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18-07-2013, 05:51 PM #1
Tikey's unofficial guide to self promotion on internet forums
Seeing that lately there has been some activity regarding shameless self promotion with disastrous consequences I've decided to help the community.
This is purely my opinion and it should be taken as such.
The most common mistakes shameless pluggers make:
*Acting like a common guy who just happened to stumble upon this obscure game and suddenly have an urge to evangelize the world about it.
First of all, the truth is, no one will buy it. You're only making you look like a fool, and a dishonest one to boot. If you get caught (and you will get caught) you will loose what little good disposition people could've had towards you.
And second, you're wasting the greatest advantage you have if you are the developer. Engaging with people directly. Think of it like this, who would you be more interested to talk with about a game, a random unknown dude on the internet or the guy who is making the game?
Be honest and upfront to the people you're trying to sell your game.
If you are just posting the same message on every forum people will notice, and if people realises that you don't care about them, they won't care about you or whatever you're trying to show/tell/sell them.
Starting a thread with just a screenshot and a link to your kickstarter/website/BBS won't get people interested in what you're showing them.
You're posting on a forum, a place for discussion, not a store page. If you make a long list of stuff I'll get bored of it before reading.
What you should do:
*You have to understand that you have to get people interested in your game/whatever, so you have to be engaging. Understand the community. Why could you game be of interest to them? Advertise that, don't try to sell us the skimpy outfits on your female protagonists.
*Be clear, tell us what your game is like, how is it played, what the setting is. You could compare it to another game if it's possible but avoid becoming "GameX+some small differences".
The most important thing is to tell what sets it apart, tell me why should I be interested in the game. Is it a fun mechanic, a setting, an underlying message about the definition of the RPG genre or whatever it is that makes your game worthwhile.
*Be direct and to the point, time is precious and people will leave if you dance around.
But by no means be a robot that just spourts facts about the game, be engaging, take your time to write and make it interesting. A well written piece (even a forum post) has a flow to it, try to achieve that.
*Engage with the community. Don't just start the thread and move to other forum right away and never look back.
Remember that unless you have a huge marketing department with lots of resources you're operating on people's good will. Spamming or not caring about them will destroy your best chance to get people to notice you.
*Grammar is important. Write, don't bash the keyboard with your hands.
To sum up:
Don't be an asshole, be honest, be clear, understand your audience and make me interested, tell me why I should care.
This obviously means more work than copy pasting the same thing in a thousand forums, but at least it doesn't make you a spammer. With all the work you surely put in your game it'd be a shame that you couldn't get it to people's hand just because it involved a little more work.
I'm surely missing some stuff but I'm tired of writing, might update later if I think of anything of value.
18-07-2013, 09:43 PM #2
Yesss. Good points all of them. The only thing I have to add is just to comment on this advice:
Originally Posted by Tikey
Last edited by Berzee; 18-07-2013 at 09:48 PM.Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.
18-07-2013, 09:56 PM #3
18-07-2013, 10:29 PM #4
19-07-2013, 02:34 PM #5
I will donate if I receive the entire thread upon completion.
19-07-2013, 03:01 PM #6
I like bulletpoints, Tikey screw you in:
I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
- The eye
- The ear
- Your life
19-07-2013, 03:27 PM #7
Bullet points belong in their natural habitat!
Fun fact. I was always more of a Lawrence Holland guy but I backed Chris Robert's Star Citizen (and I'm quite looking forward to it) mostly because Robert's passion for the game is infectious.
20-07-2013, 11:26 PM #8
21-07-2013, 02:39 AM #9
21-07-2013, 09:51 AM #10
bullet points belong in their natural habitAT.
22-07-2013, 02:43 PM #11
Some people think they can outsmart me. Maybe...maybe.
I have yet to meet one that can outsmart bullet point.
Last edited by Berzee; 22-07-2013 at 03:19 PM.Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.
25-07-2013, 09:34 PM #12
I prefer if there are a couple of representative screenshots at the top of a thread instead of at the bottom.
28-07-2013, 02:25 AM #13
- Join Date
- May 2013
@Tikey: Have you ever tried to promote your own works. Would you mind running through a simulation of it(if the moderator doesn't mind). It seems that I do agree with you some. But I also have a few reservations as well.
29-07-2013, 02:08 PM #14
29-07-2013, 03:42 PM #15
- Join Date
- May 2013
Great, I like your suggestions. But one of the biggest punches that I've been dealing with. Is the fact, that the attitudes of people have changed just in the last few years. Most sites want anyone signing up to their site to contribute before posting(which is pointless, if that particular site is advertising to the general public as being a game developer site!--) Their are a lot of good games out there and so many places to post them. That some times developers are pushed to rush the PR campaign in the first three months of release. Therefore, we seem cold and distant. It's not intentional but sometimes necessary.
However, the honesty issue you mention should be taken seriously...Along, with other points you mention. Either way, it can ruff for anyone pressing the public to just take a cursory look at what they see in a game or project these days.
13-08-2013, 01:33 PM #16
Thanks for the advice, I'm new to the whole marketing aspect of gaming, so any advice I get I'll take to heart.
17-09-2013, 06:56 PM #17
- Join Date
- Oct 2012
I love how some devs don't even care about reading this thread and make the exact mistakes you're mentioning.
Yesterday, 02:03 PM #18
Cool guide, nice things to be aware of for sure... although I would take the high-strung cynicism with a grain of salt :-) Many enthusiastic supporters, especially with the recent surge of indie activity, do create new accounts on foreign forums for the sole purpose of "evangelizing" everybody about a game in need of coverage. The effectiveness varies from low to nil, but it's still something a fan can do and it's better than nothing. I've seen a thread or 2 on Robert Star Industries.com where the fans ended up sticking around because of the friendly response, and becoming a regular member.
Morale of the story is, you lose nothing by dropping in and saying hi, and you'll probably make someone's day in the process. Beats hating on the latest AAA production, if you ask me.
Either way, this sub-forum seems like a magnet trashbin for Kickstarter promotion more than a place people actually frequent. RPS, you clever little devil.
Last edited by Applypoison; Yesterday at 02:12 PM.
Yesterday, 04:53 PM #19
Obviously it all depends on how it's presented. I think that in any case transparency and honesty helps a lot in those situations. So if you're a fan, just state it. "Hey. I'm a fan of this game, I'm spamming forums so everybody knows about it" Is much better than the usual "I just stumbled by chance with this game and I thought that you, total strangers, might enjoy it"