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Connecting to customers: your Youtube channel

By on February 14, 2012

Marketing and community-building are mandatory for self-publishing games developers. Reaching out and communicating with your fans is essential to making money with a free-to-play game. This post is the second of three extracts from How to Publish a Game that we’re reproducing here, to show you how to attract customers and build a tribe of followers. For a complete guide to self-publishing and making money from your game, buy the book now.

Make cool Youtube content

Shared on a creative commons license by Rego Korosi

Photo by Rego Korosi

Every game needs a YouTube video. It is the anchor of your marketing campaign, and provides an asset that blogs and review sites can use.

The number one rule is to make cool content that people want to use and share. If your content is dull, no advice I can give you will help.

But assuming that you make a video that people want to watch, my top tips for a YouTube campaign are:

  • Have a single YouTube channel for your business ( might be good if you can get it.)
  • Encourage people to subscribe to the channel.
  • Keep your videos short. My personal opinion is that 2 minutes is the maximum for a promotional video. Thirty seconds is good. Five seconds might be even better.64
  • Make the content good enough that viewers will want to embed it in their blog or review.
  • Always allow embedding – 40% of YouTube’s views are via embeds. Why would you cut out nearly half of your potential audience?

A great Youtube channel

Trials HD has been very successful with a strong fan following. Their YouTube channel is a good example of how to go about marketing using YouTube videos.

Buy How to Publish a Game

Buy How to Publish a Game

This channel shows a lot of key successes:

  • RedLynx has a range of uploaded videos (23 in a single channel).
  • The channel is branded and has its own visual style.
  • They offer the chance to subscribe (although, to be fair, that is YouTube functionality).
  • I don’t know about you, but I feel good about this page.

You should definitely consider building your own YouTube channel. There is an important decision to make first: should you build a channel for your studio or for your game?

My instinct is that gamers have a stronger relationship with game titles than with development studios. Therefore it’s better to build a channel for your game.

There are circumstances when it might be better to build a developer channel – when you do lots of small projects, or a range of very different games – so consider experimenting to see what works

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: