5 WAYS TO GET YOUR GAME DISCOVERED
Here are a few of the better, low-cost options of mobile game marketing technique.
As developers both large and small—corporate and independent—get into the game (so to speak), discoverability becomes more difficult. Purchasing installs and investing in advertising are two well-known—and generally successful—ways to get more people to play a mobile game. But what else is there? Getting a game featured in an app store is a great discovery option, but the odds are pretty low without a proven track record.
The question, then, is how to get word-of-mouth started beyond posting a game on the App Store and crossing fingers (and toes). Here are a few of the better, low-cost options for mobile game developers:
These two venerable social media outlets are obvious places to connect with mobile gaming enthusiasts, making it super easy for devs (and fans) to share and comment on game previews, animated gifs and app store links once the game is live.
When it comes to artwork, though, consider something a bit more animated.
Jyri Kilpeläinen, co-founder of casual games studio Kiemura, says that for his team, tweets with animated gifs do very well, bringing in many more replies and retweets than just plain tweets or still images.
These three video streaming services let anyone share gameplay from a console, computer, or even mobile device (Mobcrush).
Instead of playing their own games, however, some developers have taken to playing other current hits in order to bond with their fanbase.
“We’ve just hung around and played other developers’ games and occasionally mention our own games,” says Kilpeläinen of the tactic.
Players like to watch indie developers play other people’s games, he says, because it feels authentic, which can build some great goodwill for your own brand.
One way to get connected with influencers is to use services like Roostr. Roostr finds the right influencers for developers to help both acquire users and engage audiences.
TouchArcade is both a review website and a forum for mobile game super fans. The right exposure in a forum at TouchArcade can spiral up to the reviews site itself and even beyond, as many more mainstream sites use TouchArcade to find hot new games. Indie developer and publisher Josh Presseisen, founder and CEO of Crescent Moon Games, says that he’s had great success offering beta test slots to loyal TouchArcade forum users.
“TouchArcade has a group of dedicated iOS game fans—always hungry for new games in the genres they love,” he says. “They love a variety of genres and are a built-in audience to test the waters with, as well as support you as a developer.”
Building an early following with insider beta testing can be a great way to add momentum to a game even before it launches.
“If I were an indie developer,” says TouchArcade’s editor-in-chief, Eli Hodapp, “the first place I’d post about my game would be the TouchArcade forums. Many influencers (press, publishers, buyers) lurk the forums for story ideas, games to promote, and everything in between.”
When using forum-centric Reddit to share a game with the world, devs need to know their audience.
“There are a million subreddits out there, and almost none of them are right for [game developers],” says freelance PR strategist Jim Squires. He suggests posting good coverage of the game to specific forums liker/iosgames or r/androidgaming rather than the more general r/games.
The wackier, the better, too, as the devs behind Bridge Constructor, a bridge-building simulator, found out when they received a ton of response to a post about a weird in-game achievement.
Veteran PR strategist Ed Zitron says that following other Product Hunt members can be beneficial, but points out that the service is so new that no one really knows what works best.
“Product Hunt is still super liquid and all over the place,” he says, adding that with a large Silicon Valley following, it’s a hot destination, but with little predictable outcome.