Jared J Tan ๐Ÿ”๏ธ

Jared J Tan ๐Ÿ”๏ธ

10-11-2022

00:11

Youโ€™ve probably seen Cult of the Lamb on Twitter. Since I joined the team, our community has grown from 13k to 180k followers organically! As Twitter gets risky, Iโ€™ve been reflecting on takeaways for other platforms. Here's 5 considerations when marketing a game on socials ๐Ÿงต

Before we start, there's many reasons why Cult of the Lamb did so well. @massivemonsters considered marketability when they first started production: Blending two popular genres Eye-catching visual style Robust Twitch integration Iconic mascot character Strong publisher support

With that momentum, Cult of the Lamb's socials have surpassed many other game accounts with more players and more history. I joined just 5 weeks before launch to help this growth. You can also read this in article format here!

1. Understand the story By playing the game, over a few calls, and a survey I send to any dev team I start working with, I try to answer How does the team want to be portrayed? What is the dev backstory? What makes this game unique? How can I convey these messages quickly?

2. Make content that evokes emotion Cult of the Lamb evokes surprise. It matches cute cartoon characters with gruesome atrocities. This works perfectly on social media because humour can arise when expectations are subverted in clever ways.

Memes and trends are funny because they start with something the viewer expects but throw in something unexpected. The difficulty for small brands is that if someone isnโ€™t already familiar with both elements, they canโ€™t understand why the two donโ€™t belong together.

A meme of your gameโ€™s character in a silly situation is funny to you because you know that they arenโ€™t supposed to be there. A casual observer doesnโ€™t have that context. On Card Shark, I rely on the concept of cheating which is universal

3. Be the biggest fans of your biggest fans Our fans are unbelievable. We're floored seeing what they create and it's easy to show love back to them, using our growing platform to amplify their work.

We also try to make it easy to join the creativity. Many folks didnโ€™t react positively to this anatomically correct crow character at first. We flipped that on its head by sharing transparent assets that fans could use to create their own versions.

If youโ€™re making games, youโ€™re probably a fan of games! That means you're also your own target demographic. I comment on things that Iโ€™m a fan of and it spreads our brand to new people while also being relatable to our existing followers.

4. Anticipate trends Did you know that you can actually predict trends before they happen? Big news drops and releases are announced in advance! With the Mario movie trailer coming up, we planned to post something โ€œmovieโ€ related that same day.

When game devs were sharing early footage of their games after GTA VI leaked, we hopped on. It became one of the most liked tweets of the trend and landed in several press articles.

What most people donโ€™t know is that I didnโ€™t even have to create a new asset for this! I had previously shared the exact video just before launch. It did well that first time which gave me confidence it would do well in this new trend.

5. Asset efficiency! The hardest part of social media is the content grind. Repurposing content keeps things fresh without making something entirely new. That prototype footage was originally used in this post from before I worked on Cult.

To improve that post, I knew I had to quicken the pace. The video couldnโ€™t just TELL the viewer the point, it had to SHOW it. To show and not tell, I edited a split-screen version with faster cuts.

Remember that Lamb Movie poster? The art was commissioned for the soundtrack vinyl cover and repurposed for over 100k likes.

And if youโ€™ve already worked so hard to make your game and merch, why not use a few more units in a giveaway? This first giveaway post got us 10k followers in a few days when the account was much smaller.

Here's an edit with Chris Pratt lines from the Mario movie overlayed with our reveal trailer from 2021. Iโ€™ve used this animated footage in reaction GIFs, news posts, and most recently, an animated compilation for easy referencing.

SO MANY WAYS TO USE ONE ASSET!

IN SUMMARY 1. Understand the story 2. Make content that evokes emotion 3. Be the biggest fans of your biggest fans 4. Anticipate trends 5. Asset efficiency! The execution will differ on each platform, but these concepts can apply to any form of content marketing.

I'm lucky that I could work on aย game that lends itself so well to social media. If you represent a brand people have preconceived expectations about, it's much easier to subvert those expectations and surprise the audience.

Social media works best withย games that include humourous surprises at their core:ย Playing the trombone, Dark Souls as a crab, squirrel with a gun, etc.ย  BUT this is just one channel to get your game seen. Many other games do fantastically well without hitting it big on socials.

At @devolverdigital, we believe in getting our games in front of people as much as possible. It takes an average of 8 touchpoints to make a buying decision A viral social media post might not convince someone on its own, but each time they see your game, they're one step closer

If you'd like to hear more like this, please join my newsletter! I'll be writing game marketing musings each month with a focus on organic community building



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