5 Things indie mobile game developers should consider
The hardest part of being indie mobile game developers is not the building and delivery of the app, but working out how to market it. Because let’s face it, the aim is to get people to download, play, pay and recommend to others.
We all want instant success and we have all heard those stories where someone has come up with a simple concept which has turned into a runaway success and mobile game developers are laughing all the way to the Bank.
So, we find ourselves in a market that is saturated with apps, this can make it difficult for indie mobile game developers to take on large mobile developers because they have a couple of advantages, some have: i) instantly recognisable brand; ii) resource and budget to market across multiple channels; and iii) staff to bring new apps to the market fairly quickly.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t market your apps, but you shouldn’t try to emulate the large developer. Here are five things that I’ve found useful over the past couple of years:
1: Mobile game developers find your niche
You can’t be everything to everyone, so make what you enjoy. I started out building children’s’ apps to support my daughter’s development. As she has grown older, I’ve expanded to make a number of fun games that can be enjoyed by children and adults.
2: Portfolio of Apps
You need to build up a portfolio of apps, it won’t be enough to have just one, unless of course it is a concept that no one has thought off and in today’s saturated market, that is going to be difficult. Once you have a number of apps, you have the ability to cross-market your products to your customer base which increases your ability to sell your apps.
3: Mobile game developers need to utilise social media
It doesn’t take very much effort to write a post, tweet or blog about what you are doing. You want to build momentum and brand awareness so whenever you launch a new product you want to make it as big as possible. Consistency is also key, you need to post regularly, it is no good writing a post once a year or every time you launch a new game.
4: Economies of Scale
It would be great to have an unlimited budget, but let’s face it, you don’t. You need to work out what is going to work for you and don’t be tempted to take the scatter gun approach spending little at lots of third party providers. I’ve found running small campaigns on social media has helped drive traffic to my apps.
5: Set realistic goals
Wouldn’t it be great if you launched an app and Apple immediately showcased it, or you reached the top download position. It probably isn’t realistic to have this has your starting point so you need to set some realistic goals and when you achieve them take the time to make a note of what you did to get there, what worked well and what didn’t work. I have found a more achievable goal is to try and reach a respectable position in a sub-category or in a smaller geography.