We all strive to stand out in the sea of people and businesses. As an indie game developer, it can feel like an uphill battle trying to stand out among the more than 6,000 titles released annually. The key, though, is to deviate from the norm. While your competition may be leaning heavily into targeted advertising, you should be thinking outside the box for marketing opportunities most wouldn’t even dream of.
As you’re reviewing your marketing plan, you’ll want to consider ideas that few others will–which is why we’re handing over these five outside-of-the-box marketing ideas for your new indie game. This is coveted information that can elevate your exposure, increase your sales, and make your game a success over others.
Develop Content Related to Your Game
Your game is likely to have an in-game world full of unique characters and locations. Why not use them to build something beyond the game? Consider a small comic series or YouTube videos dedicated to the world you’re crafting.
This degree of creativity will not only give your audience something to consume while they wait for your game to release, but it will also highlight how serious you are about the project. The more you’re willing to create, the more that can be distributed and grab the attention of an even broader audience. If you create a mini-comic, you can attract comic book fans who may wind up showing interest in your game.
Since it’s strictly for marketing, you don’t have to invest a ton of time into developing a full series of content. Just a few pieces that will attract attention.
Devise a Unique Giveaway
Audiences love giveaways, but there’s an inherent issue with them. Too often, entrants take their winnings and never pay attention to your project again. And those that don’t win? They may disengage entirely just out of spite. With giveaways not being free, this can wind up being a waste of precious marketing funds.
Alternatively, what if you give away something in your game? Do you have NPC characters that need a name or are you struggling to label the wildlife? Run a giveaway that gives the winner(s) the chance to name something in your indie title. Or, better yet, name an NPC after them.
There are a lot of ways you can run a giveaway, and they can be as involved as having entrants draw a monster or character and modeling the winning designs in-game. If you make your audience or a creation of your audience part of the game, they’ll be more inclined to play it and tell their friends and family about it.
Guerilla marketing is one of the most difficult to pull off. You have to be subtle but effective, to the point where the audience isn’t quite sure they’re being marketed to. You’ll grab their curiosity and then hit them with the reality that they were just duped by an ad. So long as the guerilla ad is fun, like the Deadpool 2 Tinder bio, the deception won’t deter most.
Being an indie game, you may want to save your guerilla marketing efforts for a convention where players will be gathering. This also means you can work with a creator, merchandiser, or another developer to create the guerilla ad. Can you organize a group of teens to do something specific for your game or utilize attendees to some degree?
Guerilla marketing can be very elaborate or incredibly simplistic, so long as it conveys some of the specifics of your game, even if it’s just a theme. Viral marketing is a strong guerilla marketing approach, and it involves creating a short and creative ad that really takes your audience by surprise. It won’t feature your game for much of the ad, but you’ll create a very unique and crafty self-contained story to serve as a marketing tool.
Make It Look Real
If you were alive and of movie-watching age when The Blair Witch Project was released, you likely remember the craze it spurred of viewers trying to unravel the mystery of the missing students and the woods of Burkittsville, MD. For quite some time, many thought the disappearances were real and the movie was a documentary.
This is a bit harder to pull off these days with the Internet as it is, but J. J. Abrahams pulled off a similar feat with Cloverfield, though this was less about realism and more about uncovering secrets. If you’re crafty and resourceful, you can pull off something similar and market your indie game without letting your audience know you’re marketing a game. At least not right away.
Lead a Panel
Circling back to conventions and expos, a good way to get in front of everyone’s eyes is to literally get in front of everyone’s eyes. Host a panel about some aspect of indie game development or even something about the industry you’re passionate about.
You’ll need to plan this one in advance, come up with a solid game plan, and reach out to convention staff to see if your panel will be greenlit. During the panel, you can name-drop your future game to get people talking about it and use it as an example if it fits but don’t make it a focal point. Make sure your panel offers something of substance so you can build up the audience.
Thinking Outside the Box
You pretty much know the typical routes for marketing your indie game, from standard social media posts to creating an SEO-focused blog. While you should stick to some of these methods, you should definitely get creative with your marketing. Think outside the box, and devise ways to get your indie game in front of everyone without relying solely on typical methods.
Need a little help putting together your unusual, unique, and sure-fire marketing plan? Loopr PR & Marketing is excited to step outside the box and put together an option that fits your game and objectives best. Contact us today to talk about launching a distinctive marketing strategy