4 Marketing Strategies for Video Game Developers During COVID-19
by Game Marketing Genie, on 03-Apr-2020 10:44:49
By now you have heard of COVID-19 and the impact it has had worldwide. However, it is not possible to predict the effect it will have on people and the economy in the long run. At the time of publishing, there are over 900,000 cases across the world (update: this number is nearly at 200 billion in July of 2021).
Unfortunately it has not only impacted people but businesses too, with stock markets plummeting and new closures every day. Naturally, you don’t want the time you’ve spent creating a team and developing your game to be wasted.
So, you might be wondering, how can I make my video game succeed during this time? Is it the right time to start creating a marketing plan to get my game out there? Where should I look for help?
We will answer all of these questions for you and more, but let’s take a look into what we’re doing to combat it.
How is Game Marketing Genie approaching the situation?
At Game Marketing Genie, we understand that this is a difficult time for people across the world. We have seen the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had, both health-wise and economically. Being a global company, we are taking each new piece of information seriously, and are ensuring that our staff - wherever they may be - are taking the proper precautions to ensure that they are safe and keeping others safe too.
We know that this is a trying time for many gaming studios too. However, we are choosing to remain strong and use this as an opportunity to strengthen our business and to continue to grow so that we come out better at the end. We would like to encourage people to use this chance to do the same thing. Start developing your digital marketing strategies, as now is the best time to take control of your presence online.
How can the gaming industry make the most of this situation?
Many companies around the world are shutting down and issuing redundancies. But if you want to stay afloat and come out strong at the end you should be investing in one key thing - digital marketing. We encourage you now more than ever to consider your own online marketing strategies and take control of them so that you can continue to reach your audience.
After all, Steam recently broke its record for the number of players online concurrently as more and more gamers have been staying indoors. This number surpassed 20 million on March 15, with 6.2 million of those users also in-game at the time.
A statistic like this should help you realize one key thing: this is an amazing opportunity for you to reach your audience when they’ll be actively looking for new activities to keep them occupied.
Let’s look into a few methods that you need to start using to make sure you’re getting the players you want.
Social media is the perfect place to update your audience on how you and your game are travelling. Harness the power of being present to show that you are ready and able to support your customers.
Create content that is attractive, relevant and authentic to gain traction within the gaming industry. Images, trailers, teasers and more are what will get your audience interested and hanging on for more information - you’ve seen the success that Death Stranding has had with its little sneak peeks for the game pre-release. Generate that hype by getting your players excited!
Don’t be afraid to pay to promote your content or ads either. This is a time where your audience will be on social media more than ever, looking for things that will interest them or provide some escape from what is happening.
For more information about how social media can help you stay strong, check out our blog Why Social Media Helps Indie Gaming Studios Succeed.
If there’s one thing that gamers love, it’s congregating with fellow fans in gaming communities. This also makes them the perfect places to reach out to and gather interest in your game.
After all, there’s a reason that Twitch and Discord do so well. These platforms give people all over the world the chance to come together to discuss their favorite games, upcoming news and events, gain sneak peeks and find new things that align with their interests.
Here’s a few ways you can harness these communities:
- Try getting a variety streamer to play or shout out your game on Twitch, YouTube or Mixer.
- Create a Discord channel to share information about your game.
- Post in subReddits that are relevant to your game’s genre.
- Reach out to gaming podcasts to see if they’ll mention your game.
No matter where you decide to start creating your own community or reaching out to another one, you need to make sure that what you’re distributing gives value to the people you’ll reach.
Don’t just go straight for a platform without first doing some research into where the people that would be most interested in your game hang out. You might put hours into creating a strategy for Discord, but then find out that people who like games like yours don’t often use it.
Find out more about reaching these audiences in our blog Marketing to Gamers: Understanding the Gaming Communities.
If you’re posting on social media, you need to make sure that you’re getting the reach you need. Hashtags play an important role in reaching your audience and generating interest in your game.
You can use these on many different platforms, but they are most commonly seen on Twitter and Instagram. The hashtags you use depend on the game you’ve made and the audience you want to reach. Using the right ones can make a big difference for your impact on the gaming world.
Say you’ve released an indie racing game for the Xbox One and you want to promote a teaser trailer. Here’s a few hashtag categories you could look at.
- The most popular gaming hashtags (#gaming, #gamers, #videogames etc.)
- Tech-specific hashtags (#xboxone, #PS4, #NintendoSwitch, #PCgames etc.)
- Genre hashtags (#racinggames, #indiegames, #indieracinggames etc.)
Don’t overload yourself with hashtags though! You only want to use tags that are appropriate to your post, and you don’t want to pack it full of popular tags either as you’ll only get lost among posters with more influence.
But most of all, we want you to understand that you should not be exploiting fear. This is a time in which people across the world need support, and you should not be capitalizing on it for a few extra dollars.
Not only is acting this way morally and ethically ignorant, but it is very short-sighted. It will not paint your brand as one that is positive, supportive and personable, and this will affect you in the long run. Provide value wherever you can to ensure that people feel they can rely on your brand to help them when they need it. This should be a focus of all your customer endeavors, now and in the future.
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.
We hope that COVID-19 passes soon and reduces its global impact. Until then, you need to focus on your game to get those gamers buying, downloading, playing and staying connected.
As for your marketing efforts, it’s time for you to really crack down on them. You will never have a better chance to analyze, create and optimize your digital marketing strategy so take control of the situation and make the most of it.
The team at Game Marketing Genie is here to offer you support during this difficult time. Please reach out to us if you want help mastering your social media strategy, expanding your reach to gaming communities and ensuring that you don’t become another statistic.
Need more info? Let's have a chat about how we can help you stay strong during COVID-19.