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For Art & other service providers: online marketing
by Junxue Li on 01/08/14 02:10:00 am   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Our company Novtilus provides art creation service to game developers, this is typical B2B type marketing. We don’t have much resources for marketing, so we rely heavily on online marketing. I’ve gathered a few points about what website to use and how. This article might be helpful to freelance artists and companies like us, and other service providers in the industry.

Gather information:

The Internet would tell you a lot about what companies are doing what games, pay attention to these games, the guys in the production team are the ones you need to talk to.

You can get information from some gaming site, such as:

http://www.insidesocialgames.com/

http://www.wildtangent.com/

and some game portals like Big Fish Games, Steam, play store, iTunes store, kickstarter would be useful too.

And you can follow some companies you’re interested in on FaceBook and Twitter, they would have regular news release about their games.

Linked-In:

If you have limited marketing resource, linked-In is a good place to put most of your efforts. I ‘ve compared all the social medias: Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Google+, and found that Linked-In is the only social media for professionals. People come here with the intention to get something good for their career, or to do business. In comparison, say, Facebook, is a place for people to share interesting things and keep in touch with family and intimate friends. For our particular type of business, I feel it’s quite unbecoming to talk business there. You should follow netiquette to gain good ROI.

The point is to find the team in regular need of your service, and someone who has the power to decide to buy or not to buy your service, or someone who is close to the decision maker, that she/he would forward your information. Try to add this type of people connection, and introduce who you are and what you do.

On linked-In, it is possible to find the members of a production team, by searching the name of the company, game and job title.

If you are unfamiliar with marketing on Linked-In, it would be worthwhile to invest in a few books, which can be easily found on Amazon.

Email Marketing:

To my experience, Email marketing is the most effectual among all the marketing tools in generating leads.

For most small & medium size companies, sending email to the info/contact@ address, can get to the decision maker. In composing your email, be polity, be short, and attach a url to your site.

Evolved telemarketing:

People are under the impression that new tools of online marketing would make traditional telemarketing obsolete. I think it’s not exactly so. Doing business in all time is about to build relationship and trust with real people. While we can’t afford to meet potential clients face to face, and the net is but a shadow, telemarketing is still an affordable and effectual means of building relationship. But under new context, we’ve introduced some changes.

After you’ve engaged someone in congenial talk, perhaps some exchange of emails and Linked-In messages, instead of asking for phone numbers, you may ask she/he if you can add her/him Skype. Make it a bit formal, send a mail with the subject like “May I have your Skype”. I’ve found that put your Skype in contact info would be too easily ignored by people.

Skype has many advantages over phones.

Think about how the communication takes place. Suppose you do get your prospect’s office phone number, would you call her/him many times introducing yourself and service before a deal? That would be too disturbing to her/him. And people in this industry are always busy, a phone call is too formal and you can’t expect your prospect to hang on it too long. Mobile/private phone? Forget about it, it’s not up to this purpose just like Facebook.   

In conclusion, today’s people don’t like long and formal communication, they like something short and precise, this is why twitter becomes popular.

By Skype chat, you can send over short messages from time to time, in casual manner. Your prospects won’t be annoyed, on the contrary, even in their most busy time, their would bother to give you a short reply.

You can send links and files too.

And if your prospect intends a voice chat, you can make it just like a regular phone call. If the voice quality is bad, just ask to shift to a phone call in time. Don’t let the bad line ruin your business.

All these make Skype a much more powerful tool than phone for cultivating relationship.   

Facebook and Twitter:

They can produce magic in promoting consumer goods, but quite useless for our particular type of business. However, they can be helpful to your marketing strategy.

You can try to follow your current clients and prospect companies, to monitor their new moves and games. Then you can talk to the right person in that company, about your suggestions, solutions, or just say congrats.

This would help you maintain relationship with present clients, and find way to new business.

Showcase:

Sites like Behance and Deviant art are good for clients to find artists, but not good for artists to effectively stand out and promote themselves, because too many works and artists on the site.

However, you can’t afford not to post you works on Behance. Most companies hire artists there. You may be found by chance.

Arrange your works by projects and type, for example, UI design, cartoon characters, stylized characters. Give definitive tags to your works. When people wants to hire artists, they would use the search engine on behance, search art works by the keywords of the work type, and browse to find which ones meet their need best.

Blog marketing:

Today, people often google answers to problems in specific fields, the search usually lead them to a blog article. You may post article to help people, and in turn gain due exposure. Talk about how to handle practical problems in your field, share experiences of your production, etc. I suggest you to write original articles other than share other people’s, because only if your prospects note you’re the author, they would be interested in further contact to see what you can offer.

One thing is very important, leave your contact info in the blog profile, to enable you to be reached.

And post often, at least one article per week.

I found that posting blog article would draw more prospects than posting art works.

Lots of game industry people visit gamasutra blog, posting articles there would help you to gain lots of exposure. You may post the same article on other blog too.

Frankly speaking, this article itself is not without blog marketing purpose. :)

Sites not good for B2B promotion:

If you have lots of resource and budget for marketing, you should make your appearance on all the social media and forums. If not, you may make your efforts more focused.

Lots of social media good for B2C business, are not worth much of your promotional efforts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Google+, Pinterest, you can use them in other smart ways though.

Forums:

Many forums has contracted work section, such as CG society, Deviant art, ConceptArt.org. Generally they’re not good for a business to find prospects. We no longer invest much efforts on them.

Conclusion:

While your time and resources is limited for B2B marketing, You should focus efforts on Linked-In, never abandon Email and blog marketing. These 3 are proven to be the most effectual marketing tool for business of the scale of our company. Effectively use Skype to conclude the deal.

Follow your current and prospect clients on facebook and twitter.

Showcase yourself on Behance to let you be found.

Have a nice official site, because all traffic is led there.

Golden rules:

You may see from above that there’s a lot to do. The key to success is to schedule your limited time and energy for each job, in a scientific manner.

Marketing needs continuous efforts, if you do it right, the more energy and time you invest, the more orders.


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Comments


Luisa Wang
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It's amazing! You almost covered all the ways we can do to broaden the market. I was told by an advisor that make a phone call will be really helpful and get more impressed, i was thinking at that time how to make it when we were in different time zone, you give me the answer, skype call! A real phone call seems too formal and disturbing, especially during work-off time, that's something we do between real friends and relatives, skype is more business-way, but never forget to make an appointment!
Thanks for sharing!

Zachary Strebeck
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Great article! I am facing similar issues while starting my own law practice, and have found similar results as you with Facebook and other traditional social media. Hardly any clicks, since they are very "general audience" focused. Here on Gamasutra, not only have I had some great comments that allow for discussion on my posts, but it has also driven traffic to my site. Delving into your specific niche, it seems, is the best way to leverage online marketing and social media.

The next step, for me, is to up the value-offer that my site holds for developers. Specifically, I'm working on a free course/overview of legal issues for game devs. Would something similar help in your line of work?

Junxue Li
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Thank you! I'm happy that this article is helpful to you. And my company is an art service provider in Beijing, may not need this kind of help for a while.


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