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19 May 2015

Marketing Your Indie Game: You Should Be Marketing Offline, Too

We always talk about how you should be marketing your indie games and studio at large by using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms in order to spread the good news about what you are working on. It’s true that you need to be doing this, yet it isn’t the only avenue for marketing. We may live in the Internet age, but marketing offline is still alive and thriving.

Best part of all? It’s an untapped technique that most indie developers have all but forgotten.

These tips may not work for all of you (those that live deep in rural areas may have to do a little more legwork), but chances are you live close enough to a thriving community chock full of players that want to play your indie game. If so, take our advice below to win over potential customers in your neck of the woods.

Demonstrations at local gaming shops

Everybody has a gaming shop close to them, and I’m not solely talking about places that sell video games either: shops that sell board games, card games (e.g. shops that have weekly Magic: The Gathering tournaments), tabletop merchandise, etc. are all fair game. Ask the owner if you can set up a table and provide demonstrations of your indie game, and if you need to sweeten the deal, mention that you will put the store name somewhere in your indie game (if applicable). Work with your local businesses, and they shouldn’t have a problem with it.

Set up a small table during the busiest times of the week (usually weekends) and hand out demos if possible. If the game is released, sell it at a discount and hand players a code for them to redeem the game on the game’s respective platform. If they enjoy the demo and want more, the chances that they will make a spur-of-the-moment purchase increases dramatically!

Flyers where gamers frequent

Is there an area where gamers usually frequent, such as a downtown area where there are a few game shops here and there? If so, hang flyers near these areas and advertise your indie game. Consider placing a QR code that links to a trailer for your indie game or your game’s store page where they can watch the trailer then purchase it immediately (i.e. the latter would be perfect if you want to advertise your game on Steam).

Use proper typography, include screenshots on the flyer, and generally make it stand out! If it catches the eyes of those passing by, half the battle is already won.

Sell physical copies

Is there an independent game shop that people adore? Consider selling physical copies of your indie game! Even if it’s as simple as selling a small postcard with a redemption code that has to be scratched to be revealed, it’s still a great idea. While you will almost definitely have to gift the game shop a portion of your earnings, it’s still an awesome way to get people to take notice that they have an awesome indie developer in the area!

Do you have any ideas about marketing your indie game offline? Let us know in the comments below!

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