Glo is now in its final stretch of development so that signals the time to start putting all the hard work collecting contact information and building a press kit into action.
This is Part 3 and the final part of the Marketing Strategy.
How to Communicate
So we’ve done all the hard work of gathering contact information, we’ve carefully curated images of our game to get those prefect screenshots, we’ve spent hours crafting an emotional, visual and acoustic masterpiece for our trailer and we’ve perfectly explained every reason why our game is amazing in words. Now what do we do with all of that? The last thing you want to do is mess it all up by not communicating with people clearly or sincerely.
The first thing to realise is that everyone is different. We all have different interests, levels of empathy, spare time, motivations, circumstances etc. The list is endless. But what that means is that in an ideal world to perfectly communicate and convey our thoughts to each other we would perfectly tailor what we say, how we say it and when we say it case by case. This is the only way to ensure that we have done the best we possibly can to communicate the message we think we’re communicating. A quick example to explain this point is if I was to say to someone “What’s that thing you stir your coffee with”. To one person they might think of a spoon, to another person they might think one of those sticks from a coffee shop, to a third person they might think of one of those little plastic things with holes in the bottom and to that crazy person on the corner they would think of one of those self-stirring coffee mugs. The point is that the same term can trigger lots of different thoughts in people.
It would be nice to be able to throw all our information into a generic email and then throw that all our contacts and have it not only read by all of them but also fully understood and spark their interest. But in reality that’s not goingto happen. We need to at least put some level of effort into personalising the communication. Don’t worry though we don’t need to write a completely different email to each one of the 400 – 4000+ contacts you have. What we want to do is categorise the contacts into three basic types:
Personal is basically all the contacts you’ve got that you have some information for that you can use to understand who you are communicating with. This will apply to all journalist, website, fellow game dev contacts. However, importantly it does not apply to streamers or let’s play channels.
Generic basically covers all the types of contacts that you have no personal information for. This is usually generic [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] type addresses. Be careful though, just because a site provides a genericlooking email address under their contact information you still might be able to get more information about the receiver, especially if it’s a solo run site.
This is for the streamers and youtubers.
So with our three categories listed no we need to decide what we send and when we send it.
Contact Period: Early (1 Month+) and Near Release (1 – 2 Weeks)
For everyone in the personal list you want to take some time understanding who you are talking and starting a genuine dialogue. There are lots of different opinions on when is best to first contact press but I believe a good milestone is when you have the press kit fully created. This ensures that you have a strong understanding of what your game is and you have as much material as possible to help you communicate that.
Start your email with a genuine introduction. Don’t drag it out but talk like you would if you were just talking to someone face to face. Try your best to be sincere and avoid throwing in cheap fake compliments. Be honest.
Follow it up with a nice clear description of your game. This should be the easy part as most of this will have been thought of whilst creating the press kit.
Provide links to your press kit, landing page and trailer. I think it’s best to avoid attaching screenshots to the main email as you don’t want to clog their inbox. The trailer will do the job of giving the first impression of the game.
If you already have a near release version of your game available then put a steam key, link etc direct in the body of the e-mail and preferably near the top. The one thing you definitely want them to do is play your game so you want to make that as easy as possible. If you don’t have a version to put out yet then you can follow up with a second email at the time.
The point is with a more personalised approach you have more chance at sparking a dialogue which makes it then easier for follow on communication.
Contact Period: Near Release (1 – 2 Weeks)
For the generic list the most important thing is to ensure you have everything ready to send. This includes press kit and a near release version of the game. The reason behind this is that there is a much lower chance at starting a realdialogue so you will want to get the information across in the first attempt.
Not having much personalised information to go off, it is better to focus on starting the email with an interesting and genuine intro that aims to appeal to a general audience and with a steam key or link to the game straight away. Againfollow this up with the same information provided in the personal emails i.e. description of game, press kit, landing page and trailer.
If you don’t get a response after a reasonable amount of time, try again. Don’t be worried about being pushy so long as it’s not every day!
Contact Period: Near Release (1 Week Max)
For the streamers and youtubers you need to think differently. They are quite often not journalists or game devs and are less interested in the technical sides of the game or the genuine story you have to tell. They are more interested in is your game fun to play and is it fun to watch someone playing it. For this reason we want to keep it short, snappy and focused on the game.
Get straight in there with a steam key or link to the game and follow it up with a snappy description of the best things about your game. You can then tag on the landing page and press kit if you think it’s required.
Obviously if you have a good understanding of a certain streamer or youtuber then it makes sense to flesh things out a bit more when communicating with them, but for the majority this is mostly what they are after.
EDIT: I want to update my information for contacting YouTubers and streamers with the following video by BaerTaffy. It does a far better job of describing how to approach the vlog community than I can.
This strategy is currently being used to publicise the PC game Glo. Please check it out at glo.chronikspartan.com
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This blog post originally appeared on the Chronik Spartan blog.