Top 10 Marketing and Promotion Strategies for Games

Game Development Marketing and Promotion Strategies

The gaming industry is full of game developers all trying to get ahead to find the biggest possible audience for their creativity. Our Games Programming Degree can help students unlock these skills in game design and take their first steps in their careers. Get in touch to find out more

Many of the game developers who succeed are those who invest in a marketing strategy to elevate their video game project and ensure it reaches their target audience.

From marketing campaigns to game promotion strategies, developers with marketing efforts that generate buzz around game releases and encourage players to connect are those most likely to rise to the top.

But as a developer, what are the best game marketing strategies to help you tap into the gaming community?

Our blog explores some of the best marketing and promotion advice including how to keep players engaged, the latest market trends and the most effective ways to increase brand awareness for a new game project…

How to Approach Marketing and Promotion

Game Development Marketing and Promotion strategies 2

There are many decisions to be made when it comes to creating an effective marketing strategy.

Developers need to consider how to generate excitement around their work and can choose from multiple platforms on finding a broader audience.

Questions developers need to ask themselves range from defining the game’s visual appeal to choosing the gameplay perspective and identifying and engaging with the right community to drive sales.

Game marketing strategies

lightbulb, innovation, creativity

Here, we’ll explore some of the best ways to turn curious players into loyal customers and attract more users for a game.

Understand your audience

Understanding your audience begins with trying to identify who your audience is and who your game is for.

Do some research into your potential target market and collect data on who they might – you can use information including age, where they live, interests, gender and more to create an effective strategy to find them.

It is worth undertaking market research and asking users about the kinds of games they like and how often they play. You can also research similar available games, analyse how they are promoted and try to understand why some are more successful than others.

Social media platforms

Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, X and LinkedIn all offer different game marketing opportunities for you to engage with and grow an audience.

To effectively reach and target an audience for a video game, a social media content strategy can be a great place to start – this can help you plan ahead and work out when you should share updates and posts about your project.

Adopting a consistent approach with the frequency of posting and the look/feel of the content can help build your brand. It’s also worth remembering that social media is not a one-way street – instead, you should focus on engaging with and responding to your audience or followers when appropriate.

Each social media platform is also different – so content that might be suitable for TikTok might not work on LinkedIn. It’s also useful to utilise the analytics provided by each platform as this can provide valuable insights on the performance of your content to inform your future strategy.

Facebook and Discord are both great platforms for community engagement. Both provide game developers with the chance to engage directly with an audience and glean feedback and insights from users. This can be really beneficial when it comes to making your audience feel like they’re connected with your creative journey.

Instagram is known for showcasing visual content and provides opportunities for developers to show off the look and feel of a gaming project via clips and trailers. Utilising visually striking promotional content can be very effective on this platform.

Influencer marketing

Online influencers wield significant power in the gaming industry due to the large audiences they have amassed. If you can get an influencer on your side for promotional purposes, then you could potentially tap into a base that goes far beyond traditional advertising.

These influencers can act as brand ambassadors for your project and really enhance your game’s visibility, particularly when given exclusive content.

In return for their support, developers can offer early access to a project so influencers can have the exclusive right to showcase your game.

Some of the top influencers include PewDiePie, a Swedish gaming YouTuber best known for his videos and vlogs.

SSSniperWolf is an English-American YouTuber and actress best known for her reaction, commentary and gaming videos. Her channel is named after her favourite game, Metal Gear Solid.

Community building

64% of marketers claim that word-of-mouth is the most effective advertising method. This is why community building is thought to be so effective as a marketing tool for game developers.

As we’ve already said, utilising Discord, Facebook and Reddit alongside gaming forums can be among the best strategies for developers to find sustained growth. These channels provide direct and immediate feedback on a project from potential users and can make an audience feel more valued if they are having a genuine impact on shaping a project during its early days.

To make the most of this, you should focus on actively engaging with your community while also being ready for them to be critical of your work. Try to develop a thick skin and remember that they will be the biggest advocates if you can achieve meaningful engagement. It means they will hopefully feel listened to, offer valuable feedback and be supportive when a game is released.

Create a website

As a game developer, you can have a diverse range of digital marketing channels – but it’s very useful to have a website in place that can act as a central hub for your promotional activity around a game.

Here you can feature all the relevant information that gamers will be looking for, including links to purchasing your game, a game trailer, links to social platforms, more information on the story behind it and the creative journey the developers have been on. You can also include details of the team who created it too.

As with any website, focus on usability, ensure the look and feel is visually enjoyable and is mobile-responsive as well as being optimised for search engines.

Live streaming

Live streaming can be a great way of making a splash in the gaming universe. Many casual gamers will want to see a game being used before they part with their cash to purchase so a live stream can be an effective tool to show what it’s all about.

To successfully live stream, you should pick an appropriate platform where your audience can easily access the stream. You should also use your analytics to work out a suitable date and time when they are most likely to be online and ready to engage.

We’ve already mentioned partnering with influencers as part of game marketing strategies. This can be particularly effective when looking to launch a live stream as they can market this to their audience too.

User-generated content

User generated content (UGC) is often a preferred way of marketing a game as it feels more authentic than a traditional ad. In the gaming world, this can take the form of reviews, video marketing, creating fan art or players posting screen shots featuring details of their high scores or experiences.

Game developers will often provide incentives to game users to post UGC including access to merchandise or exclusive events.

Resharing this content can be really effective for those developers looking to create engaging content and establish a deeper emotional connection with their audience.


Referral marketing involves using existing players to play an integral part in video game promotion.

In a refer-a-friend program, current players are incentivised to refer their social circle to access a game through a reward system.

The more appealing these rewards (including additional in game rewards, in game currency or access to unique characters or worlds), the more likely your user base is to refer your project.

This word-of-mouth marketing, much like the UGC we’ve seen above, can go further than traditional ads in attracting new gamers to your work. There is a level of authenticity that comes with this form of promotion that can lead to deeper brand loyalty.

Events and Conventions

The gaming world calendar is one full of events, conferences and conventions where your potential audience will be in attendance.

Although it might be difficult to stand out as these events can be very busy, taking part can be an effective way of expanding your network and reach among gaming companies, industry professionals and the media. If you are going to make the effort to go to help launch a game, then investigate organising contests, giveaways or even live demos of your project to increase visibility.

These events vary from large industry-wide expos like Gamescom to developer-specific conventions including BlizzCon.

Cross-Promotions and Partnerships

Partnering with other video game developers or brands to cross-promote each other’s products can be a great way of growing an audience.

This can take different forms – from collaborating on in-game events or content, or offering special discounts or incentives to players.

This kind of marketing comes through relationship building and networking. If you have a close connection with a fellow game developer, then sometimes combining tactics and audiences can be really effective in getting word out about your respective projects.

Studying Games Programming at SAE

If you are looking to develop popular games, then studying our Games Programming degree can help you take your career to the next level.

Our course is offered London, Leamington Spa, Glasgow and Liverpool campuses and enables students to learn more about game mechanics and systems, explore theories of play and develop game design, playtesting, production, and community management skills.

Get in touch to find out more.

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