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Stand Out From The Crowd - Make it Spreadable

by Aidan Minter on 09/11/15 03:55:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

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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.


Video Content and blogging - Make it Spreadable…
In my last post I talked about how positioning your product as an Indie developer or publisher was vital “How a Shark Attack Defined Product Positioning” . Positioning a product well invariably means you are creating succesfull content for a particular target audience which is the primary focus of this particular blog post.
You should look at making a developer diary asset as part of your content marketing and if a regular developer diary isn’t your thing then start small with a blog and grow from there.
*Companies that blog 15+ times per month get 5 times more traffic than companies that don’t blog. (*Hubspot 2012)

Of course, the chances are you’re probably reading this thinking that you simply don’t have the time or the resources to spend on creating well edited video diaries or writing blogs. However, if you’re a small studio or a startup you’re going to need to think about your visibility sooner or later. If nobody knows what you’re doing or what you are about then that’s going to affect how much noise you are making when the time calls for it. Sooner or later you’ll need to think about engaging your potential audience with content that they can get enthusiastic about.
With a blog you only need to post a minimum of twice a month, any less than that and people will forget who you are, try to be consistent, erratic posting can see your readers commitment wane quickly if they can’t predict when your next post is due to go live. A captive audience is worth its weight in gold.

If you are creating a blog think about getting your readers to participate, ask for feedback, comments and suggestions. Posts should, where possible aim for a call to action because this builds the relationship with your audience.
Another useful tip, create your blog posts a good 48 or 24 hours in advance, let them sit for a night or two and before posting live, re-read them and re-edit where necessary, always read it through before you post.
There’s no doubt you’ll be a Jack of all trades in the beginning but balancing the roles and responsibilities of your team will be essential in sharing your project with your prospective fans and followers. You could be creating the most incredible player experience known to man but unless you can communicate that you’re dead in the water.

Video Content - Format, Format, Format…
Think about your first Dev Diary video as way to attract fans, two to four minutes long with a combination of information that is clear, concise and informative. Viewers should ideally feel like they’ve learnt something new after watching it, even better, they feel compelled to share it via their social pages. Check out a great example with Ubisofts” The Division Snowdrop Engine video here
While I realize there might be some readers who think that this high reaching sort of tech video could just as easily be perceived as pre awareness gloss, tantamount to smoke and mirrors designed to attract an audience, a simple look at its view count for a mere tech demo suggests that plenty of people viewed it. I should point out that before actual graphic resolution in the Division can be proven to retain this level of resolution and detail we have to keep in mind that this is a tech video, not a gameplay video, its no doubt been shared and talked about a lot and has therefore done its job.

Still need more guidance?, look at what your competitors are doing and promoting as part of theor own diaries, check out some kickstarter videos, look at others to inspire your own creative direction on how you want to communicate with your audience but most important of all look at delivering something unique that people would love to share or talk about.

Action points
•    Blogs – Keep posts informative, to the point and interesting, talk about the challenges you are facing, what you are working on, funny stories or goings on that have occurred since you last posted.
•    Video content – Get feedback from your staff before posting the final edit.
•    Blogs – be consistent with your posting frequency.
•    Blogs – Ensure a way readers can share your content
•    Video content – 1.30 – 2.30 length for dev diary videos
•    Video content – do not used licensed music, be wary of logos and background music unless you have a legal right to incorporate it (YouTubes policies are stricter now)
•    Blogs – Publish in the morning, as early as you can.
•    Blogs – Credit your sources and inspirations, give your blog substance but share credit where its due.
•    Blogs – Use plenty of images, readers absorb information better
•    Blogs – be yourself, write your personality into the blog.
No Begging allowed…
Under no circumstances should you use your dev diary to beg people to buy your product, ask for support yes but don’t go begging for money and pre orders, this will kill your title stone dead.

Video Content is important because?
You may recall I touched upon this point in my first Blog post here on gamasutra. Video content is important because it’s the single most important format people use to learn, share and connect. Video content is also the most direct way to communicate with your audience in order to convey information about your product. YouTube should be high on your list of priorities and it pays to plan a consistent drip feed of content that will build familiarity with your brand. To stand out on YouTube you need original compelling content because every man and his uncle is also uploading content because they want your audience as well. In terms of search, gamers rely on two resources, Google and YouTube so the title of your video is almost as vital as the content you are promoting.
In a recent Google report on how Gamers use YouTube it revealed the following facts.

•    50% of overall views were for videos made by developers/publishers, while 47% were for "community" clips like "Let's Play" videos and walkthroughs.
•    A staggering 1 in 3 views for gaming clips took place on a mobile device, Google hypothesizing that much of these were "second screen" views, done while gaming on a TV or PC for things like FAQs.
•    The most popular clips on YouTube aren't announcement trailers; they're reviews.
•    Over 50% of the views associated with a game took place in the month before launch or immediately after launch.
•    95% of gamers watch gaming videos on YouTube.
•    Subscribers to game channels watch game content for twice as long than non subscribers.
•    6pm to 9pm is when YouTube hits its peak viewing times with Weekends showing an 18% day over day increase in views.

Two Billion+ videos a day are viewed on YouTube representing more than 40% of all videos watched online.


For a community focused Video strategy consider the following points…

•    Build a strong, search-optimized, traffic-optimized, and navigation-optimized YouTube channel.
•    Build a strong library of in-game content and features, specifically tutorial videos early on and then deeper content as your game takes shape.
•    Build a strong library of out-of-game features such as developer diaries and producer-letter-type videos for your community.
•    Build a strong library of viral, indie-style videos, with a focus on humor, out-takes, and any small changes/modifications to the existing library of videos that will demonstrate personality.
•    Building relationships with community members who already produce videos about your game or product.
•    Prominently featuring community videos on your owned channels
•    Encouraging the development of more community videos; this should be an ongoing long-term strategy.
•    Reach out to influencers like videobloggers who already have an affinity to your game or product   and develop ongoing campaigns with them.
•    Vimeo, and Brightcove should also be included in your video content planning for video.
•    Above all make sure ALL video content abides by YouTube copyright terms and conditions.


Want to find out more about maximizing your communications as a developer: My new book Front Towards Gamer: Videogame marketing & PR for Indies, Startups and Kickstarters is available on Amazon Kindle.


Source: Hubspot

Source: Google

Source: Front Towards Gamer (Amazon) Videogame marketing & PR for Indies,Startups and Kickstarters

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