that’s the case should be perfectly clear. However, you should note that gamers in the niche you are targeting have been exposed to a lot of games that are similar to yours, and your title and USP need to stand out for them to ignore your competitors and choose your game.
Is there anything that makes your game socially conscious?
Does your company support any social causes? If it does, then you should include this fact in your USP to attract more players to buy your game. A recent study found out that 87 percent of consumers would buy from a company if it supports a cause they care about. This study shows that social good is now vital for businesses to succeed, and as a developer, you need to find a worthy cause to support to gain favor with gamers.
SideKick Cycle donates a bicycle for every 387 downloads. Half of the company’s profits are donated to World Bicycle Relief to support impoverished communities. Their mission reads “We connect communities around the globe, to deliver valuable tangible goods, through proceeds from our mobile game. Change in your pocket.”
You can follow SideKick Cycle’s lead and donate a portion of your first round sales to charity. You can also join Humble Bundle where a portion of the proceeds from the sale of your game goes to charity.
Figure 1. Source: SideKick Cycle Social Campaign
Where can you do it?
Naturally, you need some outlets to share your USP on. We've already mentioned social media platforms, which are some of the best places to reach, engage, connect with and convert your audience.
But you can also consider PR, a tactic widely used by businesses across the world to get their news into the hands of the people that will care. The question is - how do you get your story to the press to promote your game and pique your audience’s excitement?
Fear not, we've got everything you need to know right here in How to Share Your Video Game's USP to the Press.
Want to learn more about digital marketing?
Digital marketing is a vast industry, and you need a strong understanding to master it. That's why we've compiled all of our best resources to create the ultimate guide to digital marketing. Check it out here: Everything You Need to Know About Video Game Digital Marketing.
Weaving your USP into your game marketing plan can be difficult. Without the right information, you will not be able to communicate to prospects what makes your game unique, and this will make it difficult to bring players onboard. The team at Game Marketing Genie can help. We have the skills and expertise to capture the issues that make your game special and populate them on the right channels.
Are you ready to attract new customers and dominate your niche? We can help you find the best game marketing strategies that will give you results.
Need more info? Let's chat today about how we can make the most of your marketing opportunities.