If you want to promote your indie game like a Pro, you need to know where to go for maximum exposure, discoverability, and an edge in the App Store.
Luckily, there are tons of different app promotion sites and places online that you can use to promote your mobile games.
So, today we’ll share some of the best stomping grounds for indie developers to go to help push their upcoming game and create some early buzz.
Where to Promote Your Indie Game
#1 – Indie Gaming And Development Forums
A great place to test the waters and find potential gamers that might be interested in checking out your game is indie gaming and development forums. Forums are the perfect platform to use to help spread the word about your game — especially in the beginning stages. They often have boards set explicitly for promotion and sharing where you can post screenshots, game trailers, and download links. Take advantage. Get active in the indie gaming scene and start participating in these forums to help promote your game.
On our official Buildbox forum in the ‘Showcase’ section, you can share and promote your indie game with the BB community. There’s also a section on our Discord server dedicated to promotion too. But don’t stop there! Join other indie game development forums like Touch Arcade and TigSource. Famous Minecraft developer, Markus Persson ‘Notch’ used the TigSource developer forum to get the word out about his upcoming game and gain valuable feedback during his development process. Indie online communities are ideal to use for promotions both pre and post-release of your game.
#2 – Social Media Platforms & Groups
And of course, there’s also social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. All of these places give you access to millions of people that may want to play your game. A recent Statista study revealed that by 2021, there would be an estimated 3.2 billion social media users. That’s a lot of potential players, just waiting to hear about your awesome app!
There are a lot of different strategies that you can use to promote your game on social media. You can post promos and updates, reach out to influencers, promote in Facebook groups, and use various viral marketing tactics for an edge. Try to experiment with multiple methods until you find what works best. Ultimately your goal is to build a strong fanbase around your app. You want to get people excited about your upcoming game and spreading the news. It can take some time to establish your indie studio or app on any social platform, so make sure to start early.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, And More
Choose one or more popular platforms to start building your game or indie studio’s online presence. Then add your logo, app icon, and info to your page and be consistent with your posting. And share your game’s screenshots, cool new graphics or characters you just added, gameplay trailers, GIFs, and teaser videos too. Also always include a clear call to action phrase such as ‘click here,’ ‘download now,’ or ‘learn more.’ And be consistent with your posting schedule. Consistency is the key to success.
Get creative with your post visuals and captions to capture their attention. You can also reach out to game reviewers and social influencers to help promote your game too. Do a little research on the top people on the platform and in your niche to connect and message. Some influencers are willing to play and promote your game for free while others may require a fee.
Facebook groups are also excellent places to promote your indie game. You can search for virtually any type of group on Facebook, click join, and instantly start connecting with others who have the same interests. Find gamers who are passionate about your retro style games, racing, iOS, or Android apps. The more exposure, the better. There are also tons of indie developer marketing groups listed too. Search and make a list of groups to join. Then try to work them into your social media strategy. Below are a few good ones to promote your indie game:
Every Facebook group varies in posting rules and guidelines, so be sure to check before joining.
A Few Viral Marketing Tips For The Road
When you’re using social media to promote your indie game, use your best screenshots and visuals. The more attention-grabbing it is, the more likely people will take notice.
There’s also other marketing techniques like the use of promo codes and targeted ads that help your app take off via social. If your game is a paid app, you can offer promo codes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram enabling players to get your game for free or test out a time-restricted version. You can also send them out to game reviewers and YouTubers for press coverage.
For those devs with some wiggle room in their budget, placing targeted ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are also an option. If you’re new to creating ads, take some time to learn the ropes. There are plenty of free online courses and resources available. The Facebook Ads Guide offers tons of info on getting started on both Facebook and Instagram advertising. YouTube is loaded with tutorials too.
Also remember, when you’re using social media try to cross-promote across all of your different channels. It’ll give you a broader reach.
#3 – Product Hunt
Another place to promote your indie game is Product Hunt. Product Hunt is a cool discovery site where you can share and find new products and apps. Users or ‘hunters’ up-vote their favorite products. If your product receives a lot of votes, it might get picked as the ‘Product of the Day’ and featured on the homepage. Posting your game on Product Hunt is free, but it’s the number of votes that matter. They determine how many eyes will see your page.
The goal is to get your game hunted. To do this, you’ll need to launch it yourself using their suite of tools called ‘Ship Pro’ or connect with a hunter and have them post your game for you. Hunters are original members of the site that have the power to select products to display. Similar to social influencers, when a hunter posts your product, all of their followers get notified to check out your game. The larger the following the hunter has, the bigger the impact on potential votes and downloads. You can search for hunters on the site via social platforms.
#4 – Reddit / Play My Game
Coined as the “front page of the internet,” Reddit is a massive social forum site where people post interesting news, videos, photos, and memes. The website is divided into millions of topic based communities called ‘subreddits’ where users post, comment, and vote on other shared content.
You can promote your app to the gamers on Reddit via specific subreddits like Play My Game. Below is a list of some of the popular subreddits where you can share your app:
Quick Tip: When using Reddit, build up your karma points first by being active in the community. Try to avoid appearing spammy. The community can be unforgiving.
#5 – Game Review Sites
Pitching your game to review sites can also help with discoverability and promotion. We discuss exactly how to do this in our How To Get Press (Game Marketing 101) guide. So, check it out to learn what to do step-by-step. Before you start pitching to game journalist and review sites, you need to have your game’s hook and a press kit with all of your app’s details and best visuals ready to go. Once you have these essentials, it’s just a matter of researching game review sites and journalist that cover your app’s niche to contact.
Here’s a quick round-up of mobile review sites to consider:
#6 – Alternative App Stores For More Exposure
Alternative App Stores can widen your reach by putting your game in front of more potential players. Although most alternative app stores aren’t as big as the App Store or Google Play, the smaller amount of competition and a steady amount of traffic make them effective options. Plus, many of them promote new games on their homepage or have paid feature spots available that you can take advantage of as well.
Alternative App Store Options:
There are countless ways to promote your indie game online. These are just a few of the methods. The secret is to start early and stay consistent. You have to start pushing your app as soon as you have something to show and do it multiple ways. Create a game dev blog, get active on forums, post on social, run paid ad campaigns, pitch to game reviewers, use sites like Product Hunt and Reddit. Try to get your app featured by Apple or Google Play and get people excited about your game!