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27 Aug 2014

Going the Extra Mile: Influencing Your Indie Studio’s Customers

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You probably know that in order to market your brand appropriately, you need to post relevant content on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. That much is a given. Even so, it can be easy to get into the habit of marketing and actually forget about why you are marketing your brand every day in the first place:


To get more customers.


It all comes down to this: if you are not growing your customer base, then you are not marketing properly. Simple as that. The trick then, is to influence your customers to purchase your indie games and turn them into lifelong fans of your brand (and you will if you make games they love).

Whether you are a beginner or an indie vet, use today’s post as a reminder of why you are constantly spreading the word about your indie studio. Use the tips below to better understand how to influence potential and current customers alike, and improve your sales like never before.


Engage your customers offline

We focus a lot about engaging your customers online here at Game Academy, but one aspect we  rarely touch on is engaging your customers offline. While we live in an always-online world, there is still power in engaging your customers in the real world. As an indie developer, this can be tricky – but it doesn’t have to be.

Attend every conference remotely related to your indie studio in the area. Is there a tech conference a hundred miles away? Drive there. Have a local comic convention a few cities away? Try to attend the convention.

Think a little more outside the box. Are there a few trade shows happening around your area? Set up a booth and let everyone know exactly what you do. If there is a way to promote yourself in an area where there is a lot of foot traffic? Do it.

Combine this strategy with handing out memorabilia related to your indie games with your indie studio’s name somewhere on the merchandise, and you have a compelling strategy for spreading the word about your indie studio locally. No matter if you live in a bustling city or a small town in the middle of nowhere, you can make this tip work for you.


Authentic conversations are a must

Have you ever tried to have an authentic conversation with someone, but somewhere in the conversation you realized the other person was talking at you and not with you? We all hate being talked down to and feeling like someone is above us, but that’s exactly what so many brands out there do to their customers – even if they don’t mean to.

Marketing your brand on social media may be a great way to spread the word about your indie studio, but it doesn’t change the reason why most people use social media in the first place: to communicate with those they care about. Social media is personal for most people, and almost everyone wants to feel as if they are communicating with a person and not a brand.

It’s advice we give here at least once a week, but it’s one of the most important lessons you can learn when promoting your brand. The best way to start? Have authentic conversations with your customers and relate to them.

It can be something as small as asking a customer that reaches out to you how their day is going. It’s simple and something we do on an everyday basis, right? But to your customer, they don’t think of you as just another person. You’re a brand: a lifeless brand that exists only to make a sale. By treating the customer like you care about them and simply not pushing a sale onto them, you will take them off their guard and surprise them.

From there? They’re probably going to be impressed, and you will have a better chance of earning their regular business.

When possible, try to make a sale off of your customers, but don’t push your way to get there. Create relationships with them. Let them know you care about them not as customers, but as equals.

That’s more powerful than the best press release or sales pitch.



Be helpful 24/7

Consider this: 42% of consumers state they expect a response within an hour on social media – even on nights and weekends! Is this unreasonable? Absolutely. Who wants to respond to customer questions on the nights and during the weekends? I sure don’t and neither do you.

Thus, the trick is to help the customer help themselves. You should respond to your customers within a timely manner (aim for under an hour) during normal business hours, but after that? Help your customers to find how-to guides and FAQs written specifically for your indie studio that will answer your customer’s questions. A neat trick is to set up an autoresponder for email after business hours with links in the email body that will allow customers to find the answers they are looking for.

As you can see, the trick to influencing your customers to purchase your indie games and become lifelong customers is to provide stellar customer service while dually coming across as just another, friendly person. ‘Going the extra mile,’ in other words. By utilizing these tips, you will discover that yes indeed, your customers are going to be more willing than ever before to become regular customers of your indie games (especially if those games are awesome!).


Have any tips or comments? Let us know in the comments below!

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