Indie Marketing Tips and a Free App a Day Promo

If you have been following my past posts you will know that my first game Monster Splash was recently released. So far it’s made a grand total of $41!!!! Gaah. But I’m not giving up. The game was intended to be a free to play game with in app purchases to monetize it and so far it’s not been free and it’s not had a big promotion. The reason I haven’t made it free yet is because I have booked it to be promoted on Free App a Day(FAAD) on March 14th and they said that I shouldn’t make it free before then.

Focused Marketing Push

My original marketing plan involved timing everything for the release but the game was completed and I had nothing ready. So I released the game anyway. Initially I was annoyed the FAAD promotion was a month out but then I realised it was actually an opportunity to do a big marketing / pr push on a specific date with enough time to prepare. With that extra time I was able to prepare a media kit, do a gameplay video and start approaching(stalking?!) writers.

Free App a Day

There are many free app promotion sites but with a limited budget I decided to go with FAAD. I searched for other people’s experiences with them and they were quite varied. Some people raved about them and others thought that it wasn’t worth it. Some of the quotes I read from people on twitter even reached $15K.

My opinion is that the variation in the actual result of the promotion is probably best explained by the of the quality of the games. Your game is either a wet blanket or a petrol soaked rag, FAAD is just the match that lights it. Natalia Luckyanova of Temple Run fame thinks its the way to go so if it doesn’t work I’m thinking either your game sucks or it’s not suited to that audience.

They don’t publish prices on their website so I expect their quotes really depend on how much money they think you have and how many bookings they have. The price they quoted me was exactly what I had budgeted so I felt it was a fair price. You will be able to see the results as I will be publishing my download & sales stats here. If you want to know how much I paid FAAD please follow me on twitter, ask and I will reply in private.

FAAD best suits games with in app purchases as the download spike can be huge while it’s free but that doesn’t translate to a large impact on sales after the promotion ends. Having in app purchases mean that the huge volume in downloads in sales may translate to some good sales.

Indie Game Marketing Tips

While researching how best to do marketing and pr for indie games I found this fantastic video. Ben Kuchera(@BenKuchera) writes about games and shares his advice for indie game developers including; marketing best practices, how to deal with press, and how to get your indie game to can stand out.

I really recommend watching the whole video but if you have ADD here are my notes ;)

  • Covering big name games is boring
  • Smaller games are more fun when there is something new
  • You need to surprise
    • Need a angle/hook, something new/unique
    • Asthetics, gameplay
  • Describe it in 3 sentences
    • Subject line / body clear & well written
  • More art than science
    • Pick writers you like
    • Pick writers who write about games simliar to yours
    • Need to find a way to get their attention
      “Hey I just read your story” is a clique but it can work
  • Have enough that it should be ready
    • Needs a video of gameplay
    • Put video on youtube, multiple resolutions & easy to share
  • What does it take for a writer to respond
    • Have art / video & screens
    • Good grammer
    • Video with innovative art style & mechanics
  • Timing
    • When you start contacting the press be sure it’s ready to use / play
    • Reach out when you are ready to make the biggest impact
  • Be willing to talk about
    • Where you came up with idea
    • How execute
    • Where working
    • How much working
    • Need a story / angle
      • Story / background / hook > click through
      • Grab interest pull them in
      • 2-3 sentences about
      • Youtube video / web page / gallery
      • Good headline
      • Make it easy to get hold of me / press section
    • Front load your communication with it
  • Viral
  • Finished Game
    • Hold reviews until the game is out
  • Don’t Get Discouraged

I found this advice to be very useful. It’s concise, specific and really highlights where you should focus to give your game the best chance of getting a look in.

Have you had any experience with FAAD that you can share? Do you agree with the marketing tips? Is there anything you think was missed?

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  • Anonymous

    I fully believe that FAAD is capable of delivering results for their clients. However, I also believe that their price is downright greedy – they just know they can get away with it, perhaps due to a lack of strong competition. If you are going for the main feature I would think that’s more worthwhile than taking one of their side features, which they will charge a handsome price on and not give you the full FAAD experience.

    Best of luck, the game looks good and I’m sure you’ll see some results.

  • phuong vo

    I bought your game and its very nice.

    Are you trying to compete with games like doodle jump and mega jump?

    I would suggest your market your game to make people think its totally different from those two games. Because those two games have many features and highly polished.

  • Cph127

    Hi,
    Thanx for an interesting read. Do you have any recommendations which FAAD to use? Any contacts?
    Cheers,
    Thomas