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PGC: Indie Rock Stars panel on solving the discoverability issue with good PR

PGC: Indie Rock Stars panel on solving the discoverability issue with good PR

'Is it still possible to launch a game without a huge marketing budget?'

'What channels are available to get a game noticed?'

Discoverability may well be the hottest potato in the mobile gaming space. Like all complex issues of this type, though, there is, of course, no single definitive solution.

So, let's investigate a few…

Branding

During the panel discussion and ensuing Q&A dialogue at the Indie Rock Stars Getting Discovered session, brand awareness and foresight were repeatedly cited as the answers to the eminently tricky question of exposure.

According to Press Space PR speaker Natalie Griffiths, a number of mobile gaming devs only begin to consider public relations three weeks before launch. Fatal mistake #1.

"It's never too early to establish brand awareness. In many cases, however, inexperience in this department among indies is the root cause.

"In fact, the historic cynicism towards PR firms still pervades the industry."

Dimoso executive James Kaye reinforces that point, contending that indie startups simply don't give enough credence to the marketing budget.

Blending

Sure, small development teams often have to wear different (disciplinary) hats nowadays, but young studios should always consider a "blended approach".

With echoes of Mike Bithell's earlier Die Hard-centric keynote, Kaye recommends looking towards Hollywood for inspiration in this regard.

Build brands through a number of channels - social media, YouTube, forums, specialised press.

Power and influence

On the subject of the gaming press, renowned games journalist Guy Cocker positively encourages independent developers to reach out to influential figures on Twitter and through phone calls directly.

"Take gaming hacks for drinks. Attend get-togethers as frequently as possible. Take advantage of professional networking channels like LinkedIn to introduce yourself."

Be as creative as possible. For instance, tap into über-trendy networks like Snapchat to send your biggest fans exclusive images or trails that disappear in a 'poof'. They will distribute it for free… and at scale. Guaranteed.

No user acquisition costs there, thank you very much.


With a degree in German up his sleeve Richard squares up to the following three questions every morning: FIFA or Pro Evo? XBox 360 or PS3? McNulty or Bunk?

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