The first step in mastering Owned Media is to define it. To do that, you must understand the differences between the three basic vehicles you can use to attract players to your game. These are: Earned Media, Paid Media, and Owned Media. While Paid Media attracts users by investing in promotions and advertising, Earned Media are the kudos you get from users who are impressed by the quality of your game and possibly want more.
Earned Media comes in the form of reviews, shares, reports or mentions on social profiles and communities.While both Paid and Earned Media are essential to successfully marketing your indie game, Owned Media is the ultimate destination of all of your marketing efforts; that is, the promotion of your game through your own channels. Therefore, the greatest impact of your marketing ROI relies directly on Owned Media, and it is where your most significant efforts should be made.
To help you better understand and streamline the process of Owned Media,, we’ll cover it in the 3 steps:
- Structuring the elements
- The importance of flow
- Tracking everything
Structuring the Elements
Some of the essential elements of Owned Media include:
- Press Kit
- Development Blog
- Lead Magnet ( Email/RSS Subscription)
- YouTube Channel
- Social Media –Twitter, Facebook
The biggest strength of Owned Media is the control. It’s all up to you. You can control the content, structure and flow of information. You can even offer exclusive content to people who visit your website or YouTube Channel and ask for an email subscription in return. What you can do is limited only by your own creativity and direction.
Having a content plan helps a lot in this one. For example, if you’re posting two development blogs every month, you could share that on social media twice a week. Maybe if you have strict deadlines for teasers, trailers or beta releases, you could build up some excitement on your website and social media ahead of time.
So here’s how you do it. It’s easy. Before you start putting these things together, create a simple visual map of how things will flow through clicks on different elements of your Owned Media.
It’s hard to explain just how important having a media plan really is. Imagine your trailer goes viral, and people flood your website to watch... but there’s no subscription box, no social media button to help you grab them while their interest is piqued.
What if you invite journalists from an outreach campaign to write about your game, and they do not find a press kit or high-resolution graphics on your website?
I think you get the picture.
Poorly planned Owned Media strategies (or a total lack thereof) can result in an utter waste of effort and money. So make absolutely sure you take the time - even just a day - to see which Owned Media elements must be in place before you start tweeting anything about your game.
There are ways to make it easier. Some of the excellent tools I recommend are Hootsuite for scheduling social media content, Crowdfire for scaling up your social media presence, and MailChimp for RSS subscription and email campaigns.
However you do it, and whatever you choose to help you do it, just do it.
Importance of the Flow
The flow between elements is quite simple to achieve once you’ve decided which Owned Media element(s) you want to implement. Whatever you’re using, the important thing to remember is that from every Owned Media element, the user must easily be able to flow back to the website.
Why is this so important? Consider how often your website comes into play. Let’s say you offer an exclusive discount to subscribers on launch day, then you promote this offer on social media, talk about it in your community, post about it in your game’s Reddit page or make a promotional video.
Your objective is to get those gamers to instantly sign up for your email list. So do anything possible with social media to help users reach the subscription box on your website.
Better yet, if you have community tool like Vanilla Forums installed on your website, the Single Sign-on (SSO) feature will let visitors from various online platforms register or login with you in a seamless way. Minute details like these help you build a great user experience and get more subscriptions or registrations before your game even launches.
If you really want to promote your game effectively to potential users, you have to get to know them: their likes and dislikes, habits, where they’re coming from, the wording that gets them to click. How else, for example, would you differentiate the number of blog readers registering in your community from the users coming from a social media promotion that happened last week? How would you know which marketing promotion to spend your money on next?
This is why it’s so important to track everything.
One of the biggest advantages of marketing your game digitally is that it’s easy to get measurable results. Harnessing the power of Google Analytics or any other relevant analytics platform is a snap. But as more and more users flood in from all the different elements you’ve built across Owned Media (as well as Earned and Paid Media) it’s essential to measure your ROI through different platforms.
Use tools like Google URL Builder or Bit.ly shortener to tag the links to respective campaigns, so you know which promotional efforts are getting the most clicks. Set up funnels and goals in Google Analytics to see how users are flowing across your channels and take note of where they drop out of your connected elements.
Planning your owned media strategy by connecting the three dots above will not only empower you to identify costly problems quickly, it will enable you to fix them or provide better solutions. It’s all about access to user flow.
Growing your community of gamers has to be a flawless experience, and streamlining your Owned Media can serve as a solid foundation for this purpose. I hope these tips help you build a solid Owned Media campaign, and make the most of your digital marketing strategies. Have you tried some other unique ways to acquire users through Owned Media? Feel free to share with our readers in the comments section below!