Watch day 3 of how I market this indie space shooter, so you can learn how to market your own indie video game, too!
If you want to make money from your video games, you need to learn how to grab a gamer attention... and now how to persuade a gmer to BUY your game.
If you're an indie game dev that is great at making video games, but not so good at marketing them, then today you'll watch me how I market an indie game.
My challenge is to take a multiplayer space shooter that has no concurrent players right now, and find at least 500 to 2000 players.
My challenge is going to be tough. But as you watch me market this game, you'll learn marketing insights, tips, tricks, and techniques that YOU can use with your own indie game.
Whatever your challenge is, I'm sure you're facing the same problem: how do you get attention... how do you get a gamer to find your game... how do you get a person to click the BUY button?
That's what you'll learn as you watch me market this indie game.
Two Ways I Can Help You Right Now...
Before I begin, I just want to show you how I can personally help you right now, and help you market your game so you sell more copies and grow your indie game dev studio...
The first way is to grab my free ebook about digital marketing specifically made for indie game devs. I put everything I know about digital marketing in the book.
It's about 160 pages, and 7 chapters jam packed with marketing techniques showing you exactly how to sell more copies of your video game.
And I know that you'll get at least ONE technique that will help you improve your profits. Best of all, the ebook is free. No credit cards. No email optins. No bamboozles. Click this link and start reading right away.
The second way I can help you right now, is to register for a free one-one-one, marketing project. I know what it's like starting off with no money, no investors, no customers, no demand for my stuff. That's why I offer my marketing services for free. So, if you're stuck, and you need somebody to help you with your marketing, then I invite you to register. The link is below.
I'm always forward thinking... if I can help you right now, and you succeed, then you know who to contact later when your game is making millions and you need marketing. So, take advantage of this offer while you can. I won't offer this forever. And I only accept 1 to 2 registrars per month.
Anyway, let's start todays session...
What a Gamer Wants vs What a Gamer Gets
So, if you remember, my fundamental digital marketing techniques 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
I know this isn't sexy. I know that this isn't exciting. I know that this isn't what you think about when you hear marketing and advertising. Usually it's more gimmicky, and more flashy.
But remember, when you're starting off, you need a different strategy than say AAA publishers and successful indie games.
When you see expensive marketing, advertising, and branding, it's because these games are trying to MAINTAIN their lead in their industry.
When you're starting off, you need a marketing strategy that will BUILD that lead.
That's why I focus on those fundamental marketing tactics.
So today, let's keep working on "Knowing What a Gamer Wants".
If you're tired of me talking about this, good... because it's important to know. It's the difference between growing your income and your profits versus just doing this as a hobby.
Let me show you exactly what I mean...
Goals For Vecitas (And Maybe For Your Own Game, Too)
I got to know where I'm going before I start. So, after doing some initial research on gamer feedback with Vecitas, I sat down, and I wrote a Digital Marketing Strategy and Goals list...
Here it is...
VECITAS DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY
Here's my plan to help you and your team at Patagoniart Gs achieve the following...
GOALS FOR THIS PROJECT
- Sell 20,000 copies of Vecitas by June 09, 2018
- Build a community of 2,000 concurrent players -- organically, with little costs involved
- Gain positive reviews on Steam / Metacritic / game reviewers
- Build a digital marketing system that works automatically to capture new leads, and converts them into customers (gamers)
- Have this marketing system work in the future with little maintenance, and to help automate future sales
WHAT'S THE STRATEGY?
The following strategy is to help you and your team grow Vecitas' community, so you reach the goals I just mentioned. Here's a quick list of actions I'll be responsible for and will implement...
- Create "attention-grabbing" online content that is engaging and interesting to gamers
- Online content includes, blogs, sales pages, landing pages, emails, images, memes, articles, Youtube videos, Twitch Streams, podcasts... all about Vecitas
- Use content to capture leads and create a community of fans of Vecitas
- Use content to funnel users to Steam, or other portals where Vecitas is sold
- Create engaging content that is easy to share (i.e. get the gamer to spread the word about Vecitas to bring in new gamers)
- Convert leads into sales using sales techniques
- Analyze content (website traffic, conversions, sales data, etc) to draw out insights and actionable conclusions to improve future content and improve future sales
- Continually find new and non-obvious ways, to engage community and find new gamers
- Implement search engine optimization strategies to improve traffic to content, website, Steam Store, and other portals where Vecitas is sold
- Automate this system (content + capture leads + convert to sale), so that it works where very little maintenance and cost are involved, and generates future sales automatically
- Make sure all marketing and sales campaigns are in-line with the goals of you and the team at Patagoniart
- Anything implemented or executed will be run through you first
I recommend that you also have a digital marketing strategy.
But remember, this is just a plan. These are just ideas on paper. The reason you'll do this is to get you into action. That's what's important here. I believe plans are just guesses. But doing this will help you get you into action. Action is the goal here.
Next, I want to talk about Vecitas' biggest challenge...
Why There Are No Gamers Playing a Multiplayer Space Shooter Indie Game -- And What You Can Learn For Your Own Game...
The problem with Vecitas is, the gamer thinks they're getting a massively multiplayer game. But their NEED for a massively multiplayer game is already being fulfilled.
This is what I mean when I say, "What The Gamer Wants vs. What The Gamer Gets".
Let me explain...
Remember how I said to find out what a gamer wants? Well, when you know this, you'll know why your game is failing or succeeding.
When a gamer's need is already being fulfilled, they are NOT motivated to go and search a new game.
It's only when their need are NO LONGER being fulfilled, that get's them motivated, and get them actively looking for a new game.
For example, right now EVE Online and Elite: Dangerous is already fulfilling that need. Gamers aren't going to go to a new game if those needs are being fulfilled.
It's only when a gamer's need are fulfilled, that they start getting bored, or frustrated, or need to go and explore something new.
And right now, the need for massively multiplayer space games is being fulfilled from games like EVE Online and Elite: Dangerous.
So, right away, I noticed that Vecitas is in the WRONG sub-genre.
Meaning, they're communicating to the gamer that when they play Vecitas, they're going to be playing a massively multiplayer space game.
This is like you trying to start a drink company, and competing with Coke or Pepsi. These leaders hold a position in their "sub-genre", and it's really hard to out-compete them.
You got to do something like what Sprite or Red Bull does... don't compete, but create your OWN sub-genre.
Why Creating Your Own Sub-Genre Will Get You More Attention From Gamers
I'll show you how to create your own sub-genre, soon. But for right now, I want to tell you that, by narrowing down your sub-genre, you are going to be more persuasive in terms of getting a gamer to pay attention to your game.
Red-Bull does this perfectly. They're caffeinated drink just like Coke. But they own a the sub-genre: Energy Drink.
It's the same with EVE Online and Elite Dangerous... they own the Massively Multiplayer Space Game Sub-Genre.
Trying to compete with these games is NOT going to get the attention of gamers.
Same with your own game... you need to find a way to differentiate yourself away from leaders in your genre, and create a sub-genre.
Red-Bull created their own sub-genre: Energy Drinks. Dark Souls created their own sub-genre: Hard RPG. Gone Home created their own sub-genre: Indie Immersive Sim.
By separating yourself AWAY from the leaders, by being a leader in your own little sub-genre, you're going to get instant attention.
Because when a game finally fulfills a gamers need, the gamer is going to stop playing and start looking for a NEW game to play. No game can fulfill every gamers needs. And once they a need is fulfilled, they'll start exploring other games.
And when the gamer is finally exploring, and actively looking for a new game to play, they don't want to play something they already played.
That's why games like Gone Home (like it or not) were hugely successful. This game fulfilled gamer's needs like no other game has done.
My point here is, if you know what a gamer wants, then you can start thinking about how your game fulfills those needs... and start communicating how your game fulfills those needs.
And one of the best ways to communicate how your game fulfils a gamer need is explaining what sub-genre your game is in.
Gamers judge games by their genre. It's the fastest way a gamer decides if they will play the game or not.
And if you get your sub-genre wrong, then you'll miss an opportunity to get a gamer's attention when they're out actively exploring new games to play and buy.
So, how do you create a new sub-genre? Let me show you that next...
Sub-Genre Marketing: How To Create and Dominate a Sub-Genre
Vecitas' biggest problem is, the game is multiplayer focused, but nobody is playing.
Here's my solution...
Solution 1: Re-Craft Communication
Gamers perception of the game is that it's a massively multiplayer space shooter.
This may be your strategy, too. And I know you also communicate that the game is a co-op, co-op local, single player, as well.
But this perception unintentionally puts you in competition with such games as Elite: Dangerous and Eve Online. It's like you made Vecitas-Cola and you're trying to compete with Coca-Cola.
Instead of trying to compete directly in the massively multiplayer genre, let's break off a chunk, and focus on a small sub-genre you can dominate.
For example, Twitter didn't try to completely compete with Facebook. They broke off a chunk from the social media "sub-genre" and focused on very small part, the "status update". Google + tried to compete with Facebook and failed. Twitch broke of a chunk from video sharing, and focused on streaming games. YouTube is trying their own game streaming service, and is failing.
Anyway, that's what my strategy here is: to break off a small chunk from the massively multiplayer space shooter genre, and have Vecitas become a leader in it's own niche.
So, I want to focus on two sub-genres...
- Casual Space Shooter
- Combat with Friends
- Buddy Space Shooter
Keep away from "massively multiplayer" for now. This is important in marketing your game because you want the gamer to differentiate your game away from games as Elite: Dangerous.
In other words, I want Vecitas to dominate the "casual space shooter game you can play with friends" sub-genre. You're still in the MMO genre, except you're cornering a market.
Your Action Plan Right Now...
Can you think of a NEW sub-genre your game is in? What I want you to do is, to look for gaps in the indie game market.
What is YOUR game offering that no other game does? Is that enough to be it's own sub-genre?
If the NEED is big enough, then yes. New sub-genres are created when there is a big enough need.
And the best way to figure out if there is a need, is to go back to your player testing, and player feedback I had you do back in day 1 and 2.
It's important to look for those keywords gamers talk about. Doing this will help you come up with new insights in what gamers WANT and what they are NOT getting.
Now, here's where the magic happens...
Once you figure out what gamers want, and what they are not getting, it's your job to market that YOUR game will fill that need.
Remember, gamer's are not going to take the time to figure out the benefits of your game. They're not going to analyze their wants and needs, and see how your game fulfills those needs.
No. You need to communicate that in your videos, trailers, demos, Let's Plays, marketing, advertising.
SHOW a gamer how your game is different from other games. Show gamers that you understand what they need... and that you understand nobody is fulfilling that needs... and that your game is there to save the day and give them what they want.