An indie game is an independent game created by a single indie game developer or a small team without the financial support of a large publisher.
As the internet began to transform the world, software developers faced new challenges in the new industry. The games and experiences created in basements and bedrooms gained clout.
For the first time, major publishers such as Microsoft, Sony, and EA faced credible competition from game developer James Schmalz and his company, Digital Extremes.
As a result, independent and mainstream developers found themselves at a crossroads: collaboration to the left and competition to the right. Indie gaming was initially played on a PC. From the shareware distribution model, indie games experienced their first wave of popularity in the early 1990s. And from online distribution services, the industry has seen a surge in popularity since the late 2000s.
Braid, Undertale, Super Meat Boy, and Minecraft are examples of indie game industry leaders. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Minecraft is best-selling, with tens of millions of copies sold. Making it the most successful indie game in the industry.
In 2018, the indie game market was worth about $1 billion* on Steam alone. That’s encouraging for both new and experienced developers, and it’s a good reason not to keep it to yourself. Follow these marketing must-haves for indie success.
There are still more opportunities for indie games with the success of the free-to-play model. In-game revenue is the primary source of revenue for mobile games, accounting for nearly 98% of the $77.2 billion in revenue in 2020.
The Play Store and App Store algorithms have it that apps with few downloads don’t appear in the top results. Stores rank apps based on how frequently they are downloaded. If you haven’t thought of promoting your indie game, here are some strategies you can execute.
The first way to market your Gamby is by concentrating on app store optimization. More than half of all apps are discovered through search. If your target market search on a platform, that’s where you should be.
When it comes to discoverability, ASO is the answer.
Optimize your game’s title, keywords, and description for the app stores. Remember that Google Play Store users may have different search terms than iOS users. Incorporate as many search keywords as possible to attract your target users, but keep everything relevant. Remember that these ads can also potentially appear on social media channels. You can create additional content like an engaging game trailer to support channel promotions.
As an indie game developer, you must maximize your resources and use them to expand. The same goes for user acquisition. You don’t have to start spending money on ads right away if you can get a few recommendations from your current users to reach out to new ones.
Word of mouth is a good source of organic traffic; the best part is that it is completely free. 64% of marketers agreed that word of mouth is more powerful than any other ad. Approximately 84% of people are known to act on personal recommendations from friends and family.
Provide a worth-the-hype experience for your users and encourage them to invite their friends to a great game in exchange for something of value to them.
If you can persuade the gaming community that your game is one in a million, they will spread the word as widely as possible.
A game marketing funnel guides players down a path that leads them to a specific action. On the other hand, marketing funnels can come in various shapes and sizes.
In most cases, you’ll raise awareness to direct traffic to a specific location. When players engage, they will either move further down the funnel or convert.
Here are some indie game marketing funnel examples.
Social media platform > website/landing page > email list > Discord > playtest > purchase
Influencer coverage > Steam page > game follows > Discord > playtest > buy
Mobile landing page > Ad campaign > Installation
This can give you a good idea of the various paths that marketing funnels will generate. Some are short, and some are long. Others may converge.
What matters is that each stage of the funnel has a clear call to action (CTA). This communicates to others what you want them to do. It’s how you get them deeper into the funnel.
Your funnel may still function without a clear CTA, but it will be ineffective in delivering results.
If you want to reach the mass of your target audience, engage on social media platforms. Social media marketing is excellent for connecting with your fans personally and creating long-lasting communities around your game, from early development to launch.
When done correctly, it can allow you to build trusting relationships with your audience, causing them to buy not just one of your games but every game you release.
Cross-promotion is another excellent way to get your game noticed and gain new users. Numerous industry-specific ad networks are available to help you promote your game to a large audience.
There’s nothing better, however, if you already have a game with many players or know another developer who would be willing to introduce your game to their users. Just ensure you’re not putting your efforts into something that won’t get you to your intended audience.
As your launch date approaches, contact Twitch streamers, YouTubers, and game journalists who have previously expressed interest in the type of game you’re creating.
Look for gaming influencers with followers who fit your target user demographics. Contact them and request to review your game on their channels. They could write content, post on their YouTube channel, or broadcast or play through their live stream. Use their power of influence on their followers and persuade them to try your game.
There are still many strategies you can use to promote your indie game aside from what is mentioned above. However, these strategies are hard to execute when you properly lack resources and knowledge. The best option for you is to seek help from a marketing professional.
By outsourcing an expert, you can save time and effort yet ensure that it’ll have accurate results.
Aside from being a leading game developer, we are also the best marketing agency you can find to promote your indie game. You don’t have to worry about failed user acquisition or flop marketing campaigns because here at Pearl Lemon Games; we take pride in providing the best marketing strategies.
Hype your indie game with the help of our trusted experts.
Contact us today to start your campaign.