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How to Get More Visibility for Your Indie Game

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Developing an indie game is an effort that often takes several months to several years, and at the end of this journey, even a nearly perfect game isn’t guaranteed to succeed. That’s because you need a strategy to build visibility and get more people to see and engage with your work.

What are the best strategies for marketing and getting more visibility for your indie game?

Market Research

Before you get started on your actual marketing or advertising, you need to conduct some market research. The types of strategies you use, the types of tactics you integrate, and even specific decisions you make to market the game (like what types of discounts to offer) should all depend on who you’re trying to reach. Who is your game made for? What are these gamers like? What are their values and what types of things appeal to them? How do you make your game stand out to them in a potentially crowded field?

The better you understand your audience, the more effective your marketing strategies are going to be.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

One of the best digital marketing approaches is search engine optimization (SEO). The general idea is to optimize your online presence so that it’s more likely to appear in search results for people searching for games like yours. 

Generally, the term SEO applies to optimization for Google search and other broad search engines, but you can also engage in tactics that optimize your search visibility in game stores.

Each game store operates a little differently, but the same general principles apply. To optimize effectively, you should fill out all details relevant to your game, include keywords your audience is likely to search for, apply proper tags, and include plenty of images and videos. Eventually, you’ll also want to cultivate as many good reviews as possible to boost your chances of appearing to gamers conducting searches.

It’s also wise to engage in SEO broadly, though it’s a good idea to have a dedicated website in addition to your game store pages.

These are the most important elements of an SEO campaign:

·       Onsite optimization. First, you’ll need to practice onsite optimization. Your website needs to be optimized to include strategically relevant keywords and phrases, maximizing the relevance of your website for your target audience. Your website should also be mobile optimized and fast loading.

·       Content development. Second, you’ll need to work on developing content. Publishing good content frequently gives you an opportunity to optimize for more keywords while simultaneously building your authority.

·       Link building. The final ingredient for a successful SEO campaign is link building, says rankinpr.com. The idea here is to make your website more trustworthy and authoritative by earning votes of confidence from other, already authoritative sites. There are many link building strategies worth considering, but one of the most common is to write and publish guest posts on major publishing websites.

Social Media

As you might have guessed, social media is also a valuable asset in your marketing campaign. Gradually build a community by engaging with fellow gamers and developers, posting informative or entertaining content, and showcasing the most interesting elements of your game. One of the keys to success here is avoiding too much overt marketing; if your social media accounts feel like little more than naked advertising attempts, you probably won’t be able to build an audience. There are many platforms worth considering, but some of the most valuable are X, Facebook, and Reddit.

Networking

Beyond social media, consider networking and working with others in the industry.

·       Platform holders. Making connections with people affiliated with major shows like E3 or other major gaming platforms can introduce you to new opportunities. If you can get your game featured on a big stage, its visibility could explode.

·       Streamers. Getting streamers to play, talk about, or share your game is a form of influencer marketing – and a potentially very powerful one, says SproutSocial. Smaller streamers may be willing to play your game on stream for free if you give them a demo copy, but you’ll likely need to pay to get exposure on bigger channels.

·       Developers. It’s tempting to think of other developers as competition, but instead, you should treat them as allies. Be willing to exchange information with other developers and support them in their endeavors; they’ll likely be more than willing to return the favor.

Launch

At launch, there are several things you can do to promote your visibility even further:

·       Discounts. When executed effectively, discounts are a powerful motivator, according to Volusion. Consider offering your game at a deep discount at launch to get more people playing and talking about it.

·       Events. It may also make sense to host events to showcase your game, including in-person events if your game has generated enough attention.

·       Online community support. Get your community excited about the upcoming launch with teasers, freebies, and sneak peeks. The more engaged your audience is, and the more top of mind your game is, the more you’ll sell at launch.

Further Support

Launching your game is just the beginning. Once your game is made available to the public and you have some people playing it, you’ll get valuable feedback you can use to refine your game and market it even more effectively. 

Use at least some of your initial proceeds to reinvest in new marketing efforts to continue your growth momentum.

Last Updated: March 12, 2024

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