A reader commented on one of our posts over the weekend, wanting to know the best way to ‘get the word out’ about their indie game and their studio as a whole. If you have been reading the Game Academy blog for some time now, you have definitely found a few nuggets of information regarding how to improve your brand’s reach. It’s a topic I personally have discussed many times, but if you’re new to Game Academy and want to find solid information regarding the beginning steps of improving the reach of your indie studio’s brand, well, this is a perfect place to start.
Are you starting your indie development journey yet have no clue how to get people to play your game? Then you need to follow the advice below – a crash course in improving your brand’s awareness and overall reach. While this will not cover everything you need to know about improve your reach, it’s a great place to start. Thus, without further ado, here is what you need to do to ‘get the word out’ about your indie game.
First thing’s first: social media is a must
It doesn’t matter if you despise Facebook with the fury of a thousand suns, nor does it matter if you cannot stand the word ‘twitter.’ Social media is mandatory to improving your brand’s awareness. Social media is the proverbial fishing line that will hook and reel potential players into your games, and it is also the best way to spread news about your upcoming games. If brand awareness were a city, social media would be the interstate system of said city.
A great place to learn about using social media to your advantage is to read two of our previous posts: Using Social Media to Generate Buzz For Your Indie Game, Using Twitter to Gain a Fanbase, and Creating Your LinkedIn Account the Right Way. These posts are great because they introduce you to a few of the most commonly used social networks on the Web, how to use them properly, and beyond (they also teach you about the importance of having a website for your studio – another must). Get familiar with all of the social networks listed in the posts above (including Instagram and Pinterest –social networks unfortunately left out of these posts), sign up for accounts with all of them, and get ready to create captivating content to share for each social network.
Create/share compelling content
Did you read an interesting article about indie gaming? Feel free to share it with your followers on your social networking sites. Do you want to show the world what you have been working on? Recording video footage of your indie game, upload it to your YouTube account, and share it with others on your social networks. Want to be able to keep churning out compelling content daily? Consider writing blog posts every day and sharing them with your followers across all of your social networks! Don’t think you can write well enough to share your thoughts on developing indie games with others? One of our posts last week details exactly how to blog as an indie developer – even if you don’t think you’re a great writer!
Now here’s the thing, and I know it’s something you’re probably saying to yourself:
“Even if I have some gnarly content, what good is that going to do me if I don’t have anyone following me to share my posts?”
I have the answer, and it’s a great way to increase your followers across all your social networks in a hurry:
Nothing will get people paying attention to your brand more than a social media contest (a topic I aim to go more in-depth with at a later date). They’re easy to conduct too. Simply inform your followers to share a post publicly with their followers. It’s best to use an image detailing your upcoming game or your studio with words in the image telling the viewer to share the image with their followers and what winners will win. You won’t have to worry about this as much on Twitter as most tweets/retweets are public, but on Facebook? You need to emphasize that in order to be entered into the contest, participants need to share the content publicly.
What does this do? This creates a snowball effect. With more people sharing the image designated to the contest, more people will share your image with their followers, enticing more people than ever before to follow you. From there? Create and share captivating content to keep your newfound followers around, and in the end, this will (hopefully) result in more sales of your games.
What should your prize be? A free copy of your game is the obvious choice, but make it whatever you wish.
Be an open book
By sharing/creating quality content every single day. Share your experiences with others in regards to developing your indie game. Plug your website and where people can learn more about your games every chance you get. Just remember the following:
- Share awesome content.
- Reddit is a great place to find good shareable content.
- Engage with your followers.
- Get into discussions with them, answer any questions they may have. They will appreciate you for taking the time to dialogue with them.
- Create original content that rocks.
- Post ‘Let’s Plays,’ of your game on YouTube, blog posts detailing progress you have made on your blog, etc.
- Rinse, repeat.
- Time consuming? Consider hiring an assistant.
Marketing takes longer than actually developing games anymore, and while the ‘consider hiring an assistant’ tip is laughable, you may want to seriously consider it. Increasing your brand’s reach – and marketing as a whole – takes days. If you can find it in your budget to hire a professional to improve your brand’s reach, do it.
Do you have any tips or comments for increasing your brand’s reach? Let us know in the comments below!