How to Start Marketing a Video Game

by Game Marketing Genie, on 26-Jan-2021 09:00:00

You've spent a lot of money and put in a lot of effort to develop an amazing game with envious depth. The user experience is as rich as Elon Musk, and you're convinced players will be lining up to download your game as soon as you release it. Guess again!

We all wish it were that easy, but the truth of the matter is that the gaming industry is very competitive, and your precious, little game can get lost in all the noise if you don’t market it properly. Making the step to market your game can be scary. But not if you’ve got the right guide!

We have created this blog post to guide you on how to start marketing your video game to ensure more people get to know about it.

Why do you need to market your game?

Number of video gamers worldwide, 2015 - 2023*

Figure 1: Number of video gamers worldwide, 2015 - 2023*. Source: Statista

The gaming community is only growing. There were about 2.7 billion gamers worldwide in 2020, up from 1.99 billion in 2015 according to data from Statista. The number of games has been growing too, with developers hard at work producing amazing titles to cash in on the growing demand for gaming content.

As you prepare to introduce your game to the market, you should bear in mind that the industry is the most competitive it has been. You need to stand out or your efforts will be wasted, and this starts with a proper video game marketing plan.

Much like in movie and music production, many great movies end up unseen, and a lot of great songs go unheard. The same fate awaits your game if you don’t take the time to market it. Video game marketing gives your game visibility. It lets people know that your cool title exists, and they should try it out to enjoy an extra-ordinary gaming experience.

So, here are the best video game marketing strategies you can use to attract the highest amount of attention from potential users.  

Don’t be afraid, your audience is out there!

There are many players out there who would actually like your game if they know about it, so don't be afraid to market it. In fact, you'd be doing the gaming community a great disservice if you don't promote your game since players are always looking for new titles to add to their gaming collection.

This is a confidence boost, and is some good news to start off with. Knowing that your audience is out there should motivate you to find the best means for connecting with them.

Know your goals

What do you want to achieve with your game marketing campaign? Do you want more purchases, downloads, or signups? Do you hope to generate more revenue from selling in-game content? Do you want people to buy a limited time deal?

Your goals will determine how you approach your marketing, and will help you choose the right strategies to reach your target users effectively. Setting clear goals also makes it easy to track your marketing efforts. You will know if you’re on the right track or need to change your path to achieve your marketing target.

Goal notebook with accessories

Aim big

This means go all out and actively promote your game. Whoever you’re targeting, whether that’s gaming blogs, publications or the players themselves, aim for the biggest fish. Getting into the biggest publications will bring massive visibility to your game. Hardcore gamers still read these to get the latest news about the industry, and getting featured in one of them will put your game before the people that matter.

And don’t worry! Just because we say “go all out”, it doesn’t mean it will cost you a lot of money! Keep emailing the gaming news outlets until they listen. They won't listen every time but take your chances. It doesn't help anyone if you're holding back, so keep sending those requests until you get a positive response.

Find your audience

When marketing your game, you need to make sure that you are only connecting with your target audience. There's no need to reach 100,000 people with your marketing efforts if only 1,000 have a chance of liking your game. This isn't a good use of your capital, and you're better off targeting just 10,000 people where all of them are excited by your game.

There are many tools to help you identify your audience and reach them. Google AdWords and Facebook Analytics come in handy when you need to target an audience specifically based on certain characteristics. You can also analyze your direct competitors to see the kind of people they target to get an idea of what your ideal audience might look like.

Get your community going

It's important to engage with your audience on the online platforms where they spend most of their time. Community engagement will help you connect with your target users at a deeper level, and this will help you convert most of them into loyal fans.

Use this opportunity to share detailed information about your game, answer game-related questions, and get feedback/suggestions for game changes.

The bustling community of Reddit is a go-to hub for gamers. You can also form a Discord channel to chat with gamers and discuss ideas and questions.

Check out our blog, Should You Consider Discord for Your Video Game Community?, for more information on using Discord to create a community that matters for your game.

People at convention

Identify your USP, and proudly display it in your marketing

What makes your game so unique? What makes it different from other titles out there?

Players are always looking for unique experiences, and they will not rush to download your game if it's similar to other titles they already know. So identify what’s special about your game and use that to attract players.

Players who have enjoyed your game will invite others to try it, and soon enough, your game will be the talk of town.

Choose the right channels

Data from HubSpot shows that 80 percent of consumers expect brands to respond and communicate with them on social media. These high expectations also count in the video game industry, so you need an active presence on the right platforms to connect and interact with your fans. You also need a website where you’ll post links for your gaming app, a promo video, screenshots of your game, and game reviews.

Your game could be besieged with setbacks or your server plagued with technical issues, making it difficult for you to keep your promise to your customers. When this happens, use your social media channels to let people know what's going on and what you're doing to solve the problem.

We have highlighted the best channels used by video game marketing companies to connect with gamers in our blog, What Are the Best Social Media Platforms to Market Your Game On?

Choose the right strategies

How many users you manage to attract to your game will depend on the marketing strategies you deploy. Marketing costs money, so you need to set an appropriate video game marketing budget for your campaign.

Content marketing is one of the great strategies to reach gamers. A dedicated gaming blog will increase traffic to your website, thus helping you attract new players. Strategically positioned CTAs will help collect vital customer contacts that you nurture through email marketing.

You can also use social media marketing to connect with your audience on their preferred social channels.

Our blog, 11 Video Game Marketing Strategies You Can Use Right Now, highlights the best strategies for marketing your game.

Chess pieces on board

Get your marketing materials to excite people

Work with a video game marketing agency to create appealing marketing content that will excite your fans. This is about doing something different to grab your target users' attention and get them to learn about your game.

Don't copy what other people are doing to market their games. Make your marketing unique if you want to stand out in the crowded gaming industry.

Influencer marketing is your friend

Partnering with social media stars is a great way to show your game to a large audience. Influencers have large, dedicated followings, and getting them to feature your game on their streams will give your game the much-needed visibility. The influencer’s followers will be encouraged to play your game, and your user base will grow as a result.

The influencers you work with should match your brand goals and values. They should also be popular with the type of audience you're targeting. Choosing the wrong influencers will harm your marketing campaign, and that's why you should partner with video game marketing companies to find the right influencers for your game.

Set it all into action

With everything set, it's now time to set your marketing into action. Your marketing will be much more targeted with a clearly defined audience, thus ensuring your marketing dollars are used wisely.

Measure your campaigns to ensure you’re on track to achieving your goals. Iterate where necessary till you get the winning formula.

Clapperboard lying on ground

Your best game marketing strategies

Hope you enjoyed this article! For more insider game marketing information, check out The Ultimate Guide to Game Marketing: Everything You Need to Know.

Marketing a new game can be scary. There are a lot of things to do and very little time to accomplish them. The fact that the market is saturated makes it difficult to attract new users, but the strategies we have highlighted will help you make a name for yourself in your niche.

If you need to market your game and don't know where to start, the team at Game Marketing Genie can help. We are a full-service video gaming marketing agency, and we will help you connect with your target users and build a strong community around your game.

Do you want more users? Contact us for the latest marketing trends.

Topics:Video Game Marketing StrategyVideo Game MarketingDigital Marketing StrategyDigital Marketing

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