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The Biowars Guide on How to Market Your Video Game

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Making a video game or mobile gaming app is only half of the battle. The other half, as you might expect, is getting people interested in downloading your game and then playing it – and this takes marketing.

Now marketing is a term a lot of game developers might shy away from or feel overwhelmed by at the beginning. On the one hand you have to employ a strong degree of creative salesmanship, and on the other hand you need to know what tried-and-true methods have worked for others in the gaming industry.

Don’t worry, indy game creator, because Biowars has your back. Today we’re going to cover some of the best and most proven ways to get your video game or mobile game app in the hands of your target audience.

Biowars Website

Work up a Website

When you make your mobile gaming app, having a web presence outside of the app store is really important. This also holds true for your independent video game, because it gives gamers somewhere to go for more information on your game, and also on you as a developer (not to mention what it does in terms of building up your creative portfolio).

Remember the extremely frustrating but popular game app known as Flappy Bird? Yes, even Flappy Bird’s developer put together a website with basic elements that include a leaderboard, blog and contact information. It isn’t state-of-the-art by any means, but it does give people searching for the game a place to play online.

What it is missing, however, are some extremely important features like links to the app and social media pages. And it could be why the game went belly up after its 15 minutes of fame suddenly imploded.

Consider this a missed opportunity by the creators, but don’t let it be a mistake you’ll make when you build your own website. Your goal is to get downloads and purchases, so make sure your site works towards that end by tempting visitors with enough information to get them excited about your game, and a direct link to where they can pick it up.

Biowars Facebook

Set Up Social Media

With over one billion registered users on Facebook alone, not to mention millions and millions of people on other social media sites and apps such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, social media should be the next place you focus on your game’s marketing.

The secret behind social media is audience interaction. When you create a social media page you’re giving yourself something that’s easily shareable and, if everything falls into place, potentially viral. Now don’t go looking for the recipe for viral content just yet, because it’s much more elusive than you might think. But you should spend some time looking at other indy developers’ social media pages to see what kind of content creates enough buzz to make the page interesting to visitors.

The best ways to use your social media page:

  • Tease fans with exclusive game content
  • Offer swag for participating in contests
  • Give inside info on the development process or backstory
  • Make announcements on upcoming add-ons or awaited game sequels
  • Let them play your game on Facebook

 

Very few people like pages that only discuss their game, so a good rule to follow is talking about your game about 50% of the time, while using the other 50% to share things your fans love about gaming or on game-related topics. Anything that spurs interaction among your fans is critical, but it’s even more important to make sure you’re a big part of the conversation that takes place on everything you share. So be sure to engage your fans! Sometimes the best way to make your game even better or generate new ideas is from your online community.

Biowars Pitching

Pitch Your Product

Of all the ways to market your video game, pitching your game to columnists and bloggers is sometimes the most intimidating. If you believe in your video game or mobile game app enough, then you should certainly have the confidence to send it out to anyone who could write up an unbiased review of your product.

Truthfully, this is sometimes the best way to get information on your game in front of the right kind of people (gamers) by the hundreds of thousands. And if you’re able to secure a positive review of your game by the people who know gaming inside and out, then you’ll definitely be sure to reap the rewards.

The best way to go about this is to select writers who explore both the genre and platform your video game is available in. For example, if you made a role-playing game that’s only downloadable on Xbox Live, then reach out to a writer who covers independent Xbox titles and has an affinity for RPGs. Choosing someone who loves first-person shooters and only owns a PS3 would be a waste of your time and theirs.

Next, make sure they receive a free copy of your game, and you also attach a concise, carefully written email about your game with a little backstory on yourself as a developer.

Lastly, send them a video of someone playing the game who’s really, really good at it and makes it look like a lot of fun. The video doesn’t have to be produced incredibly well, though it does often help, and it should show the parts of the game you’re most proud of.

While this isn’t a comprehensive guide on marketing your video game, it should give you enough insight on how to get things started. With a website, social media and outreach all working together, you have a much better chance at getting your video game at the top of any gamer’s must-have list.

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