I came across Albert Palka’s recent post over at Gamasutra this morning, in which he discusses the best ways to market without a budget, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. As stated last week, there are always new readers coming across our blog that want beginner advice on how to start their very own indie studio on the right foot. As you veteran indie developers already know, most developers do not have a lot of money when they are first starting out – especially when it comes to marketing. Chances are if you are starting out in this wild, crazy world of indie development, the only way you are going to market your indie studio is using the most popular methods that are free of charge.
Thus, we’re going to help you indie developers just starting out to get the beginning indie game marketing tips you need to start your week off right. Below are a few of our favorite tips that are certain to help you to start the long road to marketing your indie studio. Follow the advice below, and you will indeed be setting yourself up for success!
We mentioned marketing on Facebook for the first time way back in our post discussing how to use social media to generate buzz, and the advice you will find in that post (as well as the Twitter advice) is still valid. Yet, it doesn’t discuss using Facebook Groups –as Palka points out, this method is becoming one of the most useful ways to market your brand on Facebook. Facebook Groups can work wonders for marketing your content, as it makes the visibility higher. Every single person in a group will see your post and vice versa, and the beauty about Facebook Groups? Some of the indie developer groups are massive!
Palka has posted several links to some of the best Facebook Groups out there on his post, so I am not going to post them all there. However, if you need proof of just how lucrative Facebook Groups can be, take a look at one of Palka’s biggest groups in his list, Indie Game Developers (over 44,000 members!).
We’ll be discussing Facebook Groups even further in a future post, so stay tuned!
Palka also mentions that it’s a good idea to utilize Twitter Events. What do we mean by this? You see, every niche seems to have its own grassroots Twitter events where users can post a message and attach a particular hashtag for said event. By searching the hashtag, people interested in the event can see what everyone is contributing for the event.
Indie gaming is no different, and as Palka states, there is at least one popular event every single day. We’ve mentioned #screenshotsaturday here before, and others such as #indiedevhour are popular as well. As mentioned in our using social media to generate buzz post, Reddit also has its fair share of indie dev communities – and many of them also utilize events where you can show off what you are working on. It is one of the best ways to get new eyeballs on your brand!
When people want to learn about new games, catch up on gaming news, and so on, most of them go to YouTube nowadays. YouTube personalities have transformed how games are successfully promoted, and you can get in on the action as well. Consider reaching out to YouTube personalities that do ‘Let’s Play’ features on their YouTube channel by setting them a message and plugging your game. If they are interested, then great – that is free publicity that could work wonders for growing your brand!
You may be inclined to simply reach out to a few of the most popular YouTube personalities – but don’t do this! Never aim solely for the top. Instead, inquired to multiple personalities that have varying audience sizes.
Networking and guest content
The last thing you should do is simply reach out to other personalities in the industry. Try to get an interview on a podcast, write guest blog posts to promote your game, and see if it can get plugged from other indie devs. Networking is one of the best ways that you were going to have your indie games promoted, and now is the best time to start.