Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Strategies For Marketing iPhone Games

How do you overcome the obstacles to successful iPhone game marketing? The brief answer is persistence; don't expect overnight success, and keep trying. Try what? Here are some suggestions.

  • Have a plan. If you want to increase the chances for success, start by thinking about what you're going to do before you do it. Create a marketing plan; it will certainly change as it encounters reality, but this is better than no plan. This should also give you a budget and a way of measuring your marketing's success or failure. You can find information on marketing plans bouncing around on the Internet, or you can stay tuned; I'm working on a definitive marketing plan guide for iPhone products.
  • Analyze the competition. Spend some quality time looking for competitors to your product and analyzing them and their marketing efforts. How did you find them? How are they marketing their products? How successful is their marketing? What can you do better? Don't neglect their game design, either. How is your design better than theirs? How is it different? What marketing hooks are inherent in your design and artwork and title that your competition doesn't have? Sometimes you can leverage directly off of your competition's strengths: "We're #2, so we try harder." A thorough knowledge of your competition's game design and marketing makes a great guide for your game design and marketing decisions.
  • Keep up with changes. Yes, Apple is constantly introducing new hardware and software, and your competition is introducing new products and features all the time. Budget time to keep up with all that. Embrace it; some games (like Pocket God) have made it one of their key strengths. Apple introduces the iPad? You introduce an iPad-specific version of your game. Yes, the market is small right now compared to the iPod Touch or the iPhone, but it's growing rapidly. And since the competition is smaller, you may be able to snag a higher market share... and you'll be well-positioned as that market expands and new models are introduced. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Keep running.
  • Test and modify. I think Von Moltke said no marketing plan survives contact with the enemy, or something like that. Your marketing plan should be a work in progress, modified as you get information from the battlefield. If you bought a search term and you're getting terrible results, drop it. Try another one. If you get good results, spend more. Your Facebook page isn't dragging in the pageviews to your web site? Post more often, or try buying some banner ads... get a mention on a popular blog by donating a week's revenue to some charity that's important to you.  Keep track of your marketing efforts and how they are working, and revise until you find some that work. You may need to give your efforts sufficient time to produce results, but you should know that from your marketing plan.
  •  Embrace digital guerrilla marketing. What's that, you say? It's my term for the new wave of marketing techniques that are perfectly suited to entrepreneurs with time to spend but limited budgets. Use social networking, email, reviews, blog posts, cross-marketing, giveaways, event marketing for PR, and local PR to generate interest for your game. These are all topics I've covered before, and will cover again. These are also covered in various places on the Internet, and you may want to go spelunking in digital caverns to find some interesting advice.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post, and I'm chomping at the bit to read your definitive guide to iPhone game marketing!