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  • 20 Student Game Marketing Tips

    - Logan Williams

    • PR Isn't Magic

    It's kind of weird typing this when I do a ton of PR for indies, but this is a very true statement. If your marketing material isn't good, you can't expect results from a any PR team or individual to be good. Even if a PR team can get you coverage from major media outlets and large content creators, if your game looks rough (gameplay, low-quality trailer, bad screenshots, low-quality store page etc..), you can't expect users to convert into players.

    • Always Have Goals

    In marketing, if you don't have goals, you're doing it wrong. Every announcement needs to have a thoughtful goal behind it. For example, are you announcing your game to just earn short-term attention? Of course not! When announcing your game, you should have a goal for your audience to do something after noticing your game announcement. This can be signing up to your newsletter, joining your Discord community, following you on social media for more updates or something else.

    This applies to every public facing event. If there's no goal, it's not worth doing.

    • Ask And You Might Receive

    This is a tip that was given to me by Mike Rose at GDC this year. It was a very simple tip, but it was huge. It's something you don't think about, but it can help your game, career or even business hugely.

    For example, if you plan on launching your game on PlayStation, they offer a ton of different opportunities to help you promote your game. However, if you don't ask about them, you can't expect your account manager to go out of their way to bring these opportunities to you. There are just too many games releasing too frequently to offer opportunities to everyone.

    This is something that publishers and partners do that sometimes looks like magic on the outside, but in fact, all they did was ask the right person what opportunities were available.

    • Put Yourself in The Shoes of Others

    This is something I try to do often. For example, with this post, I included the video for people that prefer to watch videos vs reading a lengthy blog post. I also included a Soundcloud version for people that want to just listen vs read or watching the 30 minute video.

    In PR, we do this with media and content creators. First, we evaluate their needs and problems. For traditional media, they need a unique news story that will earn readers attention (which results in more impressions that earns more revenue for the publications they are writing for). We also know that members of the media have very full inboxes and constantly have to deal with them. This is why we write concise messages that are to the point. We also try to grab their attention within the first few words we write. We are doing this because we put ourselves in the shoes of writers and want to help them by providing them with newsworthy content in a concise way. We also link to further media and information to make it even easier for the writer to publish a story.

    In marketing, we do this with anyone that we are speaking to. This includes consumers, press, content creators and any other amplifiers that can help us spread our message.

    • Give Writers a Heads Up

    Speaking further on putting ourselves in the shoes of writers, it's good to give them a heads up before publishing a press release. If I was a writer at a gaming publication, I would hate having to quickly write stories based off of press releases I was given or found at the last minute. My content wouldn't be as good and my competitors would possibly beat me to the punch. However, if I was given a day or two to write a nice story based off of your announcement, my content would most likely be better and the process would be less stressful.

    • Be Concise

    This is something I definitely need to work on. In marketing, we specialize in communication that hopefully results in sales. However, the world in general is full of content and distractions, so we need to be concise and impactful with our content. It saves everyone time and increases your chances of getting your words heard. This applies to everything from banner ads to press releases and everything else that involves you communicating the value of your game to earn the attention of potential players.

    • Learn From Success

    I bet you've heard the phrase "learn from your mistakes" or "learn from your competitor's mistakes". I like to look at it the other way and learn from successes. With our friendly search engine, Google, we can literally follow the PR timeline for any game we want. We can sort and filter by specific dates and use advanced search queries to find moments along the production cycle of any game and see the results of their announcements. We can see what publications covered what announcement and we can document this information and learn from it.

    This is the process we take when building press lists for our clients.


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