The 6 Fundamentals to Running a Profitable Game Marketing Campaign
by Game Marketing Genie, on 19-Nov-2020 17:05:32
Marketing is the driving force of the modern business world. A good game marketing strategy has a lot of components, and understanding the ones you need can be hard. Getting this component mix right is crucial for a winning marketing campaign, with around 1 out of 10 ten games making the majority of the revenue. With more than 100,000 titles being published around the world every year, it is quite hard to get newly released games to generate profits, and the ones which do make a profit are very minimal.
This is why we’ve created this guide to help you understand the fundamentals of a game marketing campaign to propel your brand to gain profits.
1. The audience
One of the fundamentals of a winning game marketing campaign is knowing your audience - after all, what’s the point in making a game if you don’t know who wants to play it? Based on interest and engagement factors, audiences can be generally segmented into:
- Casual gamers
- Core gamers
- Niche gamers
Lets understand each of these audience segments to learn which one your game fits in.
Casual gamers are not dedicated to gaming but looking for fun and entertainment to relax for a short while. They are most likely not willing to spend any money at all on games as they tend to be not serious about gaming. Though they form the vast majority of the industry’s audience spectrum, the user acquisition cost for this segment is high and the advertisement payouts are pretty low.
The next group is the core gamers. This audience segment is willing to shell out some money when they encounter a game that interests them. Game developers will earn decent revenue through their in-game purchases compared to the casual game releases.
Niche (or hardcore)
Sitting on the extreme end of the audience spectrum are the hardcore gamers whose loyalty is unmatched, making them most difficult to entice. The user acquisition for this segment can be difficult as they look for concept-oriented, immersive gaming experiences. If a game interests them, they are willing to spend without hesitation.
But understanding these broad categories isn’t enough. When defining your audience, understanding what they want, knowing their needs and interests, and chalking out the best way to grab their attention is crucial. This is why you need to thoroughly research your audience before taking action.
Whether you’re developing a console, PC, or a mobile game, your brand needs a functional yet appealing website as the first step to establish its online presence. A good website is an asset to your brand. Its home page should include video content, screenshots showcasing the game experience, smooth transitions, calls to action in appropriate places, and a menu with a media page and contact page, and of course an amazing user experience.
The purpose of designing a website for your game is that it helps you run effective advertising campaigns, and directs all your marketing efforts to a single place improving the traffic to your site. You can never go wrong with investing in a good website for your brand. It is a place to make all your brand’s announcements, updates, and releases with ease. You may also choose to create a single landing page for your campaigns, which will help you track conversions, traffic and more.
This is good, but a website isn’t enough, sharing your game’s development progress will take you a step further in connecting to your audience. A development blog is a great way to express your journey as a game developer. Gamers, and other developers, are interested in reading blogs to know more about your experiences in the industry, during production, at launch and upcoming updates.
The key to creating a captivating blog is to keep every experience real, talking about the different challenges you face and how you’ve overcome them in a personal manner. Documenting your game’s development progress and sharing your story is a great way to give your fans an insider look into your game and company.
Take your communication to the next level by starting a developer progress YouTube channel or podcast. Doing this will amplify your reach and build your relationship with your audience.
3. Brand loyalty
Marketing today isn’t about selling, it's about creating a relationship. In this digital day and age, everyone is bombarded with branded information from all channels. Keeping up with your competitors and compelling potential customers to purchase your game is not easy. This is where the communication strategies that we mentioned before come into play.
Through your content you must give your audience value, showing them that your business and games exist for them. Coupling the traditional marketing methods with valuable content is the best approach to earn your audience’s trust. After all, digital marketing is about providing value, attracting an audience, and building a relationship before getting them to buy.
We don’t recommend that you shun advertising completely. Pay for ads, but use relationship building as your foundation. Using a mix of conventional and modern marketing approaches helps in building brand loyalty and creating a strong follower base for your brand.
4. Your game's genre
Trying to fit your game into the genres that already exist won’t create the hype that you want. This is not to say that your game shouldn’t fit into one of these categories, but that you should market it as a new experience.
Designing a game and creating your own exclusive sub-genre will pique the curiosity of gamers. Doing that doesn’t mean that you have to invent something like a new type of adventure or horror, but instead we recommend that you market your game as belonging to a big genre, but add your own flare to give gamers something new. Putting yourself in the shoes of your audience and understanding their psyche is pivotal for any product development.
For example, “The Binding of Isaac” (2011) achieved its breakthrough in the gaming industry by separating itself from other games with a new style of play. The game fused features from different genres and was a stand out product in the roguelite industry. This game used elements from horror, RPG and roguelike games to create a one of a kind experience that is still pumping out content (DLCs) to this day.
In a nutshell, to make your game prominent, you need to attract your audience’s attention. You can accomplish this by creating your own sub-genre or mixing elements from different areas of interest to make your game, and its marketing, unique.
5. What makes your game special
To make your game sellable, you need to know your game’s unique selling proposition (USP) and value proposition. What interests can your game serve, what makes it special or stand out, and how does it address your audience’s entertainment needs?
Your game’s USP is its key feature(s) that competitors’ games and the market doesn’t offer. These striking elements are what compels your potential customers to purchase the product.
Additionally, you need to define your game’s value proposition. To understand value propositions, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your audience and understand their needs, problem areas and what is the best solution you can offer them to improve their gaming experience. Once you know what solutions to offer, communicate it to them in a way that helps them understand why they need your game. Every solution and feature that makes your game special needs to be communicated clearly to grab your audience’s attention.
6. Your delivery method
Now that you’ve worked on your game development, understood your audience, processed your game’s USP and value proposition, what is the next big thing to do? You need to deliver your amazing game to the audience, but how will you get all this to your audience? Rather than using a single channel for marketing purposes, you can open your brand’s marketing mix. Let’s have a quick look at some marketing channels that might suit you.
Being a game developer, your audience undoubtedly exists on social media. With as many as 96% of brands using social media as a major marketing tool (according to Social Media Examiner), you will miss out on your customer base if you don’t exist on these platforms. To make most of your presence on social media, you need to optimize your social media accounts, and have a concrete content and marketing strategy in place. The key to a successful social media marketing strategy is studying your audience to enable you to develop quality content that will intrigue them. This will lead to an increase in user engagement and higher conversions. An accomplished digital marketing agency can help you chalk out an effective social media marketing plan.
Whether you’re a newbie or an existing gaming industry giant, you cannot ignore the impact of paid advertising. Irrespective of your business size and your game genre, paid ads bring your gaming titles to the limelight. Google has been the largest platform for ad selling space and was valued at around $103.11 billion, followed by Facebook for $67.37 billion, in 2019 alone. Compared to building your online presence organically, paid ads deliver faster results at a cheaper price, augments your audience reach, and delivers measurable results. We recommend that you use it alongside organic marketing methods, as if you want to see your brand or business grow faster then having both is the way to go!
Influencer marketing is gaining more traction now than ever before and has become a reliable marketing tool for businesses around the world. A report by SocialPubli showed that a huge 93% of marketers incorporate this method in their marketing strategies and over 70% of them use it for product launches and promotions. The same way that businesses are commonly categorized into small, medium and large scale, influencers can be segmented into nano, micro, macro, celebrity categories based on the magnitude of their follower base.
To understand what type of influencer is the right fit for your brand can be difficult given that there are thousands upon thousands of them. Additionally, if you end up getting anything wrong in your influencer marketing strategy, it could bring negative results to your brand.
Want to skip all that hassle, find the right influencers, and create incredible contracts in a fraction of a second? Our team over at Atisfyreach have got the items you need on your quest. Our influencer marketing platform is driven by AI and machine learning, and analyzes millions of metrics and influencers to match you with the best fit personalities for your brand. Check it out today!
Or, if you're an influencer yourself and want to get some recognition in the gaming industry, sign up to Atisfyre where we will match you with the right brands at the right prices with the right audiences in the niches you love!
For every $1 spent, data from HubSpot states that email marketing generates $38. This is why marketers emphasize this tool for lead and revenue generation. Research reveals that there are about 3.9 billion people who use email everyday which accounts for more than half of the world’s population, and as such your audience is more than likely to have their own email account.
Over 80% of marketers claim that email marketing improves customer retention and about 59% of consumers revealed that promotion emails from businesses influenced their purchase decisions. With such a high turnover rate, ignoring this powerful marketing tool will impede your business growth. The positive impact of email marketing is witnessed when it is executed well. If you’ve not seen any improvement in your customer acquisition and retention, collaborate with an accomplished email marketing company to amplify your results.
This marketing channel is one of the best ways to broaden your audience’s reach and drive traffic to your website seamlessly. For example, one of the most effective methods of paid search are banner ads. These ads are placed in between social media stories, displayed in newsfeeds, displayed in-game, and in all the online real estate spaces where users traffic is the most. Through these ads, you can feature any of your game’s marketing assets to drive brand awareness and brand recall.
App store marketing
Numerous applications have been rolled out over the years, and this number is only going up. Statista shows that 204 billion apps were downloaded globally in 2019 alone, and if you’re not cautious about your product marketing, your game is bound to be lost in the ocean of apps. The objective of app store marketing is to increase your app’s discoverability and visibility. Utilize app store marketing and optimization to help your game get noticed by gamers worldwide.
The ultimate guide to game marketing
Hope you enjoyed this article! For more insider game marketing information, check out The Ultimate Guide to Game Marketing: Everything You Need to Know.
Now that you understand the fundamental components of a profitable game marketing campaign, you might be worried that achieving it may not be easy. After all, understanding the fundamentals is one thing, but designing and executing a winning strategy is another.
To reinforce your product in the industry, you should reach out to a proficient video game marketing agency to make the most of your marketing. The team of seasoned professionals at Game Marketing Genie can help you design and execute a data-driven, result-oriented strategy right from the scratch. You’re just a message away from your success!
Want to know more? Get in touch today!