In the ever-competitive world of indie game development, the marketing phase is as important, if not more so, than the development stage. At Beamable, we have years of experiencing building and publishing AAA IP games. Here are some ideas about how you can get a head start on marketing your title, and building a community of players that will support your game for years to come!
Some of this will be obvious, but it still needs to be said. The goal is to develop your “golden cohort”. These are the folks that will start playing the moment your game is released, and keep playing almost forever! Get your golden cohort, and you will have a thriving game business for years to come.
#1 – Promote your game in indie dev forums
Indie game dev forums can be one of the best places to promote your project, test the waters, get feedback, and find players for your game. Most indie game dev forums have special boards or threads set up specifically for promotion. You can post screenshots, character stories, game trailers, download links, and so much more.
Give these forums a try!
Make sure that, when you post, you are open to feedback. Also take the time to view, play, and comment on the posts of others. You can’t just go into a community and take. You have to give back too. Indie dev forums are great for both pre and post-launch, so don’t burn any bridges!
#2 – Posting to Facebook groups
Facebook game dev groups are also a good location. Try some of these:
Be sure to check the rules of whichever group you join. Participate in a curious and authentic way. Do not spam the group with advertisements for your game.
Also, if you have some budget, you can use post Boosting or some small amounts of Facebook advertising. It will require some learning time to understand how advertising works. There are many free resources available, including the Facebook Ads Guide, which offers good insights on getting started with ads on both Facebook and Instagram advertising.
Quick-tip: Try to cross-promote across all of your different channels for a wider reach.
#3 – Instagram is great for visuals
Many indie devs and game studios are moving to Instagram to showcase screenshots, short videos, and other content about their games. The real power of Instagram is increasing your reach by using relevant hashtags for your posts. Look for other creators in the same niche as your game, watch their hashtag usage, and maybe even reach out to collaborate and co-promote each other's games.
Some hashtags to try out are:
The real trick with Instagram is to post regularly. Don’t overcomplicate the content. Post something small every day.
#4 – Get hunted @Product Hunt
Product Hunt is a discovery site where you can share and find new applications, products, and games. Users, fondly known as ‘hunters’, up-vote their favorite apps. If your game receives votes, it might get featured on the homepage as the ‘Product of the Day’. There are no charges for posting on this platform.
There is a whole TOPIC for Games. Make sure you get in there!
However, if you are serious about building buzz around their game, they have a service called SHIP. It is a suite of tools to help spread the word about your game.
#5 – Reddit / Play My Game
Rightly coined as the “front page of the internet,” Reddit is a huge social forum where people post interesting news, videos, photos, memes, and so much more. The website is divided into millions of subreddits, which are basically topic-based communities. Users can post, comment, vote, and interact on subreddits.
Below is a list of some of the popular subs where you can share your game:
Quick Tip: Karma is important in Reddit, so try to build your karma points first by being active in the community. Make sure you don’t appear spammy; the Reddit community can be unforgiving.
#6 – Game review sites
Game review sites are a massive way to increase your game’s visibility to players. Given the number of games coming out each day, and the amount of people pitching game review sites, it’s not easy to get picked up, but if you do, it can be massive.
Before you start pitching to game journalists and review sites, you need to make sure you have a solid press kit ready to go. The press kit should include a video trailer, screen shots, and a textual explanation of your game, the genre, the core game play with instructions.
Some review sites to consider:
Go out there and become a marketer!
Being a game developer is hard. You have to wear a ton of hats to build, launch, and promote your game. We hope this list of options helps you find some places to let the world know about your exciting game project.
It is never to early to start marketing your game. Join some forums. Get on Facebook. Set up your Instagram account. Jump in the Reddit deep end. Get started, and stay consistent!
At Beamable, we love seeing games launch, and we love seeing them successful. If there is anything we can do to help, please contact us today!