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Marketing Madness...

Posted by Mak, 23 March 2010 · 203 views

Well, I've just spent the morning (and now day) touting Slam! to the iPhone review sites worldwide... my brain has nearly dissolved under the strain...

Website reviews, 100's of ways to submit an app for review, different requirements... Facebook... Twitter... must have presences... all requiring "maintenance" to keep the thing alive... it's more than a full time job, surely?

I've seen really cool developers out there - with nice websites, lots of content - they seem to have the time to post useful, and informative material... and also hit the marketing avenues... how do they do it? I could easily spend my entire day on this, every day... and not do a single line of code towards my next project(s)...

I remember this trauma from Gemstars back in the day - I spent a solid week marketing it, and got nowhere... I sense the same happening all over again - not that I am doomsaying... but, it seems hard to justify all this effort with no quantifiable feedback.

Let's hope the iPhone review sites like Slam!... then I may stop whinging so much :)




I would reccomend a healty pacing to get everything done. One of the hardest parts about being indie is actuially getting people to know about your projects. Heres a few tips I picked up along the way marketing/developing my last project:


1. CMS: Set up a website with a CMS (content management system) such as Wordpress or Joombla. These sites are SEO friendly (search engine optimized) which will help people find you around the net, as well as easy to update and maintain. Posting news to the site is as easy as updating a Facebook status. Pages can be added in and taken out in seconds, all the while keeping web standards in tact. It's a way to have an awesome site without having to take time away from development of a game to do development on a website. Not on that but there are countless free themes available, and even better buying custom themes are cheap (hit me up, I might feel generous).

2. Spread it out: Instead of sitting down everyday to post a news update take one chunk of a day to write 3-5 of them. With a CMS system you can choose which date to publish articles, as well as keeping them as drafts until you see it fit to go public. This way you can get in the writing "zone" and crank out some fun and interesting news bits, then drop them slowly to the world. This way you can focus one day on articles, and the rest of time on other things. Its easier to sit down and hammer out one particular element as opposed to juggling a bunch. This is a major time saver.

3. Forums == Free Advertisements. Places like GameDev.net, Indiegamer.com, and a slew of other places all have free Announcement forums. Write one post, cross post it on multiple message boards. An advertisement campaign can cost a lot of money, people might not click through your ads, and you dont really know where they will and when they will pop up. Going to a forum to share your project not only gets you the attention you want, but it will give you an avenue to get user feedback.

Im at work, so I cant post to much, but this should be a good start. Welcome to Journal Land, post pictures!
I know exactly what you mean because I've struggled with being the programmer in a 2 man team and sufficiently marketing our titles upon release. I'm getting pretty quick at sending out review request emails to all the relevant sites and other than that I generally post threads on Touch Arcade and try to keep those bumped (legitimately) for a while.

But I too feel like I should be posting to a site and doing a lot more with my marketing, but I always just want to spend time on the next game. I think this might mostly be a reflection on the quality of games that we've made so far. Don't get me wrong, I think compared to the majority of iPhone games they're actually quite polished and good, but that doesn't mean I think they meet the standard that I should be producing.

Perhaps you, like me, should decide to turn a new leaf and spend the time to setup an easily updatable site (like suggested by the post above) and take longer on/put more into the next game, so that it's a better product that you're more motivated to promote, and so that you have time leading up to its release to create a full featured marketing campaign.

My goal with future iPhone titles is to make them to a AAA standard, even if they're small. Atleast in terms of presentation and polish. If I produce a game that meets my expectations then I don't feel like I'll have any problem finding the time to properly market and promote it. Now I haven't seen your game(s), but maybe you're in the same situation and need to make something that you're really proud to promote too.

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