When you’re in the last stages of finalizing your game, there’s a lot to consider for the launch, especially when it comes to marketing. From promotional events to launch day itself, game marketing plays a huge role in the success of your game. And getting the word out about your new game through all the channels you have at your disposal takes more time than you’d think, from organizing posting schedules to liaising with influencers so you can hype your launch.
Successfully marketing your game can give you that global reach to unlock new levels of potential for your game and establish your reputation as a developer. So knowing how to advertise your game and what strategies to use to reach users across the globe is important. Let’s explore some key strategies you can use to successfully hype your game.
#1 Know Your Players
A good marketing strategy, like in any other industry, is built around your end user. For a game developer, the end user is the player. Chances are that you already know your players pretty well, including what their interests are, what they want from their gaming experience, and how they like to play. This expertise will be just as important in the game marketing process as it was back in your game’s development stage, so make sure you use it. It’s this insider knowledge that will inform which marketing strategies you choose to hype your game and create a buzz surrounding your game launch, because they’ll be the ones your players are most likely to engage with.
Your audience determines everything from the social media platforms you post on to the types of promotional events you organize in the run up to your game launch. It can even impact the messaging of your game marketing campaign. For example, say there’s a particular theme you’ve introduced into gameplay that you know your players care about—that could be a significant selling point for your game.
A huge part of the gaming world is its various online communities, with 53% of gamers saying they made new friends through online gaming last year. Players who interact in video games build rapport both in-game and online, and their shared interest lays the foundation for what can be highly influential communities for developers. There’s so much to learn from these online forums on Reddit or game reviews on Twitch, whether it’s common issues that affect the user experience or what themes engage the audience the most during gameplay.
Tapping into these communities can give you the knowledge to shape your game marketing strategy and help you craft messaging surrounding your game launch that will connect with users.
#2 Run Global Social Campaigns
The global gaming market was worth $178 billion in 2021, and could be worth as much as $268.8 billion in 2025. It’s clear that globalized strategies are the way forward; if you’re only targeting users in your domestic market, you could be losing out on some serious growth opportunities in other markets. And because globalized gaming is still on the rise, it’s easier than ever to reach customers in other countries and territories thanks to the global nature of social media.
You can also create hype for your game on social media by converting interest into sales, with an exclusive discounted price for anyone who pre-orders your game.
In your game marketing plan, localized content and accurately translated ads and messaging will be vital for engaging new users. Sure, anyone can run an ad targeting Korean speakers, but if the content Korean users are getting isn’t accurately translated, they’re way less likely to feel that the game developers are invested in providing a seamless user experience. In fact, poor grammar and spelling can cut sales in half.
When it comes to running global social media campaigns, you’ll need expertise in multiple languages and cultures across your chosen channels, whether it’s Twitch, YouTube, or Instagram. This may include creating multiple social accounts or translating ad copy for different markets.
Chances are that on top of more followers, you’ll get an influx of questions about your game ahead of launch, including comments on your posts or DMs to your account. So you’ll need to have dedicated, multilingual social media managers who can respond accurately to new customers coming from different markets.
#3 Release Game Merch
Most game developers monetize their games via digital products and online game merch such as game packs, skins, or upgraded armor. And it clearly pays off: developers pull in over $54 million in revenue through in-game purchases alone.
Many fans already invest in online items, so forward-looking companies are experimenting beyond digital. Game merchandise is becoming a popular way to promote new launches and hype games with prices starting from $50+.
While digital products are great, their ability to build brand loyalty and engagement can fall short, because these purchases don’t make much of an impact once you’ve switched off your console. But this is where game merch comes into play to boost brand engagement. In the same way that music lovers buy t-shirts from their favorite bands and singers, game merch allows players to show their passion for the game offline and online—just think of the huge popularity of events like Comic-Con!
Plus, now that gamers spend more time playing than ever (the average amount of time spent gaming was 8 hours and 27 minutes a week in 2021, up 14% from 2020), fans are becoming even more passionate about their favorite games. So, physical game merch is taking on a new role within the gaming industry. Not to mention that merch is essentially free advertising; the more people buy, the more they talk, and the more people will know your game. And if they know your game, your job is done. You can sit back and get ready for a successful launch.
#4 Leverage Influencer Marketing
In the world of gaming, influencers wield a lot of power with your users. And with gaming video content garnering over 1.2 billion viewers in 2020, the players with large followings can bring significant interest to a new game. Getting them on board to help promote your game should be a priority for any game marketing plan.
Influencers can support the launch of your game in many different ways. Influencer marketing can even work for small indie developers, depending on your resources.
Working with influencers is flexible based on your budgets and resources as an organization, whether you offer a free download in exchange for a post about your game or have the resources to purchase a full promotional package. If that’s the case, you have the opportunity to run whole events, such as collaborative live streams.
#5 Host Live Q&A Sessions
Q&A sessions are awesome for big and small game developers, no matter the existing hype surrounding your game. For game sequels or big-name launches that already have strong followings, a Q&A event is a great opportunity for players and fans to engage with developers and continue the sense of community that’s so important in gaming. On the other hand, if you’re launching a brand new game that not many people know about, a Q&A session is the perfect opportunity to provide more information about your game and show players why they should give it a try.
You can hold these Q&As on the platforms where your game has the biggest following. And this is another area where leveraging relationships with influencers can come in handy. Collaborating with gaming influencers is a great way to guarantee that your game reaches a bigger audience, as they’ll be bringing their own kind of hype and following to the event.
Once you have attendees, you can let the quality of your game do most of the talking. That’s the whole point of game marketing—it puts your game on the right screens and in the right feeds. The rest falls into place once they see how awesome your game is.
Game Marketing with TGS
At TransPerfect Gaming Solutions, we specialize in all things game marketing. With an extensive network of influencers and marketing experts, we’ve got the resources to create personalized game marketing packages that will help you launch engaging, global, and impactful campaigns. Get in touch with us today to see how we can support your next game launch.