In this installment of the Build Your Game Marketing Plan series, we’re going to discuss marketing strategy and how to create engaging content in the crowded social media market. If you haven’t answered the questions from Part I or II of my series, make sure to complete that before moving on to this next step because we will be using that information.

Sections of the Game Marketing Plan

  1. Game Summary
  2. Environment
  3. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
  4. Goals and Objectives
  5. Marketing Strategy
  6. Action Program
  7. Forecast
  8. Refinement

There are several big marketing misconceptions, such as it’s only about advertising and selling. In regards to social media marketing, it’s much more than using buzzwords.

The American Marketing Association defines marketing strategy and research as-

…the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information–information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications.

The important thing to remember is that the market changes quickly in video games. The revenue divide between blockbuster game budgets and smaller budgeted indie game titles has begun to shift because of the adoption of indie games by game consoles and Steam. I recommend reading a book by Anita Elberse called Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment to gain further understanding on what gives companies such as Marvel Entertainment an edge over their competitors with their strategy.

After developing your strategy, the next thing to do is determine whether it’s too early or just the right time to start a social media campaign. The goal is to create community advocates that help with spreading the word. Utilizing tools, such as Hootsuite and Google Analytics, can help identify where your most vocal advocates are on your social network. The important take away from this is that you must be able to measure to be able to reach your goals.

While tools are helpful, the important thing to remember is that it starts with creating content that has value for your players that you can measure their response with.

In the next section of the series, we’ll discuss how to create multiple revenue streams based on key indicators to forecast.