How to start marketting your indie game?

I am releasing a small game this summer, and while I have experience in development, sadly I can`t say the same for marketting.

Sure, I have a pretty good trailer (imho), screenshots and all that, but it doesnt matter much if nobody will find the trailer from the Youtube. It has to be advertised somehow, somewhere.

Googling about indie marketting gives suggestions such as “update your dev blog” , “post about your game to facebook” etc. I have like 10 irl friend at facebook and thats it, it wont be helping me much to advertise it to them. The same goes for dev blogs; who would read my dev blog, since nobody knows about me anyway? The start must come from somewhere. But where?

In the end it all comes down to money and time.
You need a lot of both to make people know about your game… Plus luck.

If you have none, a publisher could help for a cut.
Nowadays most of the time if you publish a game on your own it is dead on arrival.
I wouldn’t publish it without already built community around it, ever, won’t sell. There’s too many games released every day. People won’t notice yours without marketing.

This is why it’s important for indies to identify an undeserved niche and target that niche (small) demographic of players before going wild developing anything; they are people whose in need for what you’re going to offer and once they hear about your game it’s easier to build a community.
Problem is, with the flood of games released now everyday, good luck trying to identify any undeserved genre *

Another thing to consider is what types of games the AAA industry is developing and making sure none of the upcoming releases for next 3~5 years overlap with what you’re doing. If any AAA company release a similar product within the same release window of yours, they’re pretty much going to kill and bury your game for the simple fact that they have access to strong marketing budget, even if yours release first. This happens all the time, really.

  • Different regional markets have different niches, some studios find success making games for their local market instead of going global with Steam/AppStore where competition is much harder to overcome.

I get it that I need to make people know, and for that the question is relevant; where to do that? Spamming random message boards across the net probably isnt a valid marketing approach.

Game is pretty unique and the trailer makes this quite clear. AAA industry isnt making competitors to such game, this is more of a humorous niche with hint of retro.

I spent some rather big money for the music licencing fees for a popular local band and a lot of time, so obviously I want people to at least see the trailer. Thats all I really want, I want people to see the trailer and based on that get the game or or not. But, alas, how. How to get people see a trailer? Uploading one to a youtube is nothing, it will just sit there with 0 views if I cant spread the word of it. I plan to release the trailer next week, but hesitate on the approach to do that.

Many TwitchTv streamers and YouTube reviewers have public email for contact where you can send them a demo or steam key.
Of course if you try to contact the larger channels with millions subscribers they will charge you money to promote or review your game.

Thanks, gotta look more at those streamers I suppose. That could at least in theory give somer viewers to the game. I am still curious about the trailer the most though, where and how to raise awarness about it. All I need is 10s of time with trailer, after that its up to the viewers if thats their thing or not. :stuck_out_tongue: But releasing a trailer at yotube with no back support and getting 5 watchers for it isnt enough. Is posting your trailer link to gaming sites emails a taboo, etc?

There was some great GDC talk about it, but i forgot keywords for search and cannot find it.

Valve recently made this page public:

Another point to consider is listing your game on Indie DB websites.

And also very important:
Send a presskit of your game to indie game magazines. From my experience they don’t charge anything and if the game is good they will gladly publish some article about it, the return from those magazines are very very positive.

Hello @Manatee, I would speculate the goal is to market The Real Man Summer Championship 2019 (which looks hilarious) on little to no budget. I can easily visualize a collage of real-world MEN “FAILED” clips from this year in a Youtube Vid that point the game somewhere. “FAILED” Youtube Vids get lots of views]( The title The Real Man Summer Championship 2019 FAILS’.

Thanks for some suggestions. I gotta dig deeper into the whole youtube-scene.

I could spend some money on marketting, like a couple of hundreds or a thousand dollars, but from what Ive understood, you dont get much with that.

Released the trailer today. Now I just gotta find places where I can show it. And perhaps make other small quickie gameplay trailers etc (although this trailer is made solely from ingame footage, with UI just hidden though).

And the Steam Page too. The steam ended up being a nightmare for my trailer, since their video compression made noise and artifacts so bad to it, that text was unreadable and cut transitions nothing but messy blur most of the time. I tried to adjust fonts, some shot sizes etc to reduce it as much as I could. Didn`t realize the Steam video compression was that harsh!…pionship_2019/

Okay, so the good news is: I really liked that trailer. I found it witty and it made me want to play your game.

In my opinion, that’s part one of your sales pitch. Did you record any content around your game? Could you still create content around you finishing it? Sneak peaks, maybe?

All good suggestions above and you should definitely do everything they suggest. Seriously - every thing you can do that brings positivity, hell, even negativity to your cause will help.

GTA (when they were releasing either 1 or 2) planted stories in the media about the violence, prostitution and everything the game exposed your child to… Which they shouldn’t know about. What happened? The Pr stunt was a massive success.

Make sure you’re everywhere, all social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all great places to be for game developers. Learn each platform so you get the best out of them.

Make sure you create content - plenty of it. Don’t worry about perfecting anything.

I know you might not say you have a budget, but maybe think about getting some money together. You’ll be surprised at what you can do with £50-100 these days and I can guarantee you can cut things out of your expenses this month to make those savings, without really sacrificing anything. Clubbing for me, would be one. Another would be not to buy a new PS4 game this month.

Take a look at Paid Social ads, YouTube Pre-Roll ads, and maybe even think about building a simple landing page website, with a blog attached. A newsletter / mailing list will be vital too.

Try and get people (pre release) to sign up for your mailing list, follow you on social as you build up buzz for your game.

Most importantly, you want people downloading your game and getting to know YOUR brand.

Your brand is everything. Make sure you define it. Make sure people know what games they can expect you to release. Then you’ll build a community. This takes time, but it’s ever so important as many others have suggested.

I’m a marketer, it’s what I do for a living… If you want advice, I’m more than happy to answer any questions; either here or DM.

Either way, please add me to your mailing list. I want to play your game (and purchase it).

P.s. Please tell me your game will have multiplayer? I don’t expect it will, but it looks like it would be so much fun if it was.

Search for the gdc talks about marketing, they’ll help.

Be sure to PR it in all social networks, it very often helps.