How do I advertise my indie game comes up fairly regularly these days. It is my hope that the tips and information below will help point you in the correct direction.
If you are arriving on this page, its probably because you may have realized advertising your game is not only far more boring than making games, its also hard, tedious,and time consuming! To make matters worse, there are ten thousand indie developers doing it at the same time, and handful of professional companies who are dominating the market and the media!
So how do I get my game to be seen over them?
I'll be straight, advertising is not easy, it doesn't always work and often you need luck or friends until you get the hang of it. A mind control device would be perfect actually.
It will help drastically if you can do all the tips on this page before you release the game, think of it as a big marketing platform, you need planning and patience.
Make a good trailer, aka shareable content!
Personally I feel this is your biggest route to success. Whenever I'm unsure about a new movie that comes out, the first thing I always do is watch the trailer. Think of your trailer as another aspect of your game, you want people to play it and keep them entertained while watching it. Your goal here is to create something that people want to tell their friends about. "The British are coming" gets around fast!
Studying popular youtube videos will give you a good idea on how to keep people entertained and how to structure the video.
Make sure you capture the heart of your game in the trailer! Think "What makes my game fun" "What emotions have I captured in my game"
Hook your viewers instantly so it become valuable shareable content. If Facebook or Youtubes placement algorithm see that people only watch the first 10 seconds, your video will rank lower in results and popularity.
Keep the video short and tease your audience with information.
Now the absolute best most important thing about trailers is .... see, a tease If I had one I could say click here to find out and you might click on it from curiosity.
Example below is a great example of capturing the heart of a game along with a tease.(although your probably tired of seeing this trailer now haha)
The trailer isn't clever, it just shows something that is potentially so groundbreaking that your curious to discover just how it works. If they actually told us everything up front nobody would have bought it or hyped nearly as much about it.
Make a website landing page
The website doesn't have to be that good, however it helps to have a decent landing page for your game.
Make a press coverage page on your website.
COVER, like its about to flood, your website press page with shareable content!!(very important thus the two !!s) The goal here is to give bloggers the ability to get instant screenshots, videos, descriptions and general information about your game fast for use in their articles.
Social media, it helps if you can start early.
Target all the popular ones at the same time, there are even programs that will basically synchronize all your social media accounts for posting.
Its very easy to get social media followers early on as you design your game as you can release development updates, screenshots and anything else to increase hype. By having a following to your game you can help increase the games initial hype. This means more reviews on steam and popularity looks very good on an indie game.
Focus on immediate hype for your game.
Lets take for example if I was going to write an article about your video game. If I did happen to write one and it exploded with popularity, chances are I'm going to write another article on your game! The same goes for facebook, instagram and twitter.
Share your game to all your friends and on your social media accounts on release.
Schedule your games release date during a convention. You can even get a panel to discuss your game or have a table to generate additional hype.
Schedule a giveaway on instagram or facebook at the same time your game gets released, better yet run a giveaway at the convention.
Attend local gatherings. We have one in Vegas called First Friday where tons of teenagers and young adults gather for example.
Post your game on every forum you can find. I typically get up to 100-200 visits on my website just from sharing to popular forums.(make sure you submit in an area for advertising)
Posting in link directories can work... Some of these cost money, we do have a free one here at Kaidus.com, However they will only give you a couple extra clicks to your site. The main benefit of link directories is getting a free backlink to your website.
Have other suggestions? I would love to hear them.