3 Tips: How to market your indie game

You are struggling to let people know about the game you had been working very hard on, if you follow these 3 tips, the risk of your game fading out into the void of the internet, will get much smaller.

Tip 1: Build a website

A website is so important in this day and age. You don't have to build a website from scratch, you can also use something like Wix or Google Sites to start off. Build a website from scratch if you want to have more control and customizability, build a website using a website builder if you want to quickly build a beautiful website. Here are some content you have to put on your website:

1. A landing page
A great landing page has a high conversion rate, which is the percentage of how many visitors turn into players. You can reach that high conversion rate by following these things:

- Include social proof! Tell the visitor what the press said about your indie game.
- Do not make use of long descriptions. Put in short elevator pitches. Read more about elevator pitches
- Make use of gifs, videos, photos... Remember, a photo tells a thousand words and a video is tens of photos per second!

2. Collect emails
An email list can be a very powerful marketing tool if you use it properly and it isn't hard to setup. What I did was link to a Google Form, but of course, you can also use PHP or something similar. But how do you use an email list?

- Give your email list updates on what you had been working on that week, or how your indie game looks like right now.
- Ask them questions related to your game. I ask my email list to make a level for my game around a given theme every month. Can you imagine how many levels you get? Just pick a few and your audience will grow and your game with it.

Collecting emails can easily be done by giving them benefits. Tell your website visitors what signing up for your email list gives them. Don't just say that you offer them regular updates, because literally everyone does that. You have to make your benefit unbelievable! Huge!

3. Start a blog
Blogging might seem useless to you, but it isnt. I started this blog because it really helps. Upload blog posts that gain traffic. A good way to get these good blog posts is by adding to a popular blog post. Search up popular indie game blog sites like Gamasutra, Indie Games, etc. Then look for a popular post, with a lot of social media shares and comments. Let's say that popular post is about how Zelda creators design their levels. Then just write a post, call it something similar and build on top of the existing post. Then before you upload your post to the public, send an email to the writers of the popular post and ask them whether they can link to your post in their post.

Tip 2: Use social media

Before you start posting on social media, it is wise to know how to post on certain social media, something that works for Reddit won't work for Twitter. Here are some amazing social media I use for marketing:

Reddit is a great medium to start with. Join subreddits like PlayMyGame, indiegaming, etc. What is really important is to know what the people in the subreddit like. In IndieDev, people like questions related to game development, while in PlayMyGame, they like to see games that they can play.
Make sure to find the correct subreddits. If you are marketing an android game, post on subreddits like AndroidGaming for example. And try to engage with the community, before promoting your game. Ask questions, comment in other posts, etc. Most subreddits hate self-promotion... So beware.

Twitter is another awesome medium for marketing. For Twitter, just post as much as you can every day. Neil Patel says: "Tweet at least 10 times a day." Post what you had been working on that day, a link to your new blog post or a picture showing the progress.
Take advantage of popular hashtags if you don't have a following, for example: #indiegames, #gaming, #gamer, #games, etc.

Instagram can't be ignored, there are almost 1 billion active users every month on Instagram. A simple way to take advantage of the users is by starting your own hashtag. Upload high quality pictures and because of Insta's lack of link support, put your website in your biography. Put your keywords in your name (not username), like for me my name would be something like TinyNerd - Indie games

Tip 3: Reach out to press

Let's say you are marketing a pc game, then to find the right press, just search "Best PC games" on Google and you will be greeted with high quality blogs and review sites like Polygon, PCGamer, PCMag, etc. Before you start sending emails to press, put a presss kit together, you can put this press kit on your website, or just use something like GitHub or Dropbox and put your assets there. Send the press kit as a link in your email. A press kit should contain:
- A factsheet
- Screenshots and logos of your game
- A short and long description

I honestly don't really know much about press kits, so for more information on a press kit please visit this website: Smart Bug Media

Extra Tip: Start a community

Encourage your players to use #[insert game name], start a subreddit, etc. Start a community of engaged players that love your games! Make sure you entertain them by starting a contest for your game, for example.

Conclusion

Marketing takes time, it is almost impossible to get it right directly. It takes time. Don't expect results right away, be a long time thinker, it can take over 3 months to see results. Be patient. Good luck with your indie game! :)

Special thanks to: Neil Patel for making great marketing content a lot of us can learn from!

About

TinyNerd is a game studio that thrives to bring the best content to you. We are known for developing LinesTrail, an amazing roguelike adventure. We specialise in mobile gaming and we trust our fellow players to lead us into the right direction.