Marketing has evolved with the mass acceptance of the internet. Communication has been streamlined, and social media has given voice to every company and consumer across the world. While this technological marvel has innovated the gaming industry it has also opened the door to one major question: how do you promote your game on Social Media?
Marketing professionals have long discussed communication strategies, but here we hold several key tips on promoting your next release via social media. As platforms continue to evolve, it is important to use this guide as a guideline rather than solid rules as every year brings new evolutions into social media strategies.
What is Social Media Marketing?
In the world of social media, presentation is paramount. Each social media account acts as the official voice of your company, game, or overall brand. The objective is to create a dialog with your audience and craft a community around your brand. Fan pages, official announcements, and other important notes can be easily released to your community through social media channels. Further, it continues to remind fans about your brand and it integrates into your fans' lives in an organic fashion.
The Importance of Defining Your Audience and Platforms
To start marketing through social media, you need to have a clear idea of who you want to market towards. Defining your target audience is a key step toward a successful social media marketing campaign. Demographic, behavioral data, tone of voice, and several other factors can drive the ideal targeting process and help define exactly how you will present your brand on any platform.
In addition to the individual, each social media platform has a unique culture built into it. Users on Facebook interact drastically differently than Twitter users, and with more platforms using them can get more complicated. Starting with your user data as a base, create a buyer persona and then explore which platform they are most likely to integrate into based on the platform’s independent culture and marketing options. For this article, we are only going to explore a few of the possible platforms that you may market on.
Despite being the center of several controversies, Facebook still remains a marketing giant for social media campaigns. Through sponsored posts, buying clicks, creating pages, and remarketing across several audiences. At the core, professionals should create a page on Facebook and fill it with relevant and interesting content, then promote it to their target audience. While this sounds simple, it can often be a complex and expensive endeavor to see returns early on.
Pros of Facebook:
- Access to a huge audience. Due to its widespread integration, Facebook has millions of users across a variety of demographics.
- Detailed targeting features. Facebook knows a lot about its users, and this works to your advantage. Detailed targeting campaigns can find the right consumer for your product quickly and efficiently.
- Organic distribution. Facebook is a social platform, and users will often share content they find interesting with their friends and family. As well as interact directly with your content which further extends the reach of any post made.
Cons of Facebook:
- Expensive advertising on the platform.
- Inaccurate metrics and reporting.
Instagram is an influencer’s platform, and marketing in that world will require influencer marketing strategies. While the principles behind Instagram Ads are similar to Facebook Ads, its targeting can often be less effective in comparison. Advertising through bloggers and influencers is one of the strongest ways to get momentum on Instagram for most video game companies.
However, companies wishing to pursue their own independent advertising can see success with the platform. By focusing on visual media, flashy adverts, and the occasional meme, companies can push viable content out on a semi-regular basis. The main bonus is the ability to create meaningful content that does more than just advertise. By promotion through interactive content, audiences can be engaged on Instagram to further understand your new release.
Pros of Instagram:
- Easy ad set up. Instagram is clean and to the point as far as advertising. Hit promote a post, define your target, and go.
- Fast launch. Companies can launch ads quickly and launch almost immediately after set up.
- Visual impact. Visual content can present a strong message in a quick amount of time reducing conversion time as opposed to text-based ads.
- InfluenceroOptions. Cross-promotion through influencer channels can cause increased sales and engagement.
Cons of Instagram:
- Instagram is a sales-based platform, and results for advertising will most likely be unimpressive.
- No guarantees of momentum results in mixed results for most campaigns.
- Limited targeting as to whose timeline you end up on when running paid promotions.
The bonus of working on Twitter is due to its real-time reputation. It is one of the best platforms for finding the latest in news, opinions, and updates regarding a variety of topics. By advertising on Twitter, brands position themselves to be seen as new and relevant to users. If well-received by the community, it will spread rapidly making Twitter one of the strongest social media marketing platforms available.
However, Twitter is evolving and many of its core functions have seen shifts in recent years. Similar to Facebook, Twitter keeps an in-depth targeting system but has an overall smaller audience when compared to Facebook. In addition, shifting message lengths and hashtag indexing processes cause the platform to shift in strategy rapidly.
Pros of Twitter:
- Instant communication. Tweets circulate quickly, and you can gain thousands of impressions in a very short amount of time.
- High activity. While Twitter might not have the same audience as Facebook, it does have a higher CTA response. Users interact with content on Twitter causing higher engagement totals as opposed to other platforms.
- High traffic generation. Users tend to follow up more often when seeing a Tweet due to its limited information. While the Tweet provides vital information, users will often explore account websites and investigate further. With the right approach, marketing on Twitter can result in stronger traffic conversions and registrations, leading to more sales of your title overall.
Cons of Twitter:
- Difficult tracking. Targeting can get difficult with Tweets, Hashtags, and other tracking being implemented. While your ads can gain value from Lookalike Targeting, tracking the impact of these ads can grow difficult.
- Flood of content. The Twitter stream never ends, and content created on Twitter can quickly get swept away. Content either needs to be impactful or plentiful to get any traction on Twitter.
80/20 Rule of Social Media
When marketing on a social media platform, most professionals follow what is known as the 80/20 rule. In general, only 20% of the content you produce should be advertising your game or brand. Overall, content posted on social media needs to be educational or contribute to the platform’s overall narrative. For example, if Nintendo is trending then Tweeting or posting about Nintendo would contribute. There are ways to shift this focus to your company, but overall you should be willing to speak of things outside your brand.
Social media, when targeting games, is centered around generating hype. This is only possible through the education side of the 80/20 ratio. A powerful tool for building up any campaign is saying less and presenting more. Graphics, trailers, and limited text can incite investigation and drive gamers to dig deeper into your project.
When in doubt, on any platform, a meme or joke can easily break the monotony of your posts. Creating a sense of positive energy, community, and communication is key to the success of any campaign. Of course, humor can be easily mixed in but be careful to not disrupt the brand tone for a quick joke. Keep things official, yet fun and success will be only a few posts away.