Notes from Konsoll 2013: Marketing Indie Games on a $0 Budget

> “Emmy Jonassen: To become a successful indie game developer, you must first become a successful indie game marketer. Trouble is, for many indies, marketing doesn’t come naturally or fit the indie budget.”

#1 Trailer video

#2 Screen-shots

#3 Press Release

#4 Landing Page

#5 Development Blog

Trailer video

– Keep it short (90 seconds or less)

– 3 to 5 seconds to capture attention at the start

– Music and SFX very important to video

– Show game-play

– Add review text etc if possible

– End with next steps (where to buy, website etc)

Example: Guacamelee release trailer


– High resolution

– Excellent composition

– Well lit

– Engaging scene

Example: The Witness by Jonathan Blow

Press release

– Press don’t like to write

– Your press release will be used, cut and pasted

– First paragraph most important

– First paragraph must grab attention

– First paragraph must contain all important info

– “Use quotes”

– Company and contact info

– Send with screen-shots and trailer video

– Use in-text hyper-links

Example: Dajabon Games, Boston

Landing page

(The game’s web-page)

– Purpose: convert visitors to customers

– Remove all navigation

– Grabbing headline (only text that will be read by majority)

– Social sharing icons

– Strong call to-action button (most important – the action you want visitors to do)

– Trailer video

– Screen shots

– Testimonials / reviews

– Contact and press kit buttons or links

Development blog

– Companies with dev blog bring in 55% more traffic on average

– Post x1 per week minimum

– Use images

– Link from home page

– RSS feed

– Email subscription

– Social subscription

– Social sharing buttons

– Promotion at posts end


Reach out to press

– Research publications you should be on

– Research publications you want to be on

– Record in a spreadsheet list

– Categorize publications into three tiers based on traffic

Find writer’s contact info

– Visit each publication’s site on list

– Search the websites for “Editorial Staff” link

– Take all information and add to spreadsheet

Get in touch

– Create email template to intro yourself and game

– Customize template per site, per game

– ANSWER “why would my readers give a shit?”

Thank you notes! Very important

Keep in touch

– Maintain relationships with media

– Social media

– Comment on their articles

Build adoring fanbase

Make your game easy to discover

– Set up social media channels and post daily (Twitter, Facebook, LinkdIn, Google+)

– Become active in forums, blogs, and other relevant sites

– Participate in game jams and other events

– Get involved with the local development community

– Start a crowdfunder

Covert visitors into fans with content

– Give tips

– Game and company updates

– Data and other insights, experiences (share research)

– Opinion pieces

– Interesting articles

– Random or funny post (personality)

Nurture your relationship with fans

– Respond to comments and questions in a timely and personalized way

– Initiate and engage in discussion

– Thank fans privately and publicly

– Ask for and incorporate fan input

– Respond to criticism in a thankful and professional way


“How early is too early?”

– Put together a road map.

“Old screen shots?”

– Keep in touch with press.

Smaller publicity is valuable. Networking.

Treat bad press like a troll

– Respond directly, privately initially

– Request more feed back to understand what they didn’t like

– Respect them

Thank you Emmy Jonassen!

Awesome presentation and valuable tips and info.

We will put it to good use.