Welcome to another weekly post of EXPOSED: The game behind the scenes series. Today we will be discussing marketing a game. As you can imagine, all the posts that we are doing now are introductory. We will be going in more depth in the future, so you can certainly not expect to read all marketing secrets in this single article. Let’s start with the essentials!
Talking about your game
Every publisher that wants to create hype around their games needs to talk about them well in advance. It doesn’t matter if you go through retail, or if you will have a KS campaign. When you are releasing a game in a sea of other games, you need to create awareness. You have to ensure that your potential customers are on the watch for your release.
As a rule of thumb, you need in average three months to make a good promotion for your game. This includes several marketing strategies, like social media marketing and advertising, blog posts, interviews, podcast appearances, press releases, third party previews and so much more. But what truly makes the difference in marketing?
Be available, tell the truth
Everybody knows that having dedicated fans can be both very beneficial for marketing, as well as very tricky. The more dedicated the fans, the more “demanding” they can be. And there is a very fine line between keeping your followers happy and doing everything they want to simply “keep them happy”. A balance can be very hard to maintain. So what are the two things that you should do when starting to market a new product? Be available, and always tell the truth.
Availability is very important. As you start sharing details on your game, people will start having questions. Answering them as promptly as possible is very important, as those people will start spreading the word for your game, so you want them to share valid information. Some of the questions that might arise could make you think again aspects of how you market your product, or your product design overall. So make sure you closely listen to what is said and not just give canned answers.
Which brings us to always sharing information that is true. If somebody asks something and you don’t have the answer right away, just say that. “Thank you for your question, we will look into it and get back to you”. And then, get back to that question and provide an answer. There is nothing wrong with not knowing everything beforehand, but make sure you don’t forget to actually answer. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to share the “bad news”. The answer that you might have to a question could be something that you know will not be what your fans want to hear. If it is the truth though, you need to share it with them, or you can easily be caught in a loop of overpromising and underperforming, which is very difficult to break.
As you can understand, marketing and communication is a very delicate part of a company’s overall strategic planning. In the future, we will share more on marketing techniques and strategies!