39 Ways to Market Your Game Store Business, Part One
Your beautiful new game store business is up and running, but you have no customers? Make sure that you follow our top marketing tips and finally start selling!
You’ve done it! Finally, you’ve started a video game store business, the whole infrastructure is up and running to welcome your customers, but, unfortunately, none of them has appeared so far. That’s not an uncommon scenario for the first-time entrepreneur. Reaching new customers doesn’t have to be such a complicated undertaking, though. With these easy-to-do marketing tricks, you can be sure to see some positive results relatively quickly.
Before we get to the point, you need to become aware of key “traffic drivers” that draw customers into your game store. They include social media with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram on top, online communities such as Reddit and Quora, email lists, SEO and SEM (Google Adwords). Here’s the first part of our guide that gives you some hints on how to attract new customers to your game store business successfully (for the second part click here). Let’s dive in!
Be present in social media
Being active in social media is a question of to be or not to be for your game store business. The core of your gaming audience hangs out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Full stop. That’s the reason why you should be there as well.
You probably wouldn’t like your business to be overlooked by 1.8bn users, would you? If so, get your game store business off the ground with these simple tactics.
1. Use the power of existing relationships
Don’t feel daunted by the competition who has hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook. Instead, put your energy into leveraging the current relationships to expand your network. Nurturing relationships with your colleagues, friends and even family can increase your customer base exponentially. Just think how your close friends can become your brand advocates once you educate them about your business.
2. Help, don’t sell
It’s all about educating potential customers of your game store business, offering them added value and help. Forget sales pitches, which would only annoy the community and make your actions a welcome intrusion instead. Try these tips:
a) Organize contests and giveaways – Gamers are willing to participate in contests offering gift codes. Holding a contest in which gamers are asked to give your game store business a Like is one of many options. Once gamers perform actions you prepared, you’ll reward them with a free game code. Be careful with giveaways, though, so as not to spoil your followers.
b) Inform your audience about discounts – gamers are customers too, so they’re inclined to think through the lens of a price. Consequently, they like to be up-to-date with upcoming price changes, one-off promotions, sales events and other special occasions involving price cuts. Keep them notified about any price changes in your game store business!
c) Offer customer support – Once your Facebook page is in full swing, you may want to solve technical issues reported by customers. Come up with solutions to support-related issues in social media posts. Most of all, never direct your followers to the FAQ section unless you want to lose them. Your game store business must be user friendly!
3. Entertain your game store business’s audience
People like to laugh or cry. Gamers are no exception to this. Prepare memes using free online generators and featuring their favorite protagonist in funny situations, and watch them go viral at the speed of the light. Make your game store business relatable.
4. Leverage Facebook gaming groups
To engage with your target audience, join the most popular Facebook gaming groups, such as Epic Gamers, Gamer Geek Nation or One Million Gamers. This way, you’ll stay ahead of the game with current topics among gamers. You could also establish yourself as an authority in a group, earn members’ trust and ultimately direct them to your game store business’s website.
5. Reach wider audience with pinned posts
If you’re still fighting for a Like, you will find the option of pinned posts working to your advantage. Located at the top of your page, pinned posts can attract customers’ attention if they’re a gamer-oriented, eye-catching or valuable in some way. Be sure to hack into your prospective buyers’ minds with something they truly appreciate, be it a gift code, a discount on a bestselling title in your game store business or a giveaway. So what’s your idea for a pinned post?
6. Get another sales channel with Facebook
It’s never been easier for digital game entrepreneurs to sell their products on Facebook. Note that Facebook has nearly 2bn active users and that number is still growing. Let’s be honest, even a micro fraction of this could turn into your customers if you have the right tools on hand. All you need is integrating your Shopify account and Facebook Page. It only takes a couple of minutes to gain unrestricted access to over 3,500 digital games and start selling them in your digital game store business! Get more details here.
7. When and how often to post
Whether you’re a business owner active on Facebook or Twitter, posting time and frequency should be top of your mind at least in the beginning. Research and common sense say that optimal posting time is between noon and 3 pm from Thursday until Sunday. Speaking of optimal posting frequency, posting three times a day seems to be fine in the early stage of your business. Keep also in mind to “strike the balance between informative and annoying” as Buffer put it.
8. Consider paid advertising on Facebook
Want to reach with your hot promos to a wider audience? Then Facebook with promoted post boosts and promoted posts is the way to go. Boosting a post means that it becomes more prominent in your existing users’ news feeds. Thanks to targeting options that include location, age, gender etc., you can make the post visible to a wider audience. Actually, the narrower group your game store business is targeting, the lower the cost of your ad is.
Another paid option are promoted posts that essentially come down to ‘boosting’, but present you with more targeting and budgeting options than post boosts. Other advertising options that work off targeting include Page Likes. When accompanied with a visible, strong call-to-action and attention-grabbing photo, they will help you reach people interested in your product offering. Overall, paid advertising can serve as a worthwhile supplement to your organic marketing efforts.
9. Collect emails with Facebook
Yes, you can collect emails via Facebook. With the help of third-party email marketing services like GetResponse or Aweber, you can grow your email list directly from your Facebook page. And don’t forget to include an incentive for gamers in return for subscribing to a newsletter. We’ll discuss this in more detail in “Grow your email list” sections.
Is Twitter part of your social media marketing strategy? If not, you may be missing out on a valuable source of customers. This social platform lends itself perfectly to a short-term marketing strategy. Eventually, that’s what you’re after, seeing immediate results owing to real-time communication where concise messages abound. Here’s a bunch of suggestions on how to develop your customer base with Twitter.
10. Present your game store business’s brand
As the owner of the coolest digital game business, show yourself off in the Twitter bio right from the start. Be sure to tell your business story with detailed info about who you are and what you do. You have only 160 words for this. Plus, add a link to your store to pump up SEO.
11. Expand your audience with hashtags
Did you know that you can reach new customers with keywords included in your tweets? First of all, check all the relevant and trending hashtags for digital game business and incorporate them in your tweets. Some highly powerful hashtags in the gaming industry are #videogames, #gaming, #indiedev, #PCGaming. Other top hashtags point to popular game titles, renowned developments studios, top publishers and common gaming platforms. However, use them sparingly so that gamers won’t treat them as spam. You can also come up with a hashtag peculiar to your business so that people will find your store with all the humming around it.
Hashtags also come in handy when you look for new trends or inspiration for your next tweet. And it’s a great tool to watch your competition, too!
12. Be upfront about special offers and rewards
“Follow us on Twitter and get 20% discount on [insert game title]”. That’s a cool idea to keep gamers up to date with one-off promotions or regular discounts, especially if you’re on the lookout for new followers. Also holding contests with a view to getting retweets can earn you a decent stream of followers. How about putting things this way? “The next 50 people who will retweet me are going to get a 25% off [insert game title]”. Get it in front of your audience and watch the snowball effect it produces.
13. Get visual
Posts and videos can work miracles for your game store. Research shows that people tend to click 3 or 4 times more often on posts with visual content. Images get more retweets compared with text posts as well. Plus, visual images fit well with social mobile. Why not link to a trailer of a game that is coming soon in your next tweet then?
14. Get influencers to promote your brand
A helping hand from people who are experts in video game business comes as a nice addition to your regular marketing efforts. Being recommended by an influencer or blogger is a surefire way to building a successful online presence. First, compile a list of influencers you want to reach like journalists, writers, bloggers and engage with them on a daily basis. Be consistent and helpful – at this point, it’s more about establishing rapport and earning trust.
15. Embrace promoted tweets
Whoever told you that paid advertising sucks, that person probably sucks at targeting. Promoted tweets enable you to reach your gaming audience thanks to accurate targeting (interests, languages, location). At the same time, your tweet has to deliver immediate value to the target group to bring you more fans. All kinds of incentives like giveaways or discounted games are more than welcome.
Additionally, promoted tweets are also a good place to introduce a brand-limited hashtag, for example, #gamesunder[set price]” or #gamedealsin[name of your store], or simply your brand name.
700 mln monthly active users can make a difference to your business. If you want to get your games seen by prospective customers, you should treat Instagram users seriously. Deep down, they’re still shoppers and gamers too. Instagram allows you to create buzz around fledgling business without spending an enormous amount of time and money. Have a look at these tactics and make them part of your social media routine!
17. Go viral with hashtags
Similar to Facebook and Twitter, Instagram can help you extend your reach with keywords (hashtags) relevant to your industry. It’s best practice to put between 5 to 10 hashtags per post. Some of the most common hashtags related to gaming are #games with almost 10 mln posts and #videogames with roughly 7.5 mln posts. Check hashtags that are names of game series, publishers or well-known game developers. Why not add them to your posts to boost their visibility?
18. Organize Instagram contest and giveaways
If you want to see immediate results of your Instagram activity, consider hosting photo-based contests or giveaways. Any bonuses and special offers are tempting for Instagrammers as they love incentives. Instruct gamers on how to enter a like-to-win contest, for example: “Follow [name of your store], like this post, give a comment and tag your friend!”. Later on, decide who the winner is and reach out to them with a prize via direct message. Contests that revolve around tagging people help your store gain new followers – that’s your main objective.
19. Tap your game store business into user-generated content
Generally, people appreciate that you post the content of real people – they’re the actual voice of your brand. Feature a photo of an existing customer or a prospective in the gaming-like context and you can be sure to experience a new batch of followers. That’s the immense power of the community’s shared content.
20. Gain traction with paid advertising
If you feel the above best practices are too little to shine with your video game business, try paid advertising based on targeting. Like Facebook, Instagram allows you to focus on gamers targeted by demographics, location, interests and more. Let the numbers speak for themselves – 30% of Instagram users say that they purchased a product that they found on Instagram. Now is your turn to push them to make a purchase decision!
Take me to Part Two
About the author
- E-commerce owner and blogger. A trained accountant and an avid gamer. Healthy food aficionado.
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