Life at our startup: Marketing

Marketing a mobile game with low budget. Tips and challenges for newcomers

OK, lets put it this way. It’s not easy being a start up.

We started our project about 8 months ago. As you can imagine, we went through some outrageously boring and bureaucratic procedures before we could even start the fun part: the design, the development process and of course the most important of all, the marketing (lets hope my partners at other departments don’t read this).


Rule number 1. Stop reading blog posts and articles about mobile app marketing! Don’t get lost in the internet jungle. The internet is a useful tool but it can also be very inefficient. Just take a minute to remember all the social media networks and other platforms that can be used as a free marketing platform: Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram, Reddit, add the number of blogs dedicated to gaming and even kickstarter. It seems like a lot, right? Just marketing your game on Facebook is a full time job.


The solution? Don’t overestimate your abilities! Choose the strategies that you think you can handle. My personal advice is to focus on the gaming web sites and blogs to promote your game and some of the social media networks, mainly Twitter and Facebook. The former is helpful because of its ability to spread the news like wildfire and the latter for its vast user base.

One thing we are really worried about, and I assume most of other indie game developers are as well, is getting reviewed by game editors. Don’t just rely on press release sites, such as prMac and hope that your game will be at the tip of everybody’s tongue. Getting a review or a score by a professional game editor who has an army of followers is one of the most powerful free tools out there.

How to get to that? As our game hasn’t been reviewed by anyone yet, these are just assumptions that we are making. So, there are two ways to go about it.

1. Send a press kit to all game related sites and pray that they will get back to you. Just by checking the blog posts and conversations initiated by game reviewers about how many emails they get daily you will realize the odds are against you.

If only we were this cute...

If only we were this cute…

2. The other way is to make game writers want to talk about you. Which means climbing from the bottom of the pyramid to the peak. It is a well known fact that all the gaming related sites don’t want to miss out on the next Flappy Bird or Temple Run, in fact they are out there hunting for the “special one”, for you.

Participate in blog conversations, get involved in discussions and let the people know about you, tag a specific reviewer in your tweet and you will get their attention.

There are so many details and nuances in the mobile gaming marketing campaign. Hefty stats to analyze, customer interactions, user surveys, kickstarter campaigns, press releases, etc. I have just chosen the ones that I am interested in. What are your thoughts on this?

P.S. This was a marketing trick as well. 😛

Head of marketing at Pluxon.

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