I’m writing this article to provide you with key points to consider when drawing your own video game marketing strategy. First of all, let me tell you something, you should market your game from the very beginning, not just when you finish or almost finish your video game. You should start building your community from point 0. I can’t tell you how important this is. Bear that in mind before keep reading.

Although not directly related to video game development, such as video game design, coding or art, marketing is one of the most crucial phases of the process of making a video game. Some developers even say that coding is only half the battle, with marketing making up the other half. And actually, there is no point in creating the best video game ever if no one plays it, right?

Also, it’s not uncommon to see AAA studios to invest more in marketing than in the development itself, as you can see here on this list provided by Wikipedia. I’m not saying you need to invest millions in marketing to have a nice strategy for your video game. However, I want you to understand that marketing plays a crucial role in this industry and requires significant investment of both time and resources to be done it right. So, let’s get started.

Marketing or promoting?

There are many ways to market a product, not only within the video game industry but also in other markets. Marketing and promoting are two distinct concepts. Marketing is a broad term that encompasses many branches and activities, such as SEO, social media, community management, and so on. On the other hand, promoting is more specific.

When promoting a product, you aim to raise awareness and interest among potential customers aka gamers. This is typically a short-term approach, in contrast to marketing which often involves a long-term strategy.

If you look after promoting your video game, you will need to reach out to influencers, Instagram pages, magazines/press, video game websites, and among others. For instance, some Instagram pages charge as little as $25 for a 24-hour post (which is already considered cheap, believe me). After 24 hours, the post will be deleted. And for what? And although you may gain a few downloads during this time, it may not be enough to justify the cost.

In my opinion, it is not enough to simply redirect your players to your video game. You should also direct them to a place where they can engage with other players and learn more about the game.

Start by setting up a base

Therefore, I would not advise promoting your video game without first have a proper marketing strategy, by selecting a channel. It’s essential to establish an online presence before starting to promote.

If you have not yet chosen a marketing channel, such as SEO or social media, and do not have a long-term strategy plan, I would say to save your money and invest it in a well-planned strategy first. To give you a nice idea of a nice costumer/gamer journey, I have created an infographic you may use as reference:

costumer/gamer marketing cycle

Communities sell the most

If you are a video game developer, you already know the importance of your community (if don’t, I recommend you reading our article How to create a video game written by Caio). A community can not only help with word-of-mouth marketing but also increase player engagement, aiding in bug fixes, suggestions, and improvements. Additionally, communities can be quite profitable.

There are many ways to start building your community. Discord is my favorite option due to its popularity among players and its ease of communication and organization. Other options include Twitch, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, or even Facebook.

You can also have a website, where you share content and let your community through Newsletter. However, I still prefer Discord, where you can interact directly with players and share announcements there, making it a more personal experience.

What language and country to target?

That’s a very good question, and most of the time it’s not considered at all. I see a lot of developers investing in a worldwide audience and choosing English as their marketing and promotion language, looking for influencers, press, and other worldwide resources. But as I said, communities sell the most, and by that I mean it’s much better to have 100 downloads in a specific country and language than 10 worldwide.

There are countries with large populations that have a strong video game culture, such as Brazil, Germany, Turkey, or Mexico. So, if you are from one of these countries, and you have already built a community there while you were developing your video game, why not start selling your video game in these countries before sailing into a broader community?

Besides knowing the culture and its habits, which is very important, you don’t have to translate or write content in a language that’s not yours. I’m not saying you should focus entirely on your own language, country, and culture, but it’s a pretty good place to start if you’re on a budget.

In addition to marketing in your own language, don’t forget to localize your video game. Your community will thank you, and it is a nice way to promote your video game as well.

What marketing channel or strategy should you choose for your video game?

Well, if you would ask me personally, I would choose SEO. SEO stands for Searching Engine Optimization and it’s a set of techniques to set your website in the first searches of any search engine, such as Bing, or the most popular one, Google. However, there are many channels you can choose from to start branding your video game and studio.

My advice is that: if your budget is tight, then just try to optimize your resources and choose one that you can manage without hiring anyone before your video game starts selling. For example, if you are good at building and optimizing websites, then maybe you can try SEO, or if you are good with social media, then go for Instagram or Twitter.

Either way, the important thing is to be active. Make sure you answer player questions or, whenever you have time, chat with them, in case you use Discord, for example. Also, share recent updates, upcoming releases, news, artwork, announcements, forums, help and support, and anything else that will keep your community engaged with your video game.

Check out 4winds as a good example of SEO marketing. On their website they talk about their art concept, updates and announcements.

nice example of SEO conducts

Another good example is Super Citycon™, a mobile game from indie studio Ben Willes Games SL. Their website is quite normal, their social is good, where they share events and mostly their art, but unfortunately not that active there, but their Discord channel is quite good and keeps their community engaged:

Good example of how you should organize your discord channel

There are many channels you can use, just remember to choose a channel that you can manage well, especially if you have a small budget. Once you have a nice customer/gamer journey for your community, then start promoting!

Know your stuff!

Another important thing is to know your video game and its potential. If you believe in your video game (believe me, if you don’t believe in it, no one will), then don’t be afraid to market it. I am not a fan of the old “let’s try this and see how it goes”. If your video game has been made with dedication and effort, it will surely sell well!

Video Game Marketing Agencies

Finding and working with video game marketing agencies would make your life easier, indeed. Most video game marketing agencies will offer you a bunch of servers, including PR & Press (get you an article about your video game in a nice newspaper, for example), will take care of your social and community, will draw you a strategy, probably also take care of the design for your posts, trailer edition, and even bring your video game to nice events around the world.

However, hiring a video game marketing agency can be expensive. Also, no one knows your video game better than you do, and you want to make sure that the right community is target and are not paying for nothing. So, make sure you know exactly what you want for your video game and its community before handing your marketing over to someone else.

Video Game Marketing Budget

As mentioned before, budgets for video game marketing can be very high. If you have a good budget, I would recommend investing in a specialized team/outsourcing services for different channels: localization/community managers, social media managers, SEO/SEM managers, for example.

However, if your budget is tight, then start small.  You may still want to do a website, social media, and a discord/reddit, but try to focus on just one. The one that best serves your community, and you can handle well. You might save a lot of money that way, but you would have to work harder.

Final Thoughts

As an SEO expert with specialization in video game localization, these are my insights after having analyzed closely how video game studios, especially indies, promote their video games. This is something I also recommend you: do your own research.

Research studios that create similar video game genres to yours and gain inspiration from their strategies. Join their Discord communities and talk with their community managers, CEOs, or managers. They will likely be willing to assist you with any questions you may have.

Just remember that marketing takes time and effort to get it right. Focus on providing the best to your community and show that you care about them, and I’m sure you will have lots of support and, most importantly, sells.


Helder is our go-to guy, handling a bit of everything. Apart from that, he specializes in SEO Translation. Lately, he has been deeply involved in the video game industry, something that was quite restricted by his parents when he was younger.