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How to find game marketing gold

Knowing what players like and don’t like gives you valuable insight.

Especially when it’s about your game or someone else’s.

Regardless of whether the information is negative or positive, what players call out can be marketing gold.

This “marketing gold” can be found all over the place.

Most of the time though, it just sits there.

It’s not because most of us disregard this information. It’s simply the lens we view it with.

Where to look

Let’s take game reviews for example.

When you look at game reviews, what exactly are you looking for?

You may be looking to find playtesters. (By the way, Chris Zukowski has some great ideas on how to find playtesters if you’re interested.)

This is super helpful, but if you’re only doing this, you’re still not taking advantage of the marketing gold right in front of you.

When players write game reviews, they typically reveal their pain points and what fulfills them.

What most people don’t think about is how to leverage this information and apply it to their marketing.

This is a huge missed opportunity because it allows you to find creative ways to speak directly to your audience.

Speaking directly to players

Whenever you’re reading game reviews, one of the best ways to learn how to speak directly to players is by asking this question.

How does my game solve their problem?

Yes, some of their problems may seem futile and your game will not solve all of them.

However, if you find problems that keep surfacing, and your game addresses them, you just found a big chunk of marketing gold.

On the flip side, you can also ask this.

How does my game fulfill players?

When players share positive experiences, feelings, and other details that resonate with them, they’re giving you gold nuggets.

Both types of information can help you in two key ways.

  • You can stand out by differentiating your game.
  • You can identify player behavior.

The latter is really important.

Understanding player behavior

All humans make decisions based on avoiding pain and seeking pleasure. In fact, all mammals are hardwired this way.

Knowing this information will allow you to better communicate your game with your audience by focusing on what’s most important to them.

You just need to make sure you convey that sincerely and clearly in your marketing.

If you’re looking for some examples on how to apply this, Derek Lieu shares some great ones in our discussion about how to make impactful game trailers.

Doing this with player reviews is just the tip of the iceberg.

Comments on ads like Facebook ads can be a wealth of information. They can help guide your ad campaigns and even other indie game marketing efforts.

Using Reddit and posting questions in popular game subreddits is another gold mine. Players in these communities are passionate and generally open to sharing their pain points and what fulfills them.

You just need to ask.

Use it wisely

However you decide to mine your gold, what’s most important is how you use it.

If you don’t apply what you learned to anything, your efforts will be fruitless.

If you don’t share what you’ve found with your team, your team will struggle to be on the same page as you.

Most important though, by not doing anything, you would be doing a disservice to yourself and your players.

Think about it.

If you knew of a way to help someone and you could benefit from helping them, but decided not to, you’re not serving them or yourself.

And not collaborating with other team members can make it a challenge for everyone to have the same vision for the project.

While this discussion is about how to find information to better serve your audience, it’s also about the lens you view it with and why you’re looking for it.

Yes, obtaining this information can help your marketing get better results.

But without the right intent, you will only be limiting yourself or your team of their full potential.

So as you search for new opportunities or creative ways to connect with your audience, remember this.

Know your intent.

If you lead with intent, you and your team will be able to better collaborate and discover what aspects of your game are most important to players.

When you know what that is and it’s backed by intent, that’s when you’ll find the real treasure.

Start digging.

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