Inbound 2013 Review: 3 Takeaways for Indie Devs

Inbound 2013 Review: 3 Takeaways for Indie Devs

Recently I attended HubSpot’s Inbound 2013, a conference focused on how to use inbound marketing to convert website visitors into lifetime customers. While the conference was geared toward marketers, inbound marketing is a powerful tool for anyone attracting a fan base…including indie game developers. Below is my Inbound 2013 review of the three best takeaways for indie devs.

Inbound 2013 Review: 3 Takeaways for Indie Devs

  1. Inbound Marketing isn’t Enough–You Need an Inbound Experience
    If you’re an avid reader of my blog, you know I’m an inbound marketing advocate…especially for indies. This kind of marketing is affordable and long-term. Nowadays however, your inbound marketing needs to be more than a discovery tactic. It must deliver an unforgettable experience that “interacts, connects and delights.” How does this translate to indie games? Let’s look at an example in this Inbound 2013 review.

    Pretend you’ve released a tower defense game and I’m looking for one to play. I search for “fun tower defense games” and arrive at your landing page. At this point, your inbound marketing’s job is done: it got me to your site. However, your inbound experience has just begun.

    In this example, a good inbound experience will tailor all marketing around my search term (fun tower defense games). Your landing page should begin the experience by illustrating why I would think your game is fun with a video, a level I could play before I buy, etc. After I purchase, your inbound experience should follow through on its promise by delivering a truly fun game.

    To make your inbound experience unforgettable, your goal should be to delight. Do this by surprising me with fun extras, i.e., things I don’t expect but am thrilled to receive (five bonus levels after I think I completed the game, etc.).

  2. Forget the Masses, Market to a Niche
    Seth Godin, a 14-time best-selling author of marketing books, gave an excellent lecture on how the practice of mass marketing has come to an end. Godin argued that products and messaging built to appeal to the masses don’t work. Nowadays, consumers expect not only customized products and messaging, but an overall experience.

    This is great news for indies. Why? Because unlike publishers that need to build mass-marketed games to cover their overheads, indies can target smaller audiences…and be profitable. With just as much talent as a publisher, but less overhead, indies can afford to develop incredibly targeted games that niches are willing to pay top dollar for (ahem, ahem Braid).

  3. Base All Marketing Decisions on Data
    We live in a sophisticated, digital world where everything we do online can be tracked and measured. With this kind of analytical firepower, there’s no excuse to base marketing decisions on anything other than data. Specifically, consumer data. What does this mean? Perform regular testing on your online marketing (landing pages, social media, etc.), analyze your data and improve based on outcome. It’s that simple…but incredibly important.

For more on the conference, read HubSpot’s Inbound 2013 review here.

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Emmy Jonassen is a marketing pro who helps indie developers build adoring fanbases. Marketing people who love buzz words call this "lead generation."


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