Whereas I initially felt too boomer to make use of TikTok, I gave it a attempt to promote The Matriarch and it modified EVERYTHING. Tiktok proved to be the perfect platform, by far, to realize visibility and wishlists for my sport. I am nonetheless studying the best way to use it and doubtless might do lots of issues higher, however I assumed sharing my expertise may very well be helpful for fellow devs who wrestle to get sufficient visibility.
Final July I began to develop The Matriarch, a Cover & Search social gathering sport. A significant mistake I did with my earlier mission was to promote it too little & too late, one thing I needed to right right here. I printed the Matriarch steam web page 4 months after and slowly began gathering wishlists. Regardless of a number of respectable Reddit posts, after 3 months it gathered underneath 500 wishlists and was clearly not on monitor to succeed in the 10k wishlist aim I set for myself earlier than releasing the sport (deliberate in 2022). I additionally posted on Twitter, Fb, and Imgur, however with none followers, none of it received any traction.
Again then, I gave Tiktok a try to had my first movies making a number of thousand views, I used to be merely reusing the identical movies as on different platforms (and nonetheless do!) and assumed I would wish to spend a major period of time understanding the codes of TikTok and modifying movies to be extra profitable (I used to be flawed!).
I registered for the Steam Subsequent Fest in February hoping to realize not less than a few 1000’s of wishlists.
Just a few days earlier than releasing the demo, I barely reworked the trailer and posted it on Tiktok with out anticipating a lot (at this level my prime video had 14k views), within the first hours I observed it was gaining views sooner than normal so I went to mattress hoping it could get not less than as a lot views as my prime video.
I awoke, increase, 1M views, 100k likes, I could not consider it, I used to be so glad! I verify the wishlists… +1500 in ONE day. My jaw dropped, that was 4 instances greater than all wishlists mixed since I launched the steam web page! +3500 on the second day, +2500 on the third… whereas I felt immensely glad, nervousness shortly took over pondering of the numerous gamers who had been now awaiting the demo, which I by no means examined outdoors my group of pals.
I created a discord server and launched the demo. Regardless of a number of bugs, most gamers had been in a position to play and luxuriate in it so it was an enormous reduction. It had round 1000 each day lively customers and was constantly within the prime 20 demos with most gamers. When the pageant began, The Matriarch was within the prime 5 fest demos with most gamers.
The mixture of TikTok + demo + SteamFest saved up the momentum and managed to maintain the each day wishlist above 300 for a number of weeks. I at the moment have 23000 wishlists, and discord with 700 members.
What did I study from this?
- Understanding and making use of the ‘codes’ of TikTok is not a must have to get excessive numbers. I do not take note of traits, and timing and I do not edit my movies particularly for TikTok (I really began doing that with the final video), I in all probability ought to do all of that to optimize my numbers, however as somebody with restricted time, I can make investments my time elsewhere and nonetheless get good numbers. Possibly I am simply fortunate, however studying different blogs about Tiktok, I really feel individuals would possibly overestimate the impression of the development/timing/music/side ratio. The area is essential although, in the event you stay outdoors the EU/US, utilizing a VPN is likely to be a good suggestion.
- Do not hand over! My first movies did not carry out very effectively, and curiously the one which received 7m views was virtually precisely the identical because the one which received 10k views. Once I edited it the second time, I centered on making it extra dynamic and sped up lots of clips. Do not hesitate to iterate on a video and publish it a number of instances.
- Tiktok customers like to make connections with stuff they know. Coincidentally, the nuns in my sport die in the identical weird approach as a personality from a well-known anime, and it seems there’s a Roblox sport with a really related idea. And a very good 20% of feedback had been about these 2 references (that is good for the algorithm). In case your sport can join in some methods with references which can be in style together with your viewers, that is one thing you may play with.
- Tiktok customers like to chime in. In a current video, I requested them for brand new killing gadget concepts and received lots of of feedback with inventive concepts that I’ll most undoubtedly use sooner or later. Ask them for his or her opinions/recommendations!
- It snowballs! Every week in the past I launched one other video that received 500k views, however it additionally introduced one other 2m views to the viral video that was stagnating, the mixed views introduced me one other 2.5k wishlist.
- I normally construction my movies the identical approach: Catchy description/query on prime – video – name to motion on the backside. Preserve it quick!
- When you attain 10k followers, Tiktok lets you swap to a enterprise account and put a hyperlink in your description. I am utilizing linktree to compile a number of hyperlinks. Inform your viewers to verify your bio! Tiktok is a good funnel for discord, the final video introduced me 300 further customers.
- Preserve Tiktok in thoughts when planning upcoming function/content material manufacturing. It is a highly effective instrument however that you must feed it with attention-grabbing content material. I’ll attempt to produce catchy content material ceaselessly sufficient to ensure unique movies each week.
- The me of 6 months in the past would have a tough time believing it however Tiktok is definitely enjoyable to make use of! The massive visibility is in fact very rewarding, however posting and doing fast modifying is intuitive and simple, customers are enjoyable to interact with and glad whenever you reply them. It undoubtedly grew to become some of the thrilling components of my indie dev routine.
Issues I need to strive subsequent
- Utilizing the matriarch character because the ‘face’ of the sport and exhibiting it on all movies, so the content material feels extra personalised and distinctive.
- Having a format extra tailored to Tiktok, with extra video and fewer textual content area.
- Decide to 1 video per week
- Concentrate on shorter movies, <15s is preferable for extra views.
TikTok’s largest benefit is that you do not want followers in your video to realize traction. As I perceive, each video is proven to a small variety of individuals and if the ratio of feedback & likes, replay instances, and the variety of seconds watched is excessive sufficient, it will get proven to extra customers.
At this level, my largest query is that if the wishlists coming from TikTok have the identical high quality as wishlists coming from different sources, I suppose I am going to determine that out after I hit the discharge button!