Watch me market this indie space shooter, so you can learn how to market your own indie video game, too!
You're going to sell more copies of your video game if you know what emotional triggers your gamer wants from video games.
By knowing what a gamer wants, you're going to increase your chances of getting attention... without the need in spending money on advertising, PR, YouTube sponsorship.
If you don't know what your gamer wants, then it's going to be difficult to get a gamer's attention. It's a lot harder to be persuasive in getting a gamer to play and buy your game.
So, let's learn something new about how to market your video game by watching me market an multiplayer space shooter, indie game...
4 Fundamentals in Marketing an Indie Video Game
Remember yesterday how I told you about the 3 pillars of indie game marketing?
Those again are...
- Knowing what a gamer wants...
- Knowing how your video game fulfills those wants and needs...
- Showing how your game fulfills those needs through content...
- Execute what you say you offer
Let's dive into the first one, today. Today I'll be working on Vecitas, and you'll watch me as I figure out what a gamer wants so this game grabs their attention.
While you're watching me do this, I want you to look out for one thing...
How much I put the focus on the perspective of the gamer... and NOT the game.
This is important because the goal is to get a gamer's attention to your game. And by copying what AAA games or already successful indie games do in terms of marketing and advertising, won't work.
It won't work to advertise, or pay for PR, or pay for YouTube / Twitch sponsorship. It won't work to give out free game keys to the press and influencers.
That's because when you're starting off, nobody knows you... and nobody likes your games... yet.
Let me show you want I mean...
Getting Success vs. Keeping Success
When you're starting off, you don't have that momentum like already successful games have. Getting that initial success is a lot different than keeping that success.
What I mean, most advertising is done to KEEP success. But to GET that success in the first place, you need a different strategy.
And the best part is, getting that initial success is FREE to do. Yeah, it's a bit more challenging, and some more work -- I'll admit that.
But that's why you're here... to learn, and watch me as I progress through marketing this multiplayer space shooter.
Anyway, let's get to actually work...
Proof: When Knowing What a Gamer Wants Means More Video Game Sales
As you learn indie game marketing, you'll start seeing little nuances that you've never seen before. You'll start noticing that most successful games have their marketing focus on the gamer.
The best example, is The Witcher 3. Go to their website, and their first paragraph starts with...
In the open world of Wild Hunt, you chart your own path to adventure. You play as a bounty hunter, a man of the road. You set your own goals and choose your own destinations.
Know, what I want you to notice is this...
It's ALL about the gamer. You'll notice they use the word “you” a lot. The paragraph is jam packed with benefits the gamer will GET when playing the game...
- open world
- chart your OWN path
- man of the road
- set your own goals
- choose your own destinations
This is great marketing because somebody actually had to sit there and put themselves inside a gamer's mind. And this isn't easy to do. The natural tendency is to focus on your GAME and not the gamer.
And yea, I know the Witcher has a lot of marketing budget to get their name out there. They pay a lot of money for advertising.
But I want to show you that the fundamental marketing is still there... no matter how flashy or expensive their marketing is, they still put the focus ON the gamer.
Put The Spotlight on The Gamer
Putting the spotlight on the gamer is FREE to do -- and it works to get a gamer's attention. But a lot of game devs don't do this because it's not a natural thing to do.
It feel more intuitive to focus on YOU and your game... and not the gamer.
But this is what I want to teach you... by shifting your brain to think like a gamer... to do the counter-intuitive thing and figure out what a gamer wants... will help you sell more games.
Because knowing what a gamer wants will help you COMMUNICATE in a way more persuasive way. Gamers are self interested. They'll gravitate to things that are made for THEM.
Also, gamers are always on the lookout for new games... for new experiences... for new ways to fulfill their needs.
And by knowing what a gamer wants, you'll better communicate how your game can fulfill those needs.
- Know what a gamer wants...
- Know how your video game fulfills those wants and needs...
- Show how your game fulfills those needs through content...
And a lot of game devs have a hard time communicating what the game will do for the gamer.
But if you start with your gamer first... if you put the spotlight on the gamer, then you're going to have a better chance of persuading a gamer to play and buy your game.
So, how do you do this exactly? That's next...
How To Know What a Gamer Wants: Action Plan
Get as much feedback as you can from your game. How?
If you don't have any gamer feedback, then give out free game keys, and ask for feedback in return.
For example, you can go on Twitter and type in “indie game recommendations”. People are always looking for new indie game to play. Give away a free game key, and tell them to give you some feedback.
Same with new, smaller, YouTube Gamer channels. Give away a game key, and ask for some feedback in return.
Once you have some feedback, open a clean doc. And copy and paste all the feedback onto that page. And read that page as fast as you can... at least 4 times.
This is important... when you do this kind of brainstorming, you'll notice key words that keep coming up over and over again. You'll discover what the gamer wants.. and you'll discover NEW insights you never knew.
Same with video feedback. If you gave a game key to a YouTuber or Streamer, watch the video at least twice. With YouTube, you can speed up the video.
Again, you're doing this to get an intuitive feel of what gamers think about your game.
Once you have that, open a new doc, and just write down all the keywords that you can remember, as fast as you can.
Just spill everything out.
Doing this will help you later on in your marketing. But for now, this is important, because you're discovering what gamers want... and discover new things about your video game.
You're going to use this knowledge come up with persuasive marketing, later one. I'll show you how soon.