There’s no shortage of marketing initiatives that can used to promote your game. Whether it’s social media, email marketing, or SEO, there’s always an angle. Unsurprisingly, each technique comes with tools and tactics that must be evaluated before execution, otherwise they may not as worthwhile as you would hope they would be. Without a solid strategy in place, many game developers are missing opportunities for better optimisation and targeting, and ultimately a better ROI.
If you don’t have a solid online marketing strategy in place for your game, you:
By establishing an online marketing strategy, you are statistically more likely to find your niche, and will thus ensure a higher chance for your game to be seen by your intended audience. Further, given that your specialities lie in developing games rather than marketing, it would be wise to reach out to a game marketing company for that extra boost.
Once you have established your marketing budget, you will need to decide whether to spend your money online vs offline since your goal is going to be getting the best bang for your buck. While you may have faith in traditional offline methods, consumer behaviors are continually evolving and online marketing channels offer a whole new world of opportunities.
So where should you invest?
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of online and offline spending.
TV, radio, billboards, brochures, direct mail, and live events are all offline efforts that were once the strongholds of effective marketing campaigns. But now with the rise of the internet and digital technology, these methods are becoming less favourable.
You should not rule out offline marketing completely though. These methods may feel more tangible to older audiences who have differing online habits, and are used to something tactile.
While instant results are not guaranteed from an offline campaign, there is a higher chance that people will remember a successful campaign that stands out. You are able to target local audiences, but depending on the type of game that you have, you are going to be missing out on broader opportunities.
"offline marketing...may feel more tangible to older audiences who...are used to something tactile"
The greatest advantage to online marketing is that you have the potential to reach millions of customers, both locally and internationally. It’s also less intrusive insofar that people will have the option to ignore ads, save pages or take screenshots to view later. As a game developer, you are able to spend less money to get in front of your target audience by using ads across various search engines and social media platforms, as well increasing visibility for your website through SEO to attract more customers.
The biggest benefit of online marketing, however, is that it is fully trackable across every stage of the process. It is possible to obtain statistics on demographics, where ads are seen, and which ads have the highest click-through and engagement rates. You can also track how many people are opening your emails and how many new customers you are receiving on a daily basis.
When viewing ads online, consumers have less time to think about money, and purchases tend to be more impulsive given the process is deemed to be instantaneous with options like One Touch PayPal payments. This type of convenience is something that can’t be matched offline.
Online marketing makes it so much easier to gather qualitative feedback, which is highly important when trying to understand who your customers are, their motives for purchasing, and how your game is being perceived so you can make necessary improvements.
Generally, 80% of your marketing budget should be used for online spending, since the benefits to your business highly outweigh those of offline marketing.
“The biggest benefit of online marketing is that it is fully trackable across every stage of the process.”
When putting together an online marketing strategy, there are some specific considerations to keep in mind.
Identifiable types of online advertising include banner and display ads that target audiences who are online for other reasons. These kinds of display advertising are ideal for brand awareness but should only be placed on sites where you know that they are going to be seen by the right people.
Facebook and Instagram ads are valuable forms of online advertising due to the fact that you can target specific demographics that match your niche. You can control your monthly spend and evaluate how well your ad campaign has been perceived.
Inbound marketing is all about creating and sharing fantastic content that is useful for your existing and potential customers. It allows you to create a dialogue for you to communicate with your customers, while being helpful and relevant. By publishing content on your website and social media channels, you can naturally attract traffic that can lead to sales and build customer loyalty. While your main focus is going to be getting your game in front of as many people as possible, customer relationship management is vital to keep the customers you have and make them want to talk about your game with their friends or on their social channels.
Email marketing is still a trusted form of communication. If you have an existing subscription base, then you can definitely utilise this to promote your game. This of course this would require evaluation on how successful your earlier email campaigns have been regarding open and click through rates. If these rates have been low, how can you improve? Are your subscribers even looking at your emails anymore? Opt-in Monster explains that a significant percentage of teens and millennials ignore emails if they look irrelevant, and a whopping 57% of young consumers have a secondary email account that they use just for emails they know they will not want to open.
If you’re new to the game and don’t have a subscriber base, do not think about purchasing an email list. This can lead to more trouble than it’s worth.
Unsurprisingly, the more you invest, the wider your reach will become, which in turn will yield a higher chance of increase in your ROI (provided you’re spending your budget wisely). Increased market visibility means more attention on your game, and more opportunities to track and adjust on your game marketing strategy. Even the world’s most successful companies never stop marketing, and neither should you since it will shape your customer base and secure your future.
“If you’re new to the game and don’t have a subscriber base, do not think about purchasing an email list. This can lead to more trouble than it’s worth.”
Measuring your efforts and successes is absolutely key to understanding what is working and what is not in your marketing campaign. The data you obtain through tools such as Google Analytics and Hootsuite must be watched, tracked, and measured so you can gain perspective, know what can be improved, and what effect different initiatives have on your ROI.
When it comes to your game marketing strategy, one of the best ways to push forward is to reverse engineer the process. The common approach that is used today is going out with all guns blazing, wanting to do ads and email campaigns with no real consideration behind the process. Unfortunately, this comes can be messy and doesn’t always align into something meaningful.
The best approach when marketing, is to establish where you want your campaign to be long-term, which audience you want, and how you want it to impact the landscape. From there, you can put together a plan and decide which channels to use to get the results that you want. It may come about that you decide to use a large number of channels, but this does not matter if you envisaged your customers to have dozens of digital touchpoints with your company to create a narrative. You will be much better at balancing your efforts and channels in order to achieve your goals.
We understand that a worthwhile game marketing strategy is overwhelming and can be difficult to know where to begin.
As a game marketing company, our experts here at Game Marketing Genie can simplify the process to give you a clear and structured marketing plan that suits your game, platform, and target audience. We’ll even give you a free consultation, so don’t take our word for it, let us show you!
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