Successful Indie Game Marketing: How to Market Your Game with a $0 Budget

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To become a successful indie game developer, you must first become a successful indie game marketer. Trouble is, for many indies, marketing doesn’t come naturally or fit the indie budget. No worries! This SlideShare exposes the most frugal, yet successful marketing methods to get your game discovered and promoted. In addition, you'll leave with a list of actionable takeaways to immediately increase your fanbase that cost $0 to execute.

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  • Thanks so much for this! I am going to be starting a marketing internship with a local indie dev and this has been so helpful!
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  • beautiful and very informative slides. thank you and keep posting!
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  • Cool article about indie game marketing http://bit.ly/1z5paLF
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  • Just found your site! You are a life saver, saved me from reading a 400+ page book to get the outline needed to prepare for the launch of our first game title. The examples are realistic and make sense. Helped us from sitting back 'hoping' to be discovered. Amazing action steps are helpful to any developer looking to share their games and earn a modest income in the process. Thanks much! Draeh Studios.
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Successful Indie Game Marketing: How to Market Your Game with a $0 Budget

  1. 1. SUCCESSFUL INDIE GAME MARKETING How to Market Your Game on a $0 Budget © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  2. 2. EMMY JONASSEN Founder, Indie Game Girl @IndieGameGirl emmy@indiegamegirl.com www.indiegamegirl.com Hi, I’m Emmy! I help indie game developers build adoring fanbases with free marketing instruction. © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  3. 3. Becoming a successful indie game developer is hard. © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  4. 4. FACT 95% of indie games are not profitable. 80% operate at a loss. - ConceptArt.org © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  5. 5. FACT Only 25% of iOS indie developers have made over $30,000 in their lifetime. - Streaming Colour Studios © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  6. 6. But marketing can seriously increase your chances. © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  7. 7. EXPERT ADVICE “Marketing is one third of your chance at success.” - Joost van Dongen, Ronimo Games © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  8. 8. EXPERT ADVICE “…indies skew their efforts far too far towards production and away from marketing: this is one of the reasons why so few games are a genuine commercial success…” - Paul Taylor, Mode 7 Games © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  9. 9. EXPERT ADVICE “Unfortunately, it’s no longer enough to only create great content. In order to differentiate yourself from the masses, you must concoct a structured, coordinated marketing plan.” - Robert DellaFave, Divergent Games © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  10. 10. If success is hard, but marketing helps, why do so few indies invest in marketing? © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  11. 11. Because many indies believe in a myth. © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  12. 12. MYTH “Successful marketing requires a gigantic budget.” © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  13. 13. MYTH BUSTED! Situation 3 months after Monkey Labour launched it sold only 1K copies. by Dawn of Play Solution Dawn of Play realized the need for marketing and reached out to review sites. Other than time, the team spent $0 on this effort. Results In 10 days, Dawn of Play secured 11 reviews and sold 6K copies of Monkey Labour. © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  14. 14. MONKEY LABOUR SALES Sales Secured By Marketing © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  15. 15. MYTH BUSTED! Situation Hitbox Team had limited to no marketing budget for Dustforce. by Hitbox Team Solution The team had a friend manage its marketing to keep costs low. Its friend launched a teaser campaign, generating hype among the public and press. Results A week after launch, Dustforce received 100 reviews. The game was profitable in seven days. © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  16. 16. DUSTFORCE SALES Sales Secured by Marketing © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com Sales Secured by Marketing
  17. 17. Great, now I know it’s possible to successfully market games with a $0 budget. But, how do I start? © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  18. 18. 3 Steps to Achieve Marketing Success: ☐ Create irresistible promotional materials. ☐ Score articles in top-tier publications. ☐ Build an adoring fanbase. © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  19. 19. DEFINITION Irresistible promotional materials are pieces of marketing content so alluring they compel sharing and discussion. Without them, you cannot market your game. © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  20. 20. AN EXAMPLE Situation After one year of development, Sauropod Studio hadn’t created any promo materials or grown a fanbase for Castle Story. by Sauropod Studio Solution The team created a tech demo and posted it to Reddit. Results Within hours of posting the demo, Castle Story amassed a fanbase that has since grown to over 40K members. © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  21. 21. 5 Must-Have Promotional Materials: 1.  Trailer Video 2.  Screenshots 3.  Press Release 4.  Landing Page 5.  Development Blog © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  22. 22. #1 - TRAILER VIDEO Best Practices: 1.  90 seconds or less 2.  Attention-grabbing intro 3.  Music/sound effects 4.  In-game footage 5.  Reviews (if possible) - Guacamelle Gold Edition, DrinkBox Studios 6.  End with next steps © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  23. 23. #2 - SCREENSHOTS Best Practices: 1.  High resolution 2.  Excellent composition 3.  Well lit 4.  Engaging scene - The Witness, Jonathan Blow © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  24. 24. #3 - PRESS RELEASE AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity
 " January 30, 2009 – Watertown, MA – Dejobaan Games, LLC has announced its next game, AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity,” for Windows desktop PCs. " " You dive off a skyscraper, relying on quick reflexes to negotiate the intricate triangle of girders that make up the City. You perform aerial stunts at terminal velocity before parachuting into the arms of your cheering fans. While other skydivers have it easy, you have to earn the adoration of the crowds by gliding within an eyelash of that glass super skyscraper at 70 miles per hour." - AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaaAAAAaAAAAA!!, Dejobaan Games Best Practices: 1.  Grab attention and summarize theme/ important info in first paragraph 2.  Use quotes 3.  Company and contact info 4.  Send with screenshots and trailer video 5.  Use in-text hyperlinks © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  25. 25. #4 - LANDING PAGE Best Practices: 1.  Remove navigation 2.  Grabbing headline 3.  Social sharing icons 4.  Strong call-to-action button 5.  Trailer video 6.  Captivating screenshots 7.  Testimonials/reviews 8.  Contact and press kit - Beast Boxing Turbo, Goodhustle Studios, Inc. buttons or links © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  26. 26. #5 - DEVELOPMENT BLOG Best Practices: 1.  Post x1 per week min 2.  Use images 3.  Link from home page 4.  RSS feed 5.  Email subscription - Castle Story, Sauropod Studios 6.  Social subscription 7.  Social sharing buttons 8.  Promotion at posts’ end © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  27. 27. 3 Steps to Achieve Marketing Success: þ Create irresistible promotional materials. ☐ Score articles in top-tier publications. ☐ Build an adoring fanbase. © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  28. 28. BUILD TARGET PUBLICATION LIST 1.  Research publications you want to/should be featured in 2.  Record publications in a spreadsheet list 3.  Categorize publications into three tiers based on traffic © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  29. 29. FIND WRITERS’ CONTACT INFO 1.  Visit each publication’s site on your list 2.  Search for writers’ and editors’ contact info (look for an “Editorial Staff” link in the footer) 3.  Record any contact info in your spreadsheet © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  30. 30. GET IN TOUCH 1.  Create an email template to introduce you and your game 2.  Make sure it answers a writer’s most important question: “why would my readers give a shit?” 3.  Customize the template toward each writer/site 4.  Attach screenshots and your press release - Monkey Labour, Dawn of Play © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  31. 31. THANK YOU NOTES 1.  Thank any writer who replies to your email, republishes a press release or writes and publishes an article 2.  Email thank yous are fine, but handwritten notes go the extra mile © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  32. 32. KEEP IN TOUCH Hello friend! 1.  Maintain relationships with media because you never know when you’ll need them again 2.  Check in often with a quick hello via Twitter, Facebook or email 3.  Comment on articles your contacts publish every now and then © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  33. 33. 3 Steps to Achieve Marketing Success: þ Create irresistible promotional materials. þ Score articles in top-tier publications. ☐ Build an adoring fanbase. © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  34. 34. Make Your Game Easy to Discover: 1.  Set up social media channels and post daily 2.  Become active in forums, blogs and other relevant sites 3.  Participate in game jams and other events 4.  Get involved with the local development community 5.  Start a crowdfunder © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  35. 35. Convert Visitors into Fans with Content: 1.  Game and company updates 2.  Data and other insights 3.  Opinion pieces 4.  Interesting articles 5.  The occasional funny and random post © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  36. 36. Nurture Your Relationship with Fans: 1.  Respond to comments and questions in a timely and personalized way 2.  Initiate and engage in discussion 3.  Thank fans privately and publically 4.  Ask for and incorporate fan input 5.  Respond to criticism in a thankful and professional way © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com
  37. 37. THANK YOU! For more free, step-by-step marketing instruction, visit indiegamegirl.com. Happy marketing! © Indie Game Girl | Build Adoring Fanbases with Marketing | www.indiegamegirl.com

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