The 10 commandments of asset promotion
Maybe you’ve created a great 3D model or an editor extension for Unity, but now it’s sitting at the Asset Store shelves and gathering dust. What can you do to sell more and fund your game and your life with your awesome asset? A few really successful publishers have shared their promotion tips and we cooked them up into these ten commandments:
1)Thou shalt plan ahead.
“I plan releases of updates and information ahead of time to keep as continuous as possible a stream information, while avoiding random «buy my stuff!» messaging,” says Emil “AngryAnt” Johansen. Don’t spam people at random, keep your messages to the point and publish them in regular intervals. “This amount of pre-planning also makes the whole thing a lot less stressful to build and to look at (worrying about the future etc.),” says Emil.
2) Thou shalt make short demo videos
Videos are a great way to show what your asset can do. But don’t go overboard. “I noticed that the average view time is constantly 30 seconds. Making longer videos is unnecessary,” says Ryan James Blanchard, who uses promotional demos to sell his 15 assets.
3) Thou shalt find out where your customers are
Where is it that people are talking about buying assets? Besides Unity Forums, take a look at other indie-oriented forums, visit conferences and look around Twitter. You can monitor how much traction your posts get in different places and then concentrate on the most effective ones. “I also occasionally post links on other game-related forums. Posting on other forums isn’t useful for increasing sales. I do increase my views but none of them are interested in purchasing anything,” says Ryan.
4) Thou shalt use the Forums
If you don’t know where to start, you can’t go wrong with a post in Unity Forums with an embedded video. You can get quality feedback from other publishers and Unity users in general. But again, make sure your post has something to say besides “buy my stuff” before promoting it. “I find it distasteful when people are obviously bumping their own posts with no new information, so I only update them when there is something pertinent. I also make sure at least a week has gone by before bumping a post,” shares the developer behind Quantum Theory Entertainment.
5) Thou shalt tweet it up
Setting up a Twitter account is no rocket science, but generating some sales through this channel actually requires a lot of work. The easiest tweak you can do in 2 seconds is adding the #AssetStore hash tag. Start following other publishers, including your competitors, and ask for feedback on your asset. You can also set up a search for a specific keyword (f.e. shaders) to keep an eye on what people say.
6) Thou shalt sign up for 24 Hour Deals. Seriously, 24 Hour Deals!
Our 24 Hour Deals are a permanent fixture now. Anybody can sign up to take part and if you’ve been selected, be prepared for a lot of extra traffic. You can sign up here, but we can’t guarantee you’ll be featured due to the heavy volume.
7) Thou shalt tweak your Pictures
Playing around with pictures on your product page can also help. They should always be fresh, sharp and professional, but it’s hard to predict what works, so you need to test as much as possible. “I’m constantly tweaking my messaging. Changing your asset store imagery is a great idea,” says Emil.
8) Thou shalt consider paid campaigns on Google and Facebook
You can start Google Adwords and Facebook Ad campaigns for each product linking directly to the asset pages for additional traffic. Consider which keywords people might use to look for your asset (2D plug-in Unity etc.) and which group to target (South Korean video game developers, for example). Start small first and then evaluate the results to see if the investment paid off.
9) Thou shalt keep an eye on the time zones
Unity’s community is global and even when you’re asleep, there are people out there looking for assets. This is especially important to consider for the 24 Hour Deals, which start at 6 am San Francisco time (PST). You can set up updates to go live when you’re out using free tools like Hootsuite.
10) Thou shalt stay in the conversation
Asset Store’s manager Caitlyn Meeks suggests that you ask users about what they would like: “Others will hop on board once they see a conversation going. Try to get them involved in the life cycle of your asset ,so they’re personally invested in it.”
Getting some constructive feedback and finding out what people need can be even more valuable than getting new customers, because it will help you expand in the future. So make sure you respond in forum threads and on Twitter. Good support will make your existing customers happy and more likely to leave a positive review.