Marketing for Indie Game Designers: How to Ensure Your Work Gets the Attention It Deserves

Even the most entertaining and challenging game is a bust if nobody plays it. The internet gives customers access to thousands of video games spanning dozens of genres and age ranges. To get noticed, indie developers have to ferociously market their game through conventional and creative tactics. While there is no perfect solution for marketing success, there are a few basic tips that every game designer should use.

Build Your Game’s Reputation Before Launch

Anticipation can be an amazing marketing force, especially if the game delivers as promised. Designers should start building awareness of their game months before their planned launch date. In some cases, getting a small group of dedicated players to serve as alpha and beta testers is a great way to accelerate mechanics development and bug fixing.

Connect with Media Influencers

The video gaming industry has grown to enormous proportions in recent decades, so it’s no surprise that there are many media outlets that cater specifically to this user base. Game developers should keep in touch with the community by reading blogs, forums and industry news so they can identify potential marketing outlets. Connecting with even a few high-profile bloggers can provide a huge public relations boost.

Consider Third-Party Distribution

Third-party distribution is not an easy decision for any developers, whether they are indie or established. There are a lot of options for distribution platforms, so designers have to do their research to figure out the best one for their game. Some gaming portals are designed specifically for indie or casual games, so it can be a great way to connect directly with the target consumer base.

Create an Engaging Website

Every game designer who is serious about marketing their game needs a website where people can learn more about the game and the development team. These sites don’t need to be incredibly complex or detailed, but they should be entertaining, engaging, and represent the spirit of the game. Game site builder tools can simplify the process of creating and maintaining the site while leaving plenty of creative options for users. 

It’s tempting to brush off marketing as a secondary priority or something that will resolve itself, but this can be a disastrous attitude for indie developers. Engaging in public relations outreach may be uncomfortable, unfamiliar and confusing, but taking the time to communicate and connect with users is a necessary step in getting the attention the game deserves.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Are You #Developing The Next Big #App?

mobileIt seems like everyone uses a smartphone these days, and whether it be Apple’s iPhone, an Android variant, or something else, smartphones are quickly becoming valuable tools to process information and connect businesses and consumers.

While you may have optimized your online content for mobile, have you developed a personalized app for your business?

If not, your company could be losing out on plenty of revenue throughout the year.

Why Develop an App?

A personalized app for your business is a way to not only speak directly to the customer or consumer, but it’s also a way to keep your business in the forefront of the consumer’s purchasing decisions.

For example, if you provide a free app for customers, they will be more likely to see your company’s name, logo, and branding each time they use their phone.

Likewise, an app makes it more convenient for on-the-go consumers to have access to purchasing options. In today’s mobile society, this can be a huge advantage over the competition.

Finding an App Developer

In the article, “Thought Leader Series: Follow These Steps to Begin Licensed App Development,” there are a number of important points made, including tips for finding the right developer for your company’s app.

The author makes mention of hiring a team of development professionals who have experience, but you also need to consider other factors.

Experience is great, but you want to find someone who understands not only your specific business, but also who will bring your vision to life.

Someone who understands user experience, or UX, is your best bet, and you should also look for someone who is ready and willing to look at the overall brand strategy instead of just creating the app on a project basis.

Updating Customers Using Your App

One important aspect of providing an app for customers is that it has the potential to provide regular updates to consumers and customers.

For instance, when someone downloads your company’s app, give that person the option to receive updates when new products, services, or events are announced. In doing so, the user will be able to stay connected, even when they aren’t directly using the app.

Once again, this keeps your brand at the forefront of the consumer’s mind instead of your competition. Keep in mind that you should provide an opt-out feature for updates, and don’t send updates too often.

In addition, know federal and state laws regarding digital communication and spam before creating an automatic update feature.

About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include app development and social media.