Watch day 4 of how I market this indie space shooter, so you can learn how to market your own indie video game, too!
My goal is to get more gamers for a multiplayer space shooter, indie game: Vecitas. This is a huge challenge. But you get to watch me as I use my 12 years experience in digital marketing, and help this indie dev with this goal.
As I work, I want you to watch out for a certain things, because what you'll learn will also help you with your indie game.
I'm sure you have a similar challenge:
- You made a game you love...
- You think it's great, and it's a lot of fun...
- Now all you need to do is to get people to notice your game...
- If they just play it, they'll see how fun it is too...
- So, how do you get gamers?
- How can you get more attention to your game?
- How can you persuade somebody to buy your game?
- How can you get free word-of-mouth?
That's my challenge, too. So keep watching and keep reading, and you'll learn a lot about marketing, and how to make more money with your indie game.
So, let's keep going...
"Look at Me Marketing"
Most of the marketing you ever see is what I call, "Look at Me Marketing". This is stuff like branding, banner ads, promotions, sponsoring YouTubers and Twitch Streamers, paying for a booth at a games con.
Basically, it's any sort of communication where you get a gamer to "LOOK AT ME".
The idea is, the more eyeballs you get looking at you, the better chance you'll sell more copies of your game.
And "Look at Me Marketing" feels good. It feels natural to talk about your game. It feels natural to show people what you're passionate about.
So, a lot of game devs will go on Twitter... do cold emails to press, YouTubers, reviewers...post on reddit, facebook, pay for Google ads...
If you've tried this, and it's not working, then here's why it's not working...
"Look at Me Marketing" only works when you already have attention. The reason why you see this type of marketing is because the publishers and game devs who are already making money can afford to keep pumping money into this type of marketing.
Let me say it another way...
"Look at Me Marketing" works to MAINTAIN the attention you ALREADY have.
But... "Look at Me Marketing" is a poor way to get that INITIAL attention.
When you don't have a lot of gamers know you... when you're pretty new... when you've lost some attention... doing MORE "Look at Me Marketing" doesn't help.
And that's because almost every other game dev and publisher are using "Look at Me Marketing". It's really hard to get attention when you're doing the same thing as everybody else does.
So, what's your other option?
"Indie Game Marketing"
As an indie game dev, it's going to be hard to get attention. It doesn't matter how much money you have for advertising and marketing, it's still a huge challenge.
But there is a way to get attention, to get more gamers, to get more game sales... and that's the type of marketing you're learning to do right now.
Instead of focusing on YOU and YOUR GAME... I put ALL the focus on the GAMER.
What I mean is, people pay attention when it's about THEM. This is why I focused so much on my 4 pillars of Indie Game Marketing.
And if you remember from last time, these 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
By putting all your attention on the gamer, figuring out what they want, figuring out how your game gives them what they want, you'll improve your chances of getting attention.
By creating content. By being prolific in putting out as much content about your game as you can.
You have to be careful. Remember, content that falls into "Look at Me Marketing" is not going to be consumed. Gamers are so bombarded by this type of content, they tune it out.
Just go to reddit.com/r/pcgaming...
Everyday, an indie game dev posts about their game, getting very little attention. Why? Becaue gamers see past through those posts. Those post don't get attention because it has nothing to do with the gamer.
My strategy is to get a gamer's attention by talking about THEM. It's always about knowing what they want, and creating content that is about THEM.
I want to find out what challenges those gamers have.... and then I want to create content that solves that challenge.
Let me show you a concrete example...
How I Plan To Help Vecitas Get More Multiplayers
If you watched day and two of these videos, you'll remember that I spent a lot of time trying to figure out WHO the gamer is that plays this game.
By going through player feedback, by trying to get as much info as I can on what gamers thought about this game gave a HUGE insight...
The reason nobody is playing this game is because don't think the game is made for them. It's tagged as a massively multiplayer indie. This puts this game in competition with games like EVE: Online.
This isn't the fault of the game devs. I know that Steam doesn't let you control this.
But as a marketer, one of my jobs is to "control the message". It sound nefarious. But it's not. If you don't talk, then OTHER people will create the message for you.
So, instead of letting Steam do all the marketing for this game, I want to take control of the message.
Vecitas is an multiplayer, indie game. It's success and failure depend on CONCURRENT players. It doesn't matter if there is 5000 owners... if nobody is playing, the game will die.
And after doing my research, and trying to figure out who the gamer is, I found that this game is a...
Casual Top Down Space Shooter You Can Play With Your Friends
This is the market I'm going after. This is the type of gamer who I think will want to play the game. There is always a market for any type of game. The trouble is, is to FIND that market.
This is why I spent a lot of time in days one and two working on what who the gamer is, and what does the gamer want.
Then in day 3, I spent time trying to figure out what type of game this is.
Now, it's time to put those two together, and create content that is made specifically to find gamers who want to play a top down, space shooter you can play with friends.
How? Let me snow you...
How To Play Vecitas Videos and Tutorials
In day 1 and 2, I went through gamer feedback. And one big issue I heard over and over again is...
- How do I play?
- I died? How?
- What do I do?
This is important. As a game dev, it's obvious how to play this game. And if you've had beta testers, then they know how to play the game.
Game devs forget that the hours put into the game make it seem that it's obvious how to play the game.
But, as a NEW gamer, I also had a hard time knowing how to play the game. It wasn't easy to get into.
This isn't a criticism. After putting in more hours into playing the solo player, I liked it.
But gamers won't put in that much time. They're not as nice. Game devs, beta testers, me -- we all put in time into this game, and it's obvious to us.
But for a NEW gamer playing this game for the first time, it's a roadblock.
Solution 1: Simple, Tutorial Videos on How To Play Vecitas
60 second videos showing the gamer how to play the game -- and what they get for playing the game. For example, how do the debuffs work? How does plasma work? What rewards do they get?
So, I want to start working on a small series of these videos, so a gamer can quickly get up to speed with the game.
Simple, descriptive, short... but communicates a lot attention grabbing info.
Solution 2: Tutorial Blogs Showing Gamers How To Play Vecitas
I'll take these same videos, and create blog articles. Some people prefer to read content, and not watch it. Plus these blog articles will help with SEO. And the more reach you have (i.e. blogs, articles, videos), the better chances a gamer will find you.
Content Made For The Gamer
You see what I'm doing here? To get attention to the game, I'll be creating content made for the GAMER. Sure, it's about Vecitas. But it's tailored for the GAMER.
By listening to what gamers want, and what they said about Vecitas, I figured out that the people who did play the game, the biggest challenge was: "how do I play".
By creating content showing gamers who to play the game, my goal is to make the game more accessible to NEW gamers.
Now, I don't know what your biggest challenge is. But do you see what I did here? I listened to gamers, and what they said, and that helped me come up with a solution.
I would have never thought to make tutorial videos. But maybe one of the biggest reasons the game has no multiplayers is accessibility issues.
This is just ONE solution.
In the next article and video, I'll keep chipping away.
Remember, what I'm doing here is to come up with content to get gamers interested in playing Vecitas. And the more content you put out, the better chances you'll get found.
Your content can't be always all about you and your game. You need to figure out a way to make your content interesting, and made so the gamer will want to read and watch your content.
Creating tutorial videos is just the very first step.
I have more ideas that I want to execute. And as you progress through these videos, you'll how all of this will help Vecitas sell more copies, and get them more multiplayer games.