This article contains practical information based on marketing games. It also has input from experience in marketing forums and blogs (both of which are applicable to games). Everything here is free. All you need to do is the work. And the more work the better the results. Not all these methods are equally effective all the time, it is a matter of picking and mixing according to what you are trying to do.
We have become accustomed to an internet where a lot is free. Google, Wikipedia, the BBC and much of casual gaming for instance. Because this same ethos runs through the internet it is possible to do a lot of marketing without spending a single cent. Obviously using each one of these methods takes skill to get the optimum results, but that will come with practice.
- Start a blog. Use Google Blogger or WordPress. Post your marketing content and links to it. It will show up on Google search within hours.
- Use Google Blog Search or Technorati to find other people’s blog entries that relate to what you are doing. Add valid comments to these blog entries, with links where applicable.
- Use social networking sites such as Facebook and Linkedin. Post links on it, form groups and put an RSS feed from your blog in.
- Post videos to Youtube. Form groups. Put RSS feeds in to your social networking. One advantage of the internet over paper media is that you can use moving images, make the most of it.
- Use social content websites such as Digg, Reddit, Slashdot and Stumbleupon. These can generate huge amounts of traffic if a story catches on.
- Keep a track of the forums that are relevant to you. Create and post to threads where relevant. Put your url in your signature if it is permitted. Do not spam or abuse the forum, it is a community.
- Seek out all relevant Wikipedia entries and ensure they present your perspective accurately. Add to the external links section at the bottom of the entry. Do not spam, only post what is valid. Also create Knols for everything relevant.
- Make sure that you are getting onto news aggregators like Google News and NewsNow.
- There are literally thousands of directories on the net that each need applying to by hand. Use Google to find the relevant ones for you and fill out the forms. Here is a game blog directory, for instance.
- Many news sites allow you to add your comments to stories, Metro for instance. Do so when relevant. So if there is a major general news story that effects you it is an opportunity to whizz round a few big news sites and get your perspective over. Also many specialist news sites work the same way.
- There are lots of free press release services, Free Press Release, ClickPress Fastpitch and Pressbox, for instance. Write a press release and stick it on a few of them. Choose services from different countries if applicable.
- Website valuation tools. These are a bit of fun but they also often archive their results. So in a few minutes you can create a lot of good links into your website. Wesite analysis and statistics sites often work in the same way.
- Join the reputation management sites. Like Naymz and Lookuppage. These create quality links and tell your side of the story. They help to balance out the anarchy of the net.
- Free advertising on Craigslist, Vivastreet, Gumtree and all the other free classified services. These need refreshing regularly. They are nicely targeted and you can reach people in lots of countries.
- Review your own products! On sites such as Amazon and Metacritic. In fact it is really good fun to go through and work out which comments are marketing plants. Your skill is in making yours impossible to distinguish.
By now it must be obvious that these methods are best used together, synergistically. Which is true of all good marketing. They also require creativity if what you do is going to stand out. And you will need a thick skin from time to time as the usual web idiots throw brickbats at you.