Today has been focused on marketing.  I finished the Press Release and had some people look it over and I’m pretty happy with how it came out.  I haven’t seen one with as long a quote in the middle before, but I figure I don’t have a lot of facts to be quoting at this point and I want Bulletproof Outlaws to be pretty personable instead of just being a corporation of some sort…so I felt it was important to describe a bit of my philosophy behind all this.  Attached to the bottom of this post is the Press Release I sent out.

As I’ve stressed before, I think it’s important to market your company and your games, and that most indie devs don’t do it.  One of the biggest excuses is that it costs money and they’re working for free.  That’s understandable, we all have limited money. But if you invest that money into the right marketing, and that marketing gains you a bunch of sales, you’re going to make up that money you invested.

But you don’t have to spend ANY money to do a little marketing.

Here are 4 free Press Release distribution services:

PR Log (free, and you can include a video if you like)

EzineArticles (first 10 article submissions are free) (free, and soon will support including video) (free, focused on start-up news)

And here are 5 Press Release distribution services that cost money:

DP Directory, Inc. ($129 to submit to 1,000+ places)

PRWeb ($80 – $360, plus “contributions” ($200+) to boost your priority or add images)

PR Newswire ($130 – $3,750 depending on complexity (simple text VS multimedia epicness)) ($150 one-time membership, or $15/month for 12 months then you’re a member…it sounds like you might be able to cancel the service a month or two in if you use the $15/mo option but I’m not quite sure.  Also they have a contact list up that’s about 300-ish long)

Mitorah Games – ($59.95, for 200+ sites)

Now I’ve submitted my Press Release to all 4 of the free services.  All it takes is a little time to write it up and submit it.  Each one has an online submission form, so you just fill in the blanks.  My method was to write the Press Release up in a word processor and then just cut and paste the info into the blanks for each service, because each is a little bit different layout-wise. Some of them let me attach images or business logos, and some allow HTML, etc.

I decided I want to try a pay service as well, so I
went with PRWeb.  I got the $80 package because it was the cheapest. I think the $140 one is better because it includes social media, but I didn’t go with it because I don’t even have a product a person can purchase at this point so I figure I don’t want to go overboard yet…I’m just building a little word of mouth at this point.  When I release an actual game, that Press Release I’ll spend a little more on.  This $80 is more just an experiment to see if paying for a service gets me better results than the free services.

Also it turns out PRWeb allows you to enter a Coupon Code when you pay.  I Googled for one and found that if you sign up for PRWeb THROUGH some of the search results, you can get deals like a 10% discount.  Unfortunately I had already made an account, and 10% of $80 isn’t worth creating a new one haha

After writing the main Press Release, I saved it out one time for each distribution service I’m sending it to and changed a word in each one.  I figure this will make it easy for me to see which service lands the Press Release where, for tracking purposes. Some of the sites actually include some Analytics stuff for your Press Release, but I figured I’d make sure I had a system for it. If it gets posted on a popular site, I can see which service was responsible for that…and if the pay version doesn’t appear anywhere on the net, then I can try a different pay service the next time instead of blindly attempting the same tactic.

There’s a chance my Press Release won’t appear ANYWHERE on the net. If that’s the case, what did this experiment cost me?  $80 and a few hours of my time, no biggie at all.  On the flip side if it appears on 10 sites, and 20 people from each of those sites checks it out in the next month, that’s 1000 new visitors.  If less than half of those
people end up buying one of my games down the road, 40% = 80 sales, the experiment has paid itself off (ignoring Apple’s 30% for the sake of simplicity).  Plus I could have gone with purely the free services and not paid anything at all.

I’ll post up some results in a few weeks when I see how this all pans out.  Most of these services take a few days to approve your Press Release, and then throw it into a queue so there’s a chance it won’t even get out onto the net for a few weeks from some services.  I imagine the more you pay the sooner your release gets out, so if you want to time them for a specific release date you can, but spreading this blog around doesn’t really require a specific deadline so I’m fine with the delay.

That’s it for today!  Now back to actually doing game related stuff, so anyone who DOES find this site can read about game development and not “muwahahaa you fell for my brilliant marketing plan, sucka!” posts haha  If you’re an indie dev, announce your stuff.  You’re being ridiculous if you don’t, since having read this post you now know you can do it for free!

For anyone interested, here’s Bulletproof Outlaws’ first Press Release in fancy looking .PDF form!

- Quickdraw

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