Navigating the Challenges of Promoting Your Own Creation

Erica Santos

Published on 14/04/2023

Hello Hello! Hum, I told you we’d be talking more about the challenges indie developers face in promoting their games here, right? So let’s dive a bit deeper into this topic.

With over 3 billion people that consider themselves gamers, it’s more than natural that some of us want to bring our own game idea to life. However, not everybody has coding skills (damn, I guess I have to give up on jellyfish and cupcakes building a colourful world for us!).

Besides being good at coding and animation, it’s also required dedication to show it off to new people because it risks never getting the popularity it deserves. As this experience can be extremely frustrating for game developers, there are a couple of reasons why marketing your game is so complicated, but it shouldn’t be. I’ll lead the way.

The Gaming market is very crowded

Video game marketing is at an all-time high when it comes to competition. In 2022, the Gaming Industry surpassed Movies and Sports combined in terms of revenue. As this may sound like something great, we have to consider who shares the biggest part of this cake. I’ll let you guess.

This growth meant something when the big tech companies started to get involved more closely with game development and promotions, such as Google, Amazon, and Netflix. With AAA studios investing in huge exposure and tons of ads in those places, the space left for indie games is tight and difficult to reach.

At the same time, technology is making your job easier than before, and it’s also helping other devs out there. Steam releases can prove me right, with over 12K games released only in 2022. It certainly adds another level of difficulty when trying to gain traction throughout all those other titles. However, I also see this as an opportunity for game developers to come up with more creative games, defy the status quo and dare to go above and beyond.

Paid User Acquisition Solutions are complex and expensive!

Yep, if we want to do it right, we need to spend a few grand here and there. It takes as much dedication as making the game itself because now you’re about to market it. I know that not everything is easy at first time and we can get annoyed and disappointed with the results. I bet you have already ventured yourself with paid ads or tried out an Influencer to promote your game, and nothing brought you the expected results.

You’ve to take into consideration that paid platforms are complex, they’re constantly changing (tell me about it!), and many times have an interface that is hard to read, mainly for people that are not there every day.

Besides that, we can say that paid ads are not an exact science! A successful campaign is full of tests with big achievements but even bigger errors, what we marketers kindly call “A/B testing”. But as with everything in life, it costs money because to make things perform well and optimize spending, we’re constantly testing headlines, visual assets, CTA’s etc. The list is long!

Defining the right audience for your game

Not sure if you’re familiar with the concept of niche applied to your reality. The Webster's Dictionary defines niche “as a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted.” In marketing, we put everything in boxes in order to classify behaviour, taste, and similarities which help us to identify which audience is more suitable for a determined product, service, and in your case, a game.

So how to find the right audience for your niche game? Not that at this point you should know exactly about what your game is. One would think that trying to go with extremely precise targeting would yield awesome results, but the reality could actually be quite the opposite. The other way around is also possible! A game that you want to reach out to everyone universally may not work in your best interest. Advertising needs some fine-tuning, and by being too wide open, you may just be burning your budget without translating that into sales.

Considering there’s no universal solution or a place where you could just hit a button to market your game everywhere, and accessing those big fancy ad platforms requires a budget that you might not have at this moment, what can you do to make it work?

I might just feel that you’ve come to the right place. At GameRebellion, we can do a throughout analysis of your game and access all the selling points to find the right audience for you. The good thing about it is that we don’t only focus on paid solutions, you can count on tips and insights of organic strategies you can apply today to your marketing efforts. If you are interested, why don’t you give a look at our services, we have some “on the house” things for you here.

We know that our talent is not to make a game. However, we are pretty good at finding the hidden gems for your marketing efforts and crafting strategies to get you closer to your goals.

Through our community, you will learn new skills, make new friends and create professional connections to help your game get the visibility it deserves! Hit us with questions or share achievements/failures, our community on Discord is there for you! Join the rebellion here.