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Marketing your indie app prior to release?

10-01-2009, 01:46 AM
#1
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 116
Marketing your indie app prior to release?

Hey all. My buddy and I just submitted our first app last Tuesday (sept 22) and are awaiting approval. I am the designer and my buddy us the coder but neither of us is much of a marketer which I think is often the case for indie devs.

We think we have a unique game concept so we pretty much kept it under wraps during development. Now I am hearing that a better strategy may be to try and get a following of interested people as early as possible prior to release. What are your thoughts? How do you go about doing that?

I made a YouTube video and keep a little blog. We haven't done facebook or Twitter yet, I guess we should. I posted in the upcoming games section here and a few other review sites. What else can you do? Any thoughts or shared experience appreciated.


Youtube link | Pop Up
10-01-2009, 02:13 AM
#2
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Posts: 68
Nice concept, though it's hard for me to figure out exactly how gameplay works from the video alone.

As far as marketing, I imagine you can probably find a lot of good advice around the forums. I think there's probably more room for creative marketing post-release, but obviously submitting to review sites like you've done, and any other way to generate interest; try to find player advocates by giving away promo codes and asking people to spread the word.

Otherwise, I just posted a list of iPhone blogs on my site and I added yours as well.

Good luck.

Blog : travisdunn.com | Apps : New Breeders, Rogueship, Lobbyist Directory (in review)

ROGUESHIP - Space Trading in a Sci-Fi Universe - get it now in the App Store
iTunes Link | rogueship.net | twitter

10-01-2009, 03:08 PM
#3
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 116
Thanks for linking up my blog. Our app is now live! We weren't really expecting it so soon, but I guess now I need to figure out how to market a live app which seems equally baffling to me. I did get some good advice to create a press release though. The website suggested to me was www.prMac.com. Hope this is helpful to some.
10-01-2009, 04:22 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty
Posts: 2,740
The best way for developers to market for me (here on toucharcade) is to communicate actively with the fans and people who are considering buying the game in your respective thread. I love developers who are active here and it makes me want to buy the game so I can reccomend things to the developer directly and get any issues I have addressed

Gamecenter: Will090
10-01-2009, 07:06 PM
#5
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: St-Hubert (Quebec), Canada
Posts: 133
Indeed like other people mentioned you have to start marketing your product before its sent to Apple and/or its live on the AppStore.

That why I have been on the forums, twitter for now months... building contacts/friends a long the way. And now I am starting to slowly ramp up the business side by creating another twitter account, a business facebook page a youtube channel and working on setting up a web/blog as I am writing this.

Though you have to be careful/decide what you want the public to know to interest them. But maybe also don't give it everything away which sometime can be used by competitors to come out before you and/or also if its too early you might loose interest from your potential customer (thinking its vaporware never to come out, etc...).

The twitter + facebook + youtube are quite easy to setup and can be quite useful to spread word around rapidly without too much effort or cost. As most indie like you and me wont have the $$$ to spend on big advertising campaign that developer such as EA, GameLoft can afford.

You seems to already have a youtube channel so its a start ;-). I subscribe to your channel from both my personal account and business account too!

Quite a nice trailer and its sure does look like an interesting take on golf ;-).

Wish you luck!
10-01-2009, 07:27 PM
#6
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,678
personally [as well as other on TA] LOVE when a dev takes the time to speak to ppl on forums, shows devotion that ur actually a dedicated dev who is willing to make the game great as possible
10-01-2009, 08:57 PM
#7
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will090 View Post
The best way for developers to market for me (here on toucharcade) is to communicate actively with the fans and people who are considering buying the game in your respective thread. I love developers who are active here and it makes me want to buy the game so I can reccomend things to the developer directly and get any issues I have addressed
I agree that the dev needs to be active and aware of what their customers are saying. I am not the best at being active in forums I'll admit which is obvious by my junior status despite being a member for quite awhile. I guess it's not really my personality which I think is a challenge as well to indies, in that they have to be their own marketers whether or not it suits them.

Another tip I got today that I thought was important, is just be prepared with all your promotion resources for when you app hits and have ALL your marketing hit together that same day as well. (promotions, twitter/blog/facebook updates, etc..)

Well now I know. Our app went live a little earlier than expected.
10-02-2009, 02:39 AM
#8
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,634
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johannvonstranovic View Post
Hey all. My buddy and I just submitted our first app last Tuesday (sept 22) and are awaiting approval. I am the designer and my buddy us the coder but neither of us is much of a marketer which I think is often the case for indie devs.

We think we have a unique game concept so we pretty much kept it under wraps during development. Now I am hearing that a better strategy may be to try and get a following of interested people as early as possible prior to release. What are your thoughts? How do you go about doing that?

I made a YouTube video and keep a little blog. We haven't done facebook or Twitter yet, I guess we should. I posted in the upcoming games section here and a few other review sites. What else can you do? Any thoughts or shared experience appreciated.

YouTube: video
Hi!

I would only show it early if it was something innovative, and not easy to copy. That's the danger of telling the world too soon. You want to be first with your idea, but not announce it too soon so that someone can copy it and release it before you do. If you announce it too soon and it's not impressive at that point, people will only be like "meh, looks boring, I'll pass".

If you announce it early, you may get multiple press coverages, which is good. The caveat is that if news sites get sick of your nagging, they might not even cover it when it actually comes out. It's a fine balance.

Getting into the top #100 and getting featured is the best you can do, in any way possible. The exposure you get is better than anything you can afford. Dropping your price to $0.99 will most likely not help getting you into the top #100 btw.

Regarding the trailer I would normally not watch the whole video. It's too long and if you don't catch my attention within 10-20 seconds I'll move on. It's well done, but it's a bad trailer.

Get a proper website. Customers care about a proper site a lot. Atleast buy a domain name, they are very cheap and yes you may want to reserve your company name.

Be active on forums and on Twitter -- it's free.

Good luck!
10-02-2009, 01:11 PM
#9
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Hi!

I would only show it early if it was something innovative, and not easy to copy. That's the danger of telling the world too soon. You want to be first with your idea, but not announce it too soon so that someone can copy it and release it before you do. If you announce it too soon and it's not impressive at that point, people will only be like "meh, looks boring, I'll pass".

If you announce it early, you may get multiple press coverages, which is good. The caveat is that if news sites get sick of your nagging, they might not even cover it when it actually comes out. It's a fine balance.

Getting into the top #100 and getting featured is the best you can do, in any way possible. The exposure you get is better than anything you can afford. Dropping your price to $0.99 will most likely not help getting you into the top #100 btw.

Regarding the trailer I would normally not watch the whole video. It's too long and if you don't catch my attention within 10-20 seconds I'll move on. It's well done, but it's a bad trailer.

Get a proper website. Customers care about a proper site a lot. Atleast buy a domain name, they are very cheap and yes you may want to reserve your company name.

Be active on forums and on Twitter -- it's free.

Good luck!
I agree that the trailer drags the intro out too long to hold people's attention, you make a good point. There are other things that I would like to change in the trailer as well. Does anyone know how to overwrite a video uploaded to youtube? I would prefer to just replace the existing one with changes to preserve all the links I've left all over the place.

Anyway, this is our first game and it was a learning curve to learn everything, which is why we picked a pretty simple concept. We feared people copying it before it came out.

Anders, while I don't think that your next game will be simple to clone there is a bit of intrigue as I look at that "new game soon" in your sig. You guys have such great brand recognition imho that I think that sort of anticipation/mystery is working for you.

Thanks for your feedback. Getting into the top lists would be awesome, I agree that dropping the price is not the way to do it. You guys are known for sticking to your guns on pricing which I think is good for the app store. I just grabbed our domain name.

Can't wait to see what you guys have up your sleeve!
10-03-2009, 04:03 AM
#10
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,634
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johannvonstranovic View Post
I agree that the trailer drags the intro out too long to hold people's attention, you make a good point. There are other things that I would like to change in the trailer as well. Does anyone know how to overwrite a video uploaded to youtube? I would prefer to just replace the existing one with changes to preserve all the links I've left all over the place.

Anyway, this is our first game and it was a learning curve to learn everything, which is why we picked a pretty simple concept. We feared people copying it before it came out.

Anders, while I don't think that your next game will be simple to clone there is a bit of intrigue as I look at that "new game soon" in your sig. You guys have such great brand recognition imho that I think that sort of anticipation/mystery is working for you.

Thanks for your feedback. Getting into the top lists would be awesome, I agree that dropping the price is not the way to do it. You guys are known for sticking to your guns on pricing which I think is good for the app store. I just grabbed our domain name.

Can't wait to see what you guys have up your sleeve!
Just my personal comments, there is no right or wrong :P

Good you grabbed the domain name, they don't cost much nowadays, so it would be silly not to grab it.

Hope things work out great! And if not, don't give up. Have fun. Eventually anything that you're passionate about will generate money sooner or later.