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In our articles, we tell a lot about how to promote games in the Russian market, what should be paid attention to, what channels and how to use, taking into account the market specifics. In this article, we gathered all stages of creation and implementation of a marketing strategy to promote a game in Russia step by step.
1. Determining priority regions of promotion. Russia is a huge country, so sometimes it is enough to focus on several key regions within your budget.
2. Making a list of competitors with indication of their unique selling propositions (USP). You must collect data and creatives concerning their advertising campaigns.
3. Establishing an advertising budget for the game promotion.
4. Determining and segmenting the target audience using the pyramid principle. Based on the marketing budget, one can move in two directions: when the budget is tight, one moves from the narrowest audience (for example, Muscovites aged 18-25 who play MMORPG) to a wider one (all gamers of Russia); when the budget is large, on the contrary, one starts promotion from a wide audience and gradually makes it to narrow target segments.
5. Elaborating a game promotion strategy on the basis of the market research results.
6. Creating a game press kit or website (a landing page is often enough) containing comprehensive information about it and the development team, as well as graphic and video content.
7. Creating social media pages of the game. Forming a community around the game/genre/common interests prior to its launch.
8. Creating and localizing game pages in online digital distribution services (for example, Steam or AppStore). Special attention should be paid to the optimization of pages and testing of various game descriptions and images.
9. Installing a tracking system on the website or in-app analytics. Pride of place must always be given to analytics because this is the only thing that will let you understand what advertising channels and distribution systems bring you more leads and gains.
10. Preparing a press release about the game's release. The press release must be formed prior to the official launch of the game in order to ensure the maximum reach of gamers as early as at its start.
11. Making a list of industrial media to mail out the press release. Having said so, we also recommend adding various regional Russian media with relevant readership to this list. As we have already mentioned above, there are 85 regions in Russia, and the very regional media may give the game an appropriate reach of the target audience.
12. Making a list of streamers to send out the game prior to the major launch, during the release, and for further promotion.
13. Making a list of groups concerned with independent development to publish information about the game before its launch and to get feedback of the professional community.
14. Making a list of thematic communities for advertising placement. Again, we recommend not to make do with only large communities, but also to pay attention to regional groups. For example, floating around VKontakte, the largest Russian social networking site, one can see such groups as ROSTOVGAMER (a communtity of gamers from Rostov-on-Don) or Gamers of Khanty-Mansiysk.
15. Making a list of thematic forums. To make this task easier for you, we propose our Top 10 forums for gamers in the Russian market:
16. Making a calendar of industrial events in Russia.
17. Publishing information about the game in professional communities for game developers.
18. Publishing information about your game on thematic forums before the launch, during the active start, and after the launch—warm up threads with news, features, and exclusive bonuses (for example, promo codes).
19. Sending out press releases to industrial and regional media before the launch and after major changes in the game.
20. Setting up and launching search advertising in Google and Yandex.
21. Setting up and launching targeted advertising in MyTarget (VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, My World), on Facebook and Instagram.
22. Publishing advertising posts about the game in VKontakte thematic communities.
23. Collaborating with streamers. Actually, as for games, collaborations with streamers on Twitch and YouTube is one of the key channels where both standard marketing placements and more striking advertising interactions can be actualized.
24. Taking part in industrial events that include both events where one can meet their audience, get insights from top developers, and communicate with members of the gaming community (for example, IgroMir) and more closed conferences for meetings between members of the professional gaming community, or publishers and developers (for example, DevGAMM and White Nights Conference).
25. Organizing a special project. Non-typical marketing decisions is what lets you distance yourself from competitors. As special projects move us with bright ideas and engaging mechanics, they often go viral and allow for more exposure with a smaller budget.
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About the Author
Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog