Indie Marketing 101 (1$, 0 XP, 1h)

Published by , on December 19, 2018.
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When you are a living room based Indie studio, this is pretty much all you can afford to invest: 1$ per day – since you don’t really have a marketing budget, 1h per day – because the game won’t build itself and you have to do pretty much everything anyway, and of course you have no XP beyond what you can read on Google.

But try you must. And you do.

Here is what we tried and achieved in 2 months.

It can really be read as an utter failure or success story, depending on how you look at things (or, in our case, depending if it’s a good day or a bad day – one in which we think we can make it or one in which we think we stand no chance at all).


We made a Facebook page where we capitalised the love and support of friends to build an incipient base of followers.

There is a daily post happening (thanks to Instagram, it posts automatically on Facebook and Instagram with one single click), we optimised the hashtags so that they will match with the platform and occasionally we post in an Indie group as well.

The results are however modest of the very best.

We have 36 followers (aka we have about 36 friends- which socially is not a sad situation).

Our best organic reach was of 32 people, with a post from an Indie gathering, followed by posts with what we call Deeds with roughly 27 people reached each.

The event post did good because the tags and hashtags did their job, by expanding the reach to people outside our very limited group. Obvious but still nice.

The Deeds posts did good because people love a good piece of gossip and like to judge (we can’t complain, the whole game is based on this idea).

Now, let’s see engagement.

The event post is leading the pack strong with 14 post clicks and 8 reactions. It’s really for the same reasons, the tags and hashtags did the job.

The second place is taken by an #InspirationMonday post where we paid tribute to Papers, Please and Reigns – our 2 main sources of inspiration.

Same thing, different post – tags and hashtags rule the world (or at least they rule social media, which is pretty much the world anyway).


Or, in more honest words – “what is wrong with this planet?”

Account was created. Obvious-to-follow other accounts were followed. Hashtags were decided. Posts were made. Mistakes were made.

First and biggest mistake was to try and optimise our time by using the automatic post feature from Instagram and post the same thing across all 3 platforms we were using.

Firstly, Twitter has a different media size requirements, so if you don’t optimise, it looks bad. And no one like a crappy looking post – not even us.

Secondly, no one will really click on your Instagram link auto-embedded in the auto-post. (except 2-3 people but we are not sure is that was on purpose or a mistake)

So we set to create Twitter optimised assets and we learnt that people don’t really find our posts interesting – actually Twitter users will engage more with posts from daily dev life than actual game content. Our particular content could be the problem, so we’ll try and find a solution here over the holiday period. We’ll keep you posted.

The best post we have is one with us having coffee on a day we decided to work from a coffee shop instead of the office: 2,412 impressions and 36 engagements total, out of which 5 were reposts and 7 were likes. This is huge for us, especially compared to other posts where we range at around 200 impressions and 5 engagements.

Twitter also needs several posts a day to work properly, as we learnt one day when we decided to try the multi-posting strategy. But then we postponed an actual strategy due to lack of time. For those who don’t know us, one is working full time on the game focusing on actually getting the actual game done, and the other is having a full-time job.

All in all, the whole Twitter strategy needs to be reconfigured. Hopefully over the holidays, between family dinners, sleep and catching up with our hobbies.

Prepare to allocate extra time for Twitter if you want to go this path.


Here things are different and working quite decent we might say.

We managed to gather 120 followers in 2 months- all organic. It’s not much, but it’s not that little either.

The posting is happening daily now ( it was 3 times a week in the first month), with 3 days of themed posts and 4 days of Deed posts ( you really need to check the account to understand 😉 )Just recently we figured how to do stories and we’re doing that as well occasionally.

Instagram is also the only place in which we pour some money – 1$ a day to be exact for about 5 to 10 days a month. So 5-10$ a month. It’s more experimental than anything else, trying to see which campaigns work best and which don’t, checking the what we can get for 1$ in different territories.

We optimise for reach more than anything else and the results are not bad for the money we invest: around 50 profile visits weekly.

Of course, tags and hashtags rule the world here as well, and obviously posts where we have broad hashtags do better in general. Our top post has 92 likes out of 176 impressions and is about education (social issues seem to bring more engagement – other similar posts did similarly well). Second best post features a painting that served as source of inspiration – obviously tagging the author and museum brought some much desired visibility.

Our demographic is keeping steady at about 80% male and 20% female on the page and posts. Food for thought. However, the demographic of the stories is exactly the opposite. Extra food for thought.


These are the initial insights, we hope to improve the strategy and get better results and brag a little bit the next time one of us blogs about it.

We will surely keep on trying!