As you may have seen on social media I'm no longer recording a weekly podcast, instead I'll be writing two blogs a week (Sunday / Wednesday). These blogs will be far more structured however, today's blog and ongoing Wednesday entries will all be dedicated to The Boxing Promoter game alone. Everything else related to boxing/gaming in general will be discussed in Sundays blog where I can maybe be a little more outspoken moving forward.
So, to kick off today's blog we had two questions come in which actually cover exactly what I'm looking to discuss. So lets go through the questions first;
Rob Morris asks - What has been the response to the game from the boxing community (boxers, managers, promoters, etc)?
Martin @ New Age Boxing - Once the game is fully released, what are the marketing avenues that you are looking to use to push it out to potentials users?
Thank you both for your questions they really are ideal for this blog.
What I was looking to discuss today was marketing the game, current plans, considerations, paid vs unpaid etc...
Lets start with where we are currently at, with no paid advertising and just some hard graft on social media I have;
Twitter - 905
Instagram - 141
Facebook - 66
This is not too bad but I know I can write off a few of them follows as people who just follow anyone & everyone however it's fair to say the game has captured the attention of a fair few fans through social media posts alone. I also have a small presence on forums such as boxingnews24 and checkhook where they allow me a dedicated thread. These haven't been as successful as I would have liked however with release I hope to see more engagement on these.
To answer Rob's question above the response from the boxing community has been incredible, I've always followed boxing but never felt close enough to the sport to consider myself part of the community however after this project I can honestly say I'm a fully fledged member and will forever be indebted to the people for getting behind this game in the way they have. To be more specific with your question, boxers? Mixed response from boxers, some guys like Issac Chamberlain, Ricky Heavens, Matty Chanda have really got behind the game and speak with me through Twitter often to discuss it, others such as Paulie Malignaggi & Dave Allen have helped with retweeting posts. I feel that upon release having boxers tweeting & retweeting about the game will have a massive impact on initial downloads. Over the last couple months I've been tweeting some individuals looking for retweets but I've had little success to be honest. Managers & Promoters, I have to thank both Steve Goodwin and the guys at UKO boxing who spared their own time to help offer me insight into the world of boxing management/promotion/matchmaking etc, that information was absolutely vital not only for this version of the game but future versions as well, Kevin Campion also helped recently with feedback. Aside from the boxers/coaches/promoters the soul of the community is with the fans and their voice is carried within blogs&podcasts, the response from these guys who commit their time to write/talk about boxing has been nothing short of astounding! A massive thank you to everyone who has discussed the game on the show &/ offered help and advice where needed.
Back to the marketing side, lets briefly discuss paid advertising. As The Boxing Promoter is very niche I need a way of targeting a very specific audience, the best tool for this by far is Facebook advertising. They allow you to be so specific with who your targeting, in theory I could target "Boxing Fans, who talk about Eddie Hearn and follow Football Manager", this would hopefully offer a very effective ROI. Not sure how much to put into FB advertising but the best part about it is you use their slides to easier set your cost & return.
Another paid advertising venture which you may have seen me discuss on Twitter recently, sponsoring a fighter. This is something I'm extremely interested in, not sure if the ROI will be as good as spending the money on FB would be but there are plenty of other benefits for myself and the game. Firstly it's just really cool to financially invest in a boxer, go to their fights, watch them train and have more than just their record on the line. For the game itself this advertising could help us reach more audiences that otherwise might have discarded us, showing that I'm willing to invest and back a small hall fighter, that will hopefully draw in more hardcore fans. Also, people love a story, having someone's career that we'll follow and track progress of should really interest some fans and work to the benefit of both the game and the fighter.
Free advertising now, we discussed it earlier but increasing my social media following is vital to this games success. At the moment we are steadily progressing, I'm not going out actively seeking lots of retweets and begging for interaction... Yet... However once I have a release date pencilled in for the game this will change, I'm sorry for everyone that's followed me for ages but you will see some repetitive posts reaching out to influencers and practically begging for a retweet, knowing just how vital these RT's could be for the game in the long run. This momentum will then continue all the way up to release where everyone should be super super excited... Sounds good in principle.
Other means of free advertising are... Review sites, I'll reach out to plenty leading up to release hoping for some good articles about the game. Press releases, I'm going to be building a press kit to send off to multiple websites discussing the game. Podcasts & Blogs, once again relying on you amazing people to maybe write an article (or publish my release blog) on the day of release, podcasters I'll be once again begging for shout-outs or even guest appearances if possible. Speaking of appearances, I'll be trying to attend as many boxing events as possible, dressed up in my boxing promoter shirt (which I need to order), this should help with some plain advertising through presence alone. Forums, I mentioned these above but sometimes forums are your worst enemies other times they can be your best friends, I haven't interacted enough on these forums (and reddit) to know exactly what I'm in for but we'll hopefully draw up some interest. Of course the final one as always is "word of mouth" pretty simple really, just talk about the game and tell people to download it...
All pretty optimistic but we'll see how we get on I suppose. One thing which should help to draw attention to the game would be a quality trailer/advert that can be shared by people over social media without me really pushing it... I've got some ideas but my equipment and editing skills are fairly basic, one of my best mates is an incredible cinematographer I'm hoping that he will agree to recording and editing a trailer for me... I'll obviously pay him though!
So that brings us to the end, hopefully this has answered the questions and offered a lot of insight into my marketing strategy. As I've mentioned a few times in here I'm no expert at this, it's my very first game project and I'm so open to ideas and advice from anyone... I'd hugely appreciate any help...