Indie Game Marketing

Are you using these 3 simple social media strategies?

Indie game developers want to know:

How does an Indie developer successfully build a community before launching their game?

This is a great version of the classic, “how do I build my audience” question. It implies that this person already knows the importance of long-term community building. Great. So that saves me the time of what to do and we can talk a little about how to do it.

When reading this article, keep in mind who makes up your community. As the cover picture artfully implies, people have a strong sense of individuality. Even though they represent a horde of like-minded social surfers, each one wants to believe they are a unique individual. And they are. And if you speak to that aspect of their personality, you will be more liked.

When dealing with your social media audience, call out and address as many individuals as you can. Respond to their concerns, indulge their questions and ask their advice. Keeping your audience engaged can be quite tedious, but it is important!

Also as the cover picture artfully implies, if you put something in front of your audience that is attractive, you will get clicks. And even if your content doesn’t deliver, they will still have seen your product and they’ll remember it next time. Clickbait or not, this type of thing is proven to work.

Anyway, enough preface.

Below is copied my exact answer from Quora. There is a lot of material yet to cover, so feel free to ask questions or comment below.

How does an Indie developer successfully build a community before launching their game?

It’s not easy. It takes a lot of work and diligence. You’ve got to invest your time wisely and your money more wisely.

But it sounds like you already know what you’ve got to do. I always recommend starting the marketing process as soon as you decide you’re serious about the game.

I’ll start by with the ubiquitous website plug. I have a slew of decent articles about indie game marketing on IndieWatch and, rather than reinvent the wheel for this answer, I’ll refer you to some articles I’ve already written.

Why indie game developers suck at marketing

8 professional hacks to avoid Kickstarter failure

One marketing trick to rule them all

All of these articles focus on the What. But I think your question is about the How. The theories and methods of audience development are so complex I could write a book about them. (I actually am :-P) But let me see if I can give you a few basics to get started.


Join a group. IndieWatch is featured often at Indie Game Dev Hangout and the people in the group are fairly responsive and willing to comment on posts. If you ask their opinions on your art and ideas, you will get them. Beware of haters, but remember that even haters will teach you something.


Initially, it’s okay to use some retweet bots. I am pretty annoyed by them, but they foster communities of tweeps who want to gain more tweeps. So follow a few of them to get started. There are many Shoutbots that cater to the gaming community specifically. Once you feel you have a strong enough Twitter audience, you can unfollow the bots and let your audience grow organically.

Website and/or blog:

Your website is what ties everything together. Every piece of information you release should refer back to your site. Keep a regular blog to let your fans know what’s going on. Update it like, daily. Or at least a few times a week. Even if you’re just checking in with your audience to let them know you’re still around.

Post pictures, GIFs, ads, gameplay videos, concept art, polls, bios, info about your studio or project, influences, anything at all! Focus on your game of course, but also let your audience know about you. The way to get an audience is to connect with people. So show us what you’re doing and let us get involved.

For your website, learn some basic SEO practices. You don’t need to go to town on this because most people will find your site from social media. But if you pick up the occasional Google searcher too, that’s fine.

Give your game a good name. Here’s an article about that:

If your game is so great, why haven’t I heard of it?

The most important thing is to be consistent. Check your social media daily and post to your blog whether you feel like it or not. If you don’t update for a month, people will assume your project is dead or they’ll forget about you. The market is more competitive than ever before and ignoring or neglecting your audience is tantamount to a death sentence.

If you are consistent and your art and posts are good, people will start following you. When the audience is big enough, spring your trap and start your KickStarter campaign.

You got this!


Update: July 2016

The original post featured an image of a cute, nerdy comic girl. Shorty after posting, I was contacted by a female member of the gaming community who took offense to my choice. And while I stand by my original image choice (it was really not that bad,) it is not my wish to offend anyone. So some of the text below will refer to the original image.

For the safety of others’ feelings, I’ve chosen an image of a firefighter rescuing a kitten. If you’re offended by this, let me know and it will be hilarious.


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Steven Long

Steve is an IndieWatch O.G. He has long supplied marketing information for the aspiring developer. More recently he has been creating content for retrogaming enthusiasts on his YouTube channel. Find him on Twitter @Longie_long and at Patreon.


  1. It sounds to be so easy meanwhile it’s just way too hard. Earlier I was in the music industry and generally we had the same problems there. It’s really not the topic of a one page long article, but anyways… thanks for the advices!

  2. I am personally offended by the image of the fireman and kitten. It implies fireman only save kittens and not puppies. You should have chosen a more diplomatic image! Shame on you! Haha but on a more serious note, good article. Thanks for the share.

  3. Great article. This is truly a hard skill to master. Even with a dedicated marketing expert, I’m still constantly wondering: “is this the way this works? Are we… Are we don’t this right?”

    I guess only time will tell, but based on where we are compared to where we started, the effect is clear as day.

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