Yesterday, we wrote a post discussing the first steps one should take when marketing an indie studio. It’s a great read for our new readers that are trying to figure out this whole indie thing. Today, I want to focus on the next, natural step in marketing your indie studio: building brand advocates. Yesterday, we ended by mentioning that you need to create/share compelling content that is going to attract your target audience, and today’s post is going to focus on the next step.
But first: what do we mean by brand advocates? It’s actually pretty simple. Brand advocates are the most die-hard fans of your indie studio. These guys/gals love telling their friends about your games, and they mention your games whenever they get a chance. They are literally ‘advocates’ for your indie studio, and if you can build them, they are going to do more for helping your brand to grow faster than you could ever imagine. Brand advocates literally provide your indie studio with free publicity; thus, you need to create them.
That’s the real trick, isn’t it? Luckily, we have a few answers for you. While this post isn’t going to exhaust all of the ways you can build brand advocates (we will mention this in a future post), it’s going to help you to start the process of building brand advocates. Here’s what you need to know.
It starts with amazing customer service
Want to know the one thing that forces people to tell everyone they know about how amazing a brand is? It’s quality customer service. In the era of social media, customers expect a response to their question within an hour during normal business hours, meaning you need to focus on bending over backwards to help every customer that you have – especially in the beginning! Statistically speaking, it makes sense too. According to Adweek, it’s seven times more expensive to win new customers than retaining current customers, so do the math and make the smart decision.
Consider a rewards program
If you want to provide your current customers with an incentive to spread the word about your brand, consider starting a rewards program. You can do this by requiring customers to sign up for an account with your indie studio to play your games which will allow you to track who has referred their friends to your indie studio. From there, you can provide an incentive of in-game current (if applicable) or the like. Use your imagination!
Use social sharing tactics
One of the best ways to build brand advocates is to also give your customers an incentive to share your indie game with their friends on social media. Trivia Crack does this amazingly well, in that you are rewarded for sharing wins and the like with your social media friends. It’s another way to attract new customers, and once they witness your stellar customer service, your compelling content, and a rewards program, many of them will indeed become brand advocates if they dually love your indie games. Remember: the best way to market your indie studio is to give your current customers a reason to always talk about you!