Building hype around your game in advance of its launch is essential to ensure it reaches maximum potential on the big day. For the most part, this begins with your community – which is something you should start building from the moment you announce the development of your title.
Building a rock-solid fan base before your game is released isn’t just about boosting pre-orders . It’s about getting the community involved in the development of your game. More than ever, communities are the driving force behind the success of modern video games. This is also true of exclusively singleplayer titles. Communities serve as a space for feedback and ideas, which means a better way to gives players what they want.
Of course, you need something to show for your efforts before you can build a community around your upcoming game. At the very least, you need a trailer that accurately represents your vision, and if possible, an actual gameplay demonstration. If people like what they see, they’ll gravitate towards your pre-launch community to keep informed and share their enthusiasm with others.
The big question is, where do you find future community members and how do you communicate your value proposition to them? It’s never too early to conduct some research into your target audience, so let’s start by exploring some of the biggest hangouts for gamers.
Social media marketing may take time, but it’s essential to raise awareness and recruit more members to your own community. There’s a lot more to social media than simply setting up your profiles on Facebook and Twitter. You must be regularly present by joining the conversation and sharing updates, including other people’s content as well. Oftentimes, they’ll be happy to return the favor, thereby increasing your exposure.
Major social networks are also great for finding and interacting with the biggest influencers in your industry. Follow massively popular gaming influencers like PewDiePie and Markiplier on YouTube and Instagram and participate in their communities. You’ll boost credibility and learn more about your audience in no time.
Public Gaming Communities
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Reddit are among the most valuable marketing platforms, thanks to their enormous built-in audiences. It can be hard to keep a focus given the very general nature of these communities, however. So set your sights on specific gaming communities both inside and outside these major social networks, instead.
Public gaming communities include subreddits on Reddit, groups on Facebook and other gatherings of people who have something in common. Rather than relying on sheer numbers alone, focus on specific communities to find your most valuable members. In fact, there are entire social platforms that cater primarily – if not exclusively – to gamers. For example, Discord is the most popular community and VoIP platform for gamers, and it’s used on Windows, Linux, Mac and mobile devices.
Platform-specific communities are also exceptionally valuable for researching your audience and steering people towards your own community. For example, if you’re developing a game for PC, there’s no good reason to not be in the Steam Community Hub. Other platforms, such as PlayStation and Xbox, have their own thriving communities which often serve as the first stop for developers to publish announcements and updates, and to share content from their own sites.
One of the most important things to remember about community marketing is that active communities help fuel the growth of other communities. Through regular involvement on social media and platform-specific communities, you’ll be in a better position to build relationships with your target audience. In doing so, you’ll encourage them to take a closer look at your own community.