GameDev Protips: How To Sell More Copies Of Your Indie Game

If you’re new to marketing your games, attracting an audience can be an intimidating prospect. People are constantly bombarded with advertisements and sales pitches and tend to be receptive to only the most effective marketing strategies. Even if you do get the attention you want, how do you ensure that interest from potential customers turns into sales for your game? Below are a few ways to attract an audience and develop a future customer base.

Try to stand out from your competitors. It is important to position your product and brand to fill the needs of your audience. To succeed at this, your product must be better than those of your competitors, or you must be able to meet a previously unmet need. There is no way to get around the necessity of being the best in your specific niche, or to create a new niche for yourself. If you cannot do either of these things, your audience will just go to your competitors. When making a game, ensure that your game has the potential to be one of the best in its genre, or so unique that it practically creates a sub-genre of its own.

Identify any missed opportunities. What are some potential products that your niche may be interested in? What are some unsolved problems they might have? Is there anything that you could be doing that your competitors aren’t? Identify some ways your product is different from others in your field to help you narrow down your opportunities. Another factor worth considering is the existing audience. Do you want to sell to people who are already in your field, or do you want to bring new customers in from the outside? What your product looks like will differ depending on whether you’re selling to insiders or outsiders.

Kickstart your audience. You’ve done a lot of background work and market research and you’re ready to move forward. Now you need to attract the attention of potential customers. Find out where your audience is; you need to go to them and then bring them to your landing page (with an option for them to opt into your mailing list) or Steam store page. Since you’ve already done your demographic research, you should visit the websites or social media outlets that they’re on and try to get them to check out your game. If your initial advertisements appeal to them and manages to generate leads, then ask your audience to check back in with you for periodic updates via email or social media. Once you’ve got a few hundred fans or so, then you should start sending emails frequently in order to keep them engaged and interested. You may be asking yourself, “How can I get that many subscribers?” There are two main strategies for attracting readers: Guest-posting and utilizing paid ads.

Guest-posting is easy. By conducting market research on your niche, you might be familiar with some of their favorite websites or blogs. Ask the owner of said websites if you can write guest posts for them. The purpose of this strategy is to get people acquainted with your brand and to get them interested in your own business. Make sure to post content relevant to your audience’s needs and only post content you would already be posting on your own site. You can also do paid ads. If you have a larger budget along with a strategy to scale up, paid ads are the way to go. For as little as a few hundred dollars of marketing spend, you can get as many as 500–1000 new readers per month if you play your cards right. Always continue to grow your audience. You want to frequently email your fans with pure value. When it comes to gamers, you’ll want to send them news about the latest updates to your game.

Looking for more ways to engage with your audience? Start a development blog and create content. You want to make sure to establish guidelines for what your blog as well as marketing materials will cover. If you’re having trouble getting started, take a look at what your competitors are doing. What are some great ideas you can mimic by some of your top competitors? It’s tempting to dive right in, but planning out your marketing strategy in advance will help you avoid missteps and will ensure that you will have enough content available. Remember to also set a schedule for your posts should you decide to go down this route. Once you have some ideas flowing, you need to post content consistently. This will not only get you in the habit of posting regular updates but will also give your audience something to look forward to.

Gradually, expand to social media, and keep the flow of updates constant. People tend to have other things going on in their lives and they might forget about you. Don’t let your audience forget about you and your game by consistently providing valuable content to your audience. For example, if you’re making a roguelike game, a large portion of your fanbase might be developers who are making their own roguelikes. Create content that caters to them, then convert your followers. If you built a relationship with your followers, you can now head on to the next step. Try not to push your product too much though, or you will come off as annoying. Simply bring attention to your game either with a catchy lead or through one of your blog posts. If you’re already driving traffic to your site, draw more. Build your subscriber lists and make sure your readers understand what differentiates your game from other products on the market. If your game is just a clone of another one, no one will really care. If someone is really interested in your offering, they’ll more than likely purchase it after knowing of its benefits. Your aim should always be to convert people who may be interested in your game, into people who will buy your game.

Important Takeaways: Even if you have a stellar game, without an audience, it’ll be fruitless. Also, even if you have an audience, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a lot of customers. There are four important steps in making sure you attract an audience and develop a future customer base: Standing out from competitors, continuously growing your audience, and converting your followers into customers. In order to stand out from your competitors, you must tap previously untapped potential or have a better or more unique game than your competition. In order to grow your audience, you need to pull your audience directly from similar audiences in your niche.

Once they’ve been pulled to you, ensure they stay for the ride with periodic updates. If you want to continuously grow your audience, you must ensure that you consistently put out content that will keep the attention of old followers and also pull in the occasional new follower. Lastly, once you have a large enough audience you can begin converting it into a customer base through an honest presentation of your game’s unique selling points. As long as your audience knows why your game is different from others on the market, and why it’s legitimately good, it’ll stand a good chance of surviving and thriving in the marketplace.