5 Things Video Game Execs Need To Know About Marketing Games

I know, video game and app marketers are some of the hardest working people on the planet, and I no doubt have the HIGHEST respect for what they do at all hours of the night – and no I’m not talking about their private lives.

Still, working on the creative, strategy, video, marketing, social media and PR side of game and app promotion, I see important actionables and accountabilities slipping through the cracks.

So, take this as intended – or hate me. Just don’t do both at the same time. I confuse easily.

1. Be authentic to your brand, game and fanbase

I don’t care of your game involves stacking cherries on top of ice cream before it melts, or shooting hookers in the street. Own it. I remember running a campaign for Street Fighter X Tekken where we weren’t allowed to use the word “badass” in our social media updates. The game was about kicking people in the face.

There’s a huge disconnect between the desires of the fans and the politically correct spew coming out of the marketing spokesholes. It’s not their fault. It;s the system.

2. Allocate budget for promoting contests, giveaways and commissioning influencers

Players and fans don’t just magically appear – especially of you’re a new game. Some of the older franchises can skate by tapping their existing fan bases and leveraging influencers but imagine how many MORE users you’d reach if you threw in some promo dollars along the way.

Influencers in the gaming industry are the brass ring. They have huge groups of followers across multiple platforms that hang on their every comment. They know these games inside and out and they’re rockstars. Tap into that street red – organically or paid – and reach whole new audiences.

3. Spend a comparable amount of ad budget, PR or social media effort on promoting game trailers and promo videos as producing them

You’d think that after several years, all game publishers would have learned that you can’t throw money into amazing videos and expect them to magically go viral. Some do but most don’t. We worked with Atari awhile back and were assured that the videos would be pitched via their internal PR department, rather than hiring Supercool to promote the videos via paid ads, influencers and organic PR outreach to blogs and publications consumed by their target user base.  They pitched several game review sites and called it a day. Probably had to get home to watch honey boo boo and pop a brewski. I don’t know.

4. Don’t just check the boxes – look for results

I get the feeling, regardless of the industry, that many marketing execs are simply checking the boxes. We have a video due in April. Did we make the video? OK, check the box. But what did that video do for the bottom line? Was it integrated into a larger online, PR and social media strategy? Did it sell more units, drive more downloads? If not, you may as well shoot some crap with your iPhone and convince the CMO it’s the latest trend.

5. Look for something new and take chances

The online marketing world is getting very cluttered and you need to stand out. Forget the endless focus groups, bouncing everything off everyone and covering your ass. Get out there and go with your gut. You’re the marketing executive! Act like it. Nobody ever rose above the crowd by playing it safe.

One more bonus – listen to podcasts and read voraciously. Don;t get stuck in a rut. See what’s going on not only in the gaming and mobile industries but everything else – except farming. Farming’s boring.

Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section!


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