9 Game Marketing Tips Every Developer Should Know from The SEA Summit 2017

By Arya Wibowo

Because even the greatest games of all time don’t market themselves, here are game marketing tips that every developer should know.

You have a great game in the making, but wonder how in the world do you market it? Because even the greatest games of all time don’t market themselves, here are game marketing tips that every developer should know.

From the SEA Summit 2017 in Singapore, attended a panel session discussing game marketing tips. The panelists were: Wang Yaoxian (Key Account Project Manager from Zombits), Brian Kwek (Founder from Ysbryd Games) and Rainel Tan (General Manager, Sales & Marketing from Bandai Namco Entertainment Singapore).

So here are some points that we can take from the discussion:

Start Your Marketing Plan As Early As Possible

Think about who is your target, how to market it after when you start to develop your game. Every genre or platform (PS4, Xbox One, PC, or mobile) has different demographic of players. You don’t want to make a super serious marketing tone if you are making a casual game designed for casual players.

Do some research about your target. Every segment usually has an affinity on some topics or lifestyle. Know the target audience then set the strategy. Where and how the strategy will work according to your target audience.

Don’t’ forget to set a timeline. It is important to set the timeline so it can be parallel with your development plan. A bad planned marketing plan means even if your game is well developed, it won’t have the reception it deserves.

Use Influencer to Market Your Game

You can use an influencer to market your game. Don’t be afraid to build a relationship with them. If you already have a relationship with any of them, don’t forget to keep them updated about the game. If you have any playable builds or demos, let the influencer try it.

There are so many successful examples of games being played by influencers, notably YouTubers like PewDiePie or Markiplier. In the SEA, there are many local influencers that you can work with. Games like Goat Simulator are successful because of influencers. Regionally there is DreadOut who was played by PewDiePie.

(P.S. If you are targeting Indonesian market, you can choose influencers from this list)

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Create Great Short Marketing Contents

People don’t have much time and attention while scrolling social media timeline. You must create great contents that keep them watching. Make a short trailer (5-10 seconds) that will attract them and impactful for the social media.

Do Both PR and Marketing

PR and Marketing are two things that are different. PR is to engage with media, fluid. Marketing is how to get players, download.

So it is nice to have a good relationship with the media. Have a list of media that are relevant to your game, and update any notable progress to them. Even if they haven’t published any articles about you yet, they already know about you. And when your game is released, they will be ready. Make sure you are ready to give some copies to them too.

As for marketing, these are the ones that make a direct result, such as making ads, trailers, etc.

It is also important to make sure you market your IP’s and your studio also, for long-term impression.

Don’t Do It Alone

Hire a marketing person. You should stay focus on your product development.

By hiring a marketing person you also save time learning, make a more thorough planning, and of course more understanding in marketing practices.

Set Parameters

This is to measure how successful the marketing did. It depends on the purpose, is it for sales or brand awareness?

If it for sales, then you should determine how many downloads or purchases that should be achieved, and other metrics (if you are a mobile game developer, maybe go for MAU, DAU, retention rate, etc.). If your goal is brand awareness, then you can measure the number of media that cover you or your games, your social media followers and interactions, how many influencers played your game, and so on.

Don’t Spend in Offline Campaign

Do the digital campaign like on social media and YouTube, especially if you are an indie developer. Know the target market to decide what platform is suitable for that market.

An online campaign gives more return on investment than an offline campaign, you don’t need any tangible assets to do offline campaigns.

How to Choose Influencer?

Source: YouTube. Is your game played by him? Then you’re a lucky guy!

Besides the follower, pay attention on how they maintain their followers. A YouTuber with huge followers may seem tempting, but you also have to see his/her target market. Is it the same with yours? On the other side, an influencer with fewer followers may be a great choice if he/she has a niche market that suits your game.

Goes viral costs less. But we can’t plan for that. We can only plan, execute, and hope for the best.

Avoid AAA Release Timeline

Don’t compete with them at the same time. Don’t spend your marketing budget in that time.

People’s attention will be focused on those super high budgeted games, and your attempt at promotion will be drowned by their budget’s superiority and brand popularity.

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Edited by Devi




About Writer

Arya is a gamer dad, boardgame geek, and game industry enthusiast. He loves strategy games and soccer games.