So in the Pre and Post publication checklist post I mentioned a few different ways (Facebook, Reddit, Twitter) you could announce your new product to the world and the most common feedback that I received was that I didn’t include that reader’s favorite website among the crucial resources, that all other sites were rubbish and unworthy of your time and attention.
So in Traction the author talks a lot about how different channels work for different companies to find different audiences. So instead of updating the checklist post with every imaginable social media venue, I making this post to help you evaluate different platforms for yourself and use a methodology for testing the most promising ones.
That’s what the book Traction is all about. The author’s Bullseye methodology is three concentric circles.
The outer ring is everything that’s possible and is supposed to help you overcome your biases. So here are the 19 channels as they see them
Search Engine Marketing
Social and Display Ads – I’ve run Facebook and Reddit ads
Search Engine Optimization – we do a little with the keywords and tagging, linked the site to Google so it knows when we make changes.
Email Marketing – we get some access to our customers through DriveThruRPG
Engineering as Marketing
Trade Shows – I’ve been to a few GenCons and a PaizoCon, but we never had a booth
Offline Events – ERG hasn’t gone to gaming conventions to run our own games yet.
Speaking Engagements – I’ve been on a podcast for an interview, but not speaking in front of crowds.
Community Building – looking at a Facebook group or Discord server.
So you examine what these venues can do for you, what’s the cost of a convention booth, how many potential players will be there? What’s the cost of a Reddit ad? A sponsored blog post? How many readers do they have?
At this stage you aren’t comparing Facebook ads to Reddit ads, just Ads vs Cons and Speaking Engagements, Billboards, Print Ads, and everything else.
The point here is to explore everything without ruling anything out. You may think you know where everyone in the industry already is, but you may get more impact using an underutilized platform.
A very important part of this process is that you may need different channels depending on the growth stage of your business. There’s not always a trade show or convention just happening when you need it but if what you really need is some early customer feedback a convention maybe exactly where you want to be. If you’re looking at crowdfunding or just some regular channel customers then advertising maybe the answer. At different life stages of your company and your product you may need different kinds of audience with a different level exposure to your brand. You may not be after millions of users, you maybe after tens of users that you can sit in a room with for hours prototyping your game or at least seeing someone play it who’s not also a biased friend, family member or part of the development team.
For the middle ring pick three promising channels from the outer ring and run some cheap tests. The tests should tell you
What you s the cost to acquire a customer?
How many customers are in the channel?
Are the customers you do acquire the kind you want right now? This goes back to the lifecycle question do you want early feedback or something else.
The big mistake to watch out for is prematurely scaling you marketing efforts.
The inner ring, focuses on the most promising channel from the middle ring. This is the step where you do split tests and try different things to optimize your marketing.
If you have any feedback about this post or our books please feel free to contact us.
Evilrobotgames at Gmail.com