GameDev Protips: How To Effectively Promote Your Indie Game By Targeting Advocates, Peers, and Big Fish

The indie game market today is rough, to say the least. The best indie games can go unnoticed while the cheap clones get all of the fame and the fortune that comes with it. As a result, knowing how to properly market your games is a key factor in the success of your games as a whole. The best way to do this is to cater to three specific types of people.

Advocates are the loyal members of your brand that will retweet anything you Tweet and like every Facebook post you post. These are also the people that will spread knowledge of your game to friends and family. Obviously, the more loyal members you have, the more well known your games will be, so it’s strongly encouraged to provide value to these members on both social media and email. Creating or updating a weekly newsletter or blog roundup is a good way to start. With regards to email, include links to your social media and experiment with ways of asking your subscribers to share the content; after all, when a fan becomes a beacon for other potential fans your game will become well known much quicker.

Peers are those people or brands in your field that are attempting to capture the attention of the same people that you are. From my experience, we’ve found that when both parties are marketing to a similar audience it’s effective to work with these peers as your potential audience size is increased and it’s good business practice due to mutual benefits. The “partner” conditions could be as simple as agreeing to share each other’s content on social media or cooperatively writing a blog post and as in-depth as creating free resources to share among both parties which will capture the attention of your audience. Starting a partnership is rather easy as it starts with a simple message to the content manager or social media manager of the company you’re interested in working with a few valuable partnership ideas and the benefits that come with them for both parties.

Last but certainly not least are the Big Fish. These are the people or companies that have a powerful and wide-reaching influence that can easily promote your game. Despite how useful they are, connecting with them may not be as hard as most people think it is. After all, at the end of the day, they’re still just human like you and me. The only difference is the audience they have amassed as a result of years of hard work. There are a few basic principles when you are attempting to connect with an influencer. First and most importantly, you have to provide value for them. Why would they help you if there’s no benefit? In terms of behavior, expect nothing in return, be polite, and simply act like a genuine human being. As long as you are on friendly terms with them and are making it worth their time, this relationship will build up over time into one that is both mutually beneficial and trusting.

Important Takeaways: Today’s market can be frustrating for many as marketing is everything. Even if you have a better game, the game that is better known might still come out on top. Fortunately, you can solve this through proper marketing which involves catering to three specific groups of people: advocates, peers, and the “big fish.” Advocates are loyal members of your brand that will spread information that you send out whenever they can. Since this is a valuable trait this group of people should receive particular attention and obtain value for their loyalty. Peers are people or brands that are looking to market to the same audience as you. Because of this, partnerships have the potential to work out so you should attempt to create one for mutual benefits. Last but certainly not least are the “big fish,” which are those people or companies that have a powerful, wide-spread influence due to the time and work they have put into doing what they do. If you want to catch a “big fish,” you have to attempt to reach them and provide value for their time as well as act in a generally friendly manner. This way you can hopefully create a relationship over time that is worth the effort and time for the big fish and enormously helpful to you as well.