This is the fourth article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your video game.
Spreading the word about how awesome your video game is takes time, dedication and intelligent distribution. The following tips will help you get news of your video game to potential customers.
Direct mail is one of the best ways to get in front of your target audience. One reason is that surprisingly few video game developers take advantage of the proven power of direct-mail marketing, so there's far less competition to get in your way. Send your campaign to past video game buyers and others who fit your targeted demographics. The 40/40/20 rule of direct marketing states that 40 percent of your success is dependent on the quality of your mailing list, so invest in a great list or hire a list broker to find one for you. The other 40 percent is contingent on your offer, and the remaining 20 is everything else (design, copy, etc.).
Here's a sample direct-mail marketing campaign for video games:
Week one: : Send a postcards that lists a URL to your website offering a free sneak peek or sample trial of your game.
Week six: Send a flyer or brochure disguised as a newsletter, touting your video game as one of the hottest of the year.
Week 12: Send a calendar that showcases game highlights and includes some hints and tricks for gamers.
Week 18: Send another postcard, this time with a time-limited coupon offer that can't be refused by serious gamers.
Advertise with flyers and posters on bulletin boards, billboards, walls, under windshield wipers, and as inserts in newspapers, magazines and other publications. Take out ads in radio, television, print and online programs. Deploy a street team to hand out flyers and stickers. Also, host or sponsor an event or publicity stunt to get free PR. Make sure you send press releases to relevant media members who might be willing to cover your video game in their reviews.
Test, track and tweak: These three Ts will help you develop winning video game print marketing campaigns. Always test different variations of your marketing materials on small portions of your mailing list before launching the full campaign. Sometimes a single word change can make a big difference in your return on investment.
Keep a database of your buyers, and evaluate recognizable trends so you can customize your pitch, which will allow you to make intelligent marketing decisions based on honest, proven statistics. Remember that video game development is a business, and if you treat it as such you'll vastly increase your chances of building a sustainable customer base that opens many doors for profitability as you grow.