A Trick Learned From Nintendo's Marketing That You Can Use To Double Your Video Game Sales Per Month
If you use the video game marketing advice I'm about to share with you, you'll learn how sell more copies of your video game.
And the reason I'm so focused on teaching you how to sell and market your video game is because being a talented developer and programmer isn't enough, anymore.
There are so many talented indie game devs, that are making NO money. And that's because they didn't know how to MARKET their talent.
This is what you'll learn to today: How to market your talent in making video games... so you can make good money with your video games... so you can build a successful video game company and start working on your next game... so you never have to work for somebody anymore.
The game devs who don't learn how to market their talent... and learn how to market their video games... will just end up just doing this as a hobby.
Which if fine. If this is a hobby, great. But if you want to build a successful business, then you have to learn how to market your talent.
So, in this video and article, you're going to get a 3 step system showing you exactly how you can market your talent and your video games. And this system is the same system Nintendo uses to sell their own video games consoles.
Ready? Before you and I begin, pause this video. Stop reading. Go grab your favourite drink. Throw on your favourite music. Sit back. And let's learn some new insights from Nintendo's marketing -- and how you can use it to market your video games, too.
Why Advertising and Branding Doesn't Work... And What To Do About It
First, let's talk about what NOT to do.
Nintendo has cash flow. Lots of it. And their cash flow comes from investors and shareholders. They use that cash flow for advertising and branding.
This is NOT what I'm going to talk about. When you're starting off, advertising and branding is not how to sell video games.
First of all, advertising is expensive. And you need massive amount of cash flow to constantly keep advertising. The moment you stop, your sales stop.
But, here's another big reason not to focus on advertising...
Most advertising and branding is used as a way to in increase a company's social status. It's used as posturing. It's used as a way to show off how successful they are. Why? So they get the attention of investors.
This is why Nintendo doesn't listen to their fans and to the people who buy their stuff. As long as the investors are happy, they're not going to change. When their stock goes down, that's when they listen.
But, I'm not here to talk about Nintendo advertising. I just wanted to point this out because it's interesting, and most game devs believe that they need to advertise.
No, what I want to talk about is a trick Nintendo does to get a GAMER love their stuff in the first place. And it has nothing to do with advertising or branding. And it has everything to do with this:
Let me show you...
What Nobody Noticed When Nintendo Was Marketing Switch and Zelda
For most people, their first intro to the Switch and Zelda was this commercial......Let me show you why this commercial grabbed your attention -- and 30+ million others, too. And then I'll show you how you can use the same tricks to sell your own video game.
Quick note: you don't have to make commercials. You don't have have to have a console. You don't have to hire a an advertising firm.
What you'll learn is a fundamental rule that will help you market your game dev talents and your video games from now on.
Here's the trick...
Advertising and branding is about getting YOUR name out there. But what Nintendo did was a bit counterintuitive, and it's hard to see.
What Nintendo did here was they put 80% of the focus on the GAMER, and 20% on their console and games. Normally, 100% of the attention goes to the video game, and 0% is focused on the gamer.
Let me explain, and this will make sense...
They didn't talk about specs, or features, or technical stuff. They showed gamers USING the system and what BENEFIT the gamer will get. They showed people SOLVING a pain.
And what pain is that?
How many times have got into a game so bad, that you rather be doing that and nothing else?
This is a huge pain and challenge a lot of gamers have: responsibilities get in the way of gaming. To grab a gamers attention, Nintendo put 80% of the focus on the gamer. They showed how their products will solve a gamers problem.
Let me show you exactly what they did...
How Nintendo Grabs a Gamer's Attention
You see a guy sitting on a couch, and what grabs your attention is the game he's playing. It's a new Zelda game. But this is only shown very briefly. That's not the hook.
The hook is, when the guy's dog enters and he's brought back to IRL.
How many times have you experienced this? You're playing a game, and you realize you only have 2 minutes and you have to get ready for work or school? You're ripped back into IRL.
Or it's bedtime, and you decide to play for another 10 minutes... but 10 minutes turns into a 3 hour game session.
Or when you're a kid playing your N64 and your mom comes into the room telling you it's supper time... but even though you're hungry, you want to keep playing.
Again, getting ripped out of your game and into IRL is a pain gamers have.
Nintendo could have easily just showed off Zelda and their new controllers and docking station without all this story telling.
They didn't have to show the dog walking in, and the guy sighing, feeling bad because he has to take the dog out for walk. But they did.
Because this is what grabs your attention the most. This is a universal pain a lot of gamers have. And people will do more to avoid pain, than go after pleasure.
Let me show you another example...
What's another pain gamers have? Boredom. When you're waiting in line, or you're stuck in a place for 2 to 3 hours. This is another universal pain gamers have. They would rather be gaming, and not waiting.
Their tagline should be:
Nintendo Switch: Be Gaming Not Waiting
(That one's free, by the way, Nintendo. Take it, it's good).
Do you see what I'm getting at?
Nintendo taps into people's emotions by showing them universal problems gamers have. And they showed how THEIR products solve those problems.
Nintendo didn't talk about specs, or features, or even show a lot of game play. They showed a problem and a pain, and then how their stuff will solve that problem or pain.
In other words, the trick to get a gamer's attention wasn't about Zelda or the Switch. The trick was about getting a gamer's attention by putting the spotlight on the gamer.
And Nintendo isn't the only one that does this trick. Back in 2003, I was around to see the iPod Classic be marketed. It boggled my mind that people were spending $800 on an mp3 player. There were other mp3 players that cost a lot less.
But now I know exactly how Apple did it. They used the same trick. While other mp3 players talked about technical stuff, about sound quality, and about file size, Apple did the counterinituitgive thing.
They never said the word "mp3". That's a geeky word. Music is about emotion, about moving, about sex. They showed people dancing with their iPod. They made mp3 players sexy. That's what grabbed a person's attention. They didn't put all the focus on features, and their brand name. They put 80% of the focus on the person and what benefit they'd get using their product.
So, how does this help you? How do you use the same trick to sell more video games? That's next...
3 Simple Ways To Use This Trick To Help You Market Your Indie Video Game and Make Good Money
The whole point of learning these tricks is to help you sell more copies of your video game. But how? How do you use the same trick to sell say, 1000 copies of your video game a month?
Do you go about making commercials? Do you just rip off Nintendo, and show gamers playing your game and how will solve their problem?
Nope. Let me show you how you can use this trick to sell your video game, in your specific sub-genre, to your specific type of gamers -- and it's free.
Step 1: Grab a Gamer's Attention By Knowing What Motivates Them To Buy and Play a Game
What does you gamer want out of your video game? If you know this, you'll know how to market your video game in a way that attracts gamers to you.
Nintendo knew that gamers want to solve a big problem they have. Their big problem is life gets in the way of gaming. So, why not bring gaming with life. That's why they specifically showed the guy walk his dog -- while playing Zelda.
But what about you and your video game? What reward does your gamer get from playing your game? What are they solving in their life?
I know I'm pushing you here, hard. I'm talking about a lot of things not a lot of game devs think about. But my point here is to try to put yourself in your gamers mind. It's what Nintendo does. It's what Apple does.
Once you know what motivates a gamer to buy and play your game, then getting their attention will be easy.
If you're still stuck on this step, then step 2 will make sense of everything.
Step 2: Show Gamers an Advantage to Playing Your Video Game
If you want to sell say, 1000 copies of your video game, per month, then it's critical that you learn this part. This is the most important part of any training I'll ever teach you.
Let me show you...
When you know what motivates a gamer to buy and play your game, then it's easy to show them an advantage they'll get.
Why is this important?
Because every gamer has a need. And every sub-genre fulfills that gamer need.
Here are 3 gamer needs, and how a game sub-genre fulfills that need:
Need #1: Acquire or Collect Things
This is a basic human need, and not just a gamer need. This is why games that focus on loot systems attract a lot of gamers. Some gamers only play games that offer lots of loot. These game fullfull their need to acquire or collect things. It's a sign of achievement.
Need #2: Gain Popularity
This is another basic human need that spills over into gaming. These gamers are interested in making themselves popular. This is why they stream and become YouTubers. These gamers gravitate to games that will gain them popularity. They gravitate to games that are in competitive leagues. They play multiplayer games. They gravitate to games that will make them popular.
Need #3: Personal Prestige
These gamers are interested in doing things right. Some people say they have OCD. I don't know. But they gravitate to games where they get rewarded for completion runs, where they can 100% a game. They gravitate to games that are difficult and you die often. And by doing something over and over again, until it's perfect, fulfills their need for personal prestige.
There's actually 15 Gamer Needs. I only showed you 3 here. But my point is, when you know what need your gamer has, then it'll be easy to communicate what your game solves.
A gamer who needs personal prestige isn't going to play Borderlands. Borderlands appeals to gamers who want loot, and acquire things. A gamer who needs personal prestige is going to play games like Binding of Isaac, Hotline Miami, Dark Souls. These games reward you for doing things over and over again, until they're done right.
So, what reward does a gamer get from playing your game? The reason this is important to know is because once a gamer knows this, they'll be instantly attracted to your game.
Remember, a gamer wants to solve a need or gain a reward. They are constantly on the lookout for new games that will do this for them. If you're not clear about what reward a gamer will get, or a pain your game solve, then they'll never bother with your game.
Step 3: Prove It
Once you know what motivates a gamer to play and buy your game... and what advantage they'lll get for playing it... you need to prove it.
Give away a "Playable Teaser" for free. This isn't a demo of the first level of your game. There isn't a tutorial. There isn't a long intro scene. It's 7 to 15 minutes of PURE gamer high.
What I mean is, your Playable Teaser will be short, about 7 to 15 minutes. It will be a self-contained mini-game that compliments your main game. It will be essentially an ad to your main game.
Why do this?
Because your Playable Teaser is the best way instantly gratify their needs.
People want instant gratification -- especially gamers. The whole purpose of your Playable Teaser is to fulfill that instant gratification. Once they see that your game fulfills a need, then they'll want more.
And that's the job of your Playable Teaser -- it's to grab a gamer emotionally, and get them hooked on your game... get them excited to play the full version (and buy the full version).
You see why I dragged you along with talking about gamer needs and showing an advantage? Once you know this, this will help you create a Playable Teaser. It's easier to get a gamer to play a 7 minute game teaser, then it is to get them to buy a game.... or even play a full demo.
And a Playable Teaser is more addicting than a trailer you watch on YouTube.
This combination of a free Playable Teaser, that's short and sweet, that shows a gamer an advantage to playing your game, and gives them instant gratification is how to market your indie video game so you can make good money.
Nintendo did this too. They had exhibitions where people could go play Zelda. But only for a few minutes. And it wasn't the full version of the game. It was the best part. It was the part to hook a gamer emotionally. They wanted the gamer to leave wanting more. And they wanted the gamer to go and tell people online about their experience
How To Market Your Video Game Like Nintendo So You Can Make Good Money: IRL Exercise
If you really want to grasp this trick, and use it to your advantage to sell say for example, 1000 copies per month, then take the next 15 minutes to do this exercise.
I promise you that you'll gain a new insight in your video game that you've never thought of before.
So, here it is...
Open a new word doc, or open a new page in your notebook. And write these three questions down:
- What Reward Does My Gamer Get After Playing My Game?
- What Needs Does My Game Fulfil?
- How Can I Synthesize Those Two Into A "Playable Teaser" that is about 15 minute long?
This is important to do because it will get your mind thinking about new ideas about your game that you've never thought of before.
This is your first step into marketing your video game so you can make good money... build a successful games company... quit your day job... and have enough cash flow to start your next game.