10 Instagram Marketing Tips for Video Game Devs
by Game Marketing Genie, on 23-Aug-2022 10:49:04
Instagram is users' go-to platform for consuming visual content. The platform's virtual footfall is skyrocketing, with Meta continuously releasing interesting features like Reels. Instagram is the place to be, specifically for gaming brands. Innovative game play-through videos, pictures of in-game items and characters, and weekly IG Live interactions will significantly boost your download rate.
Most gamers are avid IG users since platforms like Instagram are created for the 25-34 age group, and an average US gamer is 33 years old (source: Intenta). Therefore, Instagram is the best platform to reach your gaming audience and spread the word about your engaging game.
Here are the top 10 Instagram marketing tips to boost your download rate and get a high return on investment.
1. Set up your account properly
The first step of efficient marketing on Instagram includes creating a Business account, which is Instagram's version of a Facebook Page. Business accounts signal to Instagram that you're using the platform for marketing purposes. To that end, you get additional features and access to IG's native analytics tool for performance measurement.
After signing up for a Business account, pay attention to the following elements:
- Name: Your IG name appears below your profile picture. You can either choose your actual business name as your IG name or select an abbreviation easily recognizable by your target audience.
- Username: The username appears on top of your IG profile. Ensure your username represents your brand and distinguishes you from your industry rivals.
- Profile picture: Your profile picture should be your brand's logo. And if you're the face of your business, use a professional, high-quality headshot.
- Clickable URL: Instagram allows you to add links in your bio to your business website or product's landing pages. Make use of this feature entirely.
- Description: Using these 150 characters, let the audience know who you are, what you do, and why people should follow you.
- Category: Specify your business' category to help your target audience quickly recognize you.
- Contact info: Share your contact details with your prospective customers to let them connect with you directly.
- Call to action: Don't leave your profile visitors wondering what next step to take. Give clear-cut commands of the action you want them to take, whether to download your game or grab a free in-game item.
- Highlights: IG Highlights are collections of your best pictures, videos, and Stories you uploaded in the past. These Highlights remain on your profile and are curated collections or albums. You can create a New Products album or a Client Reviews album.
Two gaming brands that have taken their IG game above and beyond are:
The creator of blockbuster games like Clash of Clans and Boom Beach, Supercell has around 1 million IG followers. It is a global game company based in Finland.
Figure 1: Supercell's IG profile. Source: Instagram
Nintendo has shaken the gaming industry by constantly creating riveting games and consistently engaging with their audience on Instagram.
Figure 2: Nintendo's IG profile. Source: Instagram
2. Get your plan set up
Nuanced audience understanding and a clear vision are factors in your IG success. Before you upload the first post or even start creating the first paid ad campaign, you need to answer a few crucial questions:
What are you hoping to achieve
Having a crystal clear idea about your objective is imperative. Assess what it is that you want to achieve through Instagram.
Who makes up your audience
There are diverse categories under the broad gaming audience bracket. Examine who your game is designed for — determine their age, lifestyle, and other interests. This will help you target the right audience and create content that resonates with them.
What's the right time to post?
Research your optimal posting time and only upload IG posts when your audience is most active for a higher engagement rate.
Who is going to manage this process
Lastly, don't forget to determine who will manage your Instagram account, create and upload content as per your schedule, and engage with your fans.
3. Find the right content for your social media gaming audience
One of the most influential Instagram marketing tips is consistently creating content that offers value. The only way to establish an authoritative presence on IG and become an industry thought leader is to post high-quality content. Once you've understood who your audience is and what their likes and dislikes are, you'd be able to create top-notch content for them. And consistent uploading of engaging content will signal the Instagram algorithm positively, giving you a higher ranking in the search results.
However, don't mindlessly post content for consistency — be consistent with the quality, too. Besides, determine the best content format your audience usually engages with. Generally, videos perform exceptionally well in the gaming industry. Innovative videos give the audience a better understanding of your game's universe, characters, storyline, and in-game items. They pique the audience's interest, enticing them to download your game.
Similarly, carousels are engaging. They're a set of 5-6 images or videos that you can use to share the best moments of your game to catch attention. Don't rely on singular image posts, though, as they're incapable of telling what your game is about. At the same time, don't entirely ignore them — sprinkle a few single images for a balanced IG profile.
Lastly, don't overlook IG Stories and Reels. Reels can get you more engagement than usual IG videos. On the other hand, Stories get the most attention due to their prime location at the top of the IG app.
4. Establish a theme for your posts
Instagram is known for its aesthetically appealing content. And you will succeed in your marketing endeavors when your content looks good and offers value. Remember, players often evaluate IG profiles before purchasing games. Therefore, you need to make a positive first impression to win them over and keep pushing them down the sales pipeline.
Once you have a solid plan about the kind of content to post, create a coherent theme for your IG profile. This theme will make your profile visually appealing and ensure the audience engages with your posts. For an enchanting, cohesive profile, ensure the visual style of your posts flows seamlessly. The gaming and entertainment news channel GameSpot is known for its consistent IG presence — take a look at their profile.
Figure 3: GameSpot's IG profile. Source: Instagram
The best way to effortlessly create a theme is by using your brand's color palette and font style. Integrating brand colors in your IG profile will give your brand a consistent look across varied social media platforms, enhancing recognizability. Even if you don't use your brand colors in your IG profile, dominate your feed with three primary colors only — multiple colors will produce inconsistency.
It is also noteworthy that using the same theme for ages will bore your audience. So, keep changing your themes after a few months to give your profile a fresh feel.
5. Choose the correct text for your post
Though Instagram is primarily a visual platform, you can't avert the responsibility of writing high-quality captions. Users often go through the caption when they cannot understand the image posted. IG captions are a great way to flaunt what you couldn't in your visuals! So, be creative and explain what your image is all about.
Captions are also necessary to steer clear of ambiguity. They ensure your target audience gets the message you're trying to convey. You can even add the right keywords in your captions for enhanced discoverability. Therefore, NEVER underestimate IG captions. But make sure to avoid being cringey at the same time.
6. Keyword are king
"Content is king" — is it, though? We like to believe that keywords are king since they enhance your visibility in a way that keyword-less content can never do. Therefore, create a proper keyword strategy to ensure your high-quality content reaches your target audience.
For those who don't know, keywords are the terms and phrases that users enter in the search bar when looking for specific content. For example, people searching for RPG games may type "MMORPG games," "best RPG games," or "RPG online games" in the IG search bar. Whereas indie game fans may type "free indie games" or "indie game studios."
There are various ways you can use keywords to get more exposure on IG. You can include them in your captions, username, IG bio, or profile name. You can incorporate the targeted keywords in your hashtags, as hashtags are highly searchable. IG allows up to 30 hashtags. So, make full use of them. Additionally, add keywords in the image alt text for a more detailed description of your picture and enhanced exposure. These practices will help you appear on the Explore page, skyrocketing your reach.
7. Reach out to your players
You have to go the extra mile to aim for a high engagement rate. Uploading content and remaining silent otherwise will not work. Actively engage with your audience to initiate conversations and create hype around your brand and games. Reply to your audience's comments, answer their questions, and talk to them through IG Live. This will humanize your brand and help you create a lasting relationship with your players.
Some unconventional ways to increase engagement are giveaways, branded hashtag campaigns, IG polls, and QnA.
Figure 4: Interactive IG polls. Source: Preview
8. Use Instagram ads
While organic marketing is valuable, it is even more beneficial when paired with paid marketing. Even the popular gaming brands leverage paid advertising to increase their brand awareness and the download rate.
Instagram allows you to promote your single images, videos, carousels, and Stories by paying a certain amount. The paid ads look like typical IG posts but have a "Sponsored" label on them. One of the best features of IG advertising is its razor-sharp targeting. IG allows brands to handpick the group of audience they want to show the ad to based on their age group, location, behavior, income, etc.
We cover everything about IG ads in our blog, Instagram Ads for Games: The Ultimate 5-Step Guide.
9. Create a game around your game
As mentioned above, contests and giveaways are the best way to increase engagement and encourage customers to produce user-generated content for free. You can create UGC in abundance through fanart, cosplay, photography, or design contests. Reposting UGC, giving shout-outs, and sending freebies or merch to the winners will keep your audience motivated, and they'll stick with you for longer.
However, remember to craft contest rules wisely. Includes rules like "Follow us on Instagram" or "Tag a friend" to tap into the newer audiences and boost your follower count.
10. Try influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways of increasing your visibility and driving more sales. Influencer marketing in the gaming industry is forecasted to reach $4.4 billion this year. Due to its higher ROI, many renowned gaming studios collaborate with experienced gaming influencers on Instagram to spread the word about their brand and games.
Influencers have a more extensive follower base and a tight-knit community. Therefore, you'll likely get more downloads when they ask their followers to purchase your game. You can conduct typical games like Instagram Takeovers to piggyback off of the famous gaming content creators' influence.
Our AI-based influencer marketing platform, Atisfyreach, will streamline your search for ideal gaming influencers. It picks the best influencers per your budget and business needs. So, sign-up on Atisfyreach today.
Your gaming social media guide
Grow into a leading player in the gaming industry with social media. Get all our top tips in Your Must-Have Guide for Social Media Marketing!
Seems like too much? Outsource Instagram marketing with us!
Marketing can be a challenge when you have an entire game to create! Therefore, most gaming brands outsource game marketing to an expert agency — if you're looking for one, Game Marketing Genie has you covered! We're an experienced game marketing agency creating personalized game marketing strategies for brands looking to invest in social media marketing.
Get in touch with us today and get a winning Instagram marketing strategy for your gaming brand!